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Jun 15, 2008 04:14 PM

Oregon Trip - Review Time

We saw, did and ate a lot so here's the good and not so good of it....

Portland - two days
Harry's for dinner and beer - good food and good drinks, we had beer and sandwiches for our first dinner in Portland and enjoyed them!
No name - we had HORRIBLE Chinese in Chinatown the second night. I don't remember the name but I'm sure if someone posted I would recognize it. I've had so-so Chinese before and I guess we assumed (very wrong) that it would be the best in that area of town and it was awful.....yuck.
Voodoo Doughnut - we picked up doughnuts for dessert after the awful Chinese and for breakfast the next morning - VERY tasty! I had an apple fritter and my husband had a glazed one with fruit loops on it. Loved the atmosphere too - very unique.
Chinese Garden - we went to the tea room for a tea flight and green tea dusted pumpkin seeds. The tea was good and what a view - beautiful from the second floor

Newport - two days
We had breakast at our B&B both days so no reviews there.
Local Ocean Seafoods - we had dinner the first night here and it was AMAZING. This was the highlight of my trip - shrimp and asparagus soup and crab po boy with green chile avocado sauce. WOW - it was heavenly!
Blackfish Cafe - we went here for lunch on our way to Newport and I really enjoyed my entree (my hubby not so much - too messy and we're not big fans of the bay shrimp). I had the portabello mushroom sandwich and the vinegarette was awesome. It was light, fresh and the homemade potato chips were good too!
Bayfront Pizza - we ordered delivery our second night because we wanted to enjoy the amazing view of the beach from our B&B. Even though it took an hour and a half to be delivered, we really enjoyed the pizza! It tasted fresh, had tons of olives on it (our fave) and was very filling.
Rogue Brewery - we went here after visiting the Newport Aquarium for a beer tasting and ended up getting a cup of soup as well. My husband got the clam chowder (he said one of the best he's ever had) and I had the beer cheese soup - very good. Unfortunately, the beer was awful and very disappointing.
Tillamook ice cream - we stopped in for shopping and ice cream in Depoe Bay and I'm SO glad we did! That ice cream was awesome! I had the chocolate peanut butter and my husband had a chocolate milkshake (his standard ice cream parlour choice) and both were GREAT!

McMinnville - three days
We also had breakfast at our B&B here and WOW - the innskeeper is a classically trained French chef and sommalier - YUM YUM YUM. The breakfast was decadent - I would 100% recommend their B&B if you go to the wine country - A'Tuscan Bed and Breakfast.
Golden Valley Brewery - we stopped here for a "snack" in the afternoon before our fabulous anniversary dinner at Bistro Maison. First, we started with sharing the 10 beer sampler - AWESOME! There was only 1 beer in the ten that my husband and I didn't enjoy and we were very impressed! We shared the chicken nachos which we commented on how interestingly "healthy" they tasted - smoked chicken, real cheese (and not a lot of it) fresh tomatoes, etc etc. It was SO good!
Bistro Maison - WOW. This was one amazing meal. I had the special salad (mixed greens, almonds, cheese, bacon and a nut vinegarette) and special soup (cauliflower and potato with a touch of curry). YUM. They both were awesome - full of flavor and just wonderful. We shared the fondue - traditional Swiss fondue and was good as well. My husband had the special beef entree - beef tips in a clear consomme with root vegetables. He really enjoyed it and we were both blown away by the entire meal. I had a glass of Witness Tree pinot noir with my meal and my husband had another glass of GV. We wished we had room for dessert because it sounded and looked heavenly. Besides the food, we really enjoyed the service and the knowledgeable staff. A must visit if in the area!
Tina's - while wine tasting, we stopped at Tina's for a quick lunch. Yum again! I had the fresh pea soup and my husband had the roast pork sandwich. We shared their special onion rings and we enjoyed all of it. The service was disappointing though and their staff needs to learn to keep their voices down - our server and another staff member were complaining about various things, including other customers, within earshot of us. Disappointing.
La Rambla - we went here for dinner on our last night. We enjoyed it but it wasn't the best Spanish tapas we'd ever had. The restaurant was SO warm that we were both lightheaded by the time we left and the service was slow and the atmosphere was LOUD. We are young and don't mind loud restaurants but we could BARELY hear each other.
McMenamins Oregon hotel - we went to the rooftop bar for a quick lunch. The service was SLLLOW but wow, my salad was one of the best salads I've ever had! I ordered the Distiller's salad and it was wonderful - great dressing and the nuts were awesome! My husband ordered a cheeseburger and was very disappointed. He said it tasted like it had freezer burn - yuck.
Serendipity ice cream parlour - we stopped in here during our shopping travels in town and I ordered the lemon pie ice cream and my husband ordered the chocolate. Both were very good!

I think that's it. If I think of anything else, I will post it later. Thanks for all of the great reviews and suggestions before we left and I will also post a review of the wineries we visited in another post. Thanks!

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  1. Thanks for the reviews! One note on LaRambla: they have recently had some changes in the kitchen and some of the dishes aren't as fantastic as they once were. I have confidence that they'll get back on track soon or maybe let the new head chef contribute some new recipes. Funny it was warm- I was there a few nights ago and they had both the front and back doors open; we just about froze to death.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Sushiqueen36

      It was warm there last Friday night so that might have been it. It was horrible. I guess I was just expecting the same great taste and service as Bistro Maison and that made it disappointing. I've been to numerous Spanish restaurants in various states and I thought La Rambla's prices were ridiculous for what we received - $10 for roasted asparagus?! Whatever.

    2. Sorry- just had another thought. Which wineries did you visit?

      6 Replies
      1. re: Sushiqueen36

        I was going to do another post but I might as well do it here!
        Amity - very good and loved the organic varieties!
        Sokol Blosser - good but WAY overpriced
        August - just ok
        Adelsheim (my absolute FAVORITE) - liked it so much that I joined the wine club!
        Winter's Hill (a rec from our B&B and WOW - don't miss it...small, family run, super fabulous!)
        Four Graces - their pinot was great!
        Argyle - good sparkling wine
        Rex Hill - just OK and overpriced
        Torii Mor - good but pricey and the employee in the tasting room was kind of snotty and too young for the setting
        Domaine Serene - not as good as I expected, too expensive for quality
        Panther Creek - horrible

        1. re: Heyteacher

          I felt the same way about Adelsheim. Sorry you didn't like Panther Creek, our last tasting there was great. Maybe this years' wines are not as good as last there?

          1. re: JillO

            Must be because it was our first tasting in the area and it was awful. I was definitely surprised due to the glowing recs on this board but who knows.

          2. re: Heyteacher

            heyteacher thanks for the short,honest and to the point reviews of the wineries. much appreciated, as we are visiting this september!!! i had four graces, adelsheim, penner ash, argyle and elk cove on our list.

            question: did argyle strike you as uber yuppie? i kinda got their feeling from their website and wanted to avoid it if so, but i really love sparkling wine so i may have to reassess based on your review... will look at adding winter's hill to our list as well.

            also - any yays for cardwell? my husband and i are semi-obsessed with their pinot noir which we've had in a few restaurants here in san diego. thought it might be worth our while to visit if anyone can back it.

            1. re: beachbunnySD

              Argyle didn't strike me as yuppie but it's definitely not a "winery" setting - off the main road, tasting room away from vineyards - but the sparklings were very good. I bought their rose and I don't ever drink rose let alone sparkling rose. It's made with Pinot Noir grapes so the flavor was better than the typical Rose. Check it out if you're in that area - and Tina's is right across the street as well.

              I would DEFINITELY put Winter's Hill on your list and if you needed to take off one in the process, I would probably take off Elk Cove...JMO.

              I've never had Cardwell so I can't say anything about that winery. If it's a fave though, I would definitely make the effort! That's how I feel about Adelsheim and I LOVED LOVED that winery/tasting room. I even signed up for the wine club - I should have done the same for Winter's Hill but I didn't want to go crazy. ;-)

              1. re: Heyteacher

                Teach, you are a little behind the times. Try any rosé from one of the better wineries and you will find it on a par with the Argyle sparkling rosé. Barnard-Griffin, Syncline if you can find it, pretty much any dry rosé from a producer you already appreciate will be a far cry from the old days.

        2. House of Louie, Fong Chong, Hung Far Low...which is it?

          (Actually, I think Hung Far Low's moved out of Chinatown by now)

          1 Reply
          1. re: HungWeiLo

            None of those - I think either the words "Wong" or "Fat" were in the name. Sorry - I just can't remember!

          2. I wish ExtraMSG still posted on CH because he's the one that pointed this out to me: the real Chinatown in Portland goes down Sandy and out to 82nd Ave. Also, it's been noted on other threads that the reason Chinese cuisine suffers in Portland is the lack of "critical mass" required to have an authentic restaurant.

            For others reading, here's HeyTeacher's original post:


            Who's idea was it to get Chinese food? I'm hoping Chowhound isn't the one taking the bullet on that one.

            2 Replies
            1. re: SauceSupreme

              Alas, it was ours. The assumption was made that it would be good in that area of town but we were mistaken. Chowhound didn't recommend any of the restaurants in that part of town - we were there and it was a spur of the moment decision. We walked by, we were hungry, yada yada. I've been trying to find the name of the restaurant ALL DAY but I'm still having trouble. Maybe someday...

              1. re: Heyteacher

                Eh, live and learn. It sounds like you still had a great trip, and here's to hoping you come back again. (I myself have not made an Oregon wine country trip so I'm bookmarking this and other trip reports.)