April 15 2009

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.

March 18 2009

Bear Mountain Lodge, Silver City, NM

Things to do…

Spend your days hiking and biking. Bring binoculars — more than 300 kinds of birds are found here. Enjoy a tour of The Nature Conservancy’s nearby Gila and Mimbres river nature preserves. The resident naturalists offers activities and hikes that examine the area’s abundant wildlife. Nearby Silver City also offers colorful shops, galleries and a wealth of history.

Accomodations …

Bear Mountain Lodge offers eleven luxuriously furnished rooms, hardwood floors, handcrafted southwestern and Mission-style furnishings, private baths and a delicious home-cooked breakfast. The rooms are housed in three distinct buildings. Six rooms are in the two-story Lodge,four are housed in the adjacent Myra’s Retreat (named for the former owner, Myra McCormick) and The Wren’s Nest guesthouse offers a private getaway with an efficiency kitchen. Enjoy the comfort of our conservation-minded furniture,which was locally crafted from small-diameter sustainably harvested trees from nearby forests.

We stayed in the Wren’s Nest, it had a queen bed, small bath, and a kitchenette. We wanted the kitechentte to be able to prepare some of our ownmeals, mainly due to dietary restrictions, but it wasn’t really necessary, as the lodge provided really good meals. Our friends stayed in one of the rooms in Myra’s Retreat.  They had a king bed, large bath, and the retreat has a common sitting room, with a firplace and morning coffee.

Information …

At Bear Mountain Lodge you can relax under a star-filled sky, discover Silver City’s galleries and historic buildings, bike high mountain trails and savor the mouthwatering meals. Come to explore, learn or just to relax at this unique bed and breakfast.

Breakfast is provided, sack lunches and dinner available at additional cost. We ate dinner there 3 of the 4 evenings and they were great.  Good food, local produce, much of it organic, well prepared. We didn’t try the sack lunch, but the menu looked good.  We usually snacked or got our lunch on the road.

Snacks are available all day and consist of cookies, coffee, tea, etc.  The lodge is open and provides a very well stocked library, and a PC for internet access.  They also have wireless available in the lodge.

We did make all the hikes on the property, mostly to work off the snacks, and they are a great way to view the natural beauty of the area. A day trip to the Gila Cliff Dwellings, another to search out used book stores in Silver City, other than that, it was jusst relax, read, and rejuvenate.

This is a great place to come, enjoy nature, and recharge your batteries.  Enjoy excursions in the area, enough to keep everyone’s interest up and yet not over stimulate…

August 6 2008

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.

July 19 2008

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.

June 23 2008

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.

April 20 2008

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

April 20 2008

Los Somberos – Tempe, AZ

spoonfork_4Los Sombreros in Scottsdale, AZ is a great mexican resturant. I can eat mexican food 3 times a day, 7 days a week, but my wife likes more variety. Actually, she only likes mexican food sparingly. But Los Somberos offers a selection that keeps us both happy. Located on Scottsdale Road, south of downtown, its a small resturant, with outdoor seating. The interior is small, so pick a nice comfortable evening and sit outside, the wait is a lot less lengthy. But, if you want inside the wait is worth it. The selections here are different, while they have some standard mexican fare, most are recipes from southern mexico. The portions are ample we usually get two meals out of it. Great drinks and the staff are very friendly Entrees are $15-$20, the Chile Rellenos are a personal favorite. Next time your in town, give it a try. 4 out of 5 Link to web site

April 20 2008

Stephanie Inn – Cannon Beach, OR

bed_5This is a great place to stay. Its our favorite weekend getaway or anytime to get away for that matter. Located in Cannon Beach, Oregon, right on the Ocean its a peaceful and luxurious time. The rooms have queen and king beds, fireplace, jacuzzi for 2 in a large bathroom, siting areas, dvd, cd players, and small refrigerators. They are comfortable and nicely decorated. Rates are seasonal and run from $175-$600 depending on the room. They have special packages and special rates at different times of the year. Rates include breakfast and an evening wine tasting. Cookies and coffee are always out for guests. There is a resturant that has a 7 course meal, reservations recommended. We usually get a first floor ocean side room, they usually run around $300-500 a night. The staff are exceptional. We compare all other places to the professional, courteous, and helpful attitude of the staff at the Inn, nobody comes close. They give the word customer service new meaning. Cannon Beach is an artsy community, lots to look at down town in all the shops and art galleries, but let’s face it, your not going there to see Cannon Beach. The Inn will provide a log and wine for a fire and drinks on the beach at sunset, so give it a try. I highly recommend this for your next romantic getaway. 5 out of 5 Web site link

April 20 2008

Lemon Grass – Olympia, WA

spoonfork_5The Lemon Grass on 4th Ave, Olympia WA is one of our favorite Asian resturants. It is a small resturant, so dress warm and bring your umbrella, you may have to wait outside for a table. The wait is worth it and they usually move people trhough rather effectively. The menu selection is a combination of Vietnamese and Thai, with some outstanding items. My wife loves the Walnut Prawns, I love it all. The quality can vary slightly depending on who is cooking. The original owner and cook is there most of the time and is great, but lately she has taken some family time and while still good, it can lack some of her oomph and flare. We love Asian food and can truthfully say this is one of the best in the world that we have eaten at. Its always a pleasure. 4 out of 5 Link to Savoryfaire recommendations

April 20 2008

TICOZ – Phoenix, AZ

spoonfork_4Ticoz, 5114 7th Street, Phoenix is a great place to eat. They have a diverse electic menu that lets me and the wife have plenty of options for our varied eating pleasures. Its menu is laced with latin favorites, salads, and some great appetizers. The friends we went with raved about the hamburgers, but that is definitely out of my dietary range. I got the chop chop salad, after a hardy queso appetizer, my wife got the enchildas. Both were great. 3.5 out of 5 Web link to Ticoz