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October 19th, 2011 BEN WATERHOUSE | Restaurant Guide
 

Restaurant Guide 2011: Road Trip

Eating well beyond the UGB.

     
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WILLAMETTE VALLEY:
A stop for Mexican mariscos in Woodburn is mandatory; our favorites are Nuevo Aranda’s (450 N 1st St.) and Mariscos El Zarandeado (1032 N Pacific Highway). In Silverton, treat yourself to house-cured salami and goat cheese cavatelli at Silver Grille (206 E Main St.). In Salem, La Capitale (508 State St.) has good smoked trout salad and onion soup, and former Fleur de Sel owner Bernard Malherbe is back in the game at Crooked House Bistro (1142 Edgewater St.). In Albany, Matt Bennett serves really excellent Northwest standards without fuss at Sybaris (422 1st Ave. W). In Corvallis, check out brand-new Sada Sushi & Izakaya (151 NW Monroe Ave.), nuevo Latino joint Del Alma (136 SW Washington St.) and Terminus (603 NW 2nd St.), a new tavern from a supergroup of local restaurant vets. If you’re up for a detour to Philomath, Gathering Together Farm (25159 Grange Hall Road) serves wonderful Northwest fare, much of it harvested mere hours before landing on your plate. Call in advance; hours vary. Our friends in Eugene recommend Belly (291 E 5th Ave.), a rustic European place from chef Brendan Mahaney, the longstanding French-centric Marché (296 E 5th Ave.), earnestly traditional Osteria Sfizio (105 Oakway Center) and, best of all, the Rabbit Bistro and Bar (2864 Willamette St., No. 300), which nails French fare by way of the farmers market. McMinnville chef Eric Bechard has brawled in defense of local meat, an ethos reflected at his restaurant, Thistle (228 NE Evans St.), and college-themed bar, Oak & Ivy (326 NE Davis St.). In Dundee, Farm to Fork (1410 N Highway 99W) is a self-descriptive place known for fresh, simple flavors. Local standby Tina’s (760 Highway 99W) is still very good. In Newberg, try the Painted Lady (201 S College St.) for beautifully presented, if slightly dated, Northwest fare. In Carlton, your best bets are cheese and small plates at the Horse Radish (211 W Main St.).

ASTORIA: Drina Daisy (915 Commercial St.) serves authentic Bosnian fare heavy on phyllo and lamb. The Bowpicker (17th and Duane streets), a retired fishing boat refitted with a deep-fryer, has the coast’s best tuna fish and chips. Fort George Brewery (1483 Duane St.) makes some excellent beer and sausages. Astoria Coffeehouse & Bistro (243 11th St.) is the place to go for salads and comfort food. Blue Scorcher Bakery & Cafe (1493 Duane St.) serves a good, vegan-friendly breakfast.

THE COAST: The northern stretch of 101 is hard on foodies, but in a search for provisions, Seaside’s Bell Buoy (1800 S Roosevelt Drive) can always be counted on for smoked and fried critters from the deep, as can Ecola Seafoods in Cannon Beach (208 N Spruce St.). Seaside’s only dinner destination is very ’90s but still tasty Yummy Wine Bar (831 Broadway).  The best meal to be found in Manzanita is a steamed crab and a bottle of viognier on the deck at Great Northern Garlic Company (Laneda Avenue and U.S. 101). For dinner, a shot and a beer with a burger at the San Dune Pub (127 Laneda Ave.) will do just fine. Fifteen minutes south is the fine-dining star of the north coast, the somewhat expensive but very good Nehalem River Inn (34910 Oregon 53). A great lunch stop in Bay City is the Pacific Oyster Company (5150 Oyster Drive), where the signature dish is heralded by roadside middens of shells. Don’t order anything but oysters or clams. Blackfish Cafe (2733 NW U.S. 101) has the best dinner anywhere near Lincoln City, with classic fish and pasta. In Newport, you can’t go wrong with the fishy fare at Local Ocean Seafoods (213 SE Bay Blvd.) or Frenchy breakfast at La Maison (315 SW 9th St.). Our favorite in Florence is the cheap, Spanish-inspired Waterfront Depot (1252 Bay St.). We hear from reliable sources that Alloro Wine Bar (375 SE 2nd St.) in Bandon is pretty good.

BEND/SISTERS: Jen’s Garden (403 E Hood Ave.) has been making waves in Sisters with exquisitely plated, French-influenced fare. In Bend, check out the homey seasonal fare at Jackson’s Corner (845 NW Delaware Ave.), the prix fixe Florentine dinners at Trattoria Sbandati (1444 NW College Way), the steaks at the Blacksmith (211 NW Greenwood Ave.), the Middle Eastern nosh at Joolz (916 NW Wall St.) and the pastry delights of the Sparrow Bakery (50 SE Scott St., No. 22).

SOUTHERN OREGON: Grants Pass is home to one of Oregon’s pioneers in farm-to-table dining, Summer Jo’s (2315 Upper River Road Loop), which is actually on an organic farm. In Ashland, the revamped Chateaulin (50 E Main St.) does updated takes on dated French fare, Liquid Assets (96 N Main St.) is the best place to explore the Rogue Valley’s growing wine bounty, and Taj Indian Cuisine (31 Water St.) is a refreshing antidote to the city’s alfalfa-sprout fixation.

HOOD RIVER AND POINTS EAST: I like Celilo (16 Oak St.), where chef Ben Stenn makes the pasta and a great veggie burger at lunch, but always go for the perfect coal-oven pizza and fresh brews at the Double Mountain Brewery & Taproom (8 4th St.). Down I-84 in The Dalles, Baldwin Saloon (205 Court St.) offers good burgers in a 135-year-old edifice. In Pendleton, grab a sandwich at the new Prodigal Son Brewery (230 SE Court Ave.).


VANCOUVER: Grab a pie at 360 Pizzeria (3425 SE 192nd Ave.) Higgins-esque Northwest cuisine at Roots (19215 SE 34th St.). The side-by-side restaurants are owned by Brad Root, a chef with a knack for the whole farm-to-table thing. or
Downtown, hit up La Bottega (1905 Main St.) for good beef brochette. And don’t miss the shrimp aguachile or ceviche tostada at Morelia Mexican Grill (5930 E Fourth Plain Blvd.).

 
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