Take a look at what people are saying about their experiences at Marco's...
"Marco's is a popular and venerable Multnomah Village eatery known for its informal and very-Portland ambience and good, reliable food. You could call it the anchor of Multnomah Village (and not because The Ship tavern is across the street). Perhaps best known for its breakfast menu -- available at any hour -- it also features creative specials, terrific salads, good sandwiches, lots of food for vegetarians and eye-rolling desserts (try the chocolate velvet).
The chow: You can create your own omelette and there is usually a scramble on the menu, but the Amy's omelette (chicken apple sausage, tomato, spinach and three cheeses) is to die for. Pancakes and waffles are known for fruit toppings. Dinner specials include fish and meat but always have some interesting vegetarian/pasta combo. For example: Wild Oregon chanterelle and boletus mushroom with Parmesan and caramelized onion ravioli. Vegetarian friends say the specials are always good. In fact, all the specials are always good and always have nice rice/corn on the cob/vegetable/mashed potato complements. Marcos has more than a dozen salads. Our favorites: Tami's chopped salad, Debbie's Mediterranean salad and Betsy's Southwestern salad. Marco's Caesar salad dressing is excellent.
Real deals: Marco's has always been reasonably priced. The recent ravioli special was $10. The salads (if they don't have shrimp or salmon) are $10-$15. You can get specials a la carte or with soup or salad for a reasonable add-on. Same general price range for breakfast. Amy's omelette is $12.
Hangout factor: In how many good restaurants do you know the name of your server? Most staff at Marco's has been there for many years. They are friendly, helpful, nice people. The restaurant is split into two rooms and generally the back room is quieter. Note the umbrellas that decorate the ceiling (including one from The Oregonian) and the quotes painted on the walls. It is very, very informal, and you will always see an interesting cross section of town there.
Liquids: They make a good latte here and the coffee is tasty and just right early in the day. Wine and beer offerings are not overly fancy, but good and reasonably priced.
What's half-baked? Friends have joked that you can tell what will be in Sunday's omelette or scramble special by what's left over from Saturday night's specials. Maybe, but who is against creative use of asparagus? Your wait can be long if you come at a busy time, because diners tend to linger and enjoy family and friends here.
Inside tips: On Sunday morning, get there early. After 9 a.m. the wait can be long and because of a small waiting area, people spill onto the sidewalk. That's not good on a winter morning. When you are offered bread, take it, even if you're trying to cut the carbs. It is almost always fresh and good."
- The Oregonian
"Multnomah Village's pleasant small-town feel has developed around this comfortable and bustling cafe that went up in 1983. Families pack the joint for the diverse menu of egg specialties- such as a creamy bacon and brie scramble-signature brioche French toast and the multitude of morning beverages.
- The Oregonian Diner 2011
"Marco's is fabulous! I love the umbrellas hanging from the ceiling. The waitstaff is very helpful, friendly and accommodating.
I ordered the Gouda Mouda sandwich on wheat with fruit on the side. It was delicious! It has roasted turkey, chipotle grilled onions (I think these make the sandwich), lettuce, tomato and roasted garlic red pepper aioli (I had them cut this because I don't like mayo). Again, delicious sandwich.
This is a great place to hang out with friends...pretty casual. It also seems to be a good place for kids as my friend brought her daughter when we had lunch here.
I can't wait to go back!"
- Kristin M., Yelp
"One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well." ~ Virginia Woolf
I love all the quotes about food and dining, painted on the wall, and tucked into the menu. the umbrellas on the ceiling add a bit of whimsy. it was a busy Saturday, late morning but warm & inviting. We came as a party of three and rather liked the sign-in sheet up front, like a doctor's office, making it easy and expediting the time to be greeted and seated.
the service was attentive and kind, we ordered the blintzes for the table (which you don't see often) and they were delightful, the big pot of tea was plentiful, and the food was thoroughly fresh and enjoyable. i had the egg sandwich a fried egg, avocado, tomato, pepper jack cheese and herb mayo on a toasted English muffin with grilled red potatoes. i ate the whole thing!
the specials all sounded terrific and it made it hard to choose ONE thing to eat .
I'll definitely be back for brunches & breakfasts to come . . .'"
Andrea J., Yelp
"At this Multnomah Village hangout, a restored 1910 building, people filter through from breakfast through dinner. Evenings, the eggs-and-burgers menu turns into elaborate specials, ranging from Italy to Morocco to Northwestern rivers. On weekends, the adventurous breakfasts draw crowds craving elaborate espresso drinks, innovative omelets and endless, flavorful potatoes. Marco's manages to be both nouveau and down-home at the same time."
"St. Peter must be the sous chef at Marco's. In my version of Heaven, breakfast will be served all day, there will be a killer wine list, and Glimmer Train will be on the news rack. Marco's is all that and more. Weekend mornings will find lines out the door at the Multnomah Village neighborhood cafe. A second Marco's on Northeast Fremont Street is just as popular. It's worth the wait, but if you don't venture south after dark, you're missing out. Check the website (www.marcoscafe.com) for the nightly dinner menu. It's eclectic, inspired by everything from Euro to Asian styles. A recent offering of Oregon winter ravioli was stuffed with smoked chanterelles, walnuts and other yummy things. Beyond the specials are the Marco's standbys like Thursday-night mulligatawny soup or one of the seven different burgers with your choice of beef, chicken or veggie patties."
"This homey Multnomah Village standby becomes a crowded scene for weekend breakfasts. Earnestly prepared lunch and dinners create a home-away-from-home atmosphere for the many regulars with the all-day breakfast fare receiving serious attention."
"Though the city seems to have a growing number of reasonably priced restaurants offering good dinners, some of the most distinctive local fare is available at breakfast. Near the top of most lists is Marco's Café and Espresso Bar . . . in Multnomah Village, a cluster of antique stores and restaurants a few minutes' drive from downtown. The menu features choices like black bean chili omelet, fresh orange juice and delicious daily soups."
Soup is Just the Start of Marco's Magic
There is, in Portland, a soup so special that people circle Thursday evening on their calendars so they can partake of it. Why Thursday? That's the only day of the week that Marco's makes mulligatawny.
And what a mulligatawny! It makes a magic three M's - Marco's, mulligatawny, Multnomah. This good-sized cafe, not especially imposing, sits on a corner in Multnomah Village, that little oasis of good bookshops, antique shops, cafes.
Marco's mulligatawny is the tastiest Downtowner has ever eaten. It is included with your meal (Thursdays only), steaming with perfection, creamy, just curried enough, topped with (original touch, this) a sprinkling of crisp nuts. All the tomato, celery and chicken is julienned into tiny cubes.
Why is there mulligatawny at Marco's? Mulligatawny has strong overtones of the British Raj, who brought this recipe back from India, where the Tamils have been serving it for hundreds of years. You find this soup, in Britain, as classic old-fashioned hotels in places like Cheltenham, where retired Indian Army colonels demand and savor it.
Here is the reason: Marco's was started by a man from South Africa, Mark Saitowitz, and his wife Helga. To South Africans, as to other countries once in the British Empire, it's a familiar and loved dish. Although Saitowitz sold Marco's eight years ago, the new owners had the wit to not only keep it on the menu, but to print out the recipe for customers.
Each evening chef Maurice Lynn (who apprenticed in Lausanne, home of Europe's prestigious hotel school, and later worked in the Bay Area) offers six main dishes. It is always a fresh menu. Two things are vegetarian, like the sweet potato and papaya fritters.
Lynn has a sure and original hand with chicken breast. He gets his crispness by coating it with ground cashews, and then sautés it to a turn and serves it with a marvelous sauce of apricot, blueberry and ginger.
Fresh ginger is a magic ingredient at Marco's. It runs from the mulligatawny to this chicken, right through a surprise addition to traditional crème brûlée. Why hasn't anyone else thought of this? Alongside your chicken breast there's crunchy brown rice with dashes of spice (again, this touch of Old Delhi), perfectly steamed, still crisp with zucchini slivers.
It was a tough choice among the other offerings, which included Atlantic salmon broiled with herb butter, sauced with orange dill beurre blanc, and lamb loin chops served with a sauce of red wine, sage and green peppercorns. The decision was angel hair pasta (as its sauce sounded and was original): oyster mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes and spinach, with an Oregon blue cheese and basil cream sauce.
- Serena Lesley, Portland Downtowner
"Have a hankering for breakfast and it's already four in the afternoon? Marco's Café and Espresso Bar caters to the "anytime" morning-meal eater. Well-known for its breakfasts, the restaurant serves them up fresh all day. A lunch menu and changing daily dinner specials also are available. Fresh pastries and dessert are hot items; they include croissants, raisin bran muffins, chocolate velvet, and bread pudding. Stop in on a Thursday, when Marco's offers mulligatawny soup. The creamed curry concoction features apples, almonds, and veggies, and comes with fresh bread. Excellent dinner choices include several vegetarian entrees, such as a roast squash and artichoke-heart calzone. A lively, bright place, Marco's is usually packed - particularly on the weekends - so be prepared for a possible wait."
- Dallas Finn, CitySearch