The Siletz Road House & Brewery is a bit off the beaten path. Even for a beer hunter like myself I wouldn't generally head out here but after having their Oatmeal Stout at Mo's in Newport, I decided it was worth the effort. I am glad I did as I see it has since been bought up by Calapooia Brewing, some 70 miles west which plans to make the beer at their larger facility. They have already closed up the little place in Siletz which was a bit of a trip to visit. Here's how it went.
First off, Siletz is a real one horse town. It was only 13 miles from the coast but it may as well have been in another state. The bar itself was like a wild west saloon and the people in it in a bit of a time warp. Didn't they outlaw smoking in bars? Not in Oregon, baby and even if they did, my guess is they would still be smoking in this place if it hadn't been closed down. Actually, it may still be open as a bar but just not serving (or at least brewing) their fine beers. It seemed most of the locals were drinking mixed drinks when we were there.
Favorite Dish: They had a pretty limited menu and since pot stickers were the special of the day we got an order of them right off the bad. They came out quickly as specials should and were not bad at all. It went well with the 1) Lovin' Lager which was a light golden easy drinking beer with a clean dry finish. It was nice after the long drive out there. 2) Wooly Bully was sourish and might have been off. 3) Spruce Ale was like a lighter version of Anchor Christmas beer with just a hint of spruce. Odd for a summer beer. 4) Jester Pale Ale was a well-balanced American Pale that was very dry without being overly bitter. Around then we ordered up a pizza after about ten people had come in for pick up and all seemed to be leaving with pizza. It was hard to believe how good it was. You would never think a little town like this could make such a good pie. Revived, I was back at the beer. 5) Chocolate Porter was a black brew with a creamy tan head. It had a nice chocolate malt palate that mixed well with some roast bitterness for a real mocha espresso experience. Not a sweet beer in the least. 6) Oatmeal Stout was the beer that brought us here and oddly after the Chocolate Porter it seemed a little lighter body-wise. It was nonetheless a roast bitter treat with a dryish bittersweet finish. We got a few bottles for or cooler. They were obviously old but cheap so I figured I would give them a try. 7) Winter Warmer was a malty Christmas beer with a sourish palate which might have been a bit off. 8) Noggin' Knocker was their barely wine and was deep garnet with a dense tan head. Citrusy nose and sourish fruity palate which drys with bitter roasted malt and generous hopping. The bottle was dated January 2006 (2.5 years old at the time) but it was pretty damn good.
Though it's unlikely I would ever be back out there again, it's a shame it's not there for those looking for that weird little out-of-the-way place to have some different beers and great food at very affordable prices. Our bill with a tip (and beers to go) came to $52.
Tillamook is an unremarkable town in itself but being home to Tillamook Cheese Factory does have its advantages. With this one attraction and a few scenic ones nearby, the town draws many tourist each year. I guess the draw of great ice cream is strong. It's quite an operation too with a self guided tour of the cheese making/packaging process, a huge souvenir/grocery store featuring their products, a cafe serving meals made with their cheeses, and most beloved of all, an equally big ice cream parlor.
Favorite Dish: This is the only place you can get all 38 flavors that the company makes which probably helps with repeat business. For $3 you get three big scoops of their delicious creamy stuff. I had German Chocolate Cake, Oregon Strawberry, and Blueberry Cheesecake. All were excellent but the Blueberry Cheesecake was the favorite by far. On the return visit I think all we both got was the Blueberry and Strawberry Cheesecake varieties. It was so creamy, almost like real cheesecake with a nice tartness to make it refreshing. Of course, these were both flavors you could only get at this location otherwise we would have likely bought some to go and they sell their ice creams in half gallon containers!
I have a love hate relationship with Rogue's. This craft brew pioneer is an Oregon institution and I so looked forward to visiting it on my first trip to the state in 1994 I couldn't help but be disappointed. They had few beers on tap and I had better Rogue's beer experiences even in my then home state of NJ. So, I reasoned, they make great beer but not great bars. When in San Francisco quite a few years later, I ignored my usual mantra of only drink the local stuff by checking out the Rogue's Public House there. This one had many taps but some of the beers were in far from good shape and worse yet the food was downright awful. But here I was heading up the Oregon Coast and I decided to give them one more chance.
The new facility in Newport was big as Rogues beers have become pretty widely available around the US. Brewer's on the Bay looked promising and homey enough so we sat at the cozy bar. We had no intension of eating anything after our last experience but with so many beers on tap, we figured we would have something small. We ordered their Fermenter's Platter ($14.95) which was a selection of local cheeses with some house baked Hazelnut bread. It was okay and certainly not very big for the price. Luckily, they had tasting flights so we could sample a fair amount of their 40 beers on tap. You picked out any five beers and depending on the beers, the trays had different prices, mostly linked to alcohol strength. It was a mixed bag, with some beers way off and others pretty much great. The bartender was not the best. I had one beer that I thought was spoiled and she said that was the flavor the brewer was going for. I am sure it was not but the point is, why argue with a customer when you are talking about four ounces of beer. Just give him a new one and smile. She sure did not help her tip with what was more or less an insult to my beer knowledge. Bill came to $41 for twenty tasters and the cheese plate.
First up was their 1) Mom's Hefeweizen which was no Bavarian match or even mass produced Oregon Widmers. Easy to drink but not much taste. 2) Wicked Brown Frog was a just okay cross between an English and American brown ale, a bit sweet especially for a Rogue's beer. 3) Morimoto SOBA ale is made with buckwheat and features some light fruity graininess but otherwise it eludes me. I keep trying it but it never really quite makes it for me. 4) Smoke Ale is a lightly smoked beer that seems better suited for darker styles like porters. 5) Frog in the Rye was a sourish brew and I believe the sample was old and probably spoiled. 6) Chocolate Stout shows that Rogues true forte is the dark and big beers with a sweet Hershey palate that manages a dryish bittersweet finish. Nice. 7) Imperial Porter was a supremely bitter porter with ample chocolate malt for balance. Another winner. 8) Imperial Stout is the porter's big brother. More body, more bitter, more better. I had this in a cask version in NJ many years ago and it was one of the finest dark beers I have ever had and I have had many. On regular tap it still shone though it lacked the softness of the hand pulled version.9) Young's Special Bitter is a classic session beer Northwest (read bitter) style. A real winner when found in cask form and unfortunately that is not the case at the very brewery that makes it!10) Brutal Bitter is oddly a less bitter and more quaffable version of the YSB. 11) Dry Hop Red is a beautiful soft flora brew that is not overly better and very drinkable. 12) Hazelnut Brown is a Frangelico boiler maker. Hard to believe you can make a beer like this and have it not be too sweet.
Favorite Dish: 13) Vanilla Porter had a huge vanilla palate but again managed a dryish bittersweet finish. It was a bit light and it seems more suited to be a higher gravity beer. Still, not bad as is. 14) Mocha Porter starts off like a cafe Cubano but finishes like an Espresso Italiano. This one could have been too sweet but the dry bitter finish saves it. 15) Shakespeare Stout is a soft creamy dry stout, just sweet enough to quaff and dry enough to ask for another. 16) Imperial Red had an almost perfume nose it was so floral but a nice soft malty palate dries considerably in the bitter finish and makes this one dangerously drinkable. 17) Imperial Pilsner looks like a pils and has the light body of a pils. It is dry and bitter like a pils. It's actually hard to believe how strong it is but when the glass is empty, you know the label does not lie. Worth a try, you betcha. 18) Imperial YSB is an amped version of their session YSB with lots of extra malt and alcohol kick easily balanced by the massive hops Rogues is known for. An enticingly soft and drinkable strong ale with a long dry finish. 19) I Squared PA is proof that ales are better suited for elevated strong interpretations. Softer and fruitier than the Imperial Pils while sacrificing no hop bitterness. This one helps define the style double IPA. 20) Old Crustacean is Rogue's barley wine and is no slouch in the big beer department. This long pedigree brew is a monster full of huge malt but easily balanced by massive hop additions.
Their to go store offered no great deals. Rogues has very pretty bottles but you pay dearly for them which makes some of their best beers for either the rich or for very special occasions. Why they can't just put their admittedly great beers in regular bottles so they can be enjoyed by more people or more often is beyond me. Rogues makes some great beers but I would not call them a great brewery. For that reason, when given the choice between their beers and other great brews, I generally go with their competition.
Mo's is one of those hokey touristy trap institution kinda restaurants. It's like all the best and worst all rolled up into one. I actually knew very little about it when we were walking around Newport for the first time but we were kind of in the mood for clam chowder (being near the sea for a few weeks will do that!) and this little place had it. I have since read on the Internet that it has seen better days and that prices are up and quality down though it seems even local cynics say the chowder is still great. I guess you can call us lucky as that is what we ordered anyway. This place has been around for 60 years so they must be doing something right. It now has outposts in Canon Beach, Lincoln City, Florence, and Otter Creek in addition to the two Newport locations.
The original is on Bay Blvd in Newport and it must get pretty crowded as they built an annex just up the street. It was that one we stumbled across. It was a simple little place right on the bay (well, more like on the docks) so it had a real nautical feel to it. The service was friendly and quick. It was certainly nothing fancy but a great little place for lunch while in town.
Favorite Dish: We both had a bowl of clam chowder served in a hallowed out sourdough bread ($7.95). It is considerably cheaper to get a plan bowl ($4.25) but we both love sourdough and were hungry. We split a Siletz Oatmeal Stout ($4.25) which was equally yummy and went very well with the tasty chowder. I was half hoping it would not be so great as now I had another local brewery to go to! Lol
The Pelican Brewpub was high on the list of newer brewpubs to visit in Oregon. Winner of numerous Great American Beer Festival medals including Best Large Brewpub in American in 2006, it was a definite stop despite it being a bit pricey. Located right on the beach, it was readily apparent from the line to get a table, it was a very popular place. We spotted some seats at the bar and I was glad to sit there. It was a very big bustling place with a sizeable deck right on the beach. Many people were waiting for outside seating as it was a gorgeous day. The bar was very long but two very able bartenders managed it well.
Favorite Dish: I ordered their Famous Fish & Chips ($15.99) where Mahi-Mahi is marinated in Kiwanda Cream Ale, Panko breaded & fried. It was erved with beer battered fries, homemade tartar sauce & coleslaw. The suggested pairing was Doryman's Dark Ale, a past gold medal winner. This dark brown ale was in an English style but featured American hops for a roast bitter flavor that dried some in the bittersweet finish. It certainly did go well with the fish and would have been amazing if cask conditioned. Doreen had their Asiago Crusted Vegetarian sandwich ($11.99) which was roasted red pepper, eggplant, provolone cheese & pesto mayonaise on cheesy grilled sourdough. This went very well with their Tsunami Stout which was black with a creamy tan head and rich coffee palate with hints of chocolate. The bittersweet dry finish was perfect. Since we were at the bar, I asked for small tastes of Kiwanda Cream Ale which was a typical light Canadian type ale and nothing special. The MacPelican Scotch was a malty brew of little interest. I finished up with their cask India Pelican Ale which was the 2003 Champion of the coveted Chicago Real Ale Festival. This deep golden brew with a thin lasting head and a fantastic floral hop nose. The equally hoppy plalate was well balanced with lots of great malt which made for a soft but full bodied beer. This one was really lovely.
This place opens at 8 AM for breakfast and my guess is it's quite popular.
The meal was quite good and it was a very nice place with great service. It came to $50 for lunch with beers. It was not as pricey as I had anticipated and the quality more than made up for it not being cheap. It's a shame all their beers were not cask conditioned as they truly seem to be made for it stylistically.
This is one sleek yet cozy bistro-style eatery that overlooks the ocean and the streets of history-filled Nye Beach.
They've got a menu that boasts expertly done and innovative dishes around $10 for lunch. A spinach pasta comes with an especially aromatic wine and tomato sauce that surprises the nostrils as well as the palate. Filet mignon is rubbed with fennel seed and brown sugar, as well as turned into a “poor boy sandwich” – a version containing the extra twist of a wild and wooly chipotle dressing.
Those are just two examples: every element of each dish provides a startling yet beautiful experience, containing multiple layers of subtle tastes and nuances. I honestly believe it's best food I've had on the entire coast.
Favorite Dish: I love the tuna sandwiches.....laced with cranberry and other goodies. SERIOUS gourmet stuff....and a great selection of wines.
Incredible desserts by some Euro place called Delicato too. Yow!!!!
I haven't had anything that I could call my favorite over anything else....it all has blown me away and opened up incredible new vistas of edibles!
Sadly, it's only open for lunch. I'm addicted and i need more hours outta them.
My mom & I were invited here by Phil Kaiser and his wife, Denise. Being locals, they know the good places to eat in Newport and we were sure glad they chose this place!
The restaurant sits right beside the beach and is adjoined to the Hallmark Inn. The ambience is semi-formal but most patrons were dressed casually.
Favorite Dish: I ordered a medley of seafood that was served with rice and vegetables. It was absolutely delicious!
Excellent food. Tell them early in the day if you will be dining in and then choose from the menu, which has two or three choices for each course. Get wine from wine store across the street. Communicating with other hotel guests is mandatory and the staff have ways of making you get aquainted. Breakfast is also great looking out over the Pacific, just a few yards away. vegatraian food available along with critter of the day. Local and in-season produce is used in dishes.
Favorite Dish: Anything salmon!
Old pictures and signs adorn the walls and ceiling. Just try and figure out a particularly criptic hand carved sign hanging on a beam. Good luck!
Often crowded, so, try to hit the place at a little bit of an off hour.
Favorite Dish: The clam chowder is most excellent and world famous.
The decor is diverse, fun & captivating. This is definately a diamond in the rough as it can be easily missed. It's on the corner to the left at bottom of hill. Look for decorative flags hanging in front. Don't give up if you can't seem to find it, ask a local retailer. If you've passed the seals on your right or aquarium entrance, then you've passed it. It's worth every bit of the wandering back & forth trying to find it if having trouble. Simpler to ask a local shop as soon as you get to the bottom of hill.
Favorite Dish: Can't go wrong with whatever you choose. However, the most wonderful dessert I've everd had is Mousse in a Bag! Be sure to save room, and may want to split it due it's richness.
Forget Mo's...in my opinion the Chowder Bowl is far superior. The clam chowder there is thick and creamy with lots of flavor. I've never seen what's so special about Mo's chowder. It's too watery and has too many potatoes for my taste. But the Chowder Bowl was perfect. In fact, it's the best chowder I've had outside of Boston.
I really liked the fries they serve as well. They look like potato chips, but are hot, soft and delicious. The only gripe I have about the Chowder Bowl was the portions. I ordered the Seafood Platter that came with 4 different types of fish. There was only one shrimp on the plate. But everything tasted good, and like I said, the chowder and fries make the Chowder Bowl a hit with me.
Favorite Dish: The Clam Chowder... and the French Fries.
Great little local restaurant. Nice friendly staff. Great food, best clam chowder we had out of all the others we tried. Fish tacos were yummy. 1st restaurant we ate at in Newport, it was so good we came back on our lst night before going home.
Mo's....not the annex, but the original.
This place is just wonderful, it used to be just a garage. The people who had it built it up to quite more & other locations, but this little modest garage is the best. You sit at basically picnic tables. Bobby Kennedy came here while he was running for President, just before he was killed. Photos of this on the walls. The perfect, very casual place to go after deep sea fishing all day, or just sight seeing the area. Highly recommended!!
Favorite Dish: Clam Chowder...the best EVER!!
We stopped there because Moe's was crowded. Now I know why this place was empty. I ordered a steak--Well done--emphasized that I did not want to see pink and told the waitress to make sure the cook understood that I wanted it cooked all the way through. When it came to me I told the waitress to wait a second. I cut the steak and it was bleeding. I've seen cows wounded worse and still recover to lead fully functional lives. The waitress took the steak back and 5 minutes later brought it out again. Still bleeding. I told her to bring the manager. I asked him if he hired the cook or inherited him and if the cook was cooking for himself or for the customer. When I showed him the steak, he apologized, but it was too late. I then pointed out the cold soup, that my friend's food had been served cold, the butter was frozen and we were leaving and not coming back and not paying for the food since we had not eaten it and it was not what we ordered. The waitress pick up the butter and put it back in the same big bowl that I suppose would be served to someone else. Just wondering how many other servings of butter had been pulled and replaced in that same bowl and if anyone who had eaten of it had a disease?
Shark's is an amazing restaurant. I must admit that both the name and website struck me as a bit cheesy, but all doubts were vanquished by the meal. Being on the Oregon coast, the restaurant's specialty is, of course, seafood, but their mastery of bouillabaisse and cioppino are sublime. I lived in Europe for three years, and have had some great meals there. These two dishes were comparable to the best that I ever had in France and Italy. The cioppino in made with an earthy blend of fresh tomatoes, herbs and seasonings. This is simmered until the flavors blend into a wonderful full-bodied perfection. Then, shortly before serving the dish, fresh dungeness crab, mussels, clams and fish are added, in copious amounts. The result is a seafood stew that is not fishy at all, but rather has the delicate flavors of the sea immersed in a heady sauce bristling with explosive tastes. It is not to be missed
The bouillabaisse is made with the same fresh ingredients that are awash in a perfect light garlic sauce that contains leeks, potatoes, herbs and seasonings. You will be conflicted as to whether you want to eat the wonderful crab, clams, mussels and fish, or sop up the intoxicating broth with the crusty, chewy bread they provide. Either way, you will be in ecstasy.
The restaurant also serves excellent salads and has a selection of wines that complement the meal perfectly. Please, if you are in Gold Beach, give yourself an hour of ecstasy and dine at Shark's.
Favorite Dish: The freshest seafood, prepared in the perfect traditional French and Italian styles, I can't decide between the cioppino and the bouillabaisse.