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Recent reviews by M C. - Page 1 of 5
Restaurant Name City
Studio One Cafe Eugene, OR
Finding a nice breakfast spot in Eugene is like trying to find a Jewell CD at a dance party. Although this place is very pricey and the service is slower than real maple syrup, the food makes up for it more often than not. They have the best, and maybe only gourmet breakfasts in town. Your alternatives are Denny's, IHOP, and Doc's Pad, so you best spend the 2 extra dollars and eat here. But not on weekends--too many sorority girls.
West Bros. Bar-B-Que Eugene, OR
West brothers has a very eclectic selection of what I call Northwest Southern cuisine, and a casual--almost campy--atmosphere. They have a great "jamaica me crazy" dish of jerked chicken and coconut rice for about 12 bucks that I try about every month. I love the mashed potatoes with basil butter, the vegetarian BBQ beans, and the cole slaw. I'm not really a fan of the tri-tip, but the lunch menu has some okay sandwiches. There's a brewery in the basement, but the beer doesn't quite cut the mustard. And why are all the waiters from Rho Alpha?
Ye Olde Castle Burns, OR
Family-themed restaurant gone horribly awry on the Eastern Oregon tip. Since this is in Burns, expect to eat steak. Lots and lots of steak
Madison's Bar & Grill Portland, OR
Why is it that everytime I walk in here I feel like I'm in a poorly-themed restaurant in Phoenix or Tucson? From the wine list to the waitress, this place feels like suburban Tempe for some odd reason. The only thing Northwesterly here is the Mt. Hood mural that looks like it was drawn by M.C. Escher's red-headed step-child, and i have to assume that they meant it that way. My most recent dining partner here said it was kind of like going on vacation in San Diego (even though she lives within a mile of this place), without the smell of an airport. Everything here is so clean and sedate...I'm not sure how i feel about that. Although i've never had a drink here, they have 2 for 1 specials during happy hour and their well is on the premium side. As for the food, I'd recommend the special--no matter what it is. everything else has been bland and all-in-all too much on the pub side of taste. The garlic-pesto chicken with penne pasta tastes like evian, and any place that uses kraft dijonnaise as a condiment for their ahi burgers should be forced to french-kiss a drunk edward james olmos. The vegetarian menu consists of a gardenburger with sprouts (just like everywhere else on the planet), and my salad was made by an infinite amount of monkeys chopping red onions on an infinite amount of cutting boards. Also, why is everyone but me in this place dressed like al gore on debate night?
Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant San Jose, CA
Gordon Biersch is in my top ten reasons why southern california should fall into the sea. Since i am from oregon and am therefore synonymously better than everyone below the the oregon border, i find this place to be utterly vomit-inducing. any waitress that tries to unknowledgibly explain what an IPA consists of deserves to work at an in-n-out burger for the rest of her short service-industry career. this place is a meat market with rotten meat--take it or leave it.
Tugboat Brewery Portland, OR
This place doesn't belong in this neighborhood. just across the street from the 24-hour church of elvis, and just seconds away from mary's strip club, one would expect a total dive. but no. this place is cleaner than a mcmenamins. they always have a live band and the bartender lets you get away with "borrowing" a beer because there's no atm and they don't accept plastic.
Arbor Cafe Salem, OR
Although I've never been here during dinner time, I'm pretty convinced this is the best place in downtown Salem for lunch. They have a rediculous selection of gourmet-style sandwiches that all have their own distinct taste. It's a casual-style dining area, but the food would have you think otherwise. Try the chicken with the sun-dried tomato mayo served on a soft-as-sharmin roll, or the what-did-they-do-to-this-tuna tuna sandwich. They also have an extensive vegetarian menu that makes even someone from Los Angeles feel like they're merely in Anaheim. Finally, they have more desserts that the devil himself. Torte, cheesecakes, fruit tarts, and those multi-layered chocolate cakes that make you feel drunk on chardonnay. Laid back, casual behind-the-counter service persons are more often than not happy you came in, and you can also just run in for a quick latte to go.
Tad's Chicken 'n Dumplins Troutdale, OR
You have to love a place that has the word "dumplings" in its name. Well, i guess you don't HAVE to, but you should love this place. It smells like your grandmother's house on the day after Thanksgiving, but it feels like you're out in the woods even though you're only 15 minutes from downtown portland. You can sit on the back porch over the Sandy river and eat good, hearty, comfortable American standards like--what else?--chicken n' dumplings. This is what happens when you eat there, and I'm being totally serious: First, you love the food and atmosphere so much that you think your roommate/uncle/friend would love it. Second, you decide to get a doggie bag so they can try it. Finally, you bring it home to them and they don't like it because now it's cold/microwaved, and they never eat there. The moral of the story here is to clean your plate, because it's great when it's hot off the stove. I can't imagine eating here on a spur-of-the-moment date-type outing, but it's perfect for when you're coming home from pendleton/boise/the gorge.
Dot's Cafe Portland, OR
First off, I'd like to say that the cook looks exactly like Dirk Diggler from "Boogie Nights." This is mostly an evening munchie place for the eastsiders that serves food that you could cook yourself if you spent any time at home. They have grilled cheese sandwiches with mushrooms on rye, spicy hummus w/ pita, big fat burgers (that you can sub with gardenburgers if you like), and drippy brewpub-style chicken sandwiches. Some NW micros are represented here, complimented by a full bar. If you come here often enough, you get the odd feeling that all the servers look like Andy Warhol's Factory drop-outs circa 1974. The Lou Reed music in the background enforces that impression tenfold. Three cheers for the smoking section!
La Cruda Portland, OR
Can you say free salsa bar!?! This cafe-sized intimate americanized mexican place makes up in fun what it lacks in flavor (and taste, if you ever see the leopard-skin-coated bathrooms). The whole place is decorated like an episode of "Friends" if it were filmed in 1979. The portions here would make David consider dating Philestines. My fav is the pineapple-chicken taco that comes with a side salad, guac, and the before-mentioned salsa bar w/ chips. The service will scare anyone west of the willamette, and they like it that way. And, although the fajitas are a little bland, there's nothing in this world that three shakes of the Cholula can't fix. If you come after 10pm, there's even a smoking section complete with one-dollar cans of pabst.
Jake's Diner Bend, OR
This place is a strange cross between a truck stop and a family restaurant like denny's. They have huge, gut-splitting portions of standard american faire at normal fam-restaurant prices. It's a great place for breakfast, as their hash browns could easily strangle a beefalo--they're that big. They remodeled the place about five or six years ago, hiding the true "truck-stop" nature of the dining area and giving it a real restaurant feel.
Kayo's Bend, OR
Although I don't normally trust inland seafood, this place makes the mark. They have a halibut dish that almost--ALMOST--tastes as if you're on the coast. But the best thing about this place is the general feel of the bar and dining area. It lacks the pretension that most places in Bend have, and that's kinda refreshing. Also, they have a great bar with a great bartender.
Shari's of Bend Bend, OR
Standard and boring, north Shari's is just typical. But I guess if you're hungry after 2:30 am, this and south Shari's are about your only choices.
Shari's of Bend Bend, OR
Standard and boring, South Shari's is just a little more exciting than North Shari's because people from LaPine eat here. No, just kidding. The good thing about South Shari's is that they still have a smoking area.
Stars Restaurant & Lounge Beaverton, OR
I still don't understand how anyone can actually order a meal at a strip club. A friend of mine invited me here once, and I saw him order the chicken strips, so I know first-hand that people eat the food. Everything here is so expensive--especially what is normally considered "cheap" beer like bud and pabst. Free admission coupons can usually be found in local mags and papers like the willamette week.
Salishan Lodge Gleneden Beach, OR
This is a great place to come if your grandmother/uncle/brother-in-law is paying, because the coast offers enough selection of restaurants deeming this place obsolete. They have standard seafood, but it's a little spendy because of the view.
Barley Mill Pub Portland, OR
This McMenamins has a Grateful Dead theme. Other than that, it is your standard McMenamins pub. The service here is slower and friendlier than most other places. Like other places in the chain, the food is a bit spendy, but definitely a meal. And is it just me, or is McMenamin's beer a little yeastier than others? Happy Hour, non-smoking, outdoor seating, pool, darts.
Vincente's Portland, OR
Certainly the best pizza on Hawthorne, with all of their specialty gourmet ingredients. You can get anything on your pizza here, from lamb to almonds. They sell by the slice with a great daily special, or by the pie. They'll even deliver it for a buck. Service is a little standoffish, but the food is worth the price when they don't slather it in garlic.
Long Island Pizzeria Portland, OR
Although they have a wide selection of gourmet toppings and you can even order online, i've had two bad experiences here. both times i ordered from here, i was brought the wrong pizza. and, since it took them over an hour to deliver the wrong one, i wasn't about to find out how long it takes to deliver the correct one. The pizza is a little on the greasy side, the toppings don't seem so fresh, and the service is slow.
Hawthorne's Cafe & Deli Eugene, OR
good sam'iches togo or outdoor seating in the broadway sunlight-free canyon. ask them to please go light on the sprouts and you'll be alright. a little busy on the weekday lunch hour, but oh so convenient and a great choice if you're in the downtown neighborhood. usually a very consistent quality.
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