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Chow! EW's quarterly restaurant guide

August 29, 2013 01:00 AM
#MUTLIPLE#

There are a lot of businesses around Eugene that claim to have “The Best Reuben in Town.” The sandwich itself is iconic across the country: Rye bread loaded with either pastrami or corned beef, topped with sauerkraut and either Thousand Island dressing or Russian dressing. We decided that it would be fitting to find out who, if anyone, deserved the title for “the best.” Many Reubens were eaten. Lengthy discussions were held.

August 29, 2013 01:00 AM

The biggest mistake one could make when eating at downtown Eugene’s Noodle Bowl is to order a noodle bowl. It’s a delicious dish but a safe Americanized choice as EW’s Best of Eugene Korean gem. “When the people come, if they want to try Korean food, I want them to ask the servers and get a recommendation rather than just getting a noodle bowl,” says Jae Lee, server and son of owner Sue Lee.

August 29, 2013 01:00 AM

For eight years, Bret Ford exchanged his chef’s hat for gardening equipment, but he recently had the desire to get back into the cooking world. The former chef at Ambrosia, among other restaurants throughout Oregon, wasn’t looking to go back to the same environment, however. More than 20 years after his wife’s grandfather suggested running a restaurant on wheels, he and his wife took it to heart. And that’s how Bacon Nation began — a place that serves much more than what its name suggests. 

August 29, 2013 01:00 AM

Only a year and a half after opening Falling Sky Brewing’s pub, co-owners Rob Cohen and Jason Carriere didn’t expect to open a second location. But when they found the place at 790 Blair Blvd., they fell in love with it.

June 13, 2013 01:00 AM

Mitchel Hescheles’ grandfather woke every morning at 2:30, tending his farm before heading to work at a factory. After retiring, he refused to get out of bed before 11:11 am. Hescheles is unclear why his granddad picked such an arbitrary time, but he decided to pay homage to his hardworking grandpa when opening Chow, his new restaurant on South A Street in downtown Springfield. 

June 13, 2013 01:00 AM

Securing a seat at certain times was nearly a sport at chef Gabriel Gil and restaurateur Cory Stamp’s first restaurant incarnation in Eugene, the Rabbit Bistro and Bar. The space was tiny and Chef Gil’s creativity was staunched by a lack of storage space, famously leading to a “no substitutions” clause on the menu. And that “no ketchup” thing? “That truly was because I forgot to order ketchup,” Gil says, laughing.

June 13, 2013 01:00 AM

Eating healthy as a taste snob can be a chore. But not at Tru Veg.

Crystal DuBoyce and Brian Igarta, and their 12-year-old daughter Skye, serve up plant-based foods packed with both flavor and nutrition from a tiny white trailer in the parking lot of an automotive business on Chambers Street. They’ve divided the menu at Tru Veg in two: cooked vegan food and raw, or living, food. 

June 13, 2013 01:00 AM

When Chef Walid “Willie” Saleeby makes traditional Lebanese food, he’s replicating the dishes his mother and grandmother made for him in Lebanon when he was a boy. It’s not about working off a recipe, he says, but remembering all those tastes and textures — that’s what makes the best traditional meals.

June 13, 2013 01:00 AM

While Kopi-O is the first restaurant that Azam Ismail has ever owned, chances are that you have enjoyed some of his creations before. “My dad was a chef at Ring of Fire, Adam’s Sustainable Table and Lucky Noodle,” his son Aaron Ismail says. “This is a dream he has always had, and we’ve always wanted to make it happen for him.”

June 13, 2013 01:00 AM

If you are wondering why all Chinese restaurants in Oregon don’t serve an eclectic menu ranging from eggplant to frog, it’s because there’s only one Tony Luo. Kung Fu Bistro’s chef sticks to his roots and stays away from Americanized fare. 

Americans are used to a certain type of Chinese food, Luo says, but Kung Fu Bistro introduces you to the real thing. That means a menu of 100 entrees featuring frog, eggplant and fish, as well as staples like chicken, pork, beef and shrimp. And as the frog dish indicates, some of the meals are far from ordinary Americanized Chinese. 

June 13, 2013 01:00 AM

Summer is shining ahead of us, and one of its brightest parts is plodding through the dirt to gather Oregon berries in the morning sun. Fortunately, u-pick farms surround Eugene, making the experience easily accessible. Check out these farms (and there are many more!) for their u-pick options; we’ve organized them by distance from the Park Blocks that host the Lane County Farmers Market.

June 13, 2013 01:00 AM

Morsels of restaurant news

April 4, 2013 01:00 AM

The last time EW caught up with the dynamic duos behind Party Cart (Tiffany Norton and Mark Kosmicki) and Red Wagon Creamery (Emily and Stuart Phillips) in fall 2012, they were cultivating a culinary following at the corner of 28th and Friendly, serving savory seasonal plates and ambrosial scoops of ice cream respectively. At that point, there were only murmurs of a brick-and-mortar establishment; it was more of a long-term dream than a short-term reality.

April 4, 2013 01:00 AM

"We take the notion of a cupcake and elevate it to the next level,” says Larry Oswald, owner, founder, baker (and mopper, he adds) at Larry’s Cupcake Café — a new addition to downtown Eugene’s food-scene renaissance. 

April 4, 2013 01:00 AM

For a third of a century, Ibrahim Hamide worked around the challenge of running his first restaurant, Casablanca, out of a small location at Fifth Street Public Market. “It proved to me that people really like [Lebanese] food and maybe even the way I presented it and prepared it, but the space was too small, so it didn’t offer me the full range of what I wanted to do, food-wise and service-wise,” he says.

April 4, 2013 01:00 AM

Cheri Esselstrom, owner of the new Dukko’s eatery in the Fifth Street Public Market’s International Food Court, knows a bit about hard times, perseverance, community and family. Oh, and food.

April 4, 2013 01:00 AM

Sometimes a hot dog is just a hot dog, but sometimes it’s made of fish. Wild Grill Foods, a Eugene-based company specializing in seafood products, is now distributing its salmon dogs in local stores.

April 4, 2013 01:00 AM

Some food carts create a specific type of cuisine: Mexican, pizza, Southern food, vegetarian. GastroNomad owner Ben Maude reinvents his menu on the regular not by picking a genre, but by running his food truck as some sort of delicious pop quiz.

April 4, 2013 01:00 AM

Morsels of restaurant news