Best of Eugene 2011-2012: Staff Picks
Best Place to Impress Out-of-Town Guests on a Roadtrip
In the winter months when there’s no Saturday Market to show off Eugene’s crafts, music, tie-dye and didgeridoo skills, Sequential Biofuels is the place to send those folks passing through town in their vehicle. It’s right off I-5 and after they pour some veggie-fuel into their gas-guzzlers under the shelter of the station’s solar panels, they can wander inside and see what happens when a truckstop goes hippie. Want to gnaw some jerky? Sure, organic beef, salmon, even veggie. Where Flying J has trucker coffee, Sequential has kombucha on tap and espresso. Added plus? Your truck fumes smell like French fries.
Best Place to Make Love in An Elevator
The elevator at 132 E. Broadway is slow. It smells neutral. If you discount lunch hour, there is not a great deal of traffic that goes through there. The professionals who occupy that building are kind and very busy — think about it.
Best Way to Truly Appreciate Waste
Take out your own damn trash. No really. Head over to the Glenwood to the disposal site. First stop off and do your recycling. The people there are super nice and helpful and even provide treats for your pets. Then get your recycling credit and drive the next 50 feet to the giant pit where people dump their trash. It’s like seeing the trash compactor thing out of Star Wars, only without the giant trash squid living at the bottom.
Best Place to Start Your Own Fight Club
If one were capable of breaking into the loading dock of Eugene Weekly after hours, one would find an area cordoned off by chain-link fence and full of foreign objects readily available for combative use. No one ever goes there at night, with the exception of misanthropic newspaper editors who wouldn’t mind seeing a good fight anyway. The first rule is you don’t talk about it …
Best Coffee in BFE
You know how it happens; you get all excited to leave town to go hiking, go skiing, whatever — and you’re cruising down Hwy. 58 heading for Willamette Pass when you realize you do not nearly have enough caffeine in you for the drive. Espresso 58 in Pleasant Hill saves the day. The coffee is good; the baristas are friendly and they always have a treat for your pup.
Best Way to Sacrifice Quality for Convenience
Ever been hungry at 2:30 am? We have. The Dough Company, otherwise known simply as Dough Co., is not only the favorite local drunchies because of its mediocre, grease-filled calzones, but also because it delivers until 3 am. With 31 steaming piles of ’zone to choose from, you can hardly go wrong.
Best Way to Make Sure You Are Late For Work
Drive down 18th Avenue.
Best Whiskey Selection
If whiskey’s your poison then where better to get your fix than the Whiteaker neighborhood’s Izakaya Meiji restaurant? It’s got sort of Jim Jarmusch meets Johnny Cash feel that goes down well with whiskey shots. Seriously, it’s never a bad thing when we’re presented not only with a full menu of delicious and inexpensive Japanese food, but also with a double page spread of whiskey ranging from the cheap to classy. If you’re going for sheer volume, then Jameson’s and The Horsehead pour their shots nice and big, but if you want to taste the stuff, then go to Meiji. We’ll keep coming back until we’ve had enough, but that’s unlikely to be any time soon.
Best Sign to Carry in Hopes of Getting Laid at a Protest Camp:
“Occupy My Ass.”
Best Place for Real Republican Gossip, Not That Tea Party Crap
The feedstore. Head out to Wagon Wheel in Creswell, Pleasant Hill Feed out Hwy 58 or any of a half dozen spots on the edge of town where people go to get their grain and hay and you’ll find conversations about everything from whether anyone’s ever gonna run against Commissioner Faye Stewart to the price of corn.
Best Place to Get Lost
Downtown Eugene. Our fair city’s claim to fame (aside from once having downgraded itself from the “World’s Greatest City for Arts and Outdoors” to merely “Great”) is that it was Oregon’s first city to have one-way streets. Really? What the hell were the planners thinking? “Hey, if we get people stuck down here driving up and down, lost, maybe they will stay and shop?”
Best Way to Practice Your “People Skills”
Running down the sidewalk to the place you left your car parked for just 5 minutes past the two-hour limit and trying to breathe and simultaneously convince the parking person in that golf-cartmobile not to finish writing you that ticket. If you are fast and nice, sometimes they let you off the hook. It’s an exercise in patience and just plain exercise, all in one.
Best Way to Hide Your Conservative Wingnut Agenda:
Switch your party affiliation from Libertarian to Republican or Republican to Independent.
Best Place to Show Off Your Dog
Forget Eugene’s dog parks; it’s a real good time there, but it’s pretty much pooch mayhem. For real doggie bragging rights you need to take Fido shopping. Mini Pet Mart will get your pup pets from the staff and from the random scary people who go there just to buy cigarettes.
Best Place to Watch Salmon Having Wild Sex:
Whittaker Creek on the way to the coast.
Best Place for Hipster Watching
Some folks birdwatch, some watch humans. If you want to check out the local hipsters then it depends on what sort of hipster you want to watch. For highly caffeinated hipsters, it’s the Wandering Goat. For drunk ones, then Jameson’s.
Best Way to Publicize Your Weird Home School Curriculum Business:
Run for Congress.
Best Places to Perfect Your Group Drumming Techniques:
Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza, Oregon Country Fair and the dorm room next door.
Best Place to be a Vegan on Sunday Morning
A longtime staple of the train station neighborhood Morning Glory Café is Eugene’s spot for an inclusive hangover breakfast. All vegan and vegetarian, the café serves up a spectacular breakfast menu from vegan omelettes to chilaquiles. It’s entirely delicious and bustling before many of the other vegan-friendly businesses have opened their doors.
Best Movie Theater Munchies:
Popcorn with brewer’s yeast at the Bijou.
Best Fast Way to Wake Up
We know, we know, Dutch Bros. is the coffee that coffee snobs love to hate. But let’s face it, the ubiquitous little coffee boxes are everywhere, and so are the weirdly perky and happy folks that man them. Damn the torpedoes! Sometimes you just need a shot of espresso, fast.
Best Use for the Big Empty Downstairs at the R-G:
Sure, Eugene is crawling with “hippies” but to find the real authentic variety you have to head out of town towards the coast. Mapleton on the way to Florence and the beach is home to Alpha Bit, a bookstore café owned and run by Alpha Farm, an intentional community in the Coast Range, or as some like to call it, a commune.
Best Place to Read What Gun Nuts Think About Eugene:
Discussion pages at www.northwestfirearms.com
Best Bar the Average Eugenean is Probably Scared to Walk into But is Really Pretty Friendly
The Buckhorn Tavern in Dexter, “open every day 11 am to close.” It’s just off Hwy. 58 on Dexter Road. It has JELL-O shots, corn dogs and clam strips. How can you go wrong?