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“slow and wrong”
Review of 5th Street Bistro

5th Street Bistro
Ranked #4 of 94 Restaurants in Anacortes
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $12 - $28
Cuisines: American
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Reviewed August 5, 2013

Got the wrong drinks...did get correct drink but took over 10 minutes more. One of the 3 of us took 20 minutes longer to get her food....offered free desert but no way could we wait that long

Thank Sam B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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210 - 214 of 248 reviews

Reviewed August 5, 2013

Let's be generous to the other reviewers and assume that this restaurant took their criticisms to heart and made improvements because we had a fabulous dinner.

My wife and I started with the clam chowder with mussels -- tasty! Then, we had the three course dinner. First was an excellent salad (not dripping in maple syrup as a previous reviewer noted). Next, we both had salmon with a delicious strawberry chutney. Finally, my wife raved about the three sorbet dessert and I loved the strawberry shortcake. Marla, our server was friendly, efficient and gave a perfect wine recommendation.
Good food, good service and good value.

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1  Thank BobinDenver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Matt P, Guest Relations Manager at 5th Street Bistro, responded to this reviewResponded January 5, 2014

Here at the 5th Street Bistro we always take guest feedback seriously, whether it’s positive or constructive. We view this is as a necessary step in the process of constantly improving the dining experience we offer.
I’m glad your dining experience was a home run! I couldn’t agree more, the homemade maple vinaigrette is a nice departure from standard options; and the strawberry chutney definitely adds another layer of freshness to the salmon. Thank you again for the feedback and please come see us again soon!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 5, 2013

I RARELY give one star reviews. I don't like to do it, because it means I had a really bad experience. Sadly, this was the case at this restaurant, and as a guest of the hotel who LOVED my stay, it really is very sad.

We stopped in for drinks at the bar earlier in the day, and chatted with the bartender, Jeff, for a while. He was really nice, and we ended up perusing the dinner menu and talking to him about it. He got us really excited to come back and try the prawns and the creme brulee. We also realized that the menu offered three courses for two for $30. For about 5 minutes I thought it was $30 per person and was pretty happy to come back, but THEN i realized it was for TWO PEOPLE and I was shocked, and SUPER excited to come back.

We headed down from our room for dinner at about 7:30pm and the place was pretty busy. We got a table and our menus, and were quickly paid a visit by our server. She wasn't the friendliest person and seemed like she just wanted to go about her job and get it over with, but she wasn't a bad server in any respect.

We both ordered their house salad, bf ordered the steak with mushrooms, and I ordered the prawns...or, well, I tried to. They were out of them. They were out of a main entree dish at 7:30pm. HOW DOES THAT HAPPEN? I asked if I could get the scallops on the prixe fixe instead, and she went to check. They said yes, but that they'd have to charge me $2 extra. Really? You don't HAVE to charge me that. You're out of the dish that was basically the reason we came here for dinner, and you're going to charge me more for ordering my second choice. Awesome. (Of note, later in the evening I watched another server wait for a couple to order the prawns before telling them they'd ran out. This is f'ing terrible service.)

Oh, and then we made our dessert choices - I got the strawberry angel food cake, and my boyfriend ordered the vanilla creme brulee. Or, at least, he tried to. She said (again telling us AFTER we order, not before) that they only had one left and she would have to check. We requested - okay do that now please! (though kindly, not in a demanding tone).

A while later she brought over our salads, and told us that the creme brulee was gone. #1 - HOW DO YOU RUN OUT OF CREME BRULEE AT 7:30pm??? #2 - Why didn't she come tell us after we ordered it, instead of waiting? What if - since they were out of the TWO reasons we came for dinner - we didn't want to stay? She didn't give us that option.

The house salad had a maple vinaigrette, spiced pecans, cranberries and cheese. We got it, and I could have sworn something was missing. I didn't really think about it though, and we started eating (we were hungry). The salad was SWIMMING in fake-tasting mapley dressing. Like, dripping it. It was gross. But, I was hungry, so I kept eating, and began to really notice the lack of something. I couldn't find our server so I popped over to the menu stack and was quickly reminded that our salads were supposed to come with pecans. A different server saw me looking and asked if she could help me, so I mentioned our salads were missing the nuts and she had our waitress bring over a little dish of them. She was apologetic, and the nuts were boring, but they helped.

She then brought our entrees. Mine - scallops with rice pilaf and asparagus. The scallops were fine. A little tough around the edges and not superior flavor, but they were fine. The rice pilaf was NOT rice pilaf - it was a bed of jasmine rice, with absolutely no flavor, and nothing else. The asparagus was disgusting. Terribly undercooked, slathered with oil, and entirely lacking salt. I ate the scallops and left everything else on my plate. My boyfriend got the steak with mushroom sauce and garlic mashed potatoes and asparagus. The asparagus was the same as mine - gross. The garlic mashed potatoes must have had NO garlic in it, and a pound of butter instead. All we could taste was butter. The steak - oh man, the steak. It was cooked fine, but that's all I can say in the positive category. It clearly took a bath in montreal steak seasoning before getting cooked, and had no mushroom flavor whatsoever. There was about a tablespoon of finely chopped mushroom on top of it, but a sauce was nowhere in sight.

I'm running out of room here, so I'll cut to the chase with dessert. We both got the strawberry angel food cake (which our server called strawberry shortcake), and it was in no way, shape, or form angel food cake. I'm a baker, and I know what angel food cake is. This cake was not it. I don't know whether they made it in house, or bought it at the store, but the latter would be better I think because if it was the former it means the chef has NO CLUE what angel food cake actually is. It was tasty, don't get me wrong, but to blatantly misrepresent something you're serving is absolutely awful.

Short story long, do not waste your time and money. This food is awful.

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Thank scthe2aces
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 25, 2013

We had great experience eating here. Evidently they remodeled earlier this year. Great décor; great service and good food. We enjoyed it a lot and would recommend as good place to eat in Anacortes. We had chicken tacos and their house salad. Both excellent. House salad had excellent house dressing with dried cranberries and feta cheese.

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Thank love2dine50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Matt P, Guest Relations Manager at 5th Street Bistro, responded to this reviewResponded January 5, 2014

The remodel was certainly a success. The neutral tones made our historic building even warmer and more elegant. The Majestic now has the best of both worlds: historical elegance and modern luxury. Of course the Majestic experience would not be complete without the fabulous 5th Street Bistro and I’m so glad you were able to try a few of our lunch offerings. Hopefully when you come see us again you’ll be able to stay in one of the beautiful new rooms and join us for dinner to try some of our new and spectacular dinner offerings.

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Reviewed June 8, 2013

The 5th Street Bistro is located in The Majestic Inn and Spa in Anacortes and is a restaurant / bar that is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

I have been a regular at this establishment for the past fifteen months and I have probably been one of the most frequent visitors during this time. Therefore I believe my review is fair and just and reflects the changing nature of the restaurant.

When I first started visiting the 5th Street Bistro (March 2012) its menu was varied with plenty of choices for one and all. The Happy Hour was exceptional, the wine list adequate, and the main menu diverse. The bar and restaurant were also staffed with happy and skilled servers.

Wind forward fifteen months (June 2013) and there has been an almost 100% change in everything. The bar and wait staff has seen nearly everybody replaced (left to seek pastures new). Now that in itself is not necessarily bad, but in a small town like Anacortes where most places still employ the same staff as last year, it is most unusual and there has to be an underlying reason for it. Then there is the chef. In the fifteen months I have been there, the 5th Street Bistro is on its third chef. Enough said about staffing.

So, onto the food. There was a time about six months ago when I despaired of the menu. Suddenly it went from being a nice northwestern-themed hotel menu to a southern-based 'grits-insprired' offering. The Happy Hour became an Unhappy Hour, with everything suddenly going up drastically in price (with the hours shortened to boot). The 5th Street Bistro was pricing itself out of the market and also offering food that the local clientele did not want. Unfortunately this also came at a time when the restaurant was undergoing a complete redecoration and was closed / relocated for almost three weeks. Business suffered and something obviously had to be done.

Recently a new chef has been hired and the Happy Hour menu has been reworked. Prices have been lowered slightly and new items added. A few of the older, original, items have also been added back. I am told the main menu is also due for a complete overhaul along the same lines.

So what about quality? The 5th Street Bistro suffers because of itself. It is the only restaurant in Anacortes that is open for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and late night Happy Hour. And it does that with few menu changes and a diverse array of kitchen staff who have seen several chefs and cooks come and go. It is no little wonder that the quality of the food from hour to hour and day to day is, at best, inconsistent. I have seen two dishes go out side by side looking completely different even though the customers ordered the same exact thing.

Please simplify! Treat each dining period as a separate event. Make breakfast breakfast and lunch lunch. Change the menu, simplify it, educate the kitchen staff, keep everything consistent. Then for dinner, bring on the A-Team (oh, and for heaven's sake get rid of those abysmal 'home fries' - they are never cooked correctly, and go cold in two minutes).

Wow! I'm writing a lot and I haven't even covered half the topics I wanted to. Other suggestions? Employ a dining room manager (or two - one for AM/early PM and one for late PM) and have them actually run the dining room and bar. Let them make decisions about who gets which tables, ensure sidework gets done, food is to quality, and when servers get phased, etc. Management in this area is sadly lacking. Lastly, change it up a little from time to time - guest beer taps, cocktails of the day, new wines. The list is obvious. Again, a proper manager could make this happen.

I like the 5th Street Bistro. It's a friendly place. It serves mostly good food and has mostly good service. But it could be great with just a few minor tweaks. I look forward to the next fifteen months.

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1  Thank jcx27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Matt P, Guest Relations Manager at 5th Street Bistro, responded to this reviewResponded June 27, 2013

From the Majestic Management team, we appreciate the constructive criticism and strive to improve upon several points made.

The Bistro has seen significant change over the last 15 months. This has not been change for the sake of change, but important course corrections to achieve the high standards we demand in food quality and customer service. We are excited to add Executive Chef, Erik Morris to our team. Erik was born and raised in Anacortes and has a clear vision for the Bistro that will connect well with our local community and visiting guests. We are focused on offering Northwest Cuisine using the freshest local ingredients. We also recently added a Restaurant Manager position to the Bistro, which provides a consistent leadership presence in the restaurant.

We hope to have you as a guest again, John. I would also appreciate the opportunity to wow you with the new breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert menus – all with Northwest roots.

--Matt Plier – (360) 299-1400 ext. 111

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