Have spent many a Thanksgiving weekend in the region, festively eating and drinking on the Coast with friends. Thirty miles North of Florence, or so, nestled cozily above the crashing Pacific waves in a tiny house once owned by Ken Kesey, to be exact.
On this particular day, barely a week ago, after a semi-strenuous 7-mile hike just South of Yachats, a few of us grubby and increasingly ravenous revelers turned our hungry eyes and empty stomachs to The Rogue Brewery, a considerable and quite torturous 40 minutes due North of us, to replenish our increasingly yawning appetites.
The Rogue is an honest, working brewery. You enter thru what seems to be a hollowed-out silo, into a giant warehouse of kegs and crates, encountering cross-walks where one is encouraged to look both ways to avoid colliding with fully-loaded forklifts. Soon, you encounter a sign, pointing you upstairs toward FOOD...
Our group of ten, eschewing the option of dining in the more "formal", sit-down area, head to the bar, adorned with ten or so tables. Menus are plunked down. Murmurs of hungry pleasure.
To start off, a "sampler" of the Brewery's liquid offerings: served on what seems like an old wooden ski fit for a pygmy, one can choose from a hand-written selection of two dozen beers; five generous samples of The Rogue's products are doled. All were mighty fine, with special mention going to The Rogue IPA, and The Rogue's fairly chocalate-y seasonal brew.
But on to the food. Yours truly (and GF) start out with 2 healthy bowls of the clam chowder (perfect for countering the frigidly moist hiking conditions) and a round of oyster shooters. Absolutely hits the spot! GF and I decide another round of the shooters is a must.
Yours Truly, and the GF I dearly love, both decide to order "The Best Hamburger in the World", as the menu ostentatiously words it: a 1/2 pound Kobe Beef patty, cooked to order, with fixings, served with Fries. Also, ostentatiously priced at around $13.
But, THIS BURGER!!!!! Maybe it was the hike...Maybe it was the fact that both the GF and I were so ravenous before our first chomp...but every bite of my large, perfectly medium rare burger, was carniverous perfection---the invitingly pink flesh, the way the juice spilled over my fingertips and began to soak the bun brownish, the warm feeling of well-being and satisfaction in my stomach after downing every mouthful---PERFECTION! And, yes, quite possibly the "best hamburger in the world".
Others in the group had cioppino, an assortment of sandwiches (the smoked salmon melt was notable in its popularity), but I wasn't really paying attention to any of my cohorts. Snout buried deeply in my rich, juicy burger (and my juice-soaked fries), the only thing I noticed was that everyone was as happy and satisfied as I was.
The Rogue Brewery, just North of the big bridge in Waldport. By no means a destination eatery (although probably a destination brewery), but if you find yourself travelling up the central Oregon Coast, and you're hungry, you are doing yourself a disservice not to drop in.....