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Jul 21, 2007 09:30 AM

SF 'hound road tripping to/from PDX

Hi folks,

My gf & I are road tripping from San Francisco to Portland to visit my mom next week and would appreciate any suggestions for eats along the way.

We're taking 2 days up I-5, with a stayover in Ashland, and 5 days back down, along the coast from Tillamook southward, staying in Pacific City, Florence, Gold Beach, & Eureka CA.

We enjoyed an excellent meal at Zingaro in Ashland last year, but any recs for a more moderately-priced place in Ashland would be great.

We'll probably eat one meal out in Portland. My mother lives in the Milwaukee(?sp) area, so any recs for casual, interesting eats thereabouts would be great.

I imagine we'll eat at the Pelican Brewery in Pacific City, as I'm hard-pressed to pass a brewpub, especially one that's stumbling distance from our hotel.

My mother (not a Chowhound by any means) suggested we eat at Sea Hag in Depoe Bay and Mo's (for the chowder) in Newport.

We're big fans of breakfast, so if there are any places along the way we shouldn't miss, I'd love to hear about them.

Most of our budget has gone to hotel costs, so we're interested in inexpensive, casual restaurants (entrees less than $15). Cuisine doesn't matter, as we're happy to eat any food, so long as it's prepared well.


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  1. A complete violation of your guidance, I fear, but near Ashland, if you can justify a splurge, check out New Sammy's Cowboy Bistro, in Talent. Vern will be gracious and sensitive in perceiving that you are not really there for his truly fabulous high-end wines (many people travel long distances to happily spend $1000 a bottle there), and will be pleased to recommend excellent pairings with whatever it is you order from the equally excellent kitchen. We are obviously budget travelers, but remember the experience fondly and hope to repeat.

    Morning Glory, in Ashland, was great for brunch, if maybe a little over-the top rich. I had Moroccan oatmeal and my wife had a gorgonzola omelet. They suffered a bit from a particular affliction of old hippies, "a little is good, more is better," which gets a person in trouble with some ingredients, like Gorgonzola and whatever it was there was too much of in the oatmeal ...cardamom? This is a good place to check-out, even if the menu feels more about ideology than cuisine, but a fine setting and a good meal.

    Xenon, in Eugene is worth a look. For breakfast, we had pie, after a very good dinner of Red Posole, late the night before. Very hospitable service.

    In Newport, do NOT miss Shark's, even though it is dead-center in tourist-trap hell. Excellent, uncommon, preparation of fresh seafood. Maybe the best seafood meal we have ever had.

    In Seaside, find The Stand, for great tacos and other Mexican staples. Nuff said - be there.

    Tacos la Providencia, a truck, has the only food worth eating in Tillamook.

    If a detour is in order, we enjoyed Fulio's. in Astoria, and the Astoria coffee company. Reasonable coffee, ordinary pastry, great art, light, and ambiance. For adventure, drive out to the end of the pier to The Coffee Girl.

    please have fun and report back for us

    2 Replies
    1. re: mrnelso

      And at Pescadero, just off the Northern CA coast, is Duarte's. Great small town cafe. Good breakfast.
      Get off 5 at Castroville for an artichoke exstraveganza at The Big Artichoke (you will see it, about 15 feet tall, at the entrance to the cafe I'll bet they have good breakfasts, but we had the Artichoke Sampler: A huge artichoke, some "artichoke bread" and deep fried artichoke hearts. Wow, that was fun.

      1. re: mrnelso

        Yep, been to Duarte's once, and Pescadero many times (the artichoke & garlic bread at Archangeli's Deli is to die for), however, it's about an hour _south_ of San Francisco :)

    2. By all means, try to get to the Otis Cafe in Otis, OR, not far from Lincoln City. Great homebaked pies and bread, and large portions.

      1. Adam, if you're coming thru the RV during the week, Arbor House in Talent has a 2 dinners for $30.00 special going on Tue-Thurs. that is very enjoyable.
        2 tamale vendors at the growers market. Both good.
        Inti and Bangkok's Benny in Talent would also fill your bill.
        Alas, rents have become so pricey in Ashlandia that new places are opening in Talent, Phoenix, and Medford, instead of A$hland.

        1. On a trip to Ashland last week, I enjoyed a meal at Pilaf - delicious lamb kofta sandwich. Affordable and yummy. Great service.

          Of course, I cannot lie - enjoyed even more that meal at New Sammy's...the dinner menu option (starter, main, dessert) was $50, without wine. So, maybe something to consider for a future trip. I've been to New Sammy's several times but on this visit the salmon had me in tears, absolutely melting it was, surrounded by tender little fresh veggies. This and I grew up on fresh wild salmon. Well, I never had salmon like that. And don't get me started on the lemon cake... One needs a reservation.

          In sleepy Waldport, you'll really good burgers at Vicki's Big Wheel Drive In ...

          1. Thanks for all of the tips, folks!

            Sammy's sounds wonderful, my kind of place, but, alas, not on this trip (I rather doubt I could get a table for this Saturday anyways).

            Astoria & Seaside (and anything north of Tillamook) will have to wait for another trip too, but I'll file the recs away for later retrieval.

            I think I'm pretty well-covered for ideas in Ashland, Eureka, the 3 Capes, Newport & Florence, but how about farther south? Anything in Port Orford, Gold Beach, or Brookings worth checking out?

            How about something low-key, funky, and interesting in Portland near'ish Milwaukee? Left to their own devices, my mother & her hubby are likely to take us to places like the Kennedy School (which I thought was only so-so, but I love the idea), McGrath's (also only so-so), and the like.

            Thanks again, and I'll definitely report back.

            2 Replies
            1. re: adampaul


              Port Orford now has two excellent & affordable seafood restaurants ... Crazy Norwegians, and Griffs Restaurant. They are both quite small and seat only 20-30 people.

              Crazys is easy to find on Hwy 101 and has recently been rated by Sunset Magazine ... #2 in America including Hawaii.

              Griffs On The Dock restaurant & Seafood Market just opened this past Spring and is located off the Hwy and overlooks our quiet harbor.

              I am a local and love the food in both places, but if you want to have a less crowded dining experience, I suggest to drive down to the dock and ask for Pat Griff.

              The guests here at our B&B have been consistently bringing back glowing reports about both places all Summer long :)

              Alan Mitchell
              Home by the Sea Bed & Breakfast
              (Innkeepers since 1988)

              1. re: bythesea

                Those both sound great - thanks very much! I've been to Sunset's #3 (once) & #9 (many times) and both are excellent, but are expensive to very-expensive, so I'd be keen to try an affordable top-notch F&C :)

                Thanks again,