Archive for the Good Eats – Restaurant Category

Sweetest Thing Cupcakes – Review

Jul 28th, 2010 Posted in Fun Things to Do, Good Eats - Restaurant | no comment »

Oh, baby. The boys and I gave ourselves a summer treat by stopping by Sweetest Thing Cupcakes in Newberg. So, so, so good.

First off, the place is adorable. It’s in an old, craftsman bungalow with a cute porch to sit on and an even cuter room on the inside. It screams for a little girl’s birthday party or an afternoon coffee and treat for the ladies. Way better than finger sandwiches at a tea house for sure.

Right when you walk in, the display case has your eyes popping. It’s full of both the “regulars” and the daily specials. We had cupcake choices like:

Rootbeer Float: Rootbeer cake filled with vanilla buttercream and topped with a rootbeer buttercream r
Fallin to Pieces: Chocolate cake baked with Reese’s Pieces and topped with chocolate buttercream and more Reese’s Pieces.
Chocolate Covered Strawberry: Chocolate cake filled with chocolate ganache and topped with strawberry buttercream and chocolate covered strawberry.

Fantastic stuff. And, cupcakes are just the right amount of indulgence, don’t you think? Not too big, but satisfying.

Only downside? They are messy! Hard to deal with that tower of buttercream and crumbly cake. Plan to dine in and ask for a plate and fork. Brian shamed us for not bringing him one home, but I honestly didn’t think it would transport well…and it certainly couldn’t take any heat.

– 2501 Portland Rd Ste A, Newberg, OR 97132
– CLOSED Sunday and Monday. Open all other days 10am-7pm
– They do serve some great looking pastries for breakfast
– They have daily gluten free options
– They do parties
– They strive for local, natural ingredients (no hormones, pesticides, hydrogenated oils, artificial flavors, and preservatives. RBST free sweet cream, Madagascar bourbon vanilla, Bob’s Red Mill flours and ingredients, evaporated cane juice, Cacao Barry’s chocolate, India Tree’s natural colors and sprinkles and more)

Farm to Fork – Review

Apr 26th, 2010 Posted in Fun Things to Do, Good Eats - Restaurant | no comment »

OK, now this is the way to celebrate a girlfriend’s birthday! We started by going for a late breakfast at Farm to Fork in Dundee. It’s very cute and as Karla would say, it’s very “yum.”  As the name implies, all menus are fresh daily, and ingredients are locally sourced within 200 miles of Dundee. I had the daily special frittata which was awesome. Also on the tables was a fantastic skillet with a mushroom gravy, some to-die-for French toast, some sort of yummy brioche toast with egg and gruyere cheese and, and, and. Nobody tried the trout hash, but I have no doubt that it’s excellent. For six of us, the total bill was $65.  Priced well, fresh and creative. I’ll definitely be taking Brian there soon.

We ladies followed up our late breakfast with some wine tasting in Newberg. We went to the Fox Farms, Hip Chicks and Chehalem tasting rooms. I, being the designated driver and current avoider of yeast, abstained from the tastings, but sniffed some very nice pinot noirs, checked out some excellent art and enjoyed chatting with the girls. Newberg is really blossoming on First Street and we all agreed that we should attend the next First Friday Art Walk and tastings on May 7th from 5pm-9pm. A pre-Mother’s Day night out? We’ve decided Mother’s Day begins on Friday and ends a midnight on Sunday 🙂

Spring Break at Bella Beach

Mar 26th, 2010 Posted in Fun Photos - General, Fun Things to Do, Good Eats - Restaurant | no comment »

Some thought we were crazy for booking a house at the Oregon Coast for Spring Break. But, we were game for anything. Bad weather meant huddling inside with books and movies and good weather meant we were extremely lucky and we’d spend our days on the sand. Well, we got sooooo lucky. The sun shined every day and we even had to lose our sweatshirts ’cause we got too warm. Awesome.

We had an excellent time. We rented a house in the Bella Beach neighborhood just north of Depoe Bay and south of Lincoln City. The neighborhood was full of the cutest beach houses ever. We’ll definitely go back and maybe rent a larger place to share with another family and stay longer. The beach was very nice and semi-private. No cigarette butts anywhere. And, that part of the coast has the BIG waves. The kids were very impressed. In fact, I’m afraid it turned us into beach snobs. We visited the main Lincoln City beach on our way home and left almost immediately. The beach was dirty, too windy, too crowded and then the Tsunami warning system kicked in (false alarm, but boy was it annoying).

We took some time to explore Depoe Bay’s little shops, watched the whale watching boats (but no whales) and bought some candy (Fuddy Duddy Fudge is yu-um). And, we explored the tide pools at Boiler Bay. It’s a steep trail down and some seriously technical climbing up and down the rocks. The boys loved it.  Ben, of course, had to try one more thing before we left and sliced up his knee. Why is it always that “just one more thing” that gets us into trouble???

Regardless, we enjoyed our time there and it was a glorious 3 days on the Oregon Coast.

Oh, and where to eat you ask? We mostly had our meals in, but the McMenamins Lighthouse Brewpub in Lincoln City had great chowder and a crab/shrimp melt. The Kyllos in Lincoln City was OK. Nice view. The fish and chips were tasty but the chowder was a little disappointing. Next time we’ll try the Blackfish Cafe that claims to have the “best chowder on the Oregon Coast.”

Famous Dave’s BBQ – Review

Mar 17th, 2010 Posted in Good Eats - Restaurant | 2 comments »

Birthdays are celebrated by eating out and eating big in my family.  Brian’s birthday was the perfect excuse for us to try Famous Dave’s in Tualatin.

Yu-um. All 5 of us enjoyed the meal (a rare occasion with 3 very opinionated boys).  We all left over-stuffed with smiles on our faces. The brisket, BBQ chicken, chicken wings, rib tips and chicken strips all got a thumbs up. Ben was thrilled to get his corn on the cob, and the rest of us LOVED the corn-bread muffins.  I enjoyed the spicy baked beans (I was so stuffed I couldn’t even try my baby red mashed potatoes) and the fries were a favorite for Brian…especially dipped in the “Georgia Mustard.” I’ll have to say, that was some awesome sauce. It was great on my chicken. So was the Devil’s Spit and the Sweet and Zesty.

With all that said, Famous Dave’s won’t be a place we frequent a lot. That’s just too much food and too much meat for a healthy lifestyle. Famous Dave’s does offer salads and such, but I can’t really see the point in that. It’s a semi-tacky place with pigs and chickens all over the decor, a roll of paper towels on the table and honky tonk blues playing in the background. One sign said, “If it walks or flies, we’ll BBQ it.”  That, with 3 boys, led to some fun dinner table discussion. Do frogs count? How about salamanders? How ’bout opossum? You get the idea.

We had fun and a good meal. Famous Dave’s is great for a treat, and I think Brian really enjoyed his birthday dinner.

Pastini’s Gets Lunch Right

Dec 11th, 2009 Posted in Good Eats - Restaurant | no comment »

The girls met for lunch at Pastini’s this week. I’d been there before when it first opened at Bridgeport, but didn’t have much of an impression good or bad. This time I was really impressed. It’s got a warm and friendly atmosphere and their lunch menu was excellent.  Six bucks got me just the right amount of a delicious pasta, caesar salad and bread.  I chose the Spaghetti Siciliano with capers, feta, sun-dried tomotoes, tomatoes, garlic, sherry and olives. It was truly excellent. And, it wasn’t the only thing that caught my eye on the $6 lunch menu.

Oswego Grill Great for Grown Ups

Nov 9th, 2009 Posted in Good Eats - Restaurant | no comment »

Adult nights out are few and far between, so we have to make each one count. The semi-new Oswego Grill in Lake Oswego gets it right for a grown-up evening. You’d never know that the very casual Chili’s used to inhabit this very hip and fun restaurant. I liked the Stanfords-esque dimly lit feeling atmosphere as well as the Stanfords-esque menu.  Note that I didn’t even know at the time that this was semi-intentional as the owner is actually a previous Stanfords regional manager. Anyways, after grabbing a quick drink at the bar (one of the best Long Islands I’ve had in a long time), we sat down to a great meal. We did have to slow the server down, ordering a few appetizers and making sure not to order a meal until we were good and ready 🙂  Sometimes service can be too good! I think everyone would agree that the gorgonzola fries and artichoke dip were amazing. I could have eaten each order myself, but, alas, the guys made sure we didn’t get a chance. Everyone’s dinner looked delicious. I enjoyed the crab and shrimp stuffed salmon with asparagus. There was much to choose from and I’ll look forward to going back to try many other options.

Mingo Serves Up Great Italian Meal

Oct 26th, 2009 Posted in Good Eats - Restaurant | no comment »

I so look forward to my annual birthday dinner out with two of my closest girl friends. Some years I’m boring, but t his year I wanted to adventure to a new restaurant. We thought we’d try Mingo, a newer Italian restaurant in Beaverton.  Mingo served up an excellent Italian meal. I knew it was going to be hard to choose my meal, when I couldn’t even get pass the server’s report of the daily specials to  look at the menu!  I chose the daily special risotto with rosemary and flank steak. Oh so good. I cleaned my plate, much to Brian’s dismay. He was eagerly awaiting a leftovers box…oops.  The portions were nicely done. Very filling, but not overwhelming. Prices are right in there with the likes of Macaroni Grill, yet the experience is so much better. Smaller, more quaint, yet still hopping with people and energy. Next time, I go, and I will definitely eat there again, I will want to eat family style, so I can try more. The salmon, daily ravioli, squash soup all tempted me, but you can only eat or spend so much 🙂 If you decide to try Mingo, definitely make reservations. We had the last booth on a Tuesday night. Only one lonely table was left in the bar.

El Burro Loco – Review

May 26th, 2009 Posted in Good Eats - Restaurant | one comment »

It could be said that after 7 hours of hiking and exploring the Ramona Falls area, any hot meal would taste phenomenal. However, I truly think I had my 2nd best Mexican meal ever at El Burro Loco in Welches this Memorial Day weekend.  The atmosphere was great, the food was awesome and it’s a lot more convenient than my #1 Mexican restaurant, Red Mesa, in Florida 🙂

I highly recommend the enchiladas. We tried both the chicken and the pork with green sauce. My favorite was the chicken…amazing.  Pretty spicy, so if you are a weenie better get something else. The salsa was super (we went through 3 batches). Joe had the shredded beef tacos.  Brian sampled them and declared them the best tacos he’d ever had. He also enjoyed the fish tacos.  And, most importantly after a long day of hiking, they had a great selection of microbrews on tap. We enjoyed the “double IPA.”

Old Market Brew Pub

May 5th, 2009 Posted in Fun Things to Do, Good Eats - Restaurant | no comment »

So when a friend of mine says, “come celebrate my husband’s 40th and play some shuffleboard,” I thought she was totally joking. Shuffleboard? Like the kind retired folks do on cruise ships?  Well, we get to Old Market Brew Pub and sure enough, we play shuffleboard. Only this is a “highly competitive” table top version.  Evidently, Brian and I were among the few that didn’t play this in college…cause we were too young to bar hop! Geesh. Anyways, it was very fun, addictive and infuriating. And, of course, the Kathy, the hostess, rocked at it.  But I copied her technique and ended up with the highest score of the night – woohoo! I won’t mention how many times I landed in the gutter.  

Old Market Pub and Brewery (6959 SW Multnomah Blvd, Portland 503-BIG-BEER) is a very fun place for a night out. It’s big, noisy, and full of character. They’ve got a large variety of brews for the beer lovers and a full bar for those that prefer the margarita or lemon drop. My favorite brew was the Hop On!, a classic amber that is severely overhopped.  Very awesome. The menu looks good too, but, to be honest, we were too busy drinking and playing shuffleboard to pay much attention.  And, I know Kathy was paying by the hour for the shuffleboard tables (just like you do for pool tables), but I couldn’t find how much.  You’d want to call ahead to figure that out. Totally worth whatever it is though 🙂

Oaks Park & Jimmy's Smokehouse

Apr 1st, 2009 Posted in Fun Things to Do, Good Eats - Restaurant | one comment »

Despite the endless rain and the cold chill this Spring Break, we still managed to have some fun playing tourists in Portland.  One day, the whole family, along with the McBride clan, headed to Oaks Park for the afternoon.  I hadn’t been there for probably 8 years. My expectations were low.  But with Safeway’s 2-for-1 discount we were only out $7 per person and the risk was minimal 🙂  

We had a great time. The place is kind of a dump, but there are a few really fun rides and the people watching was most excellent.  Ben loved the Screaming Eagle, Sam and I loved the Eruption (Brian got woozy on that one) and Joe loved the Disco ride.  The roller coasters are fun, but really hard on the body. Not a lot of padding and very jerky.

The best part of the adventure though was going out to dinner afterward. We decided to try Jimmy’s Smokehouse and Pizzaria at 7025 SW Macadam Ave.  It had rave reviews online and they were so right. We knew we’d done good as soon as we walked in and smelled the food.  We tried the Caesar salad, the riblets, the Macadam Avenue pizza, the pepperoni pizza for the kids,  and, my personal favorite, the End Cut pizza with thinly sliced Cascade Natural Prime Rib, carmelized sweet red onions, Gorgonzola cheese, Parmesan, Mozzarella and Provolone. Oooh yeah, baby. Add a good pitcher of beer and this place is a winner. We have just got to come up with a reason to get over there again 🙂