Friday, July 11, 2008

Wine 'n' Dine

Just for something to write about, here are my thoughts on some of the restaurants here in town. I'm only listing places I've been to in the last few months and only ones I feel like writing about.

Broken down by cuisine. Enjoy:


Pegasus Pizza: Decent college pizza and good beer. I've had great pizza there and I've had bad pizza there, but most of it lands in the "pretty good" zone.

Sy's Pizza: The closest thing I've ever found to New York-style pizza on the West coast. A good, cheap meal.


Rennie's Landing: Basically, pub food. Solid burgers and beer, though it's really more of a hang-out that a dine-out kind of place. I used to go there for lunch until I got bored with it.

Cornucopia: Best burgers in town, in my opinion. The Blond Bomb is a big, cheesy chunk of delicious. Great beer selection and good specials. The meatball and provolone sandwich is another favorite. Doesn't seem like you get enough for the price, but I'm never unsatisfied when I finish it.

McMenamins (any of them, there are three in town and they're all the same): Good burgers, good fries and the Terminator Stout is a pure delight. Can't go wrong with a place that names a burger after a Led Zeppelin song. This Northwest-based company is trying to own every bar & grill in Oregon, I'm pretty sure.

The 'Witch House: Fairly new gourmet sandwich place on Willamette. I've never had anything there that I haven't thought was at least decent. They do a solid braised pork sandwich that's one of my favorite meals in town. Every time I want to go there, I'm worried it will be closed. I never see anyone there (must do solid lunchtime business).


Sweet Basil/Sweet Basil Express: Solid pad thai and some pretty good curries. Makes a good lunchtime stop, but I think it's overrated.

Ta Ra Rin: Excellent and highly recommend. The yellow curry is the stuff of dreams.


Bombay Palace: Good lunch buffet and a cheap, but no great shakes. Has all the atmosphere of a truck stop, though they play soccer matches on the big screen every now and then.

Evergreen: Very good lunch buffet, with a rotating selection of curries that I always enjoy (I had goat curry there once, and was not disappointed). The rice pudding is always a good way to end a meal.


Caspian: Nice little place on the 13th Ave. stretch heading into the UO campus. Serves some good kebabs and gyros (lamb kebab with rice is a favorite) as well as traditional American breakfast items.


Mid-Town: I've never eaten at the restaurant in the same building, but the coffee shop is one of the best in town. Real pros making the drinks, and some innovative specials (the honey cardamom latte is the best thing I've had on the menu).

Full City: Eugene's classic. Sort of MOR for a high end coffee shop, but the do good, consistent work.

The Beanery: Allan Bros.' own coffee stand in town. Great espresso made with handle-pulled machines (if you know what that means you already drink there) and a fine tea selection. The place is a barn though and it roasts in there all summer. Not a pleasant place to be when the heat gets up into the 80s or 90s.

Espresso Roma: Best coffee shop in town for atmosphere. Nice place to hang out and read/study/chat/lose game after game of Go to my friends. The coffee is motor oil, but strong and effective. Good pastries and some nice smoothies for the hot months.


Cafe Yumm!: Local chain, good for lunch or a light dinner. Most of the menu is variations on the basic Yumm Bowl, which is rice, salsa, veggies, cheddar and "Yumm Sauce," which is what ties the whole thing together into something worthwhile.

Provisions: Small gourmet marketplace in the bottom of the 5th Street Public Market. Good cheese and coffee selection. Also will fulfill anyone's need for gourmet-pizza-with-ingredients-you-wouldn't-think-to-add-to-pizza-but

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