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Southwest Oregon

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We just spent about 9 days driving around SW Oregon, on vacation, and up the coast as far as Florence. In no particular order, here are some of our impressions.

As I reported in an earlier post, we did not find anything memorable in Florence--one mediocre meal at Mo's convinced us to look elsewhere the next night, and we ended up at the ICM C-food next door on Bay Street the next night, somewhat better, but still not exceptional. Ice cream place across the street was excellent.

Same with Brookings--we went to O'Holleran's, salmon was overdone--they said it was Coho, but it had no character to speak of.

We also stopped briefly in Bandon, a fun place, and had some sandwiches at a place on the waterfront, can't remember the name, but they were just OK.

Grants Pass--a strong rec for the One Fifteen Broiler--a place that specializes in steaks, and really delivers. Excellent NY Strips, we both asked for rare, and that is how they came, along with killer garlic mashed potatoes. Really good wine list. Sensational Umpqua ice cream for dessert. While I read that the prices were high for that area, we are used to paying much more for steak of this quality in NYC or NJ. Definitely worth a drive.

Finally, Ashland. We asked a friend who lives in the area for a rec--he admitted that they rarely ate out in Ashland ("small portions, high prices"), but he recommended Wiley's, which specializes in pasta, salads, and the occasional beef or chicken special. We went there three times--absolutely fell in love with the place, which is outside of the center on town, on Ashland Street (Route 66). It's a tiny place near the campus of SOU. Truly Chowworthy, Waitstaff is some of the friendliest we've ever encountered, the handmade pastas and sauces are delicious, the portions generous and the prices very reasonable. Some nice local wines available. Desserts--terrific homemade ice cream and a standout marionberry/peach cobbler. They do get busy, get there early if you don't want to wait for a table.

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