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Jul 26, 2010 11:17 AM

Bread and Ocean, Manzanita... and a plea for a substitute

Last night we visited Bread and Ocean for supper, for the second time this summer.

Both times the food has been mostly excellent, the wine good, the prices Portland-bistro-reasonable... and the service bizarrely lackadaisical and ineffective.

The only problem with the food is that both times the potatoes in one of the side dishes were undercooked (or in one case, barely cooked at all).

The rest of the food is delicious, and while it is much more expensive than a quick stop at a fish&chips stand or whatever, we love it for a tasty and delicately-flavored meal after a day of mostly beach-oriented junk food: ice cream and potato chips and too much coffee and etc.

But the service is really so poor that we'll be reluctant to return. Both times the server (different one each time) seemed overwhelmed and, oddly, kind of mystified as to why we'd shown up and started ordering food. At neither visit was the restaurant particularly full or busy. Most people around us seemed to be experiencing the same odd, intermittent, half-mast service as well.

Last night the wine we ordered wasn't on the menu -- the server told us about it, and recommended it, and then in a long string of leaving-and-coming-back, gave us tastes of two other wines, while failing to find out how much her recommended one cost. She finally just named a price and we took it, and the wine was fine.

We didn't get enough placesettings for our table and it took several attempts to get through to her that we needed another one. She seemed good-humored, but somehow asleep at the wheel.

And, of course, it took forever to get our check.

Food arrived in a relatively timely fashion, and except for the potatoes everything was good-- the grilled salmon excellent, the salads fresh and delicious.

I am reluctant to sound snippy or yelp-esque, but I do feel like I ought to say something about this place. They have such an opportunity to be a really good restaurant. The service wasn't abominable, it was just bizzarre and offputting, and left us thinking that rather than go quite a bit out of our way to dine here, we should instead put some more effort into finding other good restaurants in the stretch of coast between Tillamook and Cannon Beach.

I'll search the board, of course, but does anyone have any suggestions? I'd love a better-than-usual seafood restaurant (for some light fish+chips and a good salad) or a better-than-usual Mexican place.

Thanks, and happy belated summer!


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  1. Best meals I have had in that stretch of coast are at the Nehalem River Inn (right near Manzanita) and at Yummy Wine Bar (in Seaside). I have had passable salads and sandwiches at the Wayfarer in Cannon Beach (but not great dinner entrees) and have had fried seafood or seafood cocktails and/or have purchased fish or crab to cook myself at Ecola Seafood in Cannon Beach.

    Everywhere else in Cannon Beach, Manzanita and Seaside I have tried has been either mediocre or downright lousy...and that is a lot of places. The Stephanie and The Bistro and Newman's and others in Cannon Beach are just awful, or have been for me at every meal I have had there. YMMV...

    Ecola Seafood Restaurant
    208 N Spruce St, Cannon Beach, OR 97110

    Nehalem River Inn
    34910 Highway 53, Nehalem, OR 97131

    1 Reply
    1. re: JillO

      Thanks for the report, we are planning on a meal in Manzanita soon and we were going to try Bread and Ocean. Terra Cotta Cafe looked really quaint, we may try this place. There is also a Sushi place there we want to try. Yummy Wine Bar here in Seaside where I am does have great food. We were just there a couple of nights ago. We have been to Newman's, Bistro, Wayfarer and Stephanie Inn several times and have always enjoyed our meals and service at all of these places. Last night we ate at Matzatlan here in Seaside, we have been there many times, you may want to give them a try. We also love Guadalajara Taco Shop for the fish tacos and across the street is The Stand, which has excellent Mexican food. We also really love The Ship Inn Astoria for some of the best fish and chips on the coast. They use Halibut here. The Bowpicker does Albacore Tuna fish and chips and they are amazing! It's not a full service restaurant. My fave place for clam chowder right now is at Rogue Public Ale House at Pier 39. You will have pretty views of the Columbia River there, also. Another place I highly recommend in Astoria is Clemente's. The building is on the corner, the space they are in is beautiful. Very good food here, they serve fish and chips here, also. :)

      Ship Inn
      Astoria,OR, Astoria, OR

      Terra Cotta Cafe
      PO Box 806, Manzanita, OR 97130

    2. Bread and Ocean? Where is that? We just got back from a week in Manzanita and didn't see it. We love the Sand Dune Tavern (Pub, now) for great pub food, relaxed atmosphere. Certainly not fine dining, but good food. It has been there for 30 plus years, must be a reason.
      The Chowder House in Manzanita is where we will never go back. Dirty! Bad service! I left a comment card, hope they act on it. We are buying a home there, and we need a great place to eat.
      OR coast? What do you expect? SEAFOOD! Pizza place not open for lunch? Mexican is clean, but predictably rice and beans swimming on your plate with whatever else you decide, interchangeable.
      What is the matter with just fresh seafood and lots of it cooked very simply? Tell me what is fresh, and cook with minimum sauces, etc.

      2 Replies
      1. re: kayssurf

        It's on the south side of Laneda, across from the community center. And yeah, I have no idea why there's no decent simple seafood place in Manzanita. I assume you'd have to charge too much to make the rent, and folks won't pay it for simple seafood. You're buying a home there, so I am guessing that you understand how inflated prices/rents are at the coast...gotta sell a lot of crab to pay for the lack of tourists for several months...

        1. re: JillO

          We had lunch this past Sat. at Big Wave Cafe, the food was very good and fresh, ambiance is quaint and very clean. I had the French Dip Sandwich with a side of Housemade pasta salad. My son and his fiance enjoyed their meals as well, fresh Spinach Salad with lots of Feta Cheese was also very good. Nice little place for a casual meal, we'll be back! :)