The Gardner House Café, Slayton, Oregon

Rating of 4 spoonsThis was a nice find.  While returning from our Bad Road Trip, we drove through Slayton looking for someplace to eat. We came upon this large old house with a B&B/Café on one of the back streets of Slayton.  It was 5 minutes to 3 and they closed at 3, but they invited us in and seated us.

The owners are the Loftis family.  She has won numerous awards from cooking contests and county fairs in the area and his father was an Astronaut (John P Loftis, Jr.).  They had a lot of Astronaut memorabilia on display and were very friendly.

But the good part is the food was great… Plenty of chooses, although we had the specials. They serve breakfast and lunch as well as high tea and deserts.  If your or around Slayton, its well worth the stop.

The Gathering Spot, Silverton, Oregon

Rating of 4 spoonsIf your in the Silverton or Silver Falls area, this is a great place for lunch.  Janet had the turkey panini and I had the pulled pork.  Pulled pork was nice and spicy.  I got soup with mine, potato-bacon, and it was wonderful, and large, more than I could eat.

They serve breakfast and lunch, as well as coffee and pastries, so stop by and sample the goodies. They are on the main drag through town.

Marche, Eugene Oregon

Rating of 4 spoonsThis is a great restaurant, easily a 5 fork rating on the Martin scale. There are three locations in Eugene, we ate at the 5th Street Public Market location.

5th Street Public Market
296 East 5th Avenue
Eugene, Oregon 97401

We ate lunch here twice.  We don’t do dinners as often as lunches anymore.  Dinners servings usually have more food that we can or should eat in one setting, plus they are usually higher priced than lunches. But this restaurant provided some great choices.  We ate on a Friday and a Saturday, and the menu was slightly different each day.

Janet had the squash blossom pizza on Friday and the Willapa Bay Oysters on Saturday.  Since fried oysters are her favorite, they are a true test of the quality of a restaurant, Marche passed with flying colors.  On Friday I had a smoke pork sandwich and small salad.  They were both excellent, the salad dressing was house, strawberry, balsamic, vinaigrette. I usually don’t care a lot for vinaigrettes, but this was excellent.  Saturday was the Steak Frites, and it was one of the best done pieces of beef I have had in a long time… of course since I seldom eat red meat, getting a good one when I do is important. Two days, 4 excellent meals, $30 a day for both lunches, not bad…

If your in Eugene, you can’t go wrong with the Marche.

Eugene, Oregon

We have been in Eugene, Oregon all this week.  This is our second time down here this summer, we really like the place.  We are staying at Armitage Park, it is part of the Lane County Park system and very nice.  Located adjacent to the McKenzie River and close to Eugene and Springfield, just on the northern edge of town.

Eugene has a lot of nice restaurants, coffee shops, a really great walking section of town, organic markets, a Farmer’s market on the weekends, bike shops (our new hobby), thrift stores (our old hobby), and a great fly shop (my hobby).

It is a great place to ride bikes, plenty of trails and paths, without getting on the highways.  While traffic is a bear around here, they seem to be very respectful of bicycles. Lots of paved paths throughout the city, one along both banks of the Willamette River (Ruth Bascom Trail) and another along the Amazon Canal.

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Eugene Farmer’s market

Armitage County Park, Eugene, Oregon

This park is part of the Lance County Oregon park system and is located north of Eugene (Coburg) Oregon along the I-5 corridor.  It is located at eh junction of the McKenzie River and I-5.

Park Location & Description:
90064 Coburg Road
Eugene, OR 97408

Armitage Park includes 57 acres located 5 miles north of Eugene, Oregon, on the banks of the beautiful McKenzie River.

We had a full hookup site, most sites are large (58’X15’) with paved drives and full hookups.  There are some pull through sites, but most are back-ins.  Was a nice park, especially if you like to fish, the river is right there and fishing can be good, depending on river levels.

Armitage Park

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The McKenzie River adjacent to the park.

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Dinosaur Trail

We spend today taking some of the scenic drives around Moab.  One was the Dino Trail, the other the Potash Trail.  Both had great views and places to see dinosaur fossils, footprints, and petrographs. Here are some shots…

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Canyon Lands National Park, Island in the Sky District, UT

While not as spectacular as Arches, there is a lot to see here.  It is mostly close to the road with very short walks of a mile or less. You are on a high mesa above all the canyons, with great views down into them.  We had great weather and was able to get it all in during an afternoon.  Only 5 miles from the cut off to Dead Horse Point State Park.

2011-03-31 canyonlands2

Comb Ridge Café and Expresso, Bluff, Utah

While driving between Monument Valley, UT and Moab, UT, we stopped for coffee at a small town called Bluff, UT (pop 300).  The Frommer’s guide stated that they had basic services and it was a good place to stop.  The town is mostly populated by artists and artisan’s, about 60% of the shops in town are artist shops or galleries.  I think I have the name of the coffee shop correct, but you can’t be too confused, the town is too small to have much more than one.

The coffee shop was a pleasant surprise, they serve breakfast until 11:00, blue corn pancakes, which unfortunately I missed.  Starting March 31, 2011, they will be serving wood fired pizzas, which I also missed… Anyway, great coffee and very nicely decorated, besides coffee shop fare, they had a nice selection of artisan made jewelry, vintage native american jewelry, and native american pottery, as well as a nice selection of second hand books.

There are a couple of RV parks in Bluff, one across the street from the coffee shop looked the best, but were were moving on to Moab, so we didn’t stay here.

Bluff looked interesting enough that we plan a trip back there just to visit that area.  Its close to Monument Valley, Natural Bridge, Mexican Hat, and the 4 corners area, so it would be a good base camp area.  A very nice looking lodge and plenty of galleries and other quaint shops. A nice find in the middle of nowhere…

I must add that the scenery between Monument Valley and Moab is exceptional.  This is our first trip along this route and it has been beautiful. We have been stopping often to take pictures, but they do not show the magnificence and magnitude of the rock formations, it is breathtaking to see nature it all its glory.

Gateway Resturant and Lounge, Sequoia NP, CA

spoonfork_2The Gateway Restaurant and Lounge

I do not recommend this place.  The food is not bad, its OK, but the prices are outrageous in my opinion, at least for what you get.  I guess having the only fancy resturant outside the NP makes it worth it.  We sat on the patio overlooking the river, scenery was great.  I had a brger and fries for $12.95, good, but not great.  Service was good, friendly staff.  The price drove it from a 3 to a 2.  They even had a menu item and charge for turning on the propane heaters…

O’Holleran’s Resturant, Brooking, OR

spoonfork_2O’Holleran’s Resturant, Brookings, OR – April 2009

Address: 1210 Chetco Ave, Brookings, OR 97415

Phone: (541) 469-9907

Trip Advisor Reviews

Maybe they were having an off night when we were there, but it wasn’t as expected.  Admittedly, it gets great reviews for its steak and we aren’t steak eaters.  The decor was nice, great woodwork.  The wife had oysters and was not pleased, I had BBQ ribs and they were dry.  I can only give this place an average review.  Probably not a repeat performance, unless there isn’t much open in Brookings next time through.