Please never eat at Bridgewater cafe!
We called ahead to check availability for 2 adults and 2 toddlers with a welcome response that a table would be ready in 15 minutes, we were delighted since Waterfront Depot was totally booked and we needed a quick alternative. We arrived and were seated right away. Im sorry to say that was the and of our pleasant experience. When the waiter came to our table and was asked about the fish he gave us a puzzled look and responded "well, it's from the pacific ocean and it's fresh". We proceeded to order the crab cakes and oysters in a half shell, two bowls of the chowder and a pesto Caesar salad with salmon. For the kids, we ordered the chicken fingers. 40 minutes later our oysters and crab cakes were served. The oysters were warm and tasted gritty. The menu described the crab cakes as being lightly breaded and flash fried, not the case. The remoulade that was served with them had a crusty top, like it had been sitting out for hours. My wife ordered a glass of wine during the meal but waited a good ten minutes for it to be served. The chowder was served next, filled with potatoes and bacon and neary a price if fish to be found. It was extremely heavy on the cream and thick. After waiting an hour for the salad and our kids entree, I finally asked the waiter how much longer. "it shouldn't be too much longer". The salmon tasted like it has been frozen and was not fresh, I was not a fan of the pesto caesar dressing. Prior to leaving, I asked to speak with a manager with whom I explained our troubling wait. She apologized and asked if there was anything she could do, desert? What and wait another hour? We said no thank you but asked for the wine to be comped. She said it was not allowed. Apparently, they figured out a way to comp us the wine in the end. This is a place I am shocked has 4/5 stars. Could be the worst meal we have ever had, especially coming from the amazing culinary riches in Portland!
Add Mo's to the list of overrated places in Florence. I (a NJ-based Chowhounder) was there last week--we both had totally mediocre seafood at what is supposed to be one of the Oregon coast's best places. The next night we went to the place next door (could not get a reservation or even a bar stool at Waterfront Depot), which was marginally better (at least they did not overdo the salmon like Mo's did). Bottom line, no memorable Chow experience for us in Florence.