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Chow! EW's quarterly restaurant guide

June 18, 2015 01:00 AM

Alex Moon has worked in the restaurant industry for 20 years, but it only recently occurred to her that she could open up her own place. “It’s a relatively new idea for me,” she says.

Moon, who currently works at Belly Taqueria, launched a Kickstarter in February to raise funds to open Sundial Café and Bakery. The gluten-free, vegetarian breakfast and lunch spot doesn’t have a home location yet, but it does have $12,000 of Kickstarter-raised money to back it up. Moon hopes to open sometime between July and October, depending on when she finds a space to set up shop.

June 18, 2015 01:00 AM

On a drizzly May morning, Membrillo Latin Cafe offers a warm departure to sunnier climes. Notes of simmering black beans and caramelizing onions fill the air as music wafts from the compact kitchen. 

“This is my home,” says chef and co-owner Corey Wisun. “And when others come into my home, this is how I want to treat them.” 

Since bursting on the Eugene foodie scene in May 2014, Membrillo has gained an ardent following for its fresh, locally sourced Cuban, Spanish and South American flavors. 

June 18, 2015 01:00 AM

“Food is my heart and soul,” says Coalesce Juicery & Whole Foods Kitchen’s chef and owner Karina Wolford. “It’s what makes me happy.” 

Wolford, who opened her food truck in April, promotes healthy eating as one way to combat serious health issues, including her own bout with multiple sclerosis.

June 18, 2015 01:00 AM

For Joe Placido, owner of Placido’s Pasta Shop, cooking has always been a part of life.

“Me and my sister, when we were kids, we used to play restaurant at the house,” Placido says. With Placido as the cook and his sister as the waitress, they would serve their parents’ friends from a menu with a single dish, which was “pretty much spaghetti sauce.” 

June 18, 2015 01:00 AM

To understand what the Sushi Star Brigade is, you first have to realize that it is two things at once. Conventionally, it’s a new food booth at the Lane County Farmers Market, serving up vegan nori wraps on Saturdays. 

A little less conventionally, it’s the mission post of a galactic collective originating from the “Nori Nova” in the Milky Way galaxy, and its mission is “to teach the people here how to use agriculture sustainably so they don’t destroy the planet,” says sushi chef David Feldman, who also goes by the name Captain Monday. 

June 18, 2015 01:00 AM

There’s a new beer garden in town, and it’s called — well, it’s called beergarden. 

“We wanted to keep it as simple as possible,” says co-owner Patric Campbell, “and it ties in to Gray’s Garden Center next door. The period makes it more of a statement.”

June 18, 2015 01:00 AM
April 2, 2015 01:00 AM

When Curtis Shimmen founded Kore Kombucha three years ago, he was already dreaming about opening a kombucha taphouse.

“Taphouses are a great way to introduce people to a wide variety of kombucha,” Shimmen says, pointing out that most stores carry only a few flavors of the bubbly, fermented drink, leaving out some more enigmatic concoctions, such as coffee kombucha with raspberry or vanilla chai kombucha. 

April 2, 2015 01:00 AM

If you’re not sure what Cambodian food is like, Horn Nov, the owner of Angkor Cambodian Cafe, offers some tantalizing clues.

“Next door to Thailand, next door to Vietnam,” he says about Cambodia’s closest neighbors. “A lot of fresh ingredients, lemon grass, turmeric, ginger.” 

April 2, 2015 01:00 AM

You don’t have to live in a big city to enjoy the benefits of an Asian market: Eugene and Springfield have a smattering of markets full of the best and most unusual ingredients Asian cuisine has to offer. Some have been here since the ’90s and some are only a few years old, but if you have a recipe (Asian or not) that you’re dying to try out, make sure to stop by these locally owned grocery stores first. 

April 2, 2015 01:00 AM
#MUTLIPLE#

The ancient Chinese invention of the noodle still enjoys popularity in Asian cuisine to this day. The types of noodles available differ almost as vastly as the common dishes in which they appear. Here is a short guide to a select few of the most common noodle soups, as well as the various noodles found immersed in their broth.

April 2, 2015 01:00 AM

“The term ‘fusion food’ gets used so much nowadays,” says Tony Ngo, co-owner of Da Nang Vietnamese Eatery, which won third place for food carts in EW’s Best of Eugene. “Vietnamese food is one of those organic fusion foods.” 

April 2, 2015 01:00 AM

Though perhaps not the salmon nigiri you’ll rave to your friends about or the most amazing Cali roll you’ve ever had, 541 Sushi Bar’s conveyer belt-style fare really isn’t half bad — especially at a consistent $2 a plate. And the restaurant, which opened Dec. 10, doesn’t aim to be fine dining, anyway. Owner Wookyn Lee would be the first to tell you this.

April 2, 2015 01:00 AM
January 29, 2015 01:00 AM

There’s no shortage of ciderhouses in Portland, and now the Willamette Valley is jumping onboard the fruit-filled trend. Some hit the market early: 2 Towns Ciderhouse, which opened in Corvallis in 2010, is now expanding its craft cider sales to Alaska, Idaho and Nevada. And some, such as WildCraft Cider Works and Elk Horn Brewery, opened just last year, offering their brand new apple-y goodness to the people of Eugene. 

January 29, 2015 01:00 AM

A new restaurant has opened in downtown Eugene, nestled near the domineering Capstone buildings — Makoto, Japanese for "truth" or "honesty," isn’t located far from a handful of other sushi and Japanese restaurants in the area. But Makoto plans to do things differently.

January 29, 2015 01:00 AM

Tiffany Norton, 33, and Mark Kosmicki, 37, the chefs and owners of Party Downtown, have a hard time settling on a favorite dish. “I really like the lamb bacon,” Kosmicki says. “But that’s fleeting,” Norton adds. “We only had four bellies.”

January 29, 2015 01:00 AM

These days it seems the coolest place for Portland eateries to expand to is downtown Eugene. Joining Voodoo Doughnut, Townshend's Tea and Sizzle Pie is Portland’s Killer Burger — the kind of joint that puts bacon on everything. And that tells you what kind of place you’re dealing with: This is food-challenge territory; not for the faint of heart, the timid eater, or Morrissey fans.

January 29, 2015 01:00 AM

Ever since Xoco Mexican Street Food set up shop on 13th Avenue last October, the food cart has focused on introducing Eugene to its unique Mexican cuisine. 

August 28, 2014 01:00 AM

Tam Howitt and her husband Heath Howitt say that to understand Vietnamese cuisine, you have to understand fish sauce. The pair recently opened Tam’s Place Vietnamese Cuisine, a food truck located on 29th and Friendly in Eugene.

August 28, 2014 01:00 AM

The Oregon Electric Station, one of Eugene’s bastions of fine dining since 1977, reopened Aug. 9 under new ownership, and people have taken notice. “We expected to be busy,” General Manager Paolo Ruffi says, “but we have been beyond busy. We’ve been overwhelmed by the reaction of the people.” 

August 28, 2014 01:00 AM

For folks who relish both the stewy, fruity tang of the tropics and the spicy stuff that’s served with rice and beans south of the Rio Grande, the cuisine of Costa Rica presents a savory medium. 

August 28, 2014 01:00 AM

Like it or not, football season is upon us like a fullback in tight pants. For many, football means parties and parties mean food. If you need a fresh catering option for your next tailgate (or couch-gate), consider the meanest-named new restaurant in Eugene: Toxic Wings and Fries on River Road.

August 28, 2014 01:00 AM

It’s hard calling to mind the mouth-watering taste of smoked salmon when staring at a scaly, pungent, eyeballs-and-everything fish. But don’t be intimidated — with the help of a smoker, some brine and a little insider information, you can transform your fishy friend into a Northwest delicacy.