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“Stained Menus, Dirty Floors and Annoying Flies, Oh My!”
Review of Scratch - CLOSED

Scratch
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Portland
Level 3 Contributor
6 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Stained Menus, Dirty Floors and Annoying Flies, Oh My!”
Reviewed October 22, 2012

The only, ONLY reason we went to this restaurant is because we received a $20 coupon while at the Lake Oswego Farmer’s Market approximately a month ago. The Lake Oswego Chamber of Commerce had a Spin the Wheel Game with a variety of prizes they were giving away on that day. We spun and we won! Well…we thought we had won a $20 coupon to use at a local restaurant called “Scratch.” Evidently the Chief cooks everything from scratch. Well, I sure hope so.

On October 20, 2013, we planned to cash in this coupon since it was expiring on this same day. My Husband had this gut instinct that they wouldn’t honor it. His gut instinct was right on.

I had found their website to review their menu and hopefully get an idea of the quality of the restaurant. I was not impressed. In fact, the website was pretty sad in providing a good first impression. See uploaded images. To read the Dinner Menu it was like reading Chinese. Minus points for 1st impression.

As we entered the restaurant it was kind of full, there were a couple small two-person tables left. The bar was empty. We were greeted right away and the wait staff informed us of our options. We elected to sit in the back. As we sat at our table I noticed all these dings, holes and deep scratches in the walls. The walls were painted with a metallic paint color, which I know is not cheap. However, no one prepped the walls before they painted. It looked like the room had been beat up by over active boys. The two-person tables were quite small and my Husband felt like he was going to hit his elbow against the wall when he drank or ate. (He’s of average build.)

There were tables located right in front of the one Unisex Bathroom. They were way too close for what we felt for sanitary reasons. Also as a customer I would feel uncomfortable using that bathroom with Diners right outside my bathroom door. “Oh, Excuse me…” as you go in and as you come out.

We were waited on right away. We presented our coupon for the Waitress and then she proceeded to say that, “We’ve been getting a few of these and the coupons weren’t filled out right.” “What?” She continued to explain that the management for the Scratch Restaurant claims who ever gave out those coupons filled them out wrong. The Waitress, now the bad news messenger, informed us that they (the Restaurant management) had decided they were only good for radishes. “Radishes, what radishes?...” She wrote Void on the back of the coupon, handed it back to us and told us we had to go over to the Lake Oswego Chamber of Commerce right up the street, (just one block from them) and ask for $20!

Let me just say right now, this is what is called “Bait and switch…” This is when we should have walked out. And we hope other potential customers do the same. This is poor customer service. This issue is not the customer’s fault and a business owner should never, ever ask your customer(s) to go somewhere else to cash in a coupon. Not cool. It should have been worked out between the two parties. The coupon should have been honored plain and simple. Now it’s our time and our dime to drive into Lake Oswego again.

We stayed. We ordered a bottle of Rose Wine, the Pumpkin Soup and the Salmon and split it all. We felt on average the wine and beer was over-priced. My Husband’s paper menu had food stains on it. Gross.

The waitress brought us a few slices of bread and butter. It was dark and looked healthy. Unfortunately, it was so dry even with the butter added, that my Husband started coughing.

The pumpkin soup was served first. It was nice of them to serve us two bowls even though we ordered just one serving. The pumpkin soup was good. However, I have had delicious pumpkin soup at many places. In fact, the Whole Foods Grocery Store has some fantastic pumpkin soup in their deli section. It’s healthy and delicious.

As we ate, I realized we had a third party. There was a buzzing noise whizzing past my head. Then I saw a teeny fruit fly circling our table. I swatted at it a few times but kept missing.

The waitress brought radishes to our table. We didn’t ask for them and didn’t know this was actually the “deal.” They are $5 on their menu. We did not plan our evening to go to a restaurant to get FREE radishes. I don’t care how fresh and crisp they are. They should be. Also on the dish was a teeny pile of smoked salt and what they were calling “nitrogen infused butter.” Okay…we dipped the radishes into the butter but it fell right off. The teeny pile of salt was gone after just a couple of dips. The radishes didn’t need any salt or butter. We kind of felt suckered by going in there with a $20 coupon and instead getting a tray of radishes.

Our third party was still there circling our nice, crisp radishes. He wanted in on those free radishes too.

Next...the baked salmon. We cut it in half to share. It was not split for us. (This is common practice for us to split most our entrées and most restaurants will split your entrée for you.) The amount was really enough for each of us. The salmon was served in a bowl with a piece of brie cheese on top and with a blend of vegetables, (leek, tomato, corn, onion, garlic, basil, parsley, lemon, and greens per their menu description—see image) filling up the bowl around the salmon. The salmon was good. However, it was not outstanding, it was not “Wow, Pow", it was not, “Oh, My God!” It was not…well you get it. It was not the best I’ve had. Actually the mix of vegetables filling up the bowl were kind of bland. And there was way too much corn kernels. I hate corn. It’s just a cheap filler. Now, I love fresh corn-on-the-cob cooked on the grill. But in this situation it’s simply for color and was just a cheap filler--kind of like broccoli. Now, for the price of $27 this Salmon should have been mouth-watering, melt in your mouth awesome, delectable…it should have had us craving for more. The bad part, my Husband had bones in his portion. Yes, bones, that’s plural. For $27 it was steeply priced. We’ve had good food and ate in good restaurants. If it’s fantastic; it’s worth the price. This time, not so much.

There were more swats at our third party who wasn’t giving up on getting some free bites.

As we watched the couple behind us prepare to leave, the lady spilt her red wine onto the tablecloth and down onto the floor. I watched the waiter with these clog-like wooden shoes step into the wine puddle over and over again as he changed the tablecloth. I never saw him clean up the floor or check the chairs. I’m sure those shoes carried food & such in and out of the kitchen many times throughout the night. Perhaps that fruit fly would follow him back into the kitchen and leave us alone.

Pros: Wait staff was quick, friendly and informative. The waitress did her job well. Food was served promptly. Free parking.

Cons: The coupon scam. Not cool. That was the ONLY reason we went there and there is no reason to return. We’ve had good food, good service at many other competing restaurants in the area. For us to spend our hard-earned money we expect good service, good food and an interesting ambiance. This place has no ambiance. I mean really, why go out for average? There is a lot of competition and a lot of restaurants to choose from. For a restaurant that charges $27 for their Baked Salmon Entrée, there should not be stained menus, fly's, or pock-marked walls.

Overall: We are rating the experience an Average=3 star. It was not above and beyond. There was no music, or incredible view; the food was not to die for and sanitary observations were questionable.

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
4 Thank PDX_Travel_Detective
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

32 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    25
    4
    2
    0
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Portland, Oregon
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“A Jewel in Lake Oswego”
Reviewed August 14, 2012

We have enjoyed lunch & dinner at Scratch. Patrick continues to amaze us with his delicious meals. Everything is prepared to perfection and looks exquisite on the plate. The service is exceptional. After just a couple of times, they know our drink order and are prepared to serve it as soon as we sit down. Did I mention, the drinks are great? The employees at Scratch have been at the restaurant since it opened and are committed to your fine and fun dining experience. Every time we take friends, they love it and return on their own. A real bonus is the menu is mostly gluten free, so I can order everything on the menu. Their BLT on the lunch menu is the best ever.

  • Visited July 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Harvey K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 5 Contributor
81 reviews
58 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Gourmet and great prices for it!”
Reviewed August 9, 2012

This is a smaller place in a upscale strip shopping center that is owned by the chef. He can really cook! The halibut and steak were fantastic as well as cake and bourbon home made ice cream. With cocktails and wine for 6 people, the bill was only about $360. If we lived in Portland, we would go here at least once a month...the menu changes monthly we were told. I am sure our local relatives will make this one of their regulars.

Visited August 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank kell28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newberg, Oregon
Level 5 Contributor
79 reviews
45 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“First time visit”
Reviewed July 21, 2012

Meeting friends for dinner and wanted to try somewhere new. All four of us had something different and everyone really enjoyed their meal. Portion sizes were good, we ordered the two desserts offrered for the night and shared them...So Good.

  • Visited July 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank trwag260
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lake Oswego, Oregon
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Fine food and excellent acoustic guitar music”
Reviewed July 21, 2012

We went to scratch on a Friday night with another couple, and all agreed that the experience was outstanding. The food was very flavorful, presented in an interesting way. Mine was cooked in (and served on) a banana leaf. The atmosphere is nice, but not pretentious. The servers were friendly and efficient. The bonus was that they had a fellow named David Tutmark providing a background of beautiful fingerstyle classical guitar music. I don't think that they have music every night, so call to check if you are looking for it.

  • Visited July 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Mike M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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