A couple of friends and I decided to visit the latest restaurant to open in the Whiteaker, Bari Trattoria. We were seated immediately without a reservation, and the wait staff got our drinks and appetizers to us quickly. We ordered the Wood Fired Mixed Olives and Calamari for our appetizers. For the main course my friend Sheila ordered the Spaghetti Marinara with Meatballs, Chris ordered the Smoked Pork Ragu, and I ordered the Fettuccini Alfredo with Smoked Chicken.
We were all very happy with our meals, the chicken was was tender and filled with smoke flavor. The noodles were handmade in house and you could taste the difference! Keeping true to their name they have a great mixologist on staff that had several intriguing house cocktails on the menu.
They also have a great Tuesday night special that none of us had a chance to try 1 slice and a beer for $13. Perhaps the best part of the evening was when they brought out our bill, and even after the 4 cocktails we added to the meal our bill was only $82. Great food, great prices, great location! I will definitely be back! Click here for more info http://baritrattoria.com/
My fiance’ Erika and I decided to visit Cafe Soriah after meeting Chef Ib the owner and table side chef. We came in on a Tuesday around 6pm and were seated right away. The staff was very attentive despite how busy they appeared to be. At the recommendation of the Chef I chose the Steak Diane, a Beef tenderloin, in burgundy brown sauce with mushrooms, scallions, Dijon mustard and garlic. My fiance’ chose Souvlaki, a smaller plate of skewered marinated beef tenderloin grilled and served with tzatziki. My Steak Diane was out of this world, it reminded me of a gourmet salisbury steak. Erika loved her entree’ as well, along with her beet salad she said it was the perfect portion.
Chef Ib is dedicated to bringing the Mediterranean experience into every meal and uses lots of local fresh ingredients. If you would like to see him in action I recommend you stop by tonight! For a list of everything they have to choose from visit their website http://cafesoriah.com
I visited the new pizzeria in the Whiteaker Saturday night of the soft opening with my fiance’ and her friend visiting from out of town. As many of you know Steve Mertz the creator of Tacovore is tackling his next project a New Haven pizzeria with a focus on new school craft beer. Needless to say I was excited!
When we arrived they had a similar set up to Tacovore, you get get in line to order before you sit down. The staff was very friendly and greeted us as soon as we walked in. We ordered the Kale Caesar, Cheese Polenta Cakes, and the Sausage and Pepper pizza, two of their hand crafted soda’s Erika got the Berry and I got Lemon.
We received our food right away and the pizza was served with a rustic char on the crust. It was clear that they were using higher end ingredients, and that all the ingredients were fresh with an emphasis on locally sourced products. The flavor was out of this world, I haven’t tasted pizza this fresh before. The combination of sausage and red pepper practically exploded in my mouth! I did not have a beer that night, but the shop was certainly a buzz with delight as patrons discussed pairings and beer selections. The pizzeria also boasts handmade cocktails and wine if beer isn’t your preference.
The only problem I foresee for this new restaurant is where they are going to fit all the customers when they start to get busy. It is quite a bit smaller than Tacovore, but I assume it will be just as popular. Some nights it might be easier to order take-out! Visit their website to learn more http://thewheelapizzapub.com/
If you have never been to the Backstage Bakery in Cottage Grove you are in for a treat! I am a southern boy, and I have been looking for a long time for someone who does biscuits and gravy the right way. The Inhat Brothers have their recipe down to a T!
There menu is also loaded with other delicious items, but I drive all the way to see them when I am craving a good B&G! If you have any places that you think would compete with them please leave a comment below I would love to hear your experience!
To see a full selection of there menu click here http://places.singleplatform.com/backstage-bakery-and-cafe/menu?ref=google
My fiance’ and I recently had the pleasure of going to brunch at Studio One Cafe, apparently a not so well kept secret close to campus. For a while when I was a vegetarian Morning Glory was my favorite place to go, and when I was in the mood for a greasy spoon diner Brail’s was a favorite landing spot. However, after visiting Studio One I officially have a new favorite brunch spot! They are well known for their French Toast, and Eggs Benedict selections.
When we first arrived I was a little worried because there were several people waiting to be seated. To my pleasant surprise we were seated in under 10 minutes. The cafe itself is tiny and very crowded, at times I had trouble hearing my date in front of me. When the food arrived it didn’t matter, I selected the ”Field of Dreams” benedict, and my partner chose the Chiliquilles Tortillas. Both were excellent, my entree’ was a combo of Biscuits and Gravy and Eggs Benedict, it was delicious! I have gone back twice and ordered the exact same thing. The waitress was very polite and attentive, she even recommended a side of Hollandaise sauce for the home fries which was awesome.
I know what you’re thinking at this point, “do they have mimosas”? The answer is yes, they wouldn’t qualify for best brunch without a little bit of booze in the menu. If you live in the Eugene area you simply must try this place at least once! To read over their menu options go here https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g51862-d1013565-Reviews-Studio_One_Cafe-Eugene_Oregon.html
As someone who used to work in Cottage Grove I am very familiar what this town has to offer. To this day it is still one of my favorite Daycation spots. When I go I usually like to hit up the Backstage Bakery for breakfast because they have “hands down” the best biscuits and gravy in Lane County. The Inhat Brothers definitely don’t mess around when it comes to creating a menu your grand’ma would’ve been proud of. You will find all of your favorite classics on there, including a great cup of coffee!
After breakfast, head over to one of my favorite vintage stores 5 Flying Monkeys, their prices and collection can’t be beat. They have a unique blend of antiques and funky thrift store items that will keep you busy for hours. Next door is the Crafty Mercantile an original shop for those of you who love creating your own arts and crafts at home. Not only do they have everything you need to stay busy in the studio, they also provide plenty of inspiration, and work space in the store. If you are a bookworm you are in luck Cottage Grove has 3 of the coolest bookstores in the area. Kalapuya Books is located next to the Backstage Bakery, Bookmine across the street also doubles as a jewelry store and plant shop. Not even a stones throw away is a friendly priced used bookstore called Books on Main.
For lunch I will usually go to Jack Sprats a great little cafe that I think is one of the true hidden gems in Cottage Grove, or Buster’s Main Street Cafe. They both have excellent Reuben sandwiches, and they are only about 2 blocks away from each other. After lunch I like to drive by a few of their famous covered bridges before heading home https://traveloregon.com/things-to-do/trip-ideas/scenic-drives/cottage-grove-covered-bridge-tour-route/
There are many other great places to visit in Cottage Grove, this is just a few of my personal favorites. Please visit the CG Chamber of Commerce to find out more information about all the great places it has to offer http://www.cgchamber.com/
So the next time you are planning a day trip, consider our neighbors to south and visit one of these hidden treasures!
Eugene has gathered quite the reputation for being home to some of the best breweries in the world. However, I don’t hear anyone whining about our local wineries either. Wine Enthusiast Magazine awarded the Williamette Valley as the Wine Region of the Year in 2016. Known for it’s New World Pinot Noir, the Williamette Valley has been influencing wine drinkers everywhere to have an open mind to new ideas.
Here is a complete list of the wineries in Lane County that have helped the region earn the honor.
-Brigadoon Wine Company– 25167 Ferguson Rd, Junction City, OR 97448 http://www.brigadoonwineco.com
-Pfeiffer Winery– 25040 Jaeg Rd, Junction City, OR 97448 http://www.pfeifferwinery.com/
-Walnut Ridge Winery– 94739 Turnbow Ln, Junction City, OR 97448 http://www.walnutridgevineyard.com/
-High Pass Winery– 24757 Lavell Rd, Junction City, OR 97448 http://www.highpasswinery.com/
-Rain Song Vineyard– 92989 Templeton Rd, Cheshire, OR 97419 http://rainsongvineyard.com/
-Bennett Vineyards and Wine Company– 25974 OR-36, Cheshire, OR 97419 https://www.bennettvineyardsor.com/
-LaVelle Vineyards– 89697 Sheffler Rd, Elmira, OR 97437 http://www.lavellevineyards.com/
-Valhalla Winery– 23785 OR-126, Veneta, OR 97487 http://www.valhallawinery.com/
-Sarver Winery– 25600 Mayola Ln, Eugene, OR 97402 http://www.sarverwinery.com/
-Noble Estate Vineyard and Winery– 29210 Gimpl Hill Rd, Eugene, OR 97402 https://nobleestatewinery.com/
-Abbelone Vineyard– 85505 Christensen Rd, Eugene, OR 97405 http://abbelonewine.com/
-Sweet Cheeks Winery– 27007 Briggs Hill Rd, Eugene, OR 97405 http://sweetcheekswinery.com
-Silvan Ridge Winery– 27012 Briggs Hill Rd, Eugene, OR 97405 http://silvanridge.com/
-Iris Vineyards– 82110 Territorial Hwy, Eugene, OR 97405 https://www.irisvineyards.com/
-King Estate Winery– 80854 Territorial Hwy, Eugene, OR 97405 https://www.kingestate.com/
-Chateau Lorane– 27415 Siuslaw River Rd, Lorane, OR 97451 http://www.chateaulorane.com/
-Saginaw Vineyards– 80247 Delight Valley School Rd, Saginaw, OR 97424 https://www.saginawvineyard.com/
-Eugene Wine Cellars– 255 Madison St, Eugene, OR 97402 http://www.eugenewinecellars.com/index.html
-Territorial Vineyards and Wine Company– 907 W 3rd Ave, Eugene, OR 97401 http://territorialvineyards.com/
-Oregon Wine Labs– 488 Lincoln St, Eugene, OR 97401 http://www.oregonwinelab.com/
-Capitello Wines– 540 Charnelton St, Eugene, OR 97401 http://www.capitellowines.com/
-J. Scott Cellars– 520 Commercial St Unit G, Eugene, OR 97402 https://www.jscottcellars.com/
-Hayworth Estate Wines– 92075 Powerline Rd, Eugene, OR 97408 https://www.hayworthestatewines.com/
If you would like to plan a trip to one or several of these fine establishments please visit http://www.southwillamettewineries.com/plan-your-trip/
or if you would like to be escorted about town so you don’t have to worry about designating a driver go to http://www.corkandbarreltours.com/
Leave your favorite Williamette Valley winery experience in the comments…
For years I have been hearing how Beppe & Gianni’s Trattoria is the best Italian food in Eugene hands down. so when my fiance’ had a craving for lasagna I knew exactly where to take her. We went around 5:30pm on a Tuesday night and were seated almost immediately with no reservation. The restaurant itself appeared to be old craftsman style home that has been converted by an architect to accommodate the restaurant.
Our servers were very attentive serving complimentary bread with vinegar and oil. They possess an extensive wine list, however neither of us had a glass this particular night. For our appetizer we shared the Antipasto Della Casa, an assortment of cured meats, cheeses, and marinated vegetables. For our main course Erika chose the Lasagna (of course) which she described as rich and creamy filled with hamburger and Italian sausage. I went with Capelli D’Angelo Alla Mediteranea, which is angel hair pasta with sea scallops and shrimp! The sea food was very fresh and sauteed to perfection!
I can certainly see how they recieved an excellent reputation for being authentic. For a 2 person dinner I felt the price was reasonable as well, even with a hefty tip our meal came in under $70. The only element that I didn’t find appealing was perhaps how loud it was inside the restaurant itself, but maybe that’s just the Italian way!
After dinner we scampered across the street to the new Sweet Life called Sweet Life Petite. It was everything you’d expect from Sweet Life except the lines were a lot shorter! After surveying the options we went with the strawberry cheesecake and shared a hot cocoa. The girls behind the counter were particularly sweet and cheery. I would recommend to anyone tired of waiting in line at their parent location to skip across town and head into the Sweet Life Petite location. Just be prepared to take your dessert with you during the winter months, because they only have outdoor seating. Which was fine with us, after a long day we were ready to cuddle on the couch and watch a movie!
What is your favorite date night location? I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments below…
Here are the links to places we visited;
I was a little surprised when I saw the Best of Eugene Weekly article that boasted the 3 best burgers in town, and none of my favorites made the list. So I decided to create my own list, I would love to hear about your favorite burger in the comment section below!
- The Meiji Burger– Under valued because of it’s size the Meiji Burger is my personal favorite. It is served on an English Muffin with Japanese pickles, lettuce, onion, and house-made fries. You can taste the quality of the ingredients they use, including the 100% Organic Grass-fed Angus beef! https://www.izakayameiji.com/#menu
2. The Chow Burger– They have their meat ground fresh everyday, and also bake their own buns. Not to mention they pay homage to the Simpsons with their original name “Moes”. They infuse their bacon with maple syrup, to make every burger a foodies’ delight. If you are a fan of the Artisan Burger you have to try this place! https://openmenu.com/restaurant/d52f5540-8a01-11e2-823b-00163eeae34c
3) The Planktown Burger– I always get the Bacon Irish Cheddar Burger, it comes with an 8 oz patty with bacon, Irish cheddar, tomato, lettuce, pickled onion and creamy horseradish sauce. If you haven’t been to Planktown yet I would make plans to go tonight! http://planktownbrewing.com/menu.html
4. The Board Burger– Michael Autry the owner of Board Restaurant describes their burger as knee deep cattle beef, aged cheddar, arugula, red onion and chipotle bacon jam on a brioche. Be sure and save room for their potato wedge fries with the house made chipotle ketchup! http://www.boardrestaurant.com/menu/
5. The Cornucopia Burger– This burger could have easily been higher on the list, most of you already know they boast the best burger in Eugene via the Eugene Weekly’s “Best of” readers poll. My favorite burger on their menu is the Jeros Bacon Cheese Burger with crisp bacon, your choice of cheese, red onions, and mayo it is a force to be reckoned with! Visit their menu to see the full list of their famous burgers https://www.cornucopiaeugene.com/menu/#award-winning-burgers-vurgers
To see who the other winners were in the Eugene Weekly Best of 2017 visit http://www.eugeneweekly.com/20161103/lead-story/best-eugene-readers-poll-2016-2017
With so much beauty surrounding us sometimes its hard to know where to go when you want to go for a certain type of hike, here a few different hikes and what they are most known for.
Best Hike for Kids– Sweet Creek Falls Trail (Near Mapleton / Central Oregon Coast)
Best Waterfall Hike– McKenzie River Trail (Central Oregon)
Best Historic Hike– Fort Stevens (Astoria, North Coast)
Best Oregon Coast Hike– Cape Perpetua (Yachats, Central Coast)
Best Hike in the Mountains– South Sister (Central Oregon)
Best Multi-Day Hike– Three Sisters Loop (Central Oregon)
Best Snowshoe Hike– Odell Lake Overlook (Central Cascades)
Best Hike in the Portland Area Hike– Eagle Creek Trail (Columbia River Gorge)
Best Salem Area Hike– Silver Falls State Park
Best Hike in the Eugene Area– Tire Mountain (Oakridge, Central Cascades)
Best Hike in the Bend Area– Smith Rock State Park (Redmond, Central Oregon)
Best Hike in Eastern Oregon– Steens Mountain
Best Hike in Southern Oregon– Oregon Caves (Cave Junctuion)
Best Challenge Hike– Pacific Crest Trail from Ashland to Bridge of Gods in Hood River (Mt. Hood/The Gorge)
Best Day Hike on the PCT– Rosary Lakes (Crescent, Central Cascades)
Best Hike to Explore– Tillamook Head, start at the trailhead located in Ecola State Park (North Oregon Coast)
Best Hike for Hot Springs– Umpqua Hot Springs (Southern Oregon)
Best Hike for Birding– Zumwalt Prairie Reserves (Enterprise, Northeast Oregon)
Best Alter-abled Hike– Oregon Garden Resort (Williamette Valley)
For these and other great adventure ideas go to https://traveloregon.com/things-to-do/trip-ideas/