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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Portland
Food
Feel
Price
5.9
5.0
$15
Baked goods, Sandwiches
Counter service

Hours
Mon–Fri 7:00am–7:00pm
Sat–Sun 7:00am–6:00pm

Features Kid-friendly, outdoor dining, veg-friendly
Bar None
Credit cards Visa, MC, AmEx

Website

Northeast Portland
1444 NE Weidler St.
Portland, OR
(503) 288-1614
Hours
Daily 7:00am–6:00pm

Northwest Portland
2249 NW York St.
Portland, OR
(503) 235-6323
Hours
Daily 6:30am–4:00pm

Northeast Portland
714 N. Fremont St.
Portland, OR
(503) 546-5311
Hours
Daily 7:00am–6:00pm

Grand Central Bakery
Serviceable sandwiches served with warm bread and chilly service

There are a few elite bakeries in Portland supplying several restaurants with their breads, and Grand Central is one of them. It’s got about a half dozen of its own stores throughout Portland, and a few more at the farmer’s markets; it’s even a presence in Seattle. All locations feel pretty warm, if a little chain-ish, but perhaps owing to its expansion, the bakery seems to have lost some of its personality. Attitude is a constant complaint at some locations, and we’ve seen customers get kicked out at exactly 6pm.

Compared to the breathtaking breads at Ken’s and Pearl, other bakeries famous for their widespread availability in acclaimed Portland restaurants, Grand Central’s are just good. They make for some okay sandwiches, and some strangely substandard ones, as well. Breakfast is troubling, with a ham-and-cheese croissant that has been served unfortunately cold, with an overly sweet honey-mustard sauce and a snotty retort when asked for it warmed up; another time, a breakfast sandwich seemed to be more roll than egg and bacon. But “Jammers,” flaky biscuits filled with homemade jam, are undeniably addictive.

Grilled cheese is best, but chicken salad and even regular turkey sandwiches are skimpy on fillings. Which is just insulting when you’re creeping towards the $10 mark for lunch. And while leek and Gruyère tarts are quite good, sweets like macaroons and cookies are a bit tough and unremarkable. Homemade soups are often great, though.

Despite its relative mediocrity, Grand Central has garnered a loyal following, which it doesn’t seem to appreciate—at least, the service staff doesn’t. We can tolerate pretty good bread, but we can’t stand it served so cold(ly).

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