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Oregon Road Trip: fine tuning the itinerary

nja | Jun 4, 200312:58 PM

Greetings Oregon Chowhounds,

I’m an SF hound about to take a road trip through Oregon, and I’d like some feedback on my itinerary. I’ve done some scanning of this board, and I’ve come up with the following so far.

I’m generally looking for quick breakfasts (pastries, muffins, bagels, coffee, etc.), inexpensive lunches, and moderate dinners (max $100 for 2, food, tip, wine included). I’m a huge wino, and a particular fan of pinot noir, so one of my priorities is to sample lots of Oregon wine. I’m also a big microbrew fan. My girlfriend doesn’t eat red meat, loves seafood, and is usually indifferent to poultry. I’ll eat anything. I read the thread on the meaning of Northwest Cuisine so I hesitate to say this, but I’m generally looking for distinctively Oregon or unique foods; I’m not so interested in specialties from other U.S. regions or Asia (plenty of that in SF). I would like to have at least one meal built around Oregon pinot: wild salmon and/or wild mushrooms come to mind.

Here’s the plan so far. Any suggestions--fill in my holes or suggest a better alternative to my choice--are appreciated!

California and Oregon Coast
Dinner at Blue Bird Café in Hopland followed by a night in Eureka.

Breakfast at Los Bagels in Arcata, slow drive up the Oregon coast. Don’t yet know where to have lunch. Stopping for the night in Newport. Dinner at the Whale’s Tail.

Breakfast in Newport (where?) followed by a drive toward Portland, stopping at some wineries along the way. Lunch suggestions?

Three nights in Portland at a hotel in the Pearl. One day spent back out in the wine country, the other doing the Columbia Gorge drive.

3 dinners in Portland, what should they be?
- Winterborne (but are they still only open W-Sa?)
- Wildwood (will it break $100?) or Pazzo for a pinot and salmon fix?
- A wine bar / small plates crawl? I’m thinking Navarre, Noble Rot, and Wine Down as a cluster to hit. What are some good dishes to order at each? Any other bars within walking distance of those, or can you suggest another cluster to crawl between instead?
- Café Azul?
- Lucere (anyone been since the new chef)?

Breakfasts in Portland: once again, where to get quick breakfasts?

Lunch (sort of) in Portland: Thinking of stopping at the Full Sail brewery in Mount Hood for lunch. Their Amber (on tap) used to be my favorite beer, though it seems to have gone somewhat downhill lately. Any thoughts or better alternatives?
Also, can you recommend a store to pick up good bread, fruit, cheese, etc. for a picnic while wine tasting (in Portland or wine country).

Any winery recommendations? I’m interested in the best available wines at all price points. I don’t care so much for pretty vineyards or tasting rooms, I want good wine poured by friendly and knowledgeable people.

Southern or Central Oregon
We still have not made up our minds on where to spend the next two nights. One thought: one night in Bend (dinner at Merenda), the next night somewhere near Crater Lake or the California border. Any suggestions?

We’re concluding our trip with a dinner at Café Maddalena in Dunsmuir before heading home.

Thanks in advance for any guidance!

By the way, I’m going to reply to my own message with a file I culled together with posts from this board. My apologies to plagiarizing everyone, but it was just too much work to attribute each comment.


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