From CafeMama's Guide for PDX-ers:
This is a fantastic concept, poorly executed and managed. I can't count the number of times I have driven all the way to NE Fremont (a trek from my house off Holgate) during their supposed regular hours, only to find it closed. Not to mention the times that it seemed like they should be open but weren't (last minute changes in hours, only open past 3 on Fridays, no Sundays, etc.). Their food is good, typically, for what it is: toddler food. Actually, I love their house-made peanut butter, and think the sandwiches are great. But the service is just terrible. Every single time I've been there, something has been screwed up, and when I bring it up (in the nicest most non-confrontational manner), it's treated with a cavalier shrug of the shoulders.
The thing is, it's supposed to be built around the idea that the mom needs someplace for the child to play. That should automatically mean, I think, that the servers are totally in tune with the needs of a mom with a young child/children. Not so. They forget to bring coffee mugs. They NEVER bring the check, even when the child is clearly melting down. They forget to make substitutions, always (Everett won't eat anything else if chips are on the plate so I always ask to bring carrot sticks instead and they always forget). They let balloons (usually considered dangerous for babies who try to eat them) roam around the floor. A couple times I got charged for things I ordered, but that never came. Their servers would all make nice friends but make awful servers. And the owner never criticizes them so they never get better.
My other beefs with PB&E's are that the bathroom is a little scary (it's hard to open the door with a wriggling toddler and/or stroller, there's no place for a kid to sit while you're changing a baby or going to the bathroom yourself) and there is no buffer around the door - an inattentive, just for a second, parent could see her toddler charging out onto Fremont with an exiting customer if she doesn't watch it. Also the chalk walls behind tables are a bad idea - people are always getting up from the tables with chalk all over the back of their nice shirts.
I have a total love/hate relationship with PB&E's, I keep going back, it keeps making me crazy. I only wish I could sit the owner down and talk some sense into her!