Weekend of Interest,Roadfood, Traveling Man and Cirque du Soleil

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mr chips
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2012/11/03 14:01:57 (permalink)

Weekend of Interest,Roadfood, Traveling Man and Cirque du Soleil

A week ago Trudy and I spent an interesting weekend filled with road food, a visit from a longtime road food friend, and  show from one of my favorite group of artists.it was quite fun weekend and I'm really happy to share it with you.
       Day 1
               Trudy and i started out from Portland and drove directly to Cottage Grove, Oregon(125 miles south of portland and  15 miles south of Eugene) to Big Stuff barbecue. This is a road food reviewed place located in downtown Cottage Grove, a short drive from I-5. The owners have their own smoker and the barbecue is quite good. My brisket with sauce was spicy and tangy and smokey, a surprise because it was so unexpectedly good and in such an unlikely place. Trudy had a barbecued chicken which was smokey and very good. The baked beans were sweet and tangy and Trudy's coleslaw better than normal. The owners are two brothers who were convivial, happy to talk barbecue,and happy to see their place reviewed online. The place was not well known to foodies in Eugene but it is quite a spot and well worth a visit if you are driving down I-5 or in the Eugene area and looking for good food. Thanks to roadfooder jim Scheppke who wrote the review and put the place on the radar for roadfooders.
      My  evening was spent at the Cirque du Soleil show Quiddam, presented at the Matthew Knight aren on the University of oregon campus. This is my ninth Cirque show and it is one of the oldest, first presented in 1994. It was filled with dance, skipping rope,aerial dynamics(no trapeze this time)sic) and the usual(to me) interesting comedy. It was great evening and worth the drive and time.
post edited by mr chips - 2012/12/01 18:49:03
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    mar52
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    Re: Weekend of Interest,Roadfood, Traveling Man and Cirque du Soleil 2012/11/03 19:08:17 (permalink)
    Nice!
     
    I've only been to one Cirque du Soleil.  They were pulling people out of the audience which means to me... Never return!
    #2
    mr chips
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    Re: Weekend of Interest,Roadfood, Traveling Man and Cirque du Soleil 2012/11/10 20:56:58 (permalink)
    Day 2 of our trip started with an excellent conversation with the overnight clerk at our hotel. She was an intelligent and thoughtful foodie filled with recommendations of places to eat in the Eugene area, a place where i don't spend much time. The winner for Trudy and me turned out to be Daisy's, a wonderful place  in Veneta, 20 miles west of Eugene on the highway to the coast. Owner Nordom makes the greatest biscuits and gravy, flavored with lots of real bacon along with perfect gravy. Nordom was waiting tables and doing all the cooking so a couple of the regulars helped him by refilling coffee and seating customers.People were open and friendly and it was the kind of place that roadfooders treasure; good food, friendly locals and entirely unanticipated good but I wold never have known about excep for the kind words of a knowledgeable local. 
          In Florence, we stopped at the Darlingtonia wayside, a spot where bug eating plants that look like cobras. live amid a surreal landscape. I braved a heavy rain to look at these amazing plants which I had first seen during our visit to the coast the summer before last.
     
            Daisy's Cafe
            25903 Highway 126
         Veneta, oregon 97087
         (541)935-4241
    post edited by mr chips - 2012/11/26 01:19:08
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    mr chips
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    Re: Weekend of Interest,Roadfood, Traveling Man and Cirque du Soleil 2012/11/16 19:15:15 (permalink)
    This particular day on the coast was exceptionally rainy and windy. It occurred before Hurricane Sandy so I feel a little sheepish complaining about the weather but it was very cold and very wet. The drive from Florence  to Yachats is one of the most spectacular on the Oregon coast and the highway mostly runs directly on the coast. There were heavy swells and rain did not let up all day. The ocean was a colorless gray and the waves were high. When we stopped at Yachats State Park, a flock of seagulls was huddled on the grass, unmoving seeming to try and minimize the effects of the wind with their chests puffed out looking spectacularly uncomfortable in the driving rain. And the rain didn't let up for our stops in Newport and Depoe Bay, a little further north.
        Our stop in Yachats was at the road food reviewed Luna Sea Fish House. We arrived mid morning and chose to eat off the breakfast menu. Our visit was enhanced by two very knowledgeable staff who were very intelligent foodies. One was a massage student in Portland 3 days a week and Yachats waitress the other 4 . She told us of some great places in Newport(all of which were road food reviewed places ) and was very pleasant to talk to. The other had been a seafood chef in the bay area and knew a lot about food prep and recipes and talked withTrudy about such things. Bruce in his review said he would like to sample breakfast and if you are in Yachats in the a.m. it would be a smart move. Trudy's salmon hash was flavorful and delightful and Luna Sea omelet was filled with gigantic portions of halibut, scallops , bay shrimp and a little salmon with onions, mushrooms, tomatoes and cheese. It was a wonderful mix of tastes  and a huge meal that delighted all the senses. The  marionberry jam with the toast was tart, homemade and not too sweet. If you are close to here come to this place. Read Bruce's review for more info about the place.
          A short drive from Yachats is Newport, Oregon, my favorite city on the Oregon coast. There are six roadfood reviewed restaurants along Bay Street within less than a half mile and two more roadfood reviewed place within a couple miles from the bay. The bay is touristy but the odors of a still active fishing industry waft along the area. There are even a couple tourist traps of which I am fond along the bay front, some sea lions, and some decent bars. In the town of Newport, there are two light houses and a great pie shop
     I love looking at the fishing boats dockside where my son first saw crabs trying to scoot away from the boat15 years ago.
            The places where Trudy and I ate were all reviewed by Bruce Bilmes and Sue Broyles several months ago . Therir reviews were accurate and clued me in to some new places. Thank you Bruce  and Sue for your insights. Our first stop was Saffron Salmon, a small place directly overlooking the bay. There is a large picture window where we watched 3 boats depart from their moorings and go toward the sea and also watched a couple boats come into port. A gentleman was trying to get crabs into his crab pots in the driving rain just outside the restaurant.
           If you look at the pictures in  Bruce's review, you can figure out why we shared an order of seafood stew. Mussels, halibut, prawns crab and wild salmon were in a cioppino like tomato broth and the flavors combined marvelously. The place was not cheap but it was not overpriced and the stew was spectacular. And on a cold, rainy day, it was a great stop for us to enjoy being in a warm place and seeing beautiful things.
        Our next stop was Ocean Bleu@ Gino's. Trudy had clams steamed in wine and I had something called sea pups, hush puppies with lots of crab bits in the batter. The bread was good and soaked up the delightful wine and broth of the clams.  Bruce's review mentions the strawberry lemonade which was very fruity and very tart and should be ordered with the meal. The food here was supeb and we intend to return and sample even more of it because what we had was so damn good.
            Local Ocean Seafoods was our last stop  in Newport. We shared a fish taco which was mostly salmon and very good. Its only drawback was that it was the last dish of a spectacular food day. This is a place where we will return because what we had was tasty and what was on people's plates looked even better. Read Bruce's reviews before you head to Newport.
           Our last stop of the day was a taffy shop in Depoe Bay called Ainslee's. Trudy is allergic to salt water taffy and I'm diabetic so we didn't get a lot. The shop is curiously old fashioned with drawings that are very 50's like and cute, reminiscent of the time when taffy was a cherished reminder of fun at the beach. The drive home passed quickly and it got less dreary but no less rainy as we approached Portland
     
    post edited by mr chips - 2013/06/11 22:29:07
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    mr chips
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    Re: Weekend of Interest,Roadfood, Traveling Man and Cirque du Soleil 2012/11/23 21:52:45 (permalink)
    Our final day of the weekend was spent with ThE Travelin Man(TTM) who honored us with a full day of his time. He had a great rig and we decided to drive to Oregon Wine Country and sample some of the very good wines available.
            Our day began with an excellent breakfast at "The Cameo Cafe", one of Portland's best breakfast places and the closest good breakfast place to the Portland airport. Owner Sue Gee is an extraordinarily vivacious and friendly woman to whom no one remains a stranger for long. And her capable staff is friendly and helpful and seems to believe a partially unfilled coffee cup is a crime against nature. And the food....
             Pancakes are extraordinary. They are serves at 1/4 acre. 1/2 acre and acre size , each covered with large amounts of blueberries, peaches or whatever fruit is available. Full acre prices used to be the market cost of that days fruit. They are gigantic, light and the full acre almost unfinishable except for a t.v show eating contestant. Real maple syrup is available and the pancake is surprisingly light.
             My personal favorite is the pindattok, a Korean pancake with rice, vegetables and other delights in the batter. it is savory and filled with unexpectedly delicious flavor.  The house bread is made without preservatives and has a fresh and unique taste. And kim chee omlette are usually available as are very good bacon and sausages. Get the house bread for toast. The outstanding staff keeps your coffee filled(and the coffee is good0. Trudy, TTM and i caught up and enjoyed a great start to the day.
             We next drove to Carlton, Oregon which the New York Times has called the center of Oregon wine tasting culture. It is a town of a little over a thousand people in a small county(Yamhill) that has over 50 vineyards in the area. It has something like 10 or eleven wine tasting rooms in the town including several in the small downtown area. It is also the town where I spent the first decade of my life and 5 summers in high school and college.
        TTM and Trudy had to put up with the tour of important places in my life. My boyhood home was up for sale in a subdivision that had been named for my grandfather. The farm behind my home (where my dog made a habit of killing the farmer's chickens)was gone and there was a fairly large subdivision of homes in its place. My grandparents' estate has been restored and we visited there but did not stay long as the owners now have never met me. Finally we went downtown and started our visits to the wine tasting rooms.
           Carlton's downtown has changed a great deal. The movie theater of my youth is a wine tasting room. my childhood doctor's office is a wine tasting boom,the pharmacy is a wine tasting room. A fancy French restaurant is downtown. The site of the gas station that my grandfather was part owner of is now a pricey bakery. The glove company where i worked for 6 summers was a wine tasting room and is now up for sale and almost no one knew it had been a glove factory. And my grandmother's picture was on a historical marker in the downtown park by my childhood swimming pool.
           The wine tasting rooms were a new experience for me. You got 4 samples of wines for anywhere from 10 to 15 dollars . The wines were quite good though i liked the pinot ours best as that is the main type of wine produced in the Carlton area. The carlton winemakers hasting room was probably the best quality of wines though the win tasting room in the old carlton railroad depot may have been the most interesting in terms of the building. It was a fun day even though it was a constant downpour all day.
             Our next stop was Forest Grove, Oregon where we stopped at  Momokawa distillery, the only place in the pacific northwest where sake is produced. The tasting here was only six bucks and we were able to sample 4 very distinct types of sake. Our guide seemed knowledgeable and i learned a great deal about the varieties of the beverage and the different palates of the U.S. and japanese consumers of sake. TTM regaled with tales  of his visit to a Berkley ,Ca place where sake was produced. it was a great stop and provided justification for TTM's proclivity to not overly plan his stops.
           Our final stop of the day was the Helvetia Tavern in rural Washington County near Hillsboro. The Helvetia Tavern is famous for its huge and very tasty burgers which frequently top the lists of best burgers in the Portland Metro area. The place is pure tavern with a huge display of baseball caps that cover the ceiling of the tavern portion of the place. TTM rooted his Giants home and then the three of us drove back to P-Town. It was a wonderful day with an old friend and we were glad for the time. Until we meet again, TTM.
     
    post edited by mr chips - 2012/12/04 22:18:33
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    pnwchef
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    Re: Weekend of Interest,Roadfood, Traveling Man and Cirque du Soleil 2012/11/24 10:14:58 (permalink)
    Mr Chips, I didn't see Bipartisan Pie on your list, If your waiting for me to buy, you have to wait until spring. When do the tickets to the Food truck rally       go on sale.......I know they sell out fast. I am thinking of getting the tickets that let you in an hour early, this event is like Black Friday at Best buy.........hope your doing well and had a good Thanksgiving..............pnwc
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    MetroplexJim
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    Re: Weekend of Interest,Roadfood, Traveling Man and Cirque du Soleil 2012/11/24 11:15:54 (permalink)
    mar52

    Nice!

    I've only been to one Cirque du Soleil.  They were pulling people out of the audience which means to me... Never return!


    Relax.  For anything weird or dangerous those "selected" are "plants".
    #7
    mr chips
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    Re: Weekend of Interest,Roadfood, Traveling Man and Cirque du Soleil 2012/12/01 18:59:12 (permalink)
    pnwchef

    Mr Chips, I didn't see Bipartisan Pie on your list, If your waiting for me to buy, you have to wait until spring. When do the tickets to the Food truck rally       go on sale.......I know they sell out fast. I am thinking of getting the tickets that let you in an hour early, this event is like Black Friday at Best buy.........hope your doing well and had a good Thanksgiving..............pnwc

       The BiPartisan cafe is about two miles from where i live and Trudy and i go there about once a month. Looking forward to a piece of pie with you in the spring.
    post edited by mr chips - 2012/12/02 03:31:18
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