Went to Manzanita this weekend, my first time staying in this particular town on the OR coast.
First of all, let me say that the Inn at Manzanita is lovely - a fabulous place to stay - gas fireplace, in room hot tub for 2, private deck, a block from the beach in downtown Manzanita.
Since everyone I know agrees that the Blue Sky Cafe sucks (including my companion who ate there in September last), we decided to try another place in town (but closer to 101), the Terra Cotta. It sucked. They were nice and all but the food fell short of decent. The main dishes we had were steak and pork chop. The steak was not of great quality. The pork chop, though of very good quality, was really thick. SO thick that when the server put it down she said, "I'll be back to check and see if it is cooked through in a minute...sometimes a piece of meat that thick doesn't quite get done all the way..."
Yeah, bad sign...totally raw in the middle. She came back and took it away, apologizing the whole time. When she brought it back, I nicely suggested they invest in a quick read thermometer... The veggies along side wanted to be roasted root veggies, but they sucked - no flavor at all...how is that possible?? $30 for 2 entrees and bad salad and we left...yuck. We re-named the place: Terrible Potty
Closer to the beach on the main drag in Manzanita (which would be Laneda, for those of you playing the home game), is Bread and Ocean. Great breads, sandwiches, coffee, cinnamon rolls and killer ginger cookies (hey, I love 'em) - get a picnic box lunch here for under $8 and you will be very happy - nice ingredients, fresh bread, nice salads on the side, and a cookie for dessert. They even bake fresh doggie biscuits! Really nice folks here, too.
The Bistro Manzanita was a mediocre but serviceable eggs, bacon, hash browns, english mufffin breakfast. If you go, don't stray to fancier fare. My companion's smoked salmon, cream cheese and green onion omelet sucked (very fishy) and, we think, made her queasy later.
The Coffee Shop does a serviceable breakfast sandwich, coffee and freshly baked donuts and sweet stuff...and Manzanita News and Espresso has good coffee and sweets (no real breakfasty food, though).
We had a nice dinner at the Nehalem River Inn, an old roadhouse in Mohler recently turned into an upscale restaurant. It was expensive (though not very by coastal standards, ya know) but good. We had two starters - quail with pears and pomegrante; and mussels with flying fish roe and other stuff (sorry) - both very tasty and well prepared with different flavors that melded well together. As it seems to happen often when dining with this companion, we ordered the same main dish - filet mignon with a balsamic reduction and blue cheese, truffled cheese pasta, baby asparagus...although I ordered mine without the blue cheese (yuck). The balsamic was very sweet (to offset the blue cheese, I know, but I didn't have any - companion said it worked together well) but the meat was of great quality. I order my steak black and blue...quality seriously shows through, you can't hide a lousy piece of filet when it is barely cooked, ya know? There was way too much mac and cheese on the plate - it was outrageously rich - but it was very tasty. We shared a panna cotta with berries (and they were great berries - where the heck did they get 'em?)for dessert which was very tasty but not a true panna cotta - too much gelatin and served in a wine glass so it was more like a vanilla pudding...but who cares, it was very good. What was left of our glasses of shiraz were a crazy perfect match with the panna cotta - go figure. This dinner cost over $100 (starters were around $10, entrees almost $30, plus dessert and 2 glasses of wine) but was worth it because dining on this part of the coast generally sucks, ya know?
If anyone has any good tips for dining on this part of the coast (south of Cannon Beach, north of Tillamook) please for the love of all that is edible, let me know. My standards for food drop at the coast anyway, but please, tell me there's some other decent stuff out there...