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.

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.

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.

Blackfish Cafe, Lincoln City, OR

spoonfork_4Blackfish Cafe, Lincoln City, OR – April 2009

Address: 2733 NW Hwy. 101, Lincoln City, OR 97367

Phone: 541-996-1007

Trip Advisor Reviews

This place gets mixed reviews on Trip Advisor, but the night we were there, it was superb.  Wife had the clam Chowder and declared it EXCEPTIONAL. She also had the fried oysters, they were much better than the preivious night at O’halloran’s.  I had the pork loin, very good.  The servings were large, food well done, service very good. We’ll be back at this place again, next trip to Lincoln City.

It’s a small cafe, but well done.  Great wine selection.  Staff was friendly and professional.  didn’t hover over us, but there when we expected.

La Rambla, McMinnville, OR

spoonfork_3Tucked away in the heart of Oregon wine country, La Rambla is creating its own traditions by combining the best of Spanish cuisine with Northwest inspired freshness and flavor. We invite you to come and share a meal with us. La Rambla offers dozens of hot and cold ‘tapas’- traditional Spanish appetizers that are perfect alone as a meal or easily shared with others. Our wine list features over 200 selections from vineyards throughout Oregon and Spain in addition to sophisticated cocktails and spirits. La Rambla’s dining room is the ideal location for any get-together- whether for a special dinner or an evening out with friends, we hope you will stroll by and see us soon!

RESERVATIONS 503.435.2126

We stopped here while visiting the McMinnville Framer’s Market.  Lot’s of Tapa’s, both hot and cold and a great wine list.  We had 3 or 4 tapas rather than an entree, got the mini-buffalo burgers, teh platter of roasted peppers, the olive plate and another I have forgotten.

Great food and the tapas are really big.  They had a couple of others on the menu we want to try next time we are in town, but we didn’t get back during the weekend.  Next time we are down, its a definite repeat. Great service, friendly staff.  We sat at the bar and the bartenders were very helpful.  Got my first taste of the Three Wives Red and bought a case at the local wine shop the next day.

La Sierra Mexican Resturant, Dundee, OR

spoonfork_4Dundee and the surrounding area has plenty of upscale resturants, but after a day of sipping wine in the various wineries, if you just want to relax, kick back, and have a great meal, this is the place.

La Sierra
810 Highway 99
Dundee, OR
(503) 554-1562

Atmosphere is your average mexican resturant, but the food is great, and I do mean great.  My wife is not a mexican food fan, I can eat it 3 times a day 7 days a week, but not her, so she limits intake on my part. But she read about this place on line and so after a long day of shopping, we stopped by for dinner.  With wine and beer, 2 entrees and an appetizer, it was $31, so the price is good.  Most large plate entrees were less than $10.

The service was excellent, food outstanding, what else could you ask for.  I give it 3 stars and will be back again when I am in the area.

The Fishwife Seafood Resturant

spoonfork_4The Fishwife Seafood Resturant, 5328 North Lombard Street, Portland, Oregon 97203, 503-285-7150,

We just chanced on this great little resturant while out looking for a place to eat.  We were camping on Sauvie Island and started into Portland to find a place to eat and discovered this place.  Not much for atomsphere, more like a diner, but the food is excellent, we went back on the following night also.  They claim their clam chowder is the best, so I sampled that on Firday night and they were right, its excellent. I actually had the Shrimp and Clam Chowder, chowder with fresh oregon bay shrimp on top. I had the special pasta on Thursday night and it was so good, my wife had it Friday night.

We got there about 8:00 PM both nights, Thursday it was relatively sparse, but Friday was still rather crowded.  Service suffered a little on Friday, but was still very good.

Their specials are for the week and they had about 5 specials with fish of the week, pasta, steak, etc.  They have an extensive regular menu focused on seafood, but included sandwiches, salads, chicken, and steak also.

While we didn’t try it all, we were very pleased with the selections we did order.  Prices are reasonable, dinner for two with wine and/or beer was $30.00, service is good, and while the atomsphere is a liitle funky, its entertaining and worth the stop. Rating: 3.7 out of 5.

Gardner’s Seafood and Pasta – Olympia, WA

spoonfork_5Gardner’s Seafood and Pasta in Olympia, WA is one of our favorite places to eat. While living in Olympia for over 15 years we have seen the ownership of this small family owned business change 3 times, but the menu remains relatively constant, and the quality remains exceptional. It is small, so reservations are in order and you should plan a week or so ahead of time, it stays pretty busy. As the name implies, its seafood and pasta, great deserts and a quality wine selection. Always a fresh fish special, and usually appetizer and desert specials. Entrees run $25-$30, a meal for two, with wine, desert, etc will run $65-$75 in 2007 dollars. The Chicken Pepperonici is one of my favorites. So if you live in Olympia, or the next time your visiting give it a try. 5 out of 5 Link to review