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Cooking in Ashland!

Yummykake/Larry's Cakes: closed, sadly

In Grants Pass, the pies from The Upper Crust are not to be missed, although I can't swear they are vegetarian.

Dec 19, 2013
SCF in Pacific Northwest

Portland for the third time in a year -- lucky Van, BC CH returning in October with lots of eating targets

We just got back from PDX and can't wait to go back. Some excellent meals were had at:

* Irving St. Kitchen: Especially the charcuterie plate, with its amazing little jar of (IIRC) duck foie gras topped with gelled duck fat.

* Kin: Find of the trip. Chinese steamed buns with pork belly--think peking duck buns but with pork belly instead of duck. Oh so good, melt-in-the-mouth fat and pork. The duck and beef entrees hit just the right notes for Herself and me.

Beast: We finally got to Beast for a brunch, and it's just as good as at dinner, just a little quicker and more casual. If you've never been, *no* substitutions except for a few things that can be removed easily, and it's prix fixe, so you have to be happy eating what's put in front of you. But well worth the trip out to Concordia for it.

Genoa: amazing Classical Italian restaurant, with a truly knowledgeable and personable sommelier. Go here for that special night out. Mostly prix fixe, with choice of vegetarian or omnivore menus, and choice of secondi.

Little Bird: Le Pigeon's downtown little sister. Great marrow bones, and really loved the pork chop we had there last time.

Gruner: You know them, but I missed reading of the smashed fingerlings, the maultaschen, or the hazelnut-powdered donuts, which means you've missed three key items (or I missed it in reading your prior reports).

Castagna: MG gone nuts, but really inventive. I'd go there if I'd already gone to Genoa.

I'd recommend against the Heathman Restaurant. It gets raves at Yelp, but I can't imagine why; we found all courses very ordinary and of only average execution. Definitely missable.

Also skippable is 3 Doors Down, an okay neighborhood Italian restaurant. If you're in the area and don't want to bother looking around, it's fine, but expect really old-school preparations and fairly bland dishes.

You're already keyed into Laurelhurst, which was very good. Get some bacon and sausage for the next morning at the butcher counter before you go. Also leave time to look through Millennium Music across the street.

Looking forward to another excellent trip report from you!

Sep 16, 2012
SCF in Metro Portland

Your 10 Essential Cookbooks?

Growing Up On The Chocolate Diet, Lora Brody -- Memoir with recipes, but the few recipes more than put it near the top of my list

Joy of Cooking, older editions, before the nervous nutritional nellies got hold of the text

The Way To Cook, Julia Child

Fannie Farmer cookbook--tried and true

Cooking in Ten Minutes, Edouard de Pomaine--not a bit list of recipes, but lost of good advice on attitude and approach

Fear of Cooking, Robert Scher

Silver Palate Cookbook, Rosso and Lukins

A Taste of Ancient Rome, Ilaria Giacosa--it's a pain to try to adapt pre-Fannie Farmer recipes to modern measures and cooking practices, but it's a really interesting look at how we got to where we are.

That's my desert-island-with-a-Zabar's list.

Aug 19, 2012
SCF in Home Cooking

Uniquely Oregon with easy access from the East

It's a little bit off 84, but for only-to-be-found-in-Portland I'd try to get to Beast. Amazing fixed menu, different each night. No substitutions and make reservations NOW, but that would be my first choice. They also do brunch on weekends.

Aug 19, 2012
SCF in Metro Portland

Pie in Portland

The Original also has amazing chicken fried steak, which is made with flat iron steak instead of the usual bottom round, so it's more like eating a deep-fried ribeye than a deep-fried hockey puck.

Aug 19, 2012
SCF in Metro Portland

Road Trip

Voodoo Doughnuts in Eugene--Maple Bacon Bar is a must!

Cozmic Pizza in Eugene. Note that this is a blind recommendation--they had a store in Ashland that was our favorite pizza almost anywhere, but they closed (bad location). Their Orion pizza, with pesto instead of tomato sauce, was divine.

Aug 19, 2012
SCF in Pacific Northwest

In Portland this Sunday Night - fabulous seafood restaurant (uspscale or lively)

Not sure what you mean by "lively", but we've really enjoyed Cabezon. Riffle recently got plugged in the Seattle Times.

Aug 19, 2012
SCF in Metro Portland

Food near Crater lake,

It's hard to eat for under $10pp and not eat at major chains (Taco Bell, etc.) in much of the Rogue Valley. A couple of places come to mind:

* Milagro's: new Mex/Southwest Chipotle-almost clone, in Ashland near Market of Choice. Almost a clone of Chipotle--same menu, same style, organic veg and hormone-free meat. $8 per burrito, etc. Chips extra.

* Agave, downtown Ashland. More Mex/Southwestern, individual items well under $5, you could probably eat there under $10pp and drink water (which is very good in Ashland). I'd go there before Milagro's, for tastiness, but the portions per dollar will be smaller.

* The fried chicken at Food 4 Less in Medford is surprisingly good, according to Herself who is knowledgeable about such things. (No, really. Stop laughing and go try it!) Also a good place to stock up on cheap supplies.

* Martolli's Pizza, also in downtown Ashland, is excellent, and likely meets your $10pp limit (split a pie or get a couple of slices).

* Louie's, also downtown Ashland, has decent burgers and general bar food.

* Ruby's, on Pioneer in Ashland, has pretty good breakfast options that should be under $10pp. Morning Glory is better, but more like $12pp; but huge portions.

Aug 19, 2012
SCF in Pacific Northwest

Coquina, Ashland, Oregon

As an ex-Bay Area person who has been visiting Ashland since the early 1990s and living between here and the SFBA since early 2000s, I'm with dogenjoe. I'd happily match Coquina against Amuse, Peerless (rarely high on my lists), Smithfield, or any other place in Ashland and against many in San Francisco. The service is friendly without becoming chummy, and the quality of the food--presentation, preparation, taste--is right at the top. The menu is innovative compared to many other restaurants--c'mon, when is the last time Amuse made a major menu change? Amuse is still where I take out-of-town friends and relatives who are not particularly adventurous or want a more formal meal, but Coquina (and Smithfields, for a different experience) is where I go for a really good meal that will have a better chance of surprising me, pleasantly, in at least some aspect.

As far as "mainstream" goes, I saw a statistic that Ashland gets something like 120,000 visitors a year. With a local population of 21,000, mainstream is the tourists, not the locals. So if Coquina, with a small number of tables, is catering to the tourists to make their numbers, that sounds like a good business decision. Yes, I'd like more at the prices of Munchies or Pangea, but that's the economy we live in. I can't fault Coquina's owners for that.

Jun 24, 2011
SCF in Pacific Northwest

Best CHEAP Food in the South Bay??

In Palo Alto, The Counter (a burger and drink should run under $10) and Med Wraps, both on California Avenue, are excellent. Also Homma's Sushi (just off California, behind Primo Cleaners) and Cho's (for great potstickers).

In Mountain View, Taqueria La Bamba for carnitas burritos (Old Middlefield Way), Kauai Grill (for the Kalbi ribs), Taqueria Los Charros (for cheap, greasy Mexican), Bean Scene (sandwiches, pasties), Gyro's House (Greek), Hong Kong Bakery (passably good dim sum).

In Sunnyvale, Giovanni's for the chicken parmagiana sandwich (the pizza is good, too.)

Jan 31, 2007
SCF in San Francisco Bay Area

Amazing Non-Tasting Menu at Manresa

The three-course dinner appears to be history. I was there last Thursday, and the choices were four course ($85; add $52 for wine pairings) and the tasting menu ($115; I don't recall the price of the wine pairings). Dinner was excellent, as usual. I recommend (if it's being served) the abalone starter ($10 addition) and the chocolate souffle.

Jan 31, 2007
SCF in San Francisco Bay Area