Rose and Thistle Fish n' Chips: Rose and Thistle Fish n' Chips
A great little mom n' pop hole in the wall fish n' chips joint with a British atmosphere. Reminded me a bit of doing fish n' chips in Britain. The elderly couple that was working appear to be the owners and were very friendly, hospitable, and mixed up a mean seafood combination. I very much enjoyed my visit. I have fond memories of this restaurant from when I used to live in Eugene. Affordable, friendly, and good service. Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
- Food and Dining
- Road Trip
Keystone Cafe: Find out about the real Eugene ...
Small local hang-out on 5th ... open for breakfast and lunch ... menu that goes from happy vegan to burgers (and everything else you can imagine). Great place to sit by the window and watch the world go by (or at least the Eugene contingent) ... happy people enjoying great food.
Favorite Dish: Vegan Powerhouse Special
Papa's Pizza: Best Taco Pizza ever!
Okay, not sure if they're still around since I lived there in '91-'92 while at college. I loved them though because they delivered to my dorm for a min.$5.00 order. Which was perfect for a personal taco pizza & 2liter pop for about $7 with tip.
Favorite Dish: their Taco pizza is fabulous & whatever taco sauce they offer is a must!
- Budget Travel
- Road Trip
Chef's Kitchen: Skip "Chef's Kitchen" in South Eugene
What used to be a hidden gem in South Eugene, alas, is now sadly an overpriced (Entrees $25 - $30), poorly run restaurant that I will not be returning to. At this price point, I would much rather dine at Marche in 5th Street Public Market, Adam's Place downtown or Chanterelle's (also 5th St Market). At Chef's Kitchen, the tables are crammed together so tight that waitresses often bump up against you as you're eating. The kitchen does a decent job of putting out tasty entrees (but at $30 in Eugene, they'd better), but the wait staff is disorganized, which ruins the dining experience. Our bread (which unlike most restaurants, they charge $2.50 for) came when we were half way through with our dinner. The bill came before our dessert; we had to repeatedly ask for creamer, sugar even a spoon for our coffee. The dessert crepe ($6.95) was a sad little non-descript number plunked on a plate. And through our meal, we could hear the wait staff arguing, snapping at each other. A very unpleasant $100 experience which I do not care to repeat.
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- Food and Dining
Manola's: Great Thai food
After leaving Medford at noon, we were starting to get hungry as we made our way towards Eugene. We exited off of I-5 and found ourselves in Eugene on the main stretch of road by the University of Oregon. We attempted to have an Indian lunch, but the restaurant was closing as we arrived. We thought perhaps Mexican, but one of us had eaten Mexican endlessly during the previous weeks, so that was out. Then we saw Manola's, and having attempted to find a Thai restaurant two nights before, a Thai lunch we exactly what we wanted.
We were, I think, the second table in the entire restaurant that Sunday afternoon. It was late for lunch and too early for dinner, so that would probably explain it. The walls are mirrored, and there are tropical plants everywhere. A looped track of Thai music played in the background and even though the Japanese screens were a little out of place, it added to the Asian atmosphere.
Service was prompt, friendly, and the food was delicious.
Favorite Dish: I ordered myself a Thai iced tea, which was delicious as always! The three of us shared an appetizer and 2 entrees which was served with a bowl of jasmine rice.
Thai Spring Rolls ($6.95)
"These spring rolls are a perfect appetizer for any meal. This appetizer is deep-fried rolls stuffed with glass noodles, and cabbage. Served with our own homemade plum sauce."
Pad Ped Siam ($14.95)
"For people who love meat. This dish is made with stir fried chicken, pork, and beef, with Thai hot peppers, onions, sweet soy sauce, green onion, fresh basil, and roasted garlic."
Red Curry ($11.95)
"A spicy curry sauce made from red chili peppers with coconut milk, chicken, bamboo shoots, peas, carrots, and eggplant."
- Food and Dining
Ambrosia: The Best Halibut In Town
One the best restaurants in the city and very popular on weekends. Always they have an eclectic menu but I recommend the halibut. They also do pizza and calzone in a fire oven plus desserts.
I am currently putting this restaurant on probation as of Jan. 2005. We had New Year's Eve dinner there and were quite disappointed. Mrs. Birchy ordered the special veal chop and it turned out to be chop of a whole cow. I ordered veal scallopine and was disappointed in the flavors. So for now, diner beware.
Favorite Dish: Has to be halibut. During the season it is always fresh and done to perfection. Also, order a Manhatten on weekends. The bartender, Colin, does them to perfection. Hard to keep Mrs. Birchy away from the bar when he is working.
Bulletin: Colin the bartender no longer works there. So once again take your chances.
Further Bulletin: After three successive poor experiences at this restaurant be advised, it isn't what it used to be. Diner beware!!
Well, the place is still buzzin' and afloat so it must have done some correcting. Haven't been back much lately.
- Food and Dining
Beppe & Gianni's Trattoria: Trendy Italian Bistro
Located in the University District this is a very popular restaurant. On weekends there is always a line at the door. Since reservations are not taken one must come early, late or be ready to be patient.
The restaurant is located in a remodeled house off 19th Avenue just down from Hayward Field. The noise level is moderately high. The waiting area is very small with most people crowd inside the entry way during cold weather. Summertimes means you can wait outside and even dine outside if you don't mind the traffic noise.
The wait staff is pleasant enough. There is a full bar with limited seating. Tables are fairly well spaced, however and there are rooms set aside for large groups.
Favorite Dish: On previous visits I've usually ordered the beef risotto which I found to be well prepared and quite delicious. However, on our last visit we were disappointed both by the facts that the menu was exclusively confined to pasta dishes, and our orders were not well prepared. Mrs. B and I had a pork and lamb red sauce over noodles. The meat had a strong taste to it and just wasn't up to snuff. Our friend ordered a meat dish and couldn't finish it because it tasted fatty and the noodles were watery and cool.
To say the least we were quite surprised at this outcome. Having such an excellent reputation we would give them another chance. Perhaps the fault lie in dining rather late on a busy Saturday. But that should not be an excuse for a good restaurant.
Anyway, I urge you to give them a try and see what you think.
Meals are ala carte with several side salads offered.
- Business Travel
- Study Abroad
The Excelsior Cafe and Bed and Breakfast: An Italian Bistro and Bed and Breakfast
My wife and I courted at this restaurant 29 years ago. We would meet here for lunch and wine and dessert, all for about $20 at the time. Our favorite sandwich was the Chicken Churasco, a grilled chicken breast with a spicy guacamole suace on a home baked bun. For dessert we had the house carrot cake, which is to die for. We managed to secret the recipe out of our favorite waiter.
Today the place is under the management of a real Italian and the food and service are one of the best in town. You may also stay overnight as the place doubles as a B&B.
These days we like to go there on special occasions, or drop into the bar for a light snack after a ball game. Also, on Sundays we take advantage of their brunch.
Favorite Dish: Hard to choose an entre from the evening menu. But the Chicky San is still offered for lunch and in the bar. However, the biggest draw are the desserts. At any time there are at least 10 beautiful and delicious desserts on display in the lobby just begging you to partake. And of course the famous carrot cake is still a main item. You can't go wrong here. Enjoy.
On a recent visit for lunch Mrs. B and I enjoyed a very delightful time. Mrs. B had lasgane with a meat sauce and I had cheese filled pasta (I forget the name) with a a sauce that was dynamite. For dessert Mrs. had a berry pie and I had Creme Bulee. Wonderful!!! This place is a winner.
- Food and Dining
Newman's Fish Company: A Seafood Institution
Want your fish and chips in newspaper, Brit style? Well, probably won't happen here, but the quality and flavor will not let you down. Newman's is essentially a fish market, but a few years ago they opened up a walkup fish and chips window. And is it ever popular!! And they have covered outdoor seating so you won't get wet while dining.
Newman's is known as having the best and freshest fish in town having been in existence for many decades.
After enjoying your repast go inside and browse the fish counter. Everything is seasonal and the staff know fish. Ask them anything about fish and they know all about it.
Also, you can select from about 100 kinds of bulk cheeses, and they'll cut it for you right off the wheel.
Wines, pasta, salsa, sauces, and just about any little thing you might want to fancy up your meal, you can find on their shelves.
Favorite Dish: Halibut and chips or salmon and chips. Take your pick. Piping hot right out of the fryer.
- Food and Dining
Mekala's: Another Exellent Thai Restaurant
Mekala's is perhaps the longest running and best known Thai restaurant in town. They are now located near the University in the Old Ford's Restaurant, formerly TheTree House on Franklin Blvd.
Mekala's offers a full range of Thai cuisine from soups, to currys to pastas. Service is good, presentation is OK. Probably need reservations on weekends and game days.
Originally, the building was Ford's Drive-in a long running restaurant by the U of O campus. They were known for their fabulous cheeseburgers featuring sharp Tillamook (Oregon's favorite) cheese. It was one of those drive-ins where you drive into a stall and order on an intercom and the food is delivered on a tray. Very 1960's. All that was missing was the rollerskates.
Then Ford's closed in the 70's and became the Treehouse Restaurant. Run by a local family it soon became very popular. One of their passions was dinner theatre. We had attended many productions featuring local artists doing show tunes and light comedy. Over time, the family cashed in and sold to Mekalas. I do think this location is charmed as no restaurant has failed to be a success here.
Favorite Dish: Two favorite dishes are Peanut Curry Noodles and Tiger Cries. The former is a noodle dish with carrots, broccoli and your choice of chicken, or tofu. mixed with a peanut curry sauce. Tiger Cries is stir fried beef served as a salad with a very hot dressing. Indeed, it makes you cry.
- Food and Dining
Red Agave: That Latin America Flavor
I don't see a category that fits this restaurant. It isn't Mexican but it has Mexican influences. It isn't African but again there are African influences. The best I can come with is Latin American. This is a small restaurant tucked away at the North end of Willamette Street not far from the Amtrack station. It is very popular so make your reservations ahead of time. Parking can be a problem. Noise level is moderately high, service is prompt and courteous. There is a full bar and a good wine selection.
I think what is apealing are the variety of dishes that are offered. Like I said they have Latin influences but vary widely. Always there is seafood, but there are also beef and pork dishes offered.
This restaurant was voted one of the best Latin American restaurants in Eugene by "Eugene Weekly" readers.
Favorite Dish: I had scallops grilled with bacon and served in a rich cream sauce. Joanne had a white fish dish smothered in all kinds of vegies and our friend had huge tomato salad and a bowl of corn chowder soup. Everyone agreed the dishes were well prepared and worth the money. However, I found my scallops to be a bit mushy or soft in the center. Not sure if that what was intended or not.
- Food and Dining
Cafe Xenon: A Eugene Bistro
Cafe Xenon has long been one of our favorites, mainly for lunch, occasionally for dinner and often for Sunday morning breakfast. Having been a mainstay in downtown Eugene for over 15 years, the cafe recently changed hands. Not having been for a a while Mrs. B. and I decided to see how they were doing so we stopped in for lunch.
Much was the same; the first thing you see is the dessert counter but, alas, it wasn't as filled with as many tempting delights as we remembered. However, the wait staff was as pleasant and efficient as ever, the noise level quite high as usual, and crowd about average.
On paying the bill the cashier (new proprietor?) asked about our meals. Unfortunately, I had to give him a critical review for which he very professionally thanked me. I was impressed with the interest and am confident that the cuisine is being attended to. At least I hope so, as it is still a favorite.
Apparently, they have added a "wine flight" on Tuesday evenings, of which we have not attended.
Favorite Dish: In the past I have always loved the New Orleans Mufaletto at Xenon. Don't know if they still have it on the menu. Another favorite is the Pulled Pork Sandwich. Mrs. B. likes the chicken empanada. Breakfasts feature eggs with delicious home fries and my favorite, Chorizo sausage. Eggs Benedict is on the menu. Also, Guinness on tap, no, not for breakfast. And the desserts are really grand, usually a large selection.
This last visit I had a grilled white fish Po'Boy and Mrs. B. had the vegetarian chili. Unfortunately, the fish was very strong tasting and the black beans in the chili needed to be cooked longer.
One hopes that this was just an anomaly, as lunches and breakfasts here have always been very good.
The place is worth a try.
Flash!! On our last visit I was able to order the Muffaletto and it was supburb. Best ever!!
Mrs. B had the chicken empanada and it was good except the beans were "not right."(What's with the beans, anyway?) We also had carrot cake for dessert and it was devine. Give this place a try.
- Food and Dining
- Wine Tasting
CAfe Soriah: Middle Eastern Cuisine In Eugene
Cafe Soriah is a well established restaurant in Eugene. The proprietor is a Lebaniese who immigrated here about 30 years ago. This place is popular. Expect to wait if you don't have a reservation on weekends. Ibraham, the owner has had a large hand in helping us to bridge the friendship gap between cultures in the last few years by being a part in the peace and understanding movement following 9/11.
This restaurant is Middle Eastern but also includes local csuisine, such as seafood and beef. The wait staff is very well trained and works hard to make your experience memorable.
The seating is tight, and sometimes the noise level is high. Don't look here for a quiet romantic evening. But if not, savor the food. It is great and well prepared. Be prepared for a bit of a wait, as the kitchen does not blush at taking its time. Sometines you wait for your orders. But the wait is worth it.
Favorite Dish: This is a definite stop on your tour of Eugene Restaurants. On our last visit our friend, the vegetarians, order the Ceasar Salad, Mrs. B. had the Risotto and I had the Lamb Curry. I usually order a lamb dish at Cafe Soriah, beccause they know their lamb. This dish was saute'd with spices and mild sweet fruits that complimented the curry. The risotto was well prepared and the salad, as always, was super.
If you really want a show, ask for the Steak Dianne, or the flaming desserts. The proprietor, Ibraham just loves show off his flaming skills.
- Food and Dining
The Steelhead Brewing Company: Fresh Beer Here!!!
The Northwest US re-invented microbrewed beer. The Steelhead was one of the leaders back in those days. The brewery is right in the building behind a big glass wall and one can sit and watch the brewmistress stir the wort and fire up the pots.
A very popular eatery in Eugene, but mostly it's the beer that draws the crowds. The wait staff is always a bit funky and very busy. At least half a dozen tellys sit around the room broadcasting cable sports. However, the noise level makes it impossible to hear anything. The beer menu is steady and only changes a bit. The food menu is pretty ordinary, but then again it's the beer, stupid! On any visit one can see people leaving with a mini-keg tucked under their arm.
The Steelhead offers a sampler of their five on tap beers in small glasses. One time I joked with the waiter about wanting a sampler but in pints....without blinking an eye, he said, "That will be $25 up front, give us your car keys and we'll send you home in a cab!" Obviously he'd heard that one before.
Favorite Dish: There are always five beers on tap. One constant is an India Pale Ale called Bombay Bomber. It has to be the best IPA going since the first keg was shipped to India by the Brits. The food menu is mostly burgers, sandwiches and some pastas and salads. I have to say it isn't the best food in town, but remember, it's the beer, buster!!
Located at the corner of Fifth and Pearl it has plenty of parking and one can almost always find seating. Summertimes you can sit outdoors and watch the cars, buses and trains go by.
The crowd is pretty eclectic, not just college kids. Many, many middle agers and children are allowed until later in the evening. And if you miss the Steelhead in Eugene, you can slack you thirst for Bombay Bomber in Irvine and Burlingame, California.
Price per person varies on how much you drink, so I've estimated the prices of food with one drink only.
In case you didn't know a Steelhead is an ocean going rainbow trout about the size of a salmon that migrates in and out of the Northwest Rivers and is a much sought after game fish.
- Beer Tasting
El Vaquero: Experience a Tapa Restaurant
This is a new restaurant in Eugene, located in the popular Fifth Street Market. Despite its Latin sounding name it is quite eclectic. I didn't know anything about the restaurant when we first went and I was a bit put off by the Tapa menu. What I learned was that the Tapas are basically small dishes, one might equate with starters or appetizers. Each dish has a small portion for two people. We then selected three dishes then went on to dessert. For those of you with bigger appetities or those who don't like to share a full dinner menu is available, also.
The restaurant is usually pretty busy. Tables are a bit crowded together but not too bad. The wait staff is very efficent and more than ready to explain how to work the menu. The restaurant is located at the front of the Market on Fifth Street and seats at least a 100.
I do recommend reservations as it seems to be very popular.
Favorite Dish: Once we got our bearings with the help of the waiter we ordered drinks. Mrs. B had her usual Manhatten by which she judges bartenders. This one was "excellent" according to her. Even though there is a fine wine selection including many local wines I chose a local micro brew on tap.
While waiting for the drinks we were presented with a small appetizer of sliced cucumbers drizzled with lime juice and a mild chile dip. A nice touch while contemplating the menu, methinks.
After some agonizing we chose a skirt steak dish, fish tacos and a vegetable plate. The vegie plate was consisted of sliced beets, avocado, and a cabbage slaw. The skirt steak came with small tortillas, chili sauce and more cabbage slaw. And the fish tacos came with a salsa and even more slaw. All were tasty and well prepared, especially the steak which was sliced and done to a nice medium.
Usually, we pass up dessert because we overeat on the entres, but because the portions are moderate in size we didn't hesitate to choose from the dessert menu. Mrs. B had large cookie that resembled an oreo with a delicious vanilla filling. I had the vanilla flan with burnt orange sauce. Both were very good. And accompanied with some very excellent coffee we had to say the evening was a success.
- Food and Dining
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