• Eugene Weekly Loves You!
Share |

Chow! EW's quarterly restaurant guide

June 16, 2016 01:00 AM

local ice cream maker Coconut Bliss has built a nationally recognized brand name without sacrificing its core values of independence and integrity. Coconut Bliss marketing communications manager Elizabeth Reilly says these Eugene-style priorities are partially what make her company so unique. “We are one of the best examples of a family-run company in the region,” Reilly tells EW.

June 16, 2016 01:00 AM

I’m here to report that the Euphoria Chocolate Company in west Eugene bears little resemblance to the delicious Byzantine splendor of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. Sadly, no orangey Oompa Loompas mobbed me at the entrance when I visited, and Euphoria proprietor Van Glass is practically the antithesis of that passive-aggressive tyrant Willy Wonka, whose benevolent disregard sent poor Augustus Gloop up the tube.

June 16, 2016 01:00 AM

Since the 1970s, Genesis Organic Juice has prided itself on providing a product that’s local, sustainable and 100-percent organic.

And in that mission, it’s taking on Big Soda.  

“Odwalla is a Coke product. Naked is a Pepsi product,” says Jonah Alves, president of Genesis Juice. “This new one, Suja, is a Coke product, and Evolution is a Starbucks product.” 

June 16, 2016 01:00 AM

In Eugene, we take comfort in having local stores and markets dedicated to wholesome organic food, from The Kiva and Sundance Natural Foods to Market of Choice. But where do they get their ingredients? For herbs, teas and spices, one top supplier is Mountain Rose Herbs.

June 16, 2016 01:00 AM

Traditional capitalism teaches bigger is always better. Not so with Lane County-based Sweet Creek Foods. 

“It isn’t sustainable to grow too large,” Sweet Creek owner and founder Paul Fuller tells EW. “You lose the flavor if you’re trucking everywhere.” 

Located near Elmira, family-owned Sweet Creek Foods works with Eugene-area farms and food producers, co-packing and preserving food for consumers from Bellingham to San Francisco. “We believe in a static growth,” Fuller says. “To go national takes fighting the big boys. We like the idea of being a regional player.” 

June 16, 2016 01:00 AM

Stroll through the Lane County Farmers Market on a Saturday morning and you’re bound to see Patricia Garcia's cheerful face at her colorful salsa stand. That same cheerful face is on all of her products, inviting salsa lovers to give Salsa Garcia a try.

June 16, 2016 01:00 AM

Granola is a health food and a symbol of the natural foods movement, and the word itself is sometimes used as a mildly derogatory epithet to describe a health-obsessed hippie. 

Whit Hemphill and Brad Averill, co-owners of Wildtime Foods, which produces Grizzlies Brand granola, say they embrace granola and all it stands for. 

April 7, 2016 03:00 AM

Born and raised in Eugene, NorthWest Burgers owner and chef Garrett Kirsch says he knows what Eugeneans want: “They want local, house-made products. I wanted to take something as simple as a burger and see how it goes.”

NorthWest Burgers, tucked away in the upstairs of 5th Street Public Market, puts a homemade twist on typically mass-produced “All-American” food. 

April 7, 2016 03:00 AM

Tradewinds Café & Catering Company co-owner Abbie Shadrick is on a mission to provide tasty, nutritious, Middle Eastern-inspired food on what used to be the site of a quiet, empty church at 4th and A Street in downtown Springfield. 

“We’re part of the restaurant incubator program here at Sprout!,” Shadrick says, gesturing around the welcoming space where diners are feasting on Tradewinds’ signature dishes, along with fare from neighboring restaurants, all housed in a cheerful, open dining room with high steel tables and plenty of light. 

April 7, 2016 03:00 AM

Padma Prakash worked as a prep cook at the Oregon Electric Station for more than three decades, she says. It was a hard pill to swallow when management changed in 2014 and slashed her pay.

Unsure what else to do, Padma Prakash— with help from her youngest son, Jayant Prakash — opened Crazy Curry, the bright yellow Indo-Fijian food cart on the lonely corner of River Road & Thomas Lane.

April 7, 2016 03:00 AM

For more than 60 years, the University of Oregon’s Erb Memorial Union has anchored campus, serving as a study hall, food court, meeting place and event space for generations of students. The building was constructed in three phases between 1950 and 1973, and although parts of it are architecturally valuable and are being preserved, the building overall no longer seemed suitable for today’s students. 

April 7, 2016 03:00 AM

Provisions Market Hall, located within the 5th Street Public Market, offers a nearby option for downtown Eugeneans to shop for meals, where once there were limited grocery store options, says Karl Zenk, executive chef for Provisions. 

“I used to live on 2nd and Pearl, just up the street, and this area was a real food desert,” Zenk says. “So this is really a great resource for all the people who live around here.”

April 7, 2016 03:00 AM

What do you call a giant sushi roll? A sushi burrito, of course.

“It really just made itself,” says Toby Helms, owner of Unami Sushi and Asian Grill in Springfield. “ It doesn’t have a tortilla or anything like that — it’s just a large roll, with our sushi ingredients.”

April 7, 2016 03:00 AM

Once unheard of, boba tea, or bubble tea, features chewy tapioca, or “boba” balls that patrons slurp down with a wide straw, along with a milky iced tea. 

“It started in Taiwan in the 1980s,” says D.I.Y. Tea & Beyond owner Richard Zheng. “Now it’s all over the world.” 

January 28, 2016 01:00 AM

Ask around the area of Eugene near the UO campus: “Where can I get a good burrito?” 

Odds are, the answer will be spoken in reverential tones of cult-like devotion: “Chachi’s.”

January 28, 2016 01:00 AM

Chef Josh Welton’s hairy right forearm has a big tattoo of fried eggs and a side of bacon. 

“I really love breakfast. I’m not kidding,” he laughs, patting flour off his black chef coat. 

January 28, 2016 01:00 AM

There’s nothing else quite like Kun Fusion Grill in Eugene, and that’s the point, says owner Shawn Werner. 

Take Kun Fusion’s rice bowl, for example, resplendent with savory chicken, crunchy veggies and mounds of rice topped with a fried egg. It’s fusion food at its very best, combining Korean and Mexican cuisines to delicious effect. 

January 28, 2016 01:00 AM

Thirty years ago, Abdul-Waheed Wahed was sitting in the Frankfurt airport, waiting for his flight from Germany to Eugene. Wahed, a Kabul native who’d earlier fled the Soviet conflict in Afghanistan, had some time to kill. So, perched at the airport bar in 1986, he had a few drinks. A woman he knew sat down beside him. They shared a whiskey, then a few more. Wahed missed his flight.

January 28, 2016 01:00 AM

Settling in with a bowl of gooey macaroni and cheese is pretty much the culinary equivalent of a hug, and it’s not just for kids: It’s popping up on adult menus everywhere. The dish is simple, comforting, nostalgic and oh so American. And it’s versatile — anything can be a topping! 

January 28, 2016 01:00 AM

According to Jorge Navarro, everyone should go to New Orleans at least once. He traveled to the Louisiana hot spot when he turned 40, and soon after, started Café Navarro, which served New Orleans-inspired dishes in Eugene until 2001.

“I consider New Orleans-style food to be the real American culinary tradition,” Navarro says, explaining how the city’s famed Creole cuisine incorporates European, African, Native American and other influences, turning them into something new.  

January 28, 2016 01:00 AM

EW often writes about the new and shiny. Readers and writers alike take interest in stories describing the latest food trends or the most recent restaurants to hit town. 

But sometimes, there’s value in taking a look back at the restaurants that have stood the test of time. The restaurant business has a high rate of turnover, and a trendy new place might close a month after it opens.

August 27, 2015 01:00 AM

Tiny Tavern is dead. Long live Tiny Tavern.

With the protracted death rattle and final expiring sigh of the Whiteaker’s seediest bar now just another piece of Eugene folk history, the question “what will become of Tiny’s?” has at last been answered: It will be a restaurant, of course.

August 27, 2015 01:00 AM

Bubble tea is the coffee of Taiwan. That’s why Shuang Han and Crystal Zhao, owners of The Rabbit Hole Tea Bar, decided to open shop last year and bring the authentic Taiwanese bubble tea experience, as well as other kinds of tea, to Eugene. Real bubble tea is a rarity in the U.S., they say.

August 27, 2015 01:00 AM

Hands wrist-deep in masa harina, Mayra Medina thinks back to when she was little and her mother worked in a cramped kitchen behind a tiny eatery in Morelia, the city in central Mexico where Medina grew up. The modest comedor was so small it didn’t even warrant a name. Though the place was a lonely hole in the wall, Medina’s mother cooked with the same ardor she applied to preparing meals for her family at home.