I hang my head in shame. It's been many weeks since my last report on our August road trip, where I left you all hanging on the California/Oregon border as posted here:
While I think Southern Oregon has so much to offer in its towns, I honestly feel like we didn't have enough time there to make any dent in the food scene. We essentially only had a day and a half before we headed back into California via I-5. Regret not staying one night in Ashland, but there's always next time!
So this report will be lacking in juicy food details, but I wanted to make sure to report back and thank you PNW hounds for your help in my query here:
Notables that have stuck w/ me:
We stopped at the little blue shack (does this place have a name?) by the water in old town for fish and chips. Weren't that hungry so shared one portion w/ cole slaw and fries. Choice between snapper and halibut, and we went for the cheaper snapper (around $7 including sides). Fish was fine and what you'd expect from snapper, but the fry job was terrific! Batter was puffy and greaseless, and the fries stayed hot and crispy to the last bite. Next time I'd upgrade to the halibut for a few extra bucks.
We went to Cranberry Sweets and More afterwards and had fun tasting all the samples. They were running a tape of Rachael Ray's visit to their store for one of her travel shows on the Food Network--a bit over the top. We liked the marionberry and cranberry pates de fruit, so bought a box. I'm sure the local cranberry bogs are getting ready for harvest...
We were headed to Coos Bay for the night and stopped at many lovely sights along the coast. Boy, was it super windy though! Clear difference between California vs. Oregon beaches. We checked into our hotel just before dinner time. We then drove north to do some more sightseeing and returned to Coos Bay for dinner. Driving around, we didn't see anything that interested us and everywhere we went seemed really, really dead. We kept on feeling like we were missing some major hub of town, but we were both getting cranky and needed to get dinner before places closed.
Ended up at Bennetti's in the downtown area right off Business 101. I remembered reading one positive report, but didn't have much to go on. Old school, red sauce Italian w/ a family-friendly vibe. All dinners come w/ bread, soup, and salad. We saw huge portions on tables so opted for half portions of their lasagna and eggplant parmigiana. Both were pretty bad, sloppy renditions of classics. Very salty, mushy masses on the oddest looking pre-heated plates that stayed hot forever. Soup tasted like canned minestrone. Even though the food was barely edible, we liked the vibe and service. The booths and red interior along w/ the quirky staff and patrons made us feel like we were in a David Lynch movie.
Next day we headed straight to the Dunes for some early morning sightseeing and hiking. So beautiful and tranquil. This is where our chowing takes a serious plunge. I think we were so worried about seeing everything that food just fell by the wayside. We snacked on car foods, but did manage to stop for wine tasting at River's Edge Winery in Elkton. For some random winery off the small highway headed towards Ashland, we were impressed w/ both their Pinots and Gewurtz. Bought a bottle of their 2004 Pinot Noir for $17; should age well.
Just outside of Ashland, we stopped in at Rising Sun Farm since I had seen an ad for it. Small shop that specializes in making savory cheese tortas and sells local products and wine. Sales clerk was friendly and offered many samples, but we didn't care for anything so left empty-handed.
Walked around downtown Ashland for a couple of hours and thought about grabbing an early dinner there, but none of the window menus really grabbed us. I tried some local gelato being sold at the ice cream shop, but I didn't really care for it. A new sweets shop called Mix looked interesting...
Feeling pressured to get to our nighttime destination of Redding, CA, we decided to head south and grab dinner in Dunsmuir at Sengthong's (sp?). That wasn't the most successful of meals, but I'll have to leave you in suspense and pick up again on the CA board in a couple of days.
Here are a few photos from this leg of our trip: http://adobe.kodakgallery.com/Slidesh...
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