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Camp 18

Mile Marker 18, Hwy 26, Seaside, OR - (503) 755-1818
Posted By Michael Stern on 4/20/2003 2:41:00 AM
Camp 18 is the sturdiest restaurant in the West. A log cabin building the size of a train terminal, it features a main room supported by what the management believes to be the largest known ridge pole in the United States: twenty-five tons and five thousand board-feet of lumber. On the walls are massive lumbering saws and old photographs of lumberjacks at work; deep-cushioned couches surround a walk-in fireplace; even many of the customers look like outdoors types, dressed in jeans and flannel. The air smells of cut wood and flapjacks.

This is a theme restaurant, and the stage effects work. More important, the food delivers on the promise of the mise en scene. The kitchen's specialty is brawny Northwestern cuisine, including family-style dinners of meat and potatoes or chicken and dumplings, big hamburgers and sandwiches for lunch, and proverbial lumberjack breakfasts.

You can order griddle cakes (here known as "flatcars") and blueberries, waffles ("corks") with slab ham and eggs, or four-egg omelettes ("bunkhouse" style) served with chunky, well-oiled fried potatoes and big powdery biscuits with melting butter shoved inside. We especially enjoyed one breakfast of pan-fried razor clams, a regional specialty that is quite popular in lunch counters as well as deluxe restaurants. The clams were huge, crunchy, sweet, and relatively tender, accompanied by spuds, eggs, and biscuits. The Camp 18 cinnamon roll is ridiculously large, covering most of a normal-size dinner plate.

You will have no trouble spotting this place as you travel along Highway 26. It is surrounded for hundreds of yards by heavy tree cutting equipment. It looks like it might be a lumber camp or, on closer inspection, a lumbering museum.

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Scorecard

5 - Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
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Reviewers Photos [Upload Your Photos]

An extreme close-up of Camp 18's vividly fruity three-berry cobbler. It is served hot, with or without ice cream on top.
"An extreme close-up of Camp 18's vividly fruity three-berry cobbler. It is served hot, with or without ice cream on top."
Michael Stern





That's a normal-size dinner plate underneath this cinnamon roll, which is enough breadstuff for three people's breakfasts. A good 2-3 tablespoons of butter are melting fast in the center.
"That's a normal-size dinner plate underneath this cinnamon roll, which is enough breadstuff for three people's breakfasts. A good 2-3 tablespoons of butter are melting fast in the center."
Michael Stern


The dining room is huge; running overhead is the largest known ridge pole in the United States. Tables down below are made of thick-cut wood and look like they weigh a thousand pounds each.
"The dining room is huge; running overhead is the largest known ridge pole in the United States. Tables down below are made of thick-cut wood and look like they weigh a thousand pounds each."
Michael Stern


Everything in this place relates to logging ... even the carved sculptures on the front door.
"Everything in this place relates to logging ... even the carved sculptures on the front door."
Michael Stern


The theme in this giant log cabin restaurant is <U>wood</U> in all its glory.
"The theme in this giant log cabin restaurant is wood in all its glory."
Michael Stern


Back when logging was a boom business hereabouts, each camp had a number. This logging museum / restaurant is named Camp 18 because it is at Mile Marker 18 on Highway 26.
"Back when logging was a boom business hereabouts, each camp had a number. This logging museum / restaurant is named Camp 18 because it is at Mile Marker 18 on Highway 26."
Michael Stern



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