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Sep 3, 2005 09:03 PM

Best restaurants in Bend oregon???

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I have a birthday in 2 days and my parents are taking me out for dinner, anywhere I would like to go. What are your suggestions?
What do you think of Cork, Blacksmith, Scanlons, & Zydeco? I have it narrowed down to those.

Thanks for any advice, have a wonderful memorial day!

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  1. Cork, absolutely.

    Blacksmith, absolutely not.

    Scanlon, good second choice.

    Haven't tried Zydeco.


    4 Replies
    1. re: Steve K

      Thanks for the advice. We have a reservation at Scanlons tonight for my b-day, mainly because cork is not open Sun. or Mon. But I will definitely try it. My parents are not as big of a chowhound as me, but I have a good friend coming for a visit, who is as on fire as me and we will definitly check them out.
      What dishes did you enjoy at Cork & Scanlons? I think the ahi sounds delicious because I am not much of a steak person.

      Blacksmith was named by Conde Nast Traveler as one of the Top 66 New Restaurants in the World, and the first for Oregon. That is pretty impressive, but you just did not enjoy it?

      Have a wonderful labor day.

      1. re: Anakalia

        Just caught your post today; hope you enjoyed Scanlons. If you had the ahi, as you were thinking, then I know you did well. Scanlon's has the best ahi we've ever had, all over the west coast, which is saying something.

        As to Cork, we have never had a meal there that was less than excellent. Ditto the service. If they have eggplant parmesan as a special, you especially can't go wrong.

        Blacksmith was superb when they first opened, but then the CN article came out. Went there twice: once when it was superb, then after they apparently decided that they "had it made". Inexperienced, untrained server; mediocre food. Not much more to say.

        Hope you continue to post, there don't seem to be many Bend Chowhounds out there. There is a Bend BBQ thread started which needs attention.

        1. re: Steve K

          Scanlons was great. The ahi was awesome. And that is saying a lot because I live in Hawaii part of the year, where it is fresh and they know how to do it. My dad had the steak. It was so good and I don't even like steak. My mom had scallops, they were the bomb as well. The sauce with them and the mushrooms and onions was superb. One added bonus was that I asked the waitress about the cesaer salad and the soup (one of which comes with the meal). She could tell that I could not decide and so she brought me both without charging me. That earned them big points.

          I am really excited to try Cork. I know I will love it! Ever since I first found out about it, I always felt that it was going to be the best place in Oregon.

          I would love any other advice you have about Bend eats or even Oregon eats. I always love to talk about anything surrounding it.

          1. re: anakalia

            I just wanted to put a good word in for Merenda. We were visiting Bend last weekend for a wedding and had lunch on Saturday at Merenda, which we enjoyed so much we returned again on Sunday for lunch. Great atmosphere, food and service. I wish it was located where I live!

    2. I work with lots of restaurants in Bend. Cork is easily the best of the lot you listed. Ariana and Jackelope Grill are two other worthy options.

      1. I tried Cork once. It was terrible, I would never recommend it.


        3 Replies
        1. re: nja

          If ever in Bend again, you need to give Cork another try. Of the half-dozen foodies in our neighborhood, all agree that Cork is the best restaurant in Bend - food and service - with Scanlons and Merenda closely behind.

          1. re: Steve K

            Do you happen to know if they have changed ownership or chefs since my visit in December '03? If not, there's no way I would consider going again. I've been to many restaurants that I didn't like. Many by-and-large seemed to know what they were doing, but I didn't like it because of a few mistakes, poorly conceived ideas, the style just didn't appeal to me, the chef was off so the execution was sub-par, etc. But then there are other places where it's clear that the folks in charge have no clue what good food is even supposed to be. Cork was the latter. I mean, who mixes boiled white rice with a seafood sauce and calls it risotto?

            Anyway, I hope I do get back to Bend sometime soon. I love that place!


            1. re: nja

              Don't know about changes - only started going there 6 months ago - but it sure sounds like it.

              Rice "risotto" doesn't sound like the Cork we know.

        2. Just a quick report on my experiences at Blacksmith. I can only echo the sentiments of others who give an emphatic thumbs down to this place. We went based on the CN “one of the best new restaurants in the world” review on their website. That seems to be a cruel joke now.
          As I started to order a rib eye steak, I was told that they were out of rib eye. Huh? A steakhouse out of rib eyes on a Thursday night?. I ended up ordering a filet medium rare, which came out more like medium well. I sent it back, which must have ticked off the kitchen, because it was a full twenty minutes before my order came back (half the size of the original portion) and barely cooked rare.
          Other foods were over salted, overcooked or just plain forgotten by the wait staff.
          Sadly, Blacksmith’s fire seems to have gone out. For the price you can do much better in the Bend area.

          2 Replies
          1. re: lane192547

            How does Scanlons prepare their ahi -- what makes it so wonderful??

            1. re: Joni

              Basically, they start with the best, sushi grade, ahi. I don't know where they get it, but few restaurants do. At this point I am forced to confess that it's been awhile since we've been there, and my memory is flawed.

              But the ahi is ALWAYS that top grade quality, perfectly prepared. The same as most serve it nowadays, over an asian slaw, but: perfectly prepared.

              Now that you mention it, Scanlon's will be our next restaurant meal......

          2. My wife and I are headed down to Bend, from Seattle, for a week in mid-July...curious to know about good, less expensive places to eat, under $25/pp? Also, we'd have a well-behaved baby (i.e. not a crier or a screamer or a thrower), but a baby nonetheless (i.e. might like to eat Cheerios at the table), so curious about places where we would be welcome and appropriate...I guess I anticipate Bend being a fairly casual place, but don't want to intrude on other diners.

            Also, are there any particularly tasty summer, local foods we should be looking for - e.g. locally caught fish, local fruits, etc.? Could you recommend a local bakery?

            Thought I'd add it to this thread just to keep things tidy.


            2 Replies
            1. re: southendeater

              These might be a little more expensive, but Merenda (right downtown) and Zydeco (just south of downtown) are both great. I live in Bend, have a 2 and a 5 year old, and I took them to both places when they were under one year. I felt totaly comfotable and accepted, and the food at both are great.

              1. re: southendeater

                Two underappreciated places in Bend are right across the street from each other: High Tides and Cafe Sintra. Each serves excellent food at reasonable prices.

                Not sure if High Tides has sturgeon on the menu this time of year, but it's a winner - although we have never had a bad meal there, of anything.

                Cafe Sintra is breakfast and lunch, and the plate of toasted DiLusso breads that comes with, is a european-style meal in itself. DiLusso is your bakery of choice, btw.

                Either place, the baby shouldn't be an issue.