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Restaurants & Bars 5

Mt. Shasta/Dunsmuir report

PolarBear | Aug 18, 200410:39 PM

We stopped over in Mt. Shasta City again this year on the way up and back on our trip to Port Townsend and the Hamma Hamma River on the Olympic Peninsula (WA). I had posted a request on the Northwest board for suggestions on the PT area and received only one reply, but it provided all we needed to mangia our way through the great places to eat in that region. The highlights were Sengthong on the way home (see below)and the dinner we prepared with friends in HH that we foraged from the Hood Canal, oysters, steamer clams, fresh caught crab, and a cobbler of wild berries picked along the river with white peaches we had brought with us from the central SJ valley.

In Mt. Shasta on the way up we decided again on Lily's for dinner. I was a little hesitant since on the previous trip at the beginning of June, my "fresh trout" was anything but, and overcooked to the point of being just edible, my wife's entree (halibut IIRC) was very good. This time we both enjoyed our meals, mine the Rack of Lamb and hers the Seafood Alfredo. Other offerings were a Dungeness Crab Louie, King Salmon (wild), Linguini with Clams and Mussels, Stuffed Avodadao Salad, and Blackened Tuna. I noticed that the only difference in the specials from our previous visit was that the "fresh" trout had been replaced by the lamb.

Our usual approach is to call Lily's and the Trinity Cafe, ask about their specials for the evening, then decide where to go. Trinity no longer answers their phone prior to opening and a recording asks that you leave a msg if you would like reservations. On our last trip we called after they had opened, liked what we heard, but by the time we were seated (@ 8pm) they were out of one of the appetizers and two of the entrees we were interested in. I guess our new stratey will be to call Lily's then drive by Trinity when they open and make our decision at that time.

The trip home was a different animal, non-stop (except for lunch at 7 Feathers Casino in S. OR) from HH to Mt. Shasta, about a 9-10 hr drive. Arriving in Mt. Shasta, figured that last thing we'd do is get back in the car, but after having no luck calling Trinity and discovering Lily's menu hadn't changed (and downing a well deserved martini) we recalled the Chowhound posts about Sengthong's in Dunsmuir, about 6 mi to the south.

We called and were told to come on in (Mon. night). Arrived around 6:30 PM and only a few other diners in the place. Sengthong's is billed as a Thai restaurant, but this doesn't do it justice. The owner's wife is Vietnamese and is skilled also in the cuisines of Laos and Thailand. Our dinner reflected the wonderful aspects of the three. We ordered one of the nightly specials, Escolar, prepared perfectly over a vegetable medley, for an appetizer we had the chicken satay which were oblong chunks of chicken with a great peanut sauce, not the thin slices on skewers that we were used to. The other dish we had was a spicy chicken over noodles (sorry for not posting earlier when my memory was much clearer) with its own dipping sauce.

The waitstaff was young but not knowledgeable about all aspects of the menu, however the owner was always present to fill in any needed info in a helpful and non -intrusive manner. In fact one of the young waiters explained to us that the round glutinous rice ball (a Laotion peasant creation IIRC) should be used to break off pieces with our hands and dip in the three outstanding sauces that came with the meal.

At the end, at our request, the owner brought his wife out from behind the kitchen for us to offer our thanks and kudos for such a fine meal. I should note that about half way through the place was full.

In conclusion, while on future visits to the area we will still frequent Trinity Cafe, Lily's, Piemonte, and Serge's (anyone been there lately?), Sengthong's in Dunsmuir will be on top of our list.

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