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Eugene??

k
kpangaro Jun 12, 2007 06:51 PM

Do people who like food live here at all? I cannot find any restaurants worth a damn, and I am really trying. Help!

  1. k
    KP_4532 Feb 14, 2008 04:45 PM

    Can anyone elaborate on Chanterelle?

    1. d
      duck833 Feb 1, 2008 08:38 AM

      During the nice weather months dining at King Estate is very nice also. But of course Stephanie had a hand in the original menu and it shows. Sitting outside at the winery overlooking the vineyard on a pleasant afternoon or evening is rather nice.

      1. ibstatguy Jan 23, 2008 08:25 PM

        no mention here about Chanterelle; anything to report?

        4 Replies
        1. re: ibstatguy
          k
          KP_4532 Jan 31, 2008 06:32 PM

          I just ate for the first time at Marche. I was reluctant because of its location--that mall thing sort of creeps me out--but the food was fabulous, the room comfortable and interesting, and the service was impeccable. I wish I had been eating here the entire I've lived here.

          1. re: KP_4532
            a
            antrobin Jan 31, 2008 10:00 PM

            I've said it time and time again. Marche is the best restaurant in Eugene.

            1. re: antrobin
              ibstatguy Feb 1, 2008 08:17 PM

              have had one dinner at Marche and it was terrific

              1. re: ibstatguy
                g
                girlwonder88 Feb 5, 2008 08:50 AM

                Check out their french regional dinners, prix fixe, happen monthly. They have always been fabulous and are very reasonably priced.

        2. ibstatguy Dec 12, 2007 05:35 PM

          tentative menu for next Belly dinner:
          apps:
          truffled potato chips
          olives
          pickled cauliflower
          pork and pistachio terrine
          puree of salt cod, potatoes, and walnut oil

          heirloom squash soup with swiss chard croutes
          dungeness crab with meyer lemon, endive and watercress

          duck confit with green apples

          dark bitter chocolate ice cream with hazelnut white chocolate sauce

          3 Replies
          1. re: ibstatguy
            k
            KP_4532 Dec 15, 2007 07:12 PM

            That all sounds amazing. How does one get in on these dinners?

            1. re: KP_4532
              ibstatguy Dec 16, 2007 10:58 AM

              I think it is going to be held again at Amelia's Antiques (370 River Rd), you might check with them. You might also be able to reach Brendan or Ann Marie through Sam Bond's Garage.

              1. re: KP_4532
                ibstatguy Dec 18, 2007 08:58 PM

                New Year's Eve; starts at 6, food at 7:

                The Duck Confit is curing!

                That's the main entree - to be preceded by:

                pork and pistachio terrine
                pickled cauliflower and olives
                puree of salt cod, potatoes and walnut oil
                truffled potato chips

                also -
                a cup of heirloom pumpkin soup
                a small salad of Dungeness crab with endive, meyer lemon, watercress

                after that...
                something light, refreshing... (no wait, it's New Year's Eve.... ) something rich and decadent!!

                special menu, special night, special price!!
                $35/person for the grub.
                You may either bring the beverage of your choice - or we will have some wine and bubbly for sale.

                as usual,
                meet and greet and eat (snacks) at 6
                dine at 7

                Amelia's T-house on River Road...

            2. ibstatguy Nov 3, 2007 01:16 PM

              brendan mahaney (formerly of Marche and Red Agave) is doing some good stuff a few nights at Sam Bond's and also has a supper club "Belly" going.

              6 Replies
              1. re: ibstatguy
                g
                girlwonder88 Nov 4, 2007 09:18 PM

                Oh, hadn't heard this. Tell us more!

                1. re: girlwonder88
                  ibstatguy Nov 5, 2007 04:14 PM

                  This is a menu from a Belly dinner in August. You can track Brendan down through Sam Bond's. Thye had another dinner quite recently but I can't seem to track it or others down.

                  Appetizers:
                  Charred Eggplant with Bottarga (dried, salted Tuna Roe)
                  Piccolo Fritto (Battered, deep fried assortment of treats)
                  Prosciutto and Melon in Sambuca

                  Chilled Bouillabaisse with Prawns and late summer vegetables
                  Bearn Style Ragout of Chicken Legs, Ham, and Garlic
                  Fresh Noodles
                  Mushy Summer Squash

                  Fried Figs, Fresh Raspberries, creme fraiche, lavender honey

                  1. re: girlwonder88
                    ibstatguy Nov 6, 2007 08:03 PM

                    just got word today of the next Belly event on Nov. 18th!

                    1. re: ibstatguy
                      primitivecinema Nov 16, 2007 11:30 AM

                      I'm away the 18th for Thanksgiving, but any idea on how to get on the mailing list for Belly?
                      It sounds great and we're always on the hunt for great food in Eugene.

                      1. re: primitivecinema
                        ibstatguy Nov 16, 2007 08:47 PM

                        let me check; alternatively, call Sam Bond's and if Brendan or Ann Marie are there they will handle it. In the meantime, this is what you'll be missing ;-)

                        Belly is returning to Amelia's on River Road for an intimate Mexican Dinner
                        Sunday Nov 18th
                        6 social
                        7 dinner
                        25/person

                        The centerpiece of the meal will be a Oaxacan Black Beef Stew called
                        Chichilo Negro

                        We hope to be assisted by super-chef Jaime Recino from Red Agave....

                        SEATING IS LIMITED!!!!

                        1. re: ibstatguy
                          k
                          KP_4532 Nov 29, 2007 05:41 PM

                          Woah, that sounds awesome--sorry I missed it. I am going to try and find out about the next one. Thanks!

                2. s
                  Sky Oct 1, 2007 11:40 PM

                  Regarding Springfield eats, when I lived in Eugene I would visit Taqueria Los Compadres in the plaza at Pioneer Parkway and Q Street. Nothing fancy - just a small shop serving decent soft tacos and homemade tortillas.Also, I concur with a previous poster that Los Dos Amigos on Goodpasture in north Eugene serves up some decent Americanized Mexican fare.

                  1. b
                    billmorgan Sep 30, 2007 01:00 PM

                    My in-laws live in Eugene, so I'm down there every two months. We love Koho, which is out West onBailey Hill Road in a strip mall. Check out the Eugene Weekly rating
                    http://www.eugeneweekly.com/2004/04/1...

                    1. k
                      kwool2004 Aug 17, 2007 01:13 PM

                      I have lived in Eugene for almost 10 years now, and I just graduated from culinary school here so I have a little insight on the restaurant scene, and what I do have is not very complimentary but there are some good places around. Here are my recommendations for places that I enjoy and have received good reviews from my classmates as well.

                      Maple Garden: It's on campus right across the street from the hospital, and it has the best chinese food in town and the best prices. The lunch special is unbeatable (an entree, soup, steamed rice, and a drink for 5.50), but unless you're indulging in that, I suggest ordering take out as the ambiance is not the best. Their mandarin chicken is always a crowd pleaser, but my favorites are their pork fried rice, pork chow fun, schezwan beef, and their orange chicken is "ok." One of my best friends is asian and it's the only chinese place she will eat with me.

                      If you're hungry and are looking for consistent, pallatable Asian-American food, kowloon is another good choice. It's right next to Autzen stadium ( on M.L.K. Jr. Blvd), has pretty views, and the prices are pretty reasonable as the portion sizes are pretty big. Their Hunan Chicken is good, as is their Mu Shu Pork, Chow Mein and Chow Fun are good, as is their Egg foo yong. Don't waste your time on the fried rice, get that at Maple garden. Oh and their egg rolls are AMAZING!!! best egg rolls I've had since I've lived in Socal.

                      I don't care what people say, the Glenwood is a horrible establishment and doesn't deserve an iota of the business it gets. The food is low quality, service is a bunch of brain dead fools, they pay their cooks poorly, it's overpriced, and they still do great business. I have had nothing but bad experiences there. For example: Mother's Day breakfast: hair in my food, but would not replace/grant refund, never refilled my water glass once during my visit, even though it was EMPTY, burned breakfast potatoes that they wouldnt return/refund, rubbery eggs to go along with them. Ordered a fruit bowl to go with my breakfast once and they were out of all the fruit so they just gave me grapes, no discount or apology, simply "Uhh....we were out of all the fruit so........" Ridiculous.

                      If you want a good breakfast, go to Buddy's Diner. it's on Coburg Rd. and Willakenzie is the nearest cross street. Reasonable prices, good food made to order, they make their own biscuits and hamburger buns and breakfast potatoes-none of that shredded nonsense, and best of all it's not a chain. Lunches are good too.

                      As far as I'm concerned, if you want good Italian or Mexican Food, you're sh*t out of luck, especially for Italian. All of the "popular" places are waaaay overrated, although I hear Mazzi's is alright.

                      There is a farmer's market that runs on Tuesdays, which I prefer over Saturday's because it is a lot less crowded and it seems to cut out the dirty riff raff that attend Saturday Market, so you aren't forced to smell mildew and body odor while you're trying to pick out food (summertime can be almost unbearable). Oh and there is supposed to be an excellent tamale stand that attends the Saturday Market and occasionally the Tuesday one. Another great thing about the tamale place is that it's one of the only prepared foods that you can be assured are prepared under sanitary conditions, as they are made off site and simply held there. I have gotten food poisoning from other Saturday Market food and I know others that have as well. No running water...questionable hygiene from employees, go figure.

                      A BBQ place opened a few months ago over on Franklin on the way to campus called Howling Coyote. It is locally owned and operated, reasonably priced, and for Eugene, it is pretty darn good. Their baked beans are outstanding, and their fries are good enough. Definitely a fun place to eat if you're into BBQ. I am unaware of its authenticity, but it's the best you're gonna get here.

                      Oh and one last little thing, the culinary program at LCC has a student run restaurant in the cafeteria, called the renaissance room. The food is really good, extremely reasonable (free labor!!), everything's from scratch, and it helps support the culinary program there. It is open for like an hour and a half-2 hours Monday thru Thursday, and you can call to make a reservation and find out what's on the menu. The phone number is 463-3533. Leave a voicemail if no one answers and they'll call you back.

                      Hope this helps!!

                      7 Replies
                      1. re: kwool2004
                        a
                        asimen Aug 20, 2007 09:50 AM

                        Thanks to everyone for your insights, and particularly to kwool2004 for posting here in response to a discussion on the Los Angeles area board about Thousand Oaks, California.

                        We live in Moorpark, California, but are in Eugene for 3-4 days every month for family reasons, so this thread is really helpful to us.

                        A few of our own impressions:

                        We agree that Ambrosia and Bepe & Giannis are over-rated, and we prefer Mazzi's for Italian. We haven't had pizza there, and are still looking for pizza places.

                        We've had pretty good luck with Zenon, and particularly with their ice cream for dessert. They don't have the selection of a Prince Puckler's, but it's a much richer ice cream.

                        We were not impressed with Howling Coyote, but perhaps we just don't care for Texas style bbq. We agree with the poster that pointed out that the ribs are the best thing on their menu. Here in California, most bbq places do well with Santa Maria style tri-tip. If someone up there wants to make some money in the restaurant business, that was a clue.

                        We haven't tried Ocean Sky, Maple Garden or Kowloon for Chinese yet. We keep hearing that even these are not that great. (There's another clue for would-be entrepreneurs, Szechuwan or Hunan, anyone?) We're not big Thai fans, which is too bad, I guess, since that's the one area where Eugene seems to have quite a few good places. We've had pretty good Japanese (teppan) at Shoji's.

                        Similarly, we haven't attempted Mexican anywhere (well, except for the Burrito Amigo in Springfield, which actually wasn't half bad). But being from Southern California, we don't need Mexican while in Oregon!

                        But speaking of Springfield, geez, if you think Eugene is lacking.....Seriously, does anyone know anyplace decent in Springfield? We're on that side of town quite a bit.

                        I agree with the assessment of McMenamins (decent pub food, but not great). It works out well, though, to have a burger at the establishment on 19th, and then walk across the street to Prince Puckler's for dessert! I've had better burgers at Steelhead Brewery, though.

                        Haven't yet tried, but on our list, is Marche, Chef's Kitchen, and Cafe Soriah.

                        As our governator might say, "We'll be back!"

                        1. re: asimen
                          primitivecinema Aug 20, 2007 01:46 PM

                          This comes from someone who has eaten their share of LA BBQ, old fav being Dr. Hogly Wogly's in the valley:) I haven't eaten at Howling Coyote - just the look of it smacks of we want to be a franchise - but there are two places in town where you can get better than average to excellent BBQ. One: Papa's Soul Food Kitchen in the Blair, across from Sam Bond's Garage. This is the real deal, very much in the style of a 'meat and three' kind of place you'd find in LA or AL, my folks live in Mobile. The meats are good to very good, pulled pork and hot links stand out. The sides are even better, very tasty greens, good smoky and vinegar flavor, blackeye peas and an excellent crusty mac and cheese. A great little joint all around, sometimes even with live music. Two: BBQ at Long's Meat Market. Mike Wooley, the owner has a guy come in on Saturday's who is a serious BBQ hobbyist, and does really top quality smoking of pork and lamb in the parking lot. If you can't make it Saturday, there is now a cooler inside the store filled with the stuff that you can pick up and reheat. They do them in vacuum bags, I throw them in the freezer and reheat boil-in-the-bag style throughout the year.

                          1. re: primitivecinema
                            t
                            tinatown Sep 2, 2007 01:50 PM

                            This, of, course is just my opinion through experience...

                            The last time I ate at Marche, my steak tasted like fish, fishy! It was really nasty and I haven't gone back. For a nice-ish meal (which is all we can expect in Lane County) we go to Cafe Soriah or even Adam's Place if we're not in a hurry.

                            There is decent Mexican food at Los Dos Amigos, on Goodpature Loop. Also, good Chinese at Louie's, if you can get past the tacky decor.

                            For breakfast, oddly enough, I like Cafe Lucky Noodle, they make yummy bloody mary's and roasted garlic omelette!

                            OK, now to address Springfield... No, there are no good places to eat. There are many chains to choose from though in the Gateway area. However, I will tell you all a secret... there is this tiny dive on Centennial, small, clean but not at all fancy. No cocktails but they have beer in the bottle and a decent wine list.... It's called Mookie's. Don't tell anyone, it's my secret! On the weekend, better prime rib than OES:)

                            1. re: tinatown
                              a
                              asimen Sep 5, 2007 04:19 PM

                              Rumor is Mookie's was closing, see http://www.something2eat.com/features...

                          2. re: asimen
                            Haughtywench Oct 8, 2007 03:14 PM

                            In Springfield, Lone Star Steakhouse is fine for red meat, Kuraya's is excellent thai, Mookie's is great American fare and they are all along Mohawk Blvd by McKenzie Willamette hospital. Mookie's does our office catering and we're never disappointed.

                          3. re: kwool2004
                            j
                            jannah Sep 16, 2007 01:59 PM

                            i think your review of Saturday Market's food booths are wayyyyyyy harsh! Saturday Market has some of the best food in town...I happen to know they are inspected every single Saturday for any food violations. Perhaps you got sick dining at one of your other questionable establishments? Saturday Market does have access to running water, and meets all guidelines set up for any food restaurants..mobile or not..... As far as body odor goes...have you ever been to France? Just wondering...they have some nice restaraunts there too <---snicker. Saturday Market is the oldest, most prestigious outdoor arts and crafts faire in the United States....show some respect please......Jannah
                            ps. yes we do in fact have the best people watching in town!

                            1. re: kwool2004
                              Haughtywench Oct 8, 2007 03:11 PM

                              Howling Coyote is the new venture by Taco Time. :)

                            2. b
                              belindajune Aug 14, 2007 08:32 PM

                              I went down to Eugene from Portland in July for the first time and liked my lunches at the Excelsior Cafe and the Howling Coyote.

                              Toshi's Ramen sounds good.

                              1. b
                                bcorral Jul 4, 2007 09:28 AM

                                Well, I think Eugene has some GREAT restaurants considering the size of the city. Chao Pra Ya, Sweet Basil, and Ta Ra Rin are all very wonderful Thai restaurants. For authentic Mexican and Central American food I go to El Jarro Azul (their Pollo en Mole is some of the best I've had). Red Agave and El Vaquero are great for Latin inspired dining. Cafe Soriah has wonderful Mediterranean. I also have enjoyed the Sunday night dinners at Poppi's Anatolia quite a bit. Bepe and Gianni's is good Italian food (it's not great, but I grew up around great Italian food, so I'm a tough customer when it comes to that). I also have been enjoying meals at the new Asado diner that has opened recently on 29th and Willamette (great fish tacos).

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: bcorral
                                  g
                                  girlwonder88 Aug 4, 2007 12:42 PM

                                  You are right on, bcorral-you've named some of my favorites, too. Marche is fabulous-I especially love their French regional dinners. Cafe Soriah and Poppi's both have good mediterranean food-I love the Greek menu Sunday nights at Poppi's. We really like Beppe and Gianni's though I think their food isn't quite as good as it used to be-still, very fresh ingredients, and we love the atmosphere and service (plus it costs about the same as a meal at the Olive Garden). We like Tio Pepe's for Americanized Mexican food-esp their guacamole and green corn tamales-also Daniels, for their homemade tortillas and great carne asada tacos. The fresh tortillas and carne asada from the Mercado Latino on 7th (I'm not sure if I"m remembering the name correctly).

                                  Let's see-I love the fish and chips at both Newman's and the Fisherman's Market.

                                  The french fries with beef demi glace at the wine bar at Bel Ami Lounge at 16th and Willamette. Tim, who owns the wine bar, bestows generous pours and is generous with advice and tastings.

                                  Desserts at Sweet Life. I never thought I'd even dare to taste a vegan cream cake, but it was one of the best desserts I've ever had.

                                  Desserts at Cafe Zenon, especially their coconut cream pie. I think their service is bad and the rest of the food is overpriced, but it's good for dessert and a fresh squeezed lemonade.

                                  The big salad with garlic ranch at Turtle's.

                                  Red Agave for more expensive, consistently good Latin American food.

                                  We loved Priya for Indian food and were sad when it closed. However, Evergreen, a Corvallis Indian restaurant that I love, just opened a branch here in town-we haven't tried it yet.

                                  Oh, and can't forget Koho Bistro over by Churchill HIgh School-really good local food, "northwest cuisine".

                                  1. re: girlwonder88
                                    a
                                    Andy Jacob Aug 6, 2007 04:33 PM

                                    GW88 - Where's Evergreen?

                                    BTW, went to Aiyara's today and it must have been their 1st day open since expanding. New server. Meal took 3X (35-40minutes total) longer than usual to arrive. Interesting that both Aiyara's and Chao Pra Ya are remodeling / expanding at about the same time.

                                    1. re: Andy Jacob
                                      a
                                      Andy Jacob Aug 8, 2007 11:03 AM

                                      http://evergreenindianrestaurant.com/

                                      1. re: Andy Jacob
                                        a
                                        Andy Jacob Aug 31, 2007 02:48 PM

                                        Evergreen is reminiscent of Priya but in a much better location. It was crowded today. It is 2 driveways W of Agate on the N. side of Franklin.

                                2. Cognac Jun 19, 2007 04:29 PM

                                  I went to Cafe Sorriah for a friend's graduation from law school and it was superb. Mediteranean/NW influenced and the owner/chef will make special dishes at your table.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Cognac
                                    Haughtywench Jun 20, 2007 10:09 AM

                                    I always wonder where you could park at Cafe Soriah, perhaps there are some back or side streets?
                                    Poppi's/Anatolia has some lovely Mediteranean specials too, but again the parking issue downtown.

                                  2. a
                                    antrobin Jun 17, 2007 05:21 PM

                                    Please avoid Chapala. It's easily some of the worst "Mexican" food I've ever eaten. Don't get me wrong--I'm not one of those who demands authenticity, but I've never had even a decent meal there. Moreno's, now defunct, was the best Mexican in town. I'm not sure there's really anything left worth eating besides what can be found in the taco shops, some of which is very good--particularly those in Springfield.

                                    Zenon is very hit-and-miss. Ten years ago they were solid, if not excellent. Nowadays, it's a crap-shoot. I've had very good meals and very bad meals there. For Italian, Beppe & Giannis is pretty good. Not mind-blowing, but good. Avoid Ambrosia. For old-school red-checked tablecloth southern Italian-American food, Mazzi's is an institution. My picks for Thai would be Chao Pra Ya and Sweet Basil. The former is more authentic, the latter a little fancier, a little more Americanized, but still very tasty.

                                    Marche is easily the best fine-dining restaurant in town--very consistent, always good. I would also recommend Red Agave for upscale American food with Mexican flavors. I wouldn't really call it a Mexican restaurant, though it has the sort of menu that is popular in some upscale restaurants in Mexico City. Essentially, though, it's Americn food. Very very good, however. And expensive.

                                    Toshi's Ramen, already mentioned, is superb. The ramen is the best I've ever had, the gyoza are the best I've ever had, even the chicken teriyaki is the best i've ever had. Hell, everything I've eaten there is the best of its kind I've tried.

                                    Finally, Sushi Domo serves up some damn fine sushi. I've eaten a lot of sushi around the country, particularly San Francisco, and Sushi Domo still ranks in my top 5.

                                    11 Replies
                                    1. re: antrobin
                                      a
                                      Andy Jacob Jun 18, 2007 10:30 AM

                                      Tio Pepe's has good Mexican food on River Rd. We like their macro salsa with carrots and jalapeno's, etc.

                                      My favorite Mexican in town is Plaza Latina ~7th and Taylor. Their marinated meats are excellent. A combination of 3 tacos of various meats (Asada, Pollo, Lengua, Chorizo, Pastor) and an ice cold coke (from Mexico, like they used to taste in the US) tantalizes my taste buds. When Coke introduced CocaCola Classic they switched from Cane sugar to Corn sugar - in Mexico it is still made with Cane sugar and packaged in a glass bottle.

                                      I like the Mauna Loa Chicken at Hawaiian Time - a nice little spicy burn from what I have long considered a, comparatively, bland cuisine.

                                      I was surprised to see how crowded the patio was at Sweet Cheeks Winery last Friday night. I guess live music is standard fare and it looked as though many brought picnic dinners to enjoy the wine and views from the hillside location.

                                      Eugene is spoiled with Thai choices, but Vietnamese is lacking (Pho and Bahn Mi). Indian locally hasn't been the same since Priya shut it's doors.

                                      I have lived in parts of the country where dining out meant choose a meat and three vegetables (a meat and three) so I guess I can't complain (but sometimes I still do, life's been good to me so far...)

                                      1. re: Andy Jacob
                                        extramsg Jun 18, 2007 04:49 PM

                                        From what I understand, Lupita's next to the carniceria by the same name on Blair has re-opened. If true, they would trump Plaza Latina, imo. Of course this is Mexican street food/taqueria food. I prefer Burrito Boy to Tio Pepe's.

                                        Chapala is the best Mexican-American I've had in Eugene in a long time, but it's not especially good. I'd waver between it and a Chevy's.

                                        Howlin' Coyote is mediocre. Ribs are the best item, but still not especially good. Other than the sausage and onion rings, I wouldn't really eat anything else there. Hole in the Wall is about the same overall. Big Stuff in Cottage Grove is worth the drive.

                                        I've tried most of the Thai places in town now and would rate them thusly:

                                        Aiyara's^ = B+
                                        Chao Pra Ya = B-
                                        Mekala's = B-
                                        Manola's = B-
                                        Ring of Fire+ = C
                                        Sweet Basil* = C
                                        Tasty Thai = D-

                                        ---
                                        http://www.portlandfood.org
                                        http://www.extramsg.com

                                        ^ = Fantastic specials like gang hung lay (called Chiang Mai curry on her specials board
                                        )+ = Some dishes really good, some really bad.
                                        * = Only tried Portland locations.

                                        1. re: extramsg
                                          Haughtywench Jun 19, 2007 10:55 AM

                                          Have you tried Kuraya's Thai in Springfield? It's catty-corner from McKenzie Willamette on Mohawk Blvd. My bosses adore their soups.

                                          1. re: Haughtywench
                                            a
                                            antrobin Jun 19, 2007 06:49 PM

                                            Actually, come to think of it, Kuraya's may be the best Thai in the Eugene/Springfield area. They've been consistent (and affordable) for years.

                                            Back in the early 90s, Mekala's (in its original 5th st. location) was great. No so much anymore.

                                            As for Indian--Priya used to be really good. Too bad they're not around anymore.

                                            1. re: antrobin
                                              extramsg Jun 20, 2007 01:54 AM

                                              The people who own/run Siam Society in Portland used to own/run Mekala's. Now it's a cousin or aunt or something, I believe.

                                              I haven't been to Kuraya's. I keep bugging a friend to try it and if I could have remembered the address I would have tried it this last weekend. I plan on trying it and re-hitting Mekala's and Chao Pra Ya, plus more BBQ, next time. If Kuraya's is better than Aiyara's, though, I'll be impressed. Her specials are nearly spot on and her curries are always vibrant. You must get the khao man som tum when she has it and the kanom jiin. The current crispy fish salad and gang hung lay (Chiang Mai curry) are two of the best I've had from her, too.

                                              ---
                                              http://www.extramsg.com
                                              http://www.portlandfood.org

                                              1. re: extramsg
                                                a
                                                antrobin Jun 20, 2007 05:38 PM

                                                I haven't yet been to Aiyara's. A friend of mine goes pretty regularly and he reports that it's "okay, nothing special," which makes me wonder why he eats there so frequently. I'll have to get over there soon.

                                                1. re: antrobin
                                                  extramsg Jun 20, 2007 11:22 PM

                                                  She's really obsessed with getting things to taste right. She has a great memory, too, and if you start to be a regular she'll recognize you and bring you tastes of stuff she's working on, specials, or even something she made for herself. I have a friend who's at that stage. I think she has a great sense for balancing flavors. She really cares about the food, she loves her hometown of Chiang Mai and loves to try to recapture its flavors. I wish she had better access to ingredients. She has to come up to Portland and go to Lily Market and Marisa Express to get stuff.

                                                  1. re: extramsg
                                                    g
                                                    girlwonder88 Aug 4, 2007 12:32 PM

                                                    Aiyara's is the place by Gateway Mall, isn't it? I love her! Great food, reasonable prices, such nice people. Used to eat there frequently before working in Corvallis. I also love Chao Pro Ya for Thai. Have tried Sweet Basil once and enjoyed. I think Mekala's is overrated and expensive.

                                                    1. re: girlwonder88
                                                      extramsg Aug 4, 2007 12:38 PM

                                                      Yep, that's the one. btw, I just talked with a friend. They've been closed because they're expanding into the next door shop. During the expansion he's been eating at Ta Ra Rin, which apparently is by the family of Chao Pra Ya and he thinks it's better.

                                                      ---
                                                      http://portlandfood.org/index.php?sho...

                                            2. re: Haughtywench
                                              a
                                              Andy Jacob Nov 7, 2007 08:45 AM

                                              Always up for Thai, I ventured over yesterday. If you can judge a restaurant on a single dish, in this case Tom Kha Gai, I was underwhelmed. The flavor profile was good, however I found the soup to be coarse with chunks of ginger, lemongrass, etc. Worse yet, the chicken was all dark meat.

                                              As to the quality of their service, I'll give them the benefit of the doubt as the soups are not on the lunch menu (odd in itself) but with the restaurant 1/4 full my order took 30 minutes.

                                          2. re: Andy Jacob
                                            c
                                            clearskies0810 Jun 18, 2007 06:26 PM

                                            Sweet Cheeks calls their Friday evening festivities (as you described) "Twilight Tastings." This is a regular thing year round, I think.

                                            And you are dead on about the lack of Vietnamese and Indian food... what little exists in Eugene is barely edible IMO.

                                        2. c
                                          clearskies0810 Jun 16, 2007 12:38 PM

                                          Sushi Domo - suprisingly good and creative sushi

                                          Sweet Life - desserts

                                          Marche cafe - pizza & salad lunch special

                                          Sweet Basil - I personally prefer them over ring of fire for thai

                                          Newman's Fish Market - too too too greasy for me, but some people are into it

                                          Market of Choice - Mama Leone's Chicken Soup, and the deli rarely dissapoints (though unlike Haughty Wench, I don't like their gelato - find it to be grainy and inconsistant)

                                          Toshi Ramen - HaughtyWench has covered this

                                          Ocean Sky - The best Chinese in the area (but don't take this to mean mean it is great or anything)

                                          King's Estate Winery - on a warm, sunny day when you're not pressed for time, this is a good place to go for lunch or dinner on the patio which overlooks the vineyards (they also have indoor seating, but it's just not quite the same)

                                          Noho's Hawaiian bbq - get the guava chicken or the short ribs, avoid most things beef

                                          Cafe Zenon - decent american food (and great carrot cake)

                                          Lucky Noodle - not a fan of their food (same owners/menu as ring of fire but with an italian addition), but they have good cocktails

                                          Howlin Cyote BBQ - a bit tacky, but still tastey

                                          Bates Steak House - I would avoid this

                                          Glenwood - american cafe food leaning towards the greasy side, kind of a eugene institution (good or bad depending on who you ask)

                                          Burrito Boy - another Eugene institution... get the carne asada burrito

                                          Any of the McMinemans locations - standard pub food, nothing spectacular but also somewhat of an institution (the patio on the North Bank is pretty nice)

                                          Villard Pub - pub food that is suprisingly good IMO, I like their black & blue sliders as well as their duck stirps... but really, make sure you try the chips & the fries, there is nothign else like them

                                          The seafood pancake at the Korean Place under the Market of Choice near UO (I forget the name) is really good - the other stuff not so much

                                          Friends tell me that Bepe and Giani's is good, but personally have never been

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: clearskies0810
                                            Haughtywench Jun 16, 2007 01:42 PM

                                            Cafe Seoul is the little place next to Hirons. (I really miss The Plaza, that was dynamite Korean and The Jail just isn't up to the same quality.)

                                            There's a Ben and Jerry's next door to the Market of Choice at Willamette, but my heart belongs to Manderin Chocolate Prince Pucklers.

                                            There's a Thursday Farmer's Market at the Fairgrounds and there used to be one at the SouthTown shops on Willamette too. I'm not sure if it is still there though.
                                            I know Lone Pine Farms out on River Road had a very nice selection of Autumnal yummy things when we went to the corn maze. I think they have summer crops as well.
                                            Eugene is a yummy area to live in I think, an hour from the ocean and an hour from the mountains.

                                          2. Haughtywench Jun 15, 2007 10:37 AM

                                            I enjoy Bruno's Chef Kitchen on 35th and Hilyard and Mazzi's on E. Amazon for nice dinners. China Blue on campus has dynamite Singapore Noodles at a great price. One Bad Dog on campus has great Chicago dogs. Toshii's Ramen on 15th and Pearl has EXCELLENT authentic ramen, teriyaki and cha-han. Food is where you find it. Frankly, there's excellent meat at Bright Oaks or Long's and the Farmer's Markets have beautiful greens and herbs. Post some reviews or what you think good food SHOULD be, then maybe you can get some better suggestions.

                                            9 Replies
                                            1. re: Haughtywench
                                              k
                                              kpangaro Jun 15, 2007 10:54 AM

                                              Wow, you are haughty. I do know about the markets and all the amazing places to buy food to prepare myself, which I do most of the time, and that's great. As I said above, I am looking for restaurants.
                                              I am looking for more places to eat out--other than various Asian cuisines, which as you have pointed out is not at all hard to find here. I haven't been overly impressed, but I am definitely going to check out Toshi's Ramen--that sounds great.
                                              I am looking for anything really...most people, though, when I ask where they like to eat or what their favorite restaurants are say...Ring of Fire or The Keystone. It is limiting.
                                              Thanks for your suggestions,

                                              1. re: kpangaro
                                                Haughtywench Jun 15, 2007 04:22 PM

                                                Yep! It goes with the hair.
                                                Seriously, Toshii-san makes damn good food. Affordable and filling everytime we go.
                                                You've visited Sunrise Asian Foods too? Best darn little grocery in the area I think. Chapala is next door and really tasty Mexican as well.

                                                1. re: Haughtywench
                                                  k
                                                  kpangaro Jun 16, 2007 12:07 AM

                                                  I have hit Sunrise and King's as well. I've not been to Chalapa yet, but I have some people in town tomorrow--sounds good, I think I will take them there.
                                                  Thanks!

                                                  1. re: kpangaro
                                                    Haughtywench Jun 16, 2007 09:47 AM

                                                    Try the Carne Asada, that's my husband's favorite. Across the street at Market of Choice there is a new pastry/gelato counter and a nice sit down eating area for a little desert! Then head on down to the Owen Rose Garden for some lovely flowers down by the river. http://www.gardenvisit.com/ge/owenros... Bring some umbrellas too. Hopefully the sun will burn off a bit of the clouds. To really sell Eugene you have to show off the parks and the greenery. You can hit the Saturday Market too, but Graduation weekend is not the best for that trip. Stay away from campus if you can, today is the one day that OPS does not give tickets on campus due to the chaos.

                                                  2. re: Haughtywench
                                                    b
                                                    bruce3404 Oct 20, 2008 12:34 PM

                                                    OK, I'm a little late to this discussion, but Chapala????? It might be OK if you've got an entertainment book coupon, but to me they're just another place trying to make Mexican food that caters to timid diners who think enchiladas might be too spicy (perhaps it's that huge seniors complex a few doors down that helps drive their menu). This is not a place where you see many Mexican-Americans eating and that pretty much says it all.

                                                    1. re: bruce3404
                                                      a
                                                      antrobin Oct 22, 2008 07:23 PM

                                                      Agreed. I actually think Chapala is one of the worst--if not THE worst--"Mexican" places in Eugene. Just terrible.

                                                      1. re: antrobin
                                                        d
                                                        duck833 Oct 22, 2008 07:30 PM

                                                        Agreed, I live down the street from the Oakway Mall location and it is bad mex. Thank goodness I am in Phoenix once a month at least and I can get good stuff there.

                                                      2. re: bruce3404
                                                        g
                                                        girlwonder88 Oct 24, 2008 11:27 AM

                                                        I agree! Ugh. We actually recently discovered Daniel's, on Broadway...little place that looks like every other Mexican restaurant around, but has great homemade tortillas and fabulous Tacos El Carbon. Almost everyone else eating there when we've been there is from Mexico....good sign.

                                                    2. re: kpangaro
                                                      c
                                                      clearskies0810 Jun 16, 2007 12:41 PM

                                                      Are there farmer's markets in the area other than the one in Saturday market?

                                                  3. c
                                                    chickenlover Jun 13, 2007 12:03 PM

                                                    I am no longer a Eugenius, but you're right--there's not much for restaurants. Marche is pretty good for a splurge dinner. Ring of Fire is not bad for fusion type thai. I like Taqueria Dos Aguilas. The Fisherman's Market, in addition to having good fish has good crab dinners in season. The best thing about Eugene is not the restaurants. The farmer's market kicks ass. They have a several good bakeries, 2 fishmongers, and a real butcher. I now live in DC, a city with great restaurants, and I don't have good access to any of these things.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: chickenlover
                                                      n
                                                      nothingman Jun 18, 2007 02:25 PM

                                                      Sorry to report that Dos Aguilas is no more :(

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