Oregon Coast Best of Awards for 2008
(Oregon Coast) - It's the Second Annual Oregon Coast Beach Connection Best of Awards, spotlighting the niftiest in lodging, dining, natural events and nightlife. The list was compiled by BeachConnection.net staff and freelancers, based on experiences over the last year.
Best Fine Dining: Terra Cotta Café, Manzanita. It’s like heaven came to you and crawled in your mouth. Slightly innovative dishes - but not too esoteric - come with a welcome helping of a homemade feel. 725 Manzanita Ave. Manzanita, Oregon. (503) 368-3700.
Best Family Restaurant: Angelina's Pizzeria & Café. Not only are pizza and calzones a universal favorite among little ones, it's all gourmet enough to please the grownups. Not to mention their hot sandwiches – which include stunning housemade breads – are more than slightly spectacular. A recently enlarged seating accommodates more families now. Hwy 101, Seaside, Oregon. (503) 717-1230.
Best Seafood: Pacific Oyster, Bay City. Plenty of stuff to please more grown kids to smaller ones, along with ecstatically delicious seafood for all ages and tastes. Of particular note is their seafood stews. Unbelievable. 5150 Oyster Drive, Bay City. (503) 377-2323. www.pacseafood.com/
Best New Restaurant: Pizza Garden, Nehalem. So good it hurts. Exceptional pasta and soaring gourmet items to top off your pizza with. Where else can you get a "designer pizza?" Hwy 101, Nehalem. 503-368-7675.
Best Dessert: Zinger's Ice Cream, Seaside. You can't beat its housemade flavors, full of lovingly produced goodness, real ingredients and wide assortment. Their fruit flavors actually have real chunks of fruit in them, like the sparkling mango or earthy marionberry. 210 Broadway. (503) 738-3939. www.zingersicecream.com.
Best Single Dish: The pulled pork sandwich at Village Bistro & Deli: it’s actually infused with a bit of espresso. BeachConnection.net staff hasn’t found any barbecue nearly as good in the Portland area. NW 3rd, Newport, Oregon. Website here.
Best Wine Spot: The Wine Place in Yachats. Interesting, informative tastings every weekend at this cozy little wine seller. (541) 547-5275.
Coolest View: Fathoms Restaurant at Inn at Spanish Head in Lincoln City. You’re essentially about ten floors above the surf, with a window to the watery world. Absolutely wondrous. SW Highway 101. Lincoln City, Oregon. 541-994-1601 or 800-452-8127. www.spanishhead.com/site/restaurant.html
Best Lodging Renovation: A1 Beach Rentals, Lincoln City. Co-owner Gene Scrutton is a master with wood paneling and river rock fireplaces. Several of the homes under their aegis have been redone using this stunning technique. It’s visually some of the most pleasing interiors you’ll ever find on the coast. (503) 232-5984. www.a1beachrentals.com
Best New Lodging: The Surftides in Lincoln City. Now, granted it’s not technically new. But they redid it into one of the more spectacular and hip spots on this whole shoreline. It’s a whole new look and a whole new vibe for the coast. 2945 NW Jetty Avenue. Lincoln City, Oregon. (541) 994-2191. www.surftidesinn.com.
Most Fun Lodging: San Dune Inn, Manzanita. You can’t beat this quirky little charmer for the fun and funky. Regulars here get so comfortable with the staff they sometimes play pranks on each other. Plus being extremely dog and family friendly, with a load of amusing distractions, is a big help. Dorcas Lane, Manzanita. www.sanduneinn.com. 503-384-5163.
Best Bar: Pudgy’s, Seaside. The service is pretty good but the regulars and the strange sights can be unbelievably hilarious. We can’t tell you what we saw once, but it was the funniest damned thing. They’ve also got one of those fab internet jukeboxes that let you play all the pop crap you can handle, or for the more discerning there’s plenty of obscure, arty stuff, like U.K., Roxy Music, Bauhaus, Peter Gabriel, etc., along with loads of the awesome indie rock and punk from today or bygone eras. 227 Broadway. (503) 738-8330.
Best Bartender: Sean at the Warren House in Cannon Beach. Just your average surfer dude with a particularly sunny disposition, a riotous sense of humor and a nice touch on the drinky-poo’s. S. Hemlock, Cannon Beach.
Best Live Music: Landmark Lounge, Yachats. It’s by far one of the coolest bars in the state, loved by locals, Portlanders and Eugenians alike. The occasional big name act or lower tier national act coming through yields some extremely pleasant surprises. It’s well worth a trip to the tiny town. Hwy 101, Yachats. (541) 547-5459.
Biggest Scientific Revelation of the Year: All the sand erosion last winter that revealed tons of strange interesting beneath the sand, including the big discovery of the historic cannon and such.
Most Interesting Science Person of the Year: Terry Morse, Newport. He’s a bit of a rogue scientist: on his own, finding cool stuff on the beaches and reporting them on his rather unique blog. He likes to re-animate some of the stuff too, like a mad scientist.
Freakiest Natural Event: The north coast saw a ton of clams at the end of the year – and it’s still happening. Between Seaside and Warrenton, you can find way more than usual at the tideline.
Biggest Bummer News: Kernville Steakhouse is going down soon, if not already. This upscale wonder on the outskirts of Lincoln City deserved much better. Many mouthwatering times were had here.
Special Thumbs Down Award for 2008: Gas prices. They had visitors in a battle with their wallets for much of the summer. Then once the season died down, prices dropped. Thanks a bunch, oil speculators. We give you not only a thumbs down – but a middle finger salute. We sincerely hope you folks have all been laid off.
Town to Keep an Eye On This Year:
Manzanita. There’s a lot brewing in this ultra-lovely tiny burgh
(which so happens to be our home). New restaurants will be popping up,
they’ve just added a handicap access at the main beach access, and
some other new buildings are housing some interesting shops. Some of what
we’re hearing may be rumor; others are definitely happening.
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