Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Traveling to Newport, OR

I have been on spring break the last two weeks, and last week I travelled with a friend to Newport, OR (located on the central Oregon coastline) for 4 days for a break from "city life". It was so relaxing and enjoyable that I had a difficult time coming back. In fact, we delayed the re-entry into normalcy for as long as possible by driving through wine country and going wine tasting along the way.

During one shopping excursion at Sylvia Beach Hotel, I picked up a vegetarian journal (called the Veg Book). It has great tips and facts on the bottom of each page; it was created in India, so a few notes have strange spellings or foreign grammar, but it is still interesting to read through.

Here are the restaurant highlights of the week:

Cafe Mundo

209 NW Coast St, Newport

We dined there twice for dinner and, had it not been so incredibly crowded for open mic night on Thursday, we would have dined a third time. It was conveniently located right across the street from where we stayed at Nye Cottage, and its hours were late enough that if we had a late start on the day we could easily eat a late dinner there while all the other restaurants in town seemed to close much earlier.

The atmosphere is funky, yet cool, and just the right type for us to feel comfortable playing dominoes on the table while we waited for our food. We heard live music (from two completely different genres) the two nights we were there. There are multiple vegan options on menu, without me having to ask for changes or omissions. I had a tempeh burger the first night and tempeh tacos the second. It was easily the best tempeh I've had, due to the seasoning or the way it was prepared or something. I left each meal sad that my plate was empty.

Village Market

741-B NW Third Street

I enjoyed this deli for its feeling of being out of France. There were many fine wines and imported beers to choose from, not to mention (for the non-vegan) the amount of cheeses and fancy meats that were waiting in the display case. I enjoyed the Gathered Greens salad with no cheese and a vanilla soy latte for my lunch. The view is perfect of the beach to the left, plus I enjoyed seeing a cat crawl around on a roof right across the street. The best part: the water bar, where four pitchers of water await you. One is garnished with lemon, another with mint, and a third with cucumber. The last is plain.

Rogue Brewery

2 locations:
748 SW Bay Blvd. (Public House) AND
2320 OSU Drive (Brewery, with the Spirits Distillery right across the street)

I have been to Rogue in Portland maybe twice, and although I enjoy their beers, I find their prices to be a bit high, so I was less excited about visiting their pub and brewery while we were in town. As far as I know, the Newport location is where they first began, and where their headquarters are out of, and I certainly enjoyed the setting of the coast-town brewery more than the inner-city pub in NW Portland.

The difference between the two locations in Newport are, of course, that one is a brewery and one is a restaurant/bar/hotel. We played pool at Newport's historic bay front but we were able to see into the inner workings of the brewery across the bridge. We didn't eat at the pub, so I don't know whether the menu is the same or not, but both have an enjoyable feel to them.

I drank a sampler with my meal, which was homemade hummus (made with their hazelnut ale) served with artichoke hearts and an amazing roasted tomato mixture plus the usual warm pita bread and kalamata olives. The sampler consisted of the hazelnut ale, the honey wheat, the morimoto soba ale, and the chocolate stout. It was a delicious meal.

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