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Saint Cupcake replacement?

Does she understand that buttercream means BUTTER and CREAM? So many bakers seem to be trying to be low carb/fat/etc that the point of it being a treat (vs. a staple) is lost.

Feb 05, 2014
w0x0f in Metro Portland

Saint Cupcake replacement?

We didn't try Quin or Cupcake Jones this last trip, but may later. The vegan/gf place down from Gruner (Petunia?) didn't cut it.

Feb 04, 2014
w0x0f in Metro Portland

Ashland Oregon, Early 2014 Update

They are all still there. Lark's recently changed menus and kept some, dropped some including the fried chicken at lunch (grrr...)

Feb 04, 2014
w0x0f in Pacific Northwest

Saint Cupcake replacement?

Thanks, we'll give them a try. Herself won't do filled, but it looks like the minis are not filled, which may work.

Jan 29, 2014
w0x0f in Metro Portland

Saint Cupcake replacement?

With Saint Cupcake closed, is there a good replacement in downtown or a reasonable bus/Max ride therefrom? The rotating cupcake at Quin doesn't cut it since it's a) one flavor a day and b) none of the cake/frosting combinations we crave.

Jan 29, 2014
w0x0f in Metro Portland

Ashland Oregon, Early 2014 Update

The OSF season opening is in just over three weeks. 2013 was a hard year on Ashland restaurants; some good changes, but some significant losses.

GONE:

* Alex's Plaza Restaurant: Closed just last week. No word yet on any replacements.

* Boulton & Sons: Gone. Replaced by The Lunch Show.

* CJ's Bistro: Apparently closed--menu and website are down, business listed as being for sale.

* Happy Falafel: Closed, replaced by Campus Grill. We will miss their fries!

* Munchies: Closed. Space absorbed by Mix.

CHANGES:

* Amuse: Reliable rumor has it that they will start serving lunch in 2014. We ate there during a couple of their test lunches and it was excellent and competitively priced vs. Larks or Standing Stone. Fries so good they might assuage the loss of Happy Falafel's fries.

* Chateaulin: Still in limbo. A notice for application for a liquor license was posted in September, and there have been signs of construction, but still not open.

* Deli Downstairs: Expanded into the former Larry's Cupcake space.

* Mix: Moved all their baking operations downstairs into the former Munchie's space. Upstairs is now all seating and the coffee bar.

* Playwright: Apparently on the market (http://www.realtytrac.com/property/or...). Anybody want to buy a pub?

NEW:

* Alchemy Restaurant and Bar: Replaced the prior restaurant at the Winchester Inn. DInners most days and Sunday brunch. We haven't been yet but reviews are generally positive.

* Campus Grill: In the former Happy Falafel space, owned by the same people who own and run Red Zone.

* Oberon's Three-Penny Tavern: On the Plaza. Renaissance-themed tavern. Music and drink, not much food.

* Salame: On the Plaza in the former Grilla Bites location. Meat, meat, more meat in a general Mediterranean setting. Really good, especially the charcuterie.

* Sammich: Sandwich restaurant opened by former chefs from Cucina Biazzi. Good stuff, way way way above most of the other sandwich-only places in town. They're down on Bridge Street, just off Siskiyou.

* The Lunch Show: In the former Boulton and Sons space, providing some competition for Sammich and Deli Downstairs. Menu changes daily--I mean, the ENTIRE menu changes daily.

Cross your fingers for 2014!

Jan 29, 2014
w0x0f in Pacific Northwest

Planning Portland/Willamette Valley Trip

Lots of great recommendations here, let me add a few:

Beast: Great prix fixe tasting menu, generally meat-centric. Communal tables but in a high-end way. No a la carte menu at all, so check the sample menus before booking.

Pok Pok: Thai as Thai should be done. Amazing wings and noodles. Be prepared to wait in line; lunch is a good option.

Little Bird: Usually the first place we hit for dinner just after we arrive. Bone marrow, great cocktails, bistro atmosphere.

Le Pigeon: Little Bird's big sister, a little higher-end French.

Screen Door: Canonical brunch, fried chicken (boneless, alas) and waffles enough to stuff anyone. Long lines typical.

Gruner: Not your father's biergarten. Modern German; traditional dishes like Maultaschen or Bratwurst, but simpler presentations. Great selection of German wines.

The Original: Yeah, I know. But the chicken fried steak that uses a flat iron steak instead of the usual chewy cube steak is really excellent.

Higgins: Good old-school French. Been around forever and with good reason.

Food carts: Since you'll be there when the weather is good, you should try the food carts at 10th & Alder. First recommendation is Nong's Khao Man Gai, a poached chicken dish with a slightly tangy sauce. It sounds bland but it's sublime.

PSU Farmer's Market: Another good fair-weather stop, if only because it has the original outlet of Pine Street Biscuits. Fried chicken on a biscuit, what's not to like?

Bollywood Theater: Great Indian street food. No tandoori or many curries, but a lot of great things you might eat while walking through a street market (they have tables, no worries). Especially the kati rolls and the fried sliced okra.

Salt and Straw: RIght next to Bollywood, great and unusual ice creams (strawberry and balsamic, coffee and bourbon, pear with blue cheese).

There's another Pine State Biscuit up near Bollywood and Salt & Straw, in case you're peckish for another Reggie.

Genoa: High-end Italian. Reminds me a lot of more East Coast restaurants. Excellent wines, well-matched to the food.

Castagna: MG gone mad, but if you're into that, it's a good place for it.

Olympic Provisions: Mad good charcuterie. Lots of restaurants use their meats, but a trip to the mothership is always good.

Jan 29, 2014
w0x0f in Metro Portland

Manresa's Tomato Modernista Dinner [Los Gatos]

I've been to a couple of Tomato Modernistas and Citrus Modernistas, and they've generally been excellent. Were it not for Portland Feast being the same weekend, I'd probably look at going, even though I no longer live in the SFBA.

I can't recall any plates as bad as bbulkow's; did you send it back, or otherwise complain, and did staff address the problem?

Manresa has gotten more expensive, but I've been told that they will still do the "old" menu 3 or 4 course dinner if one asks.

I'd make the trip from LA, but I'd be torn on road trip or flying to SJC.

While you're in the BA, you should try Commis, which is run by the chef who used to run the Pig Dinners at Manresa. Those were memorable meals.

Jun 10, 2013
w0x0f in San Francisco Bay Area

best 1 quart saucepan under $50?

Is it compatible with induction? If you put a magnet against the bottom, does it hold or fall off?

Feb 23, 2013
w0x0f in Cookware

Ashland, Early 2013 Update

Hey, sorry! Didn't mean to leave you hanging on your own!

CJ's gets mixed reviews on Yelp, and I haven't tried it yet, so can't comment on them. Red Hibiscus: yeah, was really looking forward to good Hawaiian. I go to NoHo's in Medford or Kobe for my kalbi ribs fix.

A good gyro would be a good thing. I like the ones at Happy Falafel, but somehow rarely seem to get there.

Very happy that Chipotle is now open in Medford! I like that Milagro's is attempting to be a "healthy" version of them, but when I want Chipotle, I want the whole thing--crazy salty chips, the carnitas with fajita veg, etc.

Links for this thread:

http://www.yelp.com/biz/umi-sushi-ashland-ashland-2

http://www.ashlandspringshotel.com/larks-restaurant

http://www.cjsbistroashland.com

http://smithfieldsashland.com

http://starsushiashland.yolasite.com

http://www.nohos.com

http://thaipepper-kobe.com/kobe/index.html

http://www.happyfalafel.com

http://www.chipotle.com/en-US/Default.aspx

http://www.milagrosashland.com

Feb 23, 2013
w0x0f in Pacific Northwest

Ashland, Early 2013 Update

The OSF season officially opened tonight, so it seems like a good time to give an update of what's changed with Ashland's restaurants.

GONE:

* Chateaulin (& Chateaulin Bistro): Closed last fall. It's been on the market since late last year, and the realtor shows a "sale pending" mark on the listing, so keep a good thought that the space will be humming again this year.

* Grilla Bites: Closed. No new tenant in that space yet.

* Larry's Cupcakes: Larry moved to Eugene to be closer to family.

* Munchie's: Closed a few weeks ago. Mix reportedly will be taking over the space to expand their wholesale baking operations, and to allow expanded seating in their main shop.

* Old Farmhouse: Opened briefly last year down by Albertson's, but closed just recently (the whole chain closed). Not sure if it's permanent or not.

CHANGES:

* Hana Sushi: Replaced by Umi Sushi, which appears to be a little more all-Japanese (no Korean/Chinese that I noticed). Mothership appears to be in Jacksonville.

* Larks did a remodel; nothing drastic, just a little more modern, a little less feminine. The original chef (Damon Jones) is back, with a somewhat revised menu.

* Red Hibiscus: Replaced by CJ's Bistro, a burger/sandwich/soup shop.

* Smithfield's is now doing lunch on weekdays. Killer reuben and fries.

NEW:

* Star Sushi: Ashland is awash is Japanese! New hole-in-the wall on East Main across from Bloomsbury Books. Haven't tried them yey, but looks promising.

That's the short list; more details as we try the new ones later this year.

Feb 22, 2013
w0x0f in Pacific Northwest

best 1 quart saucepan under $50?

All-Clad has a great 1.5 quart at $79.95 (Amazon). Not quite what you spec'd, but worth a look.

Feb 22, 2013
w0x0f in Cookware

Cooking in Ashland!

In addition to bbqboy's excellent lists, add Jacksonville Mercantile to your odd ingredients sources. We've found lots of things that we would have gotten at Allyson's (RIP) or off Amazon, or a trip the the Bay Area.

http://www.jacksonvillemercantile.com/

Feb 15, 2013
w0x0f in Pacific Northwest

Ashland for three days

I've tried Milagro's a couple of times, but the "healthy Mexican fast food thing" doesn't work for me. I wouldn't eat there regularly, as the food is too bland; when I want Chipotle, I save it up for when I'm in Medford and go to the Chipotle there. When I just want a little Mexican, it's Agave; best chips anywhere, salty and deliciously greasy!

Feb 15, 2013
w0x0f in Pacific Northwest

Ashland for three days

Coquina, on A Street. Better duck or scallops are not to be found in Ashland.

Morning Glory for breakfast or lunch, but allow plenty of time for the wait. Full portions will keep you loaded up for your trip.

Smithfield's is excellent for meat, and they have a few vegetarian options if that's a factor. They are also doing lunch weekdays and brunch on weekends. Excellent fried chicken, reuben is not to be missed if it's on the specials.

Taroko is for excellent San Francisco-inspired Asian (mostly Japanese, some Korean and Chinese). Owners are from the SFBay area. Xiao long bao, hamachi collar. Happy hour after 9.

Kobe is the other excellent Asian choice; Korean short ribs, excellent sushi.

Taj does classic big-city Indian lunch buffet, and a la carte dinner service.

Feb 15, 2013
w0x0f in Pacific Northwest

"Local" focused Restaurants and Inns/B&Bs in or near Ashland, Oregon?

Standing Stone Brewery is raising their own poultry locally, and sourcing local beef.

Coquina, on A Street.

Larks, which is in the Ashland Springs Hotel, but tries to source local produce.

Side trip: Crater Lake, not to be missed if you don't come this way often. Rim Drive is closed until early summer.

Feb 15, 2013
w0x0f in Pacific Northwest

Best restaurants in Medford, Oregon?

Does any of the commercially fished seafood from Crescent City (the nearest harbor with a commercial fishing fleet) make it fresh to the Rogue Valley? If not, it doesn't matter if we're two hours or two days; the seafood will have been frozen.

Feb 15, 2013
w0x0f in Pacific Northwest

Best restaurants in Medford, Oregon?

Recommended at Taroko: the hamachi collar, the xaio long bao, any of the other dumplings, much of the sushi, and the Mongolian beef. I've only missed there on the tofu-based items, probably because I'm not a fan of tofu.

Jul 12, 2012
w0x0f in Pacific Northwest

Best restaurants in Medford, Oregon?

I don't get the recommendations for Jacksonville Inn. Been there; seems dated, and the food and service seemed definitely targeted at tourists who don't know the area.

The owners of Taroko in Ashland are ex-San Francisco, and seem to have brought Bay Area Asian with them. Coquina on A Street is excellent. A lot of the others...well, I wouldn't be eating at Coi or Manresa every night anyway; I think for what's available here, it's at least priced well vs. the Bay Area.

Jul 12, 2012
w0x0f in Pacific Northwest

Best restaurants in Medford, Oregon?

Taroko (62 E. Main) is excellent and open late most nights. Sushi not as inexpensive as Hana, however, but most regular rolls are fairly priced.

Jun 30, 2012
w0x0f in Pacific Northwest

Return Trip: Help me narrow down my dinners

Word on the Beast move is sometime after Labor Day; I was *promised* by Ms. Pomeroy on our most recent visit (March 2012) that it wouldn't interfere with an early September planned trip. And, it's very easy to ignore other diners at the same table, probably easier to ignore them than to draw them in. So I wouldn't let that stop me (we are also very much NOT communal table people).

May 23, 2012
w0x0f in Metro Portland

Return Trip: Help me narrow down my dinners

We were at Castagna in mid-March of this year, and it was still excellent. Very, very modern; very, very MG. Still, it was >$300 for two with wine and tip for the large tasting menu, so be prepared. We'd go back again, but probably do the smaller menu. If you like places like Manresa (Los Gatos), you'll probably like Castagna.

Also highly recommended: Genoa. Very Washington D.C./East Coast polished. Creative wine choices, well-explained. Not too pretentious: the waiter joined in on a "Portlandia"-inspired joke about the provenance of ingredients in one dish.

Beast: one of our go-to places in Portland. Ignore the communal-table aspect; it's quite possible to ignore one's tablemates and not feel out of place. The food is excellent, but they are very serious about the no-substitutions rules. I think they loosened them up a bit for simple ingredients easily left out (e.g., a sprinkle of cheese left off a salad), but you should definitely call them first. Still, a top recommendation.

Not on your list: Gruner. Amazing modern (read: not biergarten) German. Definitely budget-savvy, as one can get good, affordable wines and appetizers that will dreamily fill but not break the bank. Quiet enough for conversation. Highly recommended.

I *love* the chicken-fried steak at The Original downtown; it's a nice flat-iron steak, not that nasty chewy stuff one usually gets, and is just excellent with a maple-bacon milkshake. Herself usually finds stuff to eat there; there is a broad range. I wouldn't burn a dinner on it, but definitely a brunch or breakfast.

Ned Ludd: we'll go back, if only for the wicked take they do on S'Mores, but the pork belly was just wrong (as in, grilled instead of braised or otherwise slow-cooked, so the fat was just Not Right), but the maple-glazed bacon was exceptional. We've only been once; might be an appetizer-place, or dessert after a Reggie at the (fairly close) Pine State Biscuits.

Two dinners and blow the budget: Tough choice, but probably Genoa and Castagna. A little more budget-savvy, Beast and Gruner. I'd happily eat at any of these again.

May 23, 2012
w0x0f in Metro Portland

Portland: just one night, first time there, one meal, so many choices- help!

I'd say Little Bird; amazing French bistro, great charcuterie, has marrow bones almost every night, usually open Mondays but apparently closed on the 28th.

http://littlebirdbistro.com/

May 23, 2012
w0x0f in Metro Portland

I-5 food from southern Oregon to Seattle

Seconded (and thirded; their portions are huge!). Lunch is excellent. Highly recommended: the rock shrimp omelet (incredibly dark-savory, with the bacon and pepperjack), also the lamb burger (get it "old style", with the tomato chutney instead of the new mint stuff).

Also Smithfield's, up on Second Street in downtown, does great brunches and now lunches. "Neil's Brekkie" or anything with their amazing fried chicken will keep you going for many exits up I-5.

May 23, 2012
w0x0f in Pacific Northwest

Best restaurants in Medford, Oregon?

Yeah, I just don't get the local fascination with Senor Sam's. My friends who like it talk about how healthy it is; maybe that's the case, as the carnitas, at least, the one time we were there, was just in a steam table bucket and was wet with no crispness or fat at all.

I much prefer Agave, although I tell them to leave the pico off as it's way, way too wet. I have yet to find a good source of burritos-the-size-of-your-forearm in the Ashland area, as one would find in the Bay Area almost anywhere, but that's just life.

May 23, 2012
w0x0f in Pacific Northwest

Best restaurants in Medford, Oregon?

Pizza: Martolli's (on the Plaza, in Ashland) does a great set of pies, especially the meat-heavy ones.

Breakfast: Morning Glory and/or Smithfield's. I know some people who swear by Breadboard, but Morning Glory and Smithfield's are where I put my money.

Asian (Japanese/Chinese): Kobe or Taroko, although I think the edge goes to Taroko.

Italian: Cucina Biazzi. Yes, it's prix fixe, but it's excellent.

Hawaiian: NoHo's in Medford. Classic teenage boy food, especially the Korean Ribs; very similar to what one would get at J&J or L&L in the Bay Area.

I've enjoyed a couple of meals at 38 Central, but it's an appetizer restaurant: the kind of place where you'll be happier if you order a bunch of appetizers instead of the mains.

Hana Sushi (after they re-open) for inexpensive sushi, especially the evil, fried stuff like their Michigan roll.

Smithfield's for giant-slab-o'meat dinners. But order the charcuterie plate, and the duck cassoulet or the buttermilk fried chicken, and you'll be a happy eater.

Ashland's best restaurants are geared toward well-heeled tourists from the Bay Area, Portland, and Seattle. There are good places more off the beaten track, but they are harder to find.

May 22, 2012
w0x0f in Pacific Northwest

Best restaurants in Medford, Oregon?

Lela's is no more, R.I.P. Been replaced for over a year now by Playwrights, a British-style pub; although I'm not into them, they appear to be a big hit with the locals. Maybe it's the trivia night?

May 22, 2012
w0x0f in Pacific Northwest

Best restaurants in Medford, Oregon?

Lots of the "dumps" are dying off. Look in Ashland at some of the restaurants that have closed recently, and the ones that are doing well.

I'm mystified by your attitude about Morning Glory; have you never had their lamb burger, or corned beef hash, or chicken fried steak, or any of the other meat-centric dishes that fill the menu? It's not at all like the one in Eugene.

May 22, 2012
w0x0f in Pacific Northwest

Best restaurants in Medford, Oregon?

Amuse is our go-to place when older relatives who want nice wine, white linen service, and predictably excellent but predictable food are in town. It's very, very good, but it's not going to amaze with innovativeness.

I think Coquina (A St., near 4th) is more like the old Firefly (when they were in Amuse's space, before the fatal move to the Plaza). Constantly changing menu, always tinkering with tastes and platings. It's where I'd go with more adventurous diners.

Standing Stone got a new chef a year or a bit more ago, and he's shaken it up a bit. Give them another try.

May 22, 2012
w0x0f in Pacific Northwest

Best restaurants in Medford, Oregon?

Taroko. Seriously, if you haven't been there, you need to try it. It is *not* cheap Chinese. like Chun's used to be, but it is really, really good, especially if you like dumplings.

May 22, 2012
w0x0f in Pacific Northwest