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overwhelmed in Oregon (and washington)

Hi,
We are two NYC hounds coming for the first time to the Northwest and we are extremely excited to get out of this awful heat and drink some good beer and eat good food...We are driving up the Oregon coast from California and eventually cutting over to Portland for a day or two and then seattle. I have been searching the boards for a while and writing down stuff but was hoping to run some stuff by this board.

Oregon Coast-
impression I'm getting is that you have to be careful here since some parts have been described as a culinary wasteland...here are the places that have looked good to me.

1) Pelican Brewery for good beer in a beautiful setting
2) Panini Bakery for great baked goods
3) Rogue Brewery in Newport (also siletz brewery nearby)
4) Blackfish Cafe
5) the Castaway in Port Orford (we're staying at the Seacrest)
6) ship inn in astoria for fish and chips

Portland-
1. Fat Albert's and Bijou Cafe for breakfast
2. Jake's Famous Crawfish
3. Dan and Louis Oyster Bar
4. one of the Mcnenamins bars (kennedy school?)
5. Bridgeport brewery
6. horse brass pub

Seattle-
1. Matt's at the Market at Pike Place for Salmon sandwiches
2. Vivace for espresso
3. salumi for cured meats

Basically, we are two young chowhounds looking to sample the food and drink that are unique to the northwest. I hope to drink a ton of beer, eat a lot of salmon, dungeness crab, drink some pinot noir, etc. Any tips or comments on the places above would be greatly appreciated!! thanks in advance for any help...

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  1. Actually, Matt's at the Market has catfish sandwiches. You'll find grilled salmon and grilled halibut sandwiches at the Market Grill, inside Pike Place Market, just a lunch stand with stools. I prefer the salmon blackened with Cajun spices. Very fresh and yummy!

    Salumi is open Tues-Fri only, 11:00am to 4:00pm. Best to arrive early (11:00) or late (1:30).

    1. We did a short road trip to the Portland/Astoria area in July, and we had the same intention, to eat lots of crab and salmon, and local produce as well. In Astoria we had a dinner at Silver Salmon Grille. We stuck with basics, crabcakes, grilled salmon, fish and chips, and it was great. They have an interesting wine list as well. Also we stopped at the Community Co-op in Astoria and bought local cheeses, and a cup of coffee that was the BEST drip coffee I have ever had.
      We also ventured over the Astoria bridge a bit into Washington, had great fish and chips at Little Ocean Annies. In Long Beach we checked out the local grocery store, Jacks and found great deals on fresh dungeoness crabmeat, smoked salmon, raw oysters and clams. This might be off your route, but in general along the coast, always check out local markets for deals on seafood. One regret is that we did not make time to go to the Josephsons Smoke House in Astoria, it was on my list of to do's but we spaced out. Now looking at their website, their smoked seafoods look tasty....
      We like to travel with a big ice chest, and fill it up when we find the goods, then you have that to fall back on for those long stretches of culinary wasteland!
      On the way to Portland from Astoria on the 30, we stopped at a diner called the Berry Patch, and bought some jams and pie, marionberry and wild huckleberry...REALLY good...

      1. there are two Rogue places in Newport, the brewery on the south side, of the bay, and the Public House, on the north side on the historic bayfront. the Pub has great food, including Kobe burgers and chili. They also feature a beer list that puts most wine lists to shame.

        1. For sure go to Market Grill for salmon, though your other Seattle choices look great. Avoid peak lunch hour if you can, or just get it to go (there's not very much seating). They're only open until 6 or 7.
          If you want fantastic dungeness crab, go to Seven Stars Pepper and order the Szechuan crab, or the ginger crab if you can't do spicy.

          1. you have a lot of good OR coast choices, but if you get hungry around Charleston (a bit off the beaten path between Bandon/Coos Bay) I'd recommend The High Tide Cafe: http://www.hightidecafellc.com/

            Along with the really good chowder and regular seafood menu items they often have a fish special dictated by what folks are selling off their boats nearby. Unfortunately salmon fishing has been closed south of Florence, OR this year but there may be local tuna or rockfish to be had.