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Astoria Coffee House & Bistro

243 11th St., Astoria, OR - (503) 325-1787
Posted By Michael Stern on 8/20/2012 8:05:00 AM
In the 1980s, Jane and I wrote a story about an interesting phenomenon we had discovered: the Pacific Northwest is a coffee-lover's destination. Our "discovery" came late – Starbuck's had already begun to proliferate, having started two decades earlier (reaching Chicago in 1991 and New York in 1994). Today, everybody knows that America's coffee culture is at its zenith in Seattle, Portland, and throughout the region – all the way to Anchorage, which has more coffee shops per capita than any other American city.

During a recent trip through Oregon, I was particularly impressed by Astoria Coffee House & Bistro in the northwesternmost part of the state. The coffee is Caffé Vita brand from Seattle; and in addition to all the usual espresso drinks are such exotic lattes as lavender vanilla, cardamom mocha, salted caramel, and maple brown sugar.

Actually, it was the food at breakfast that rang my chimes, in particular smoked salmon hash, which was a luxurious, rough-hewn melange of bite-size salmon, potatoes, and peppers, topped with eggs and sided by a hearty buttermilk biscuit. In addition, I managed to savor several lovely pastries, including an almond paste-filled croissant and a slice of moist chocolate cake. Still to be tasted from the morning menu are aebleskivers (Danish pancakes), cardamom bread French toast, and biscuits topped with bacon gravy. There is a wide choice of serious (over $20) meals for supper, which the menu describes as "neo-regional cuisine using direct caught seafood, all natural meats and wild local produce 'foraged' from the area." These items include Cajun oysters, chickpea and tabouli salad, pork mole, paella, steak frites, French dip, sushi rolls, and pad Thai. The list makes me confused about the concept of neo-regionality, but the goodness of the salmon hash and freshness of the rhubarb scones make me want to return and discover exactly what it means.

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Scorecard

3 - Overall: Excellent - Worth a Detour
Overall: Excellent - Worth a Detour
Rhubarb Scone
Smoked Salmon Hash
Almond Croissant
Buttermilk Biscuit
Chocolate Cake
Cafe Latte
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Reviewers Photos [Upload Your Photos]

Smoked salmon hash is for serious salmon-lovers; other available hashes include corned beef (corned on premises) and vegetarian.
"Smoked salmon hash is for serious salmon-lovers; other available hashes include corned beef (corned on premises) and vegetarian."
Michael Stern





Inside the elegant almond croissant is a ribbon of sweet almond paste.
"Inside the elegant almond croissant is a ribbon of sweet almond paste."
Michael Stern


When it's not raining, the outdoor tables are a delightful place to sit. When it is just drizzling, the garage-door front creates a nearly al fresco coffee-sipping area inside.
"When it's not raining, the outdoor tables are a delightful place to sit. When it is just drizzling, the garage-door front creates a nearly al fresco coffee-sipping area inside."
Michael Stern


I wonder if the globes on display have something to do with the kitchen's professed 'neo-regionality.' This photo, taken from the coffee-drinking part of the cafe, gives a peek at the adjoining dining room.
"I wonder if the globes on display have something to do with the kitchen's professed 'neo-regionality.' This photo, taken from the coffee-drinking part of the cafe, gives a peek at the adjoining dining room."
Michael Stern


If you love latte, Astoria Coffee House has a brew for you. The one pictured here is maple brown sugar flavored.
"If you love latte, Astoria Coffee House has a brew for you. The one pictured here is maple brown sugar flavored."
Michael Stern


The moistness of all the fruit in the kitchen's fruit-filled scones is a marvelous balance for the biscuity richness of the scone itself.
"The moistness of all the fruit in the kitchen's fruit-filled scones is a marvelous balance for the biscuity richness of the scone itself."
Michael Stern



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