Culinary Addictions of the Oregon Coast
(Oregon Coast) – Some interesting surprises lurk within the menus of your regular food haunts along the Oregon coast. These aren’t your regular, run-of-the-mill dishes or drinks. These, if you know them, are practically the stuff of some kind of religious experience.
These are the addictions of the Oregon coast – the dishes and beverages that keep you coming back for more. In fact, as the plate is first set in front of you, you can almost hear the choir kick in and see a halo-like light surround this heavenly morsel. As this oh-so-welcome friend hits your palate again, the eyes roll up in the head and your mouth is screaming for joy in a way that your own body and cerebral cortex didn’t ask it to.
And they are hiding in plain sight – although in one case they are actually a secret menu item. They’re probably at places you frequent, but perhaps you never tried one particular item. Or maybe it’s a restaurant you don’t even know about.
Now is the time. This is only a sample of numerous things that will keep you coming back. They are found in Bay City, Newport, Depoe Bay, Cannon Beach and Manzanita.
Bread and Ocean, Manzanita. It’s hard to say what’s the big obsession here, as all menu items seem to come in amazing trappings. Their baked goods take exemplary to a new level. All their sandwiches are so good they hurt. And the soups are remarkable feats of cooking prowess.
Most notable is their antipasto sandwich, which contains all the oily Italian wonders you’d expect in the salad, but in a cooked sandwich form where the meats and veggies are sizzling hot and the cheeses are melted around them like some loving embrace. It’s an avalanche of flavors.
Soups are some kind of experimental wonder, it seems, where the homemade vibe is combined with pushing the boundaries of sensory input and flavor combinations. They change constantly, and may feature a Thai-themed seafood delight one week or some heartier creation of pork and vegetables the next. You never know what you’ll find, but you’ll never be disappointed.
Irish Grub in Depoe Bay. O’Downey’s is the new kid on the block in this tiny town, and interestingly enough it’s an Irish pub. So lots of Irish specialties dominate the menu, but their big addiction is the Shepard’s Pie. It’s filled with layers of heart- and tummy-warming mashed potatoes, ground beef and veggies. It’s a bit different than many Shepard’s Pies you’ll find, as the layers are more distinct and less of a mish mash of stuff than the dish usually appears as. This means you have to dig a bit to get to the strata of perfectly seasoned ground beef, but it’s well worth the trip downward through the veggies and the lightly garlic-tinged mashed taters. 272 S Hwy 101. Depoe Bay, Oregon. 541-765-4441.
Monster Soups of Warren House, Cannon Beach. Soups are again the reigning kings at an eatery that is deceptively simple and downhome in its approach. You may think you’re in for pub grub but this deserves exposure on what is often referred to as the “food porn” channels (Food Network, et al). Brothers Larry and Darren Peters are the head chefs and are some kind of freakish geniuses when it comes to soups, especially their pork chili. It’s not spicy at all, contains no beans, and often has a vibrant mix of vegetables within. It’s hearty yet light in many ways, and packed nicely into a rich tomato base.
The Peters boys regularly come up with other startlers of the palate, like a corn and chicken chowder that is quite unforgettable, among numerous others. 3301 South Hemlock. (503) 436-1130.
Tuna Melt at Café Stephanie, Newport. You can get this on different kinds of bread, but it’s especially yummy on rye. Scott and Stephanie Doll have created a pearl in this cozy neighborhood, with recipes for regular comfort food that are innovative and just enough on the cutting edge to make it a little more delicious than you’re used to.
The tuna melt has a series of dark, musky flavors, between the rye bread and bacon hidden in the midst of the hearty tuna and red onions, as well as a tartness that’s engaging. Bits of tomato provide an extra zing and punch, while the tuna is light, subtle and unobtrusive. 411 Coast St. (541) 265-8082.
Pasta Secrets of Cannon Beach. Sometimes you have to be in the know to really know where to go – like a tourism version of the one of the cool kids.
Fultano’s Pizza in Cannon Beach is most popular for its pizza and their family vibe, but their housemade pasta sauce is some of the best you’ll find in the entire state of Oregon. It’s also used in their lasagna – which, it turns out – has a kind of cult following among some major foodies in Portland, including some restaurant owners. N. Hemlock and Second Street. www.CBfultanos.com (503) 436-9717.
Another secret wonder in town is the literally clandestine spaghetti and meatballs at The Bistro, which isn’t on any official menu: only the truly cool insiders know it’s there. Get ready for a forest of earthy flavors, and the meatballs are heavenly mixes of herbs and rustic seasonings. The Bistro. 263 N. Hemlock. Cannon Beach, Oregon. 503-436-2661.
Pacific Seafood, Bay City. Yes, a trip to the coast is all about seafood. But a blast of gourmet at a family seafood joint? You bet. Their Cioppino is chock full of a wide variety of former ocean dwellers, all done in this unique way that will have you reeling. Swimming in a rich tomato base are bits of oysters, crab, halibut, cod and shrimp to even a smattering of octopus. The oysters are like tender little chunks of beef: extremely rich and flavorful, quite powerful for their miniscule size. The astounding view of the bay and fresh ocean air is free, however. 5150 Oyster Drive, Bay City, Oregon. (503) 377-2323. www.pacseafood.com
Newport Bay Coffee Company. A powerfully tasty but smooth coffee concoction that’s so good it’s scary – and it’s available in more places than Newport. They have a little coffee shop right on 101, at the north end, but you can also find it at many spots around Newport, including Village Bistro in Nye Beach and Nana’s Irish Pub. At Village Bistro, there’s something special, it seems. These magicians of caffeine have created a blend particular to the little eatery, which is jaw-droppingly silky. It’s a mocha java style that almost lacks any acidic qualities whatsoever.
Luckily, they sell their delicious liquids at Made In Oregon shops and other places around the state.Village Bistro is at 741 NW Third, Newport, Oregon. 541-574-9393. Newport Bay Coffee Company is at 4852 N Coast Hwy 101. Newport, Oregon. 541-265-4090.
More About Oregon Coast dining and restaurants.....
LATEST OREGON COAST NEWS STORIES
Back to Oregon Coast Beach Connection