939 NW 10th Avenue
Portland, Oregon 97209
Hours: 6 a.m to 8 p.m daily
Website | Menu | Facebook
Lunch Money: $$-$$$
First of all, let me be perfectly clear about something. I suffer from standing-in-line-might-cause-me-to-die syndrome. (Itâ€™s a real thing, I think. Maybe.) So, I dare you to try to find a time during the day when there ISNâ€™T a long-ass line at Lovejoy Bakers. I do like this place for the convenience, but sometimes Iâ€™m not in the mood to wait and wait and wait for my deathâ€¦oops, I mean a sandwich.
OK, I know thatâ€™s not exactly fair, but are you freakinâ€™ kidding me about the lines at this place?! On a good day the line is 10-people deep during non-peak hours, but at a busy time itâ€™s pointless to wait. For as much as they charge for a sandwich here, youâ€™d think thereâ€™d be a better, faster, more efficient system.
Beyond the line problem, thereâ€™s also the seating problem. Once youâ€™re through the line there is (surprisingly) fairly limited seatingâ€¦and a lot of it is communal, which isâ€”at least I find personallyâ€”annoying. On nice days thereâ€™s outside seating, but this is Portland! It rainsâ€¦a lot. Like 20 months of the year.
OK, for the good stuff. The sandwiches are good. I also think the bread at Lovejoy Bakers is excellent. (Iâ€™ve dropped by to pick up a baguette in the late afternoon for dinner a few times.)
I prefer to order the smaller Bistro sandwiches (currently $4 to $7.50). Why? The regular sized sandwiches are kinda expensive (currently $6.25 to $9.50) and come with a side of probably the most tasteless and watery coleslaw Iâ€™ve ever tried.
Sadly, coleslaw is the ONE AND ONLY free side option with a full-size sandwich. The other option, a side of chips, will cost $1 extra. I think thatâ€™s pretty lame. Thereâ€™s a Subway across the street where you can get a foot-long sub, chips AND a soda for far less than a sandwich at Lovejoy Bakersâ€¦and with less attitude.
Oh, did I mention the attitude? Yes, there is a weird vibe at Lovejoy Bakers. Snobby for sure. You canâ€™t just order a fountain soda (i.e., Coke, Sprite, etc.) you have to order a bottle of fancy-schmancy all-natural soda. I know itâ€™s the Pearl District, but câ€™mon, not everyone who lives or works in the area wants to shell out extra dollars for a soda! (Note: the self-serve water is free.)
This MIGHT be OK if there didnâ€™t seem to be some confusion behind the counter at timesâ€”or almost every time Iâ€™ve been there. Iâ€™d chalk it up to the long lines, and the frustration/confusion that all those hungry customers might cause, but then I saw people behind the counter standing around chit-chatting on a super busy dayâ€”ignoring me trying to inform them the self-dispense drip coffee was out and getting no response. Or that cold winter day they didnâ€™t make my peppermint cafÃ© mocha at all and had to ask after a looong wait! Not cool.
Itâ€™s sort of hard to believe Lovejoy Bakers is partially owned by the same people who founded Pizzacato in Portland, which I really love.
Overall, the sandwiches are tasty, but there are a lot of other issues to contend with before you sit down with your Lovejoy Bakers lunch. If you like long lines, annoying hipster attitudes and bussing your own tables, you might like Lovejoy Bakers. But I think Iâ€™ll skip it from now on.
– Tasty sandwiches
– Fresh bread, which you can order to take home
– Breakfast sandwiches served all day
– They offer smaller, cheaper “Bistro” sandwiches
– THE LINES!
– Can be hard to find seating
– Expensive for a sandwich
– The service is often below average, and you have to bus your own table
– Coleslaw is the only free side optionâ€”and itâ€™s mediocre at best