Posts tagged Dining

Gogi’s

My dearest friend and I went to celebrate something or other, at Gogi’s. First time for both of us. This is quaint 15-table restaurant just below the Britt gardens and is one of the most wonderful well rounded restaurants I have been to in Southern Oregon. For starters that evening; Dungeness Crab Cakes with Scallion Coulis on a bed Organic Greens with herbed Alioli. We chose a light, flowery Pinot Gris at the suggestion of our waiter. Then a second course of a nice, lightly dressed salad of field greens and warm sourdough bread.

For my main course I chose a Grilled Marinated Buffalo Skirt steak with thinly sliced truffles (the buffalo was unbelievably tender and mild, you could cut it with a spoon), a fried potato cake and oven roasted root vegetables. My friend had Coriander Lime Glazed Halibut with Stir Fry Asian Vegetables, Ginger and Soy. We chose a full bodied 2000 Pinot Noir-Hamacher Label from Willamette Valley.

Even though we were sufficiently stuffed and belly happy, for dessert we shared the most wonderful cheesecake with a ginger caramel sauce. The Pinot was an excellent complement to both dinner and dessert. We finished the evening with a rich cup of espresso.

Gogi’s menu has everything from Tuna Carpaccio to Fennel Rubbed Pork Tenderloins. They offer daily specials along with an extensive wine list and cocktail menu. They serve Brunch on Sunday’s too!

I’m kind of a food snob and have worked as a cook and sous chef in my younger life. This place is at the top of my list! The owners have the “whole package” going on. The atmosphere, wait staff, food and wine selection. The prices…a little on the high side, but worth every last bite!

Gogi’s Restaurant
235 W. Main St.
Jacksonville, OR 97530
541- 899-8699
Open Wed-Sun, 9 to 5pm
Brunch Sunday’s 10-2
http://www.gogis.net/index.html

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Magnolia Grill

On a lovely drive the Applegate Valley to taste some local wine, husband and I had heard from friends about a great little restaurant in Ruch and decided to give it a try. The place: Magnolia Grill, owned and operated by Michael Wurster.

What a great little place. For lunch I had a delicious Cobb salad, loaded with grilled chicken, bacon, avocado, hard boiled egg and crumbled Rogue Creamery Bleu Cheese. I topped that off with a glass of crisp Griffin Creek Viognier. Husband had the “Special” a turkey and Cappicola sandwich in an herbed roll with steak fries and Iced Tea. Knowing we were way too full to have dinner later, we thought we should a least make ourselves even more miserable and try a homemade dessert. We had a Banana Spring Roll. This was a banana rolled in brown sugar, wrapped in a won ton skin, deep fried and covered with a drizzle of caramel, toasted coconut and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. WOW! DE-LISH!!

They are open 6 days a week starting at 7:30 for breakfast, lunch and dinner (Monday’s Closed)

Other menu items include three different eggs benedicts (one with grilled tomato and Portobello mushrooms), Chicken fried steak and eggs, Build your own omelets with several delectable items to choose from along with standard breakfast fare.

Lunches range from (and just to name a few) homemade soups and salads, hamburgers and veggie burgers, a Grilled Eggplant sandwich with caramelized onions, sweet roasted red peppers and provolone on a roll with chipotle mayo. A Rueben with hand pulled corned beef, Jamaican Jerk Spiced Pulled Pork sandwich with mango chutney.

They have a large and intriguing dinner menu including a Light Fare menu with Littleneck Clams, Cajun Crawfish Won-Tons, or a Blue Bison Burger. Other dinner selections range from Pasta’s, Steaks, Jambalaya or Fish and a Pork Tenderloin that is topped with an apple and sage chutney, served with garlic mashed potatoes and sautéed veggies. Too many items to list.

There is a great kids menu at great prices too!

Magnolia Grill
7360 Hwy 238
Jacksonville, Oregon
541-899-8700

About a 35 mile drive from Grants Pass, OR
Check out this mention in April 2007 edition of Sunset Magazine

http://www.sunset.com/sunset/travel/article/0,20633,1595995,00.html

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Shan Creek Cafe

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One of my favorite restaurants in Grants Pass is Shan Creek Cafe. It’s about a 15 minute drive from Grants Pass on Riverbanks road. The restaurant at one time was the Shan Creek Market, a local fixture for several years. I was happy to see an old piece of history still hanging above a counter from the old market. The once proud owner self-proclaimed his business as “The Smallest Country Super Market in the World.”

The lovely owner of Shan Creek Cafe is Angel Taylor. We were told that she and her husband bought the property in 2003 and spent many a night and weekend remolding the old store. During the remodel, Angel worked as a chef at the Sundance River Center in Merlin. She shyly told us that she had the honor of cooking for Martha Stewart when she was in Oregon filming for one of her shows.

Before that Angel lived and worked in Marin County staring her career at age of thirteen. She worked her way up from dishes to prep cook. At age fifteen she was in charge of her first dinner shift as the chef at the time had not show up for work. At eighteen she spent a year traveling and working in pubs in England.

Along with standard fare, the menu offers some unique dishes including a Veggie Omelet loaded with fresh veggies, herbs and feta cheese. A Breakfast Burrito with black beans, eggs, cheese, salsa, avocado and sour cream and French toast stuffed with cream cheese berries and pecans. They also serve fresh homemade muffins and coffee cakes. They also offer homemade jams. Yum!

The lunch and dinner menu has a nice offering of homemade soups, salads and salad dressings. You can order a cup, bowl or Bread Bowl of the soup of the day. Or try one of four different salads like the Field Greens with warm pecan crusted goat cheese, (this would be delish with the homemade creamy lemon dressing) or a Greek Salad with red onion and Kalamata Olives.

How about a hamburger made from Oregon organic free range beef? This comes with the standard toppings for or add grilled mushrooms or grilled onions or avocado. Not interested in burgers? Try the Marinated Grilled Chicken breast sandwich smothered in grilled apples and brie. Or try one of the many other sandwich selections such as the Veggie sandwich with carrots, zucchini and olives smothered in Jack cheese and served on toasted whole wheat with tomatoes, sprouts and avocado for. The selection of sandwiches comes with French Fries or homemade Cole Slaw or Potato Salad.

Other options to try include Beer Battered Fish and Chips (my husband and I think they are the best fish and chips in Grants Pass) and Fish Tacos. The main menu is not large however the daily specials make up for what is not on the menu. Chef Angel offers five to six specials a night including seafood, (one is Clam Steamers with perfect amounts of garlic, wine and herbs) a veggie dish, pasta dish and the best aged steaks in the valley.

Along with Free Trade Coffee, they offer espresso drinks, both black and green iced tea. Fresh squeezed lemonade and orange juice and a small but nice selection of beer and wine.

One of my first meals was the Fish Tacos and let me tell you that as a lover of fish tacos, these ranked at the top of my list. I was served two with a plate of black beans steamed rice topped with grated cheese, lime wedges and home made salsa. The fish was very lightly seasoned and breaded, sautéed, wrapped in a grilled corn tortilla. The taste was sensational. I reluctantly offered a meager bite to my partner to get his take. He loved it. He ordered the Beer Battered Fish and Chips. He too offered up a reluctant and meager bite of his selection, and I do declare it was fantastic. The fish was fried in a light seasoned beer batter and served with fries and a homemade tartar sauce and a crisp Cole Slaw. Even though we were happily stuffed, we were encouraged by the chef’s mother, Grace Alexander, to try one of several home made desserts or cookies. She proudly stated that her daughter not only made the best fish and chips she has ever tried but was indeed a “master baker.” We were sold. I had a wonderful slice of Marion Berry Pie slightly warmed with a crust that was to die for and my husband had a piece of a rich and creamy Kaluha Cheesecake.

Back to those steaks. My husband and I have tried several meals at Shan Creek and beside the Fish and Chips, Angel’s steaks are to die for. Perfectly aged and cooked, I have yet to try anything better in the valley. Tender, flavorful and well just darned right perfect. Her Filet Mignon is like buttah, and so full of flavor you’ll be humming through the entire steak. Oh did I mention the sautéed mushrooms piled on top?

The food is outstanding, the service was beyond compare and the friendly neighborly atmosphere is very comforting. My one critique is the limited hours. Only open Thursday through Sunday, breakfast, lunch and dinner. Always call first. Angel’s family always comes first, one of the many reasons my husband and I love this place so much.

Shan Creek Café
5547 Riverbanks Road
Grants Pass, OR 97527
(541) 479-5057

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Beacon Bar & Grill

There once was a place called the Lantern Cafe. Half smoky bar, half cafe. The food was cheap and so-so and the cafe was always filled with smoke from the bar. If you went in for lunch and asked what the special was, the standard answer is “.50 cents off anything on the menu”. Okay then. After years and years someone bought the Lantern Cafe and refurbished the inside. Gallons and gallons of special paint were used to cover the thick smoke stained walls. They opened the wall that divided the cafe and bar which made it nice and bright. The new owners are the owners of one of my favorite restaurants, Aja. I was very excited to try this new place. If Aja was good, then surely Beacon Bar and Grill would be the same!

I have tried Beacon Bar and Grill four times now. I really wanted to like it. I tried to like it.

First time was the Cobb Salad. HUGE. Way to huge. When I am presented with a plate that could seriously feed three people, I’m not as impressed as I am concerned. First thing that came to my mind was waste. After I got over that feeling, I dug in. Or tried to. I had to ask for a separate plate as this enormous salad toppled all over the place.

The plate was a huge pile of romaine lettuce. The kind from a bag. I can handle that and I know if helps to cut the cost of cleaning and tearing your own lettuce, but I always feel that you get “seconds” in bags. Most all of the romaine lettuce pieces were the spine or rib of the leaf. Rarely a nice piece of actual green. On top of the lettuce riblets sat huge slices of red onion. The slices were way to big to fit in the mouth. Next to that chicken, again in large pieces, chunks of chopped boiled eggs, and tomatoes, UNDERCOOKED bacon, crumbled blue cheese topped with avocado slices. I chose the homemade blue cheese dressing. I’m a big fan of the Cobb, but that bacon was very undercooked and the veggie pieces cute too large. The dressing was decent and the crumble of blue good.

Next trip, my acquaintance wanted to share the Cobb again. I agreed to give it a try as long as we shared a plate of Onion Rings with roasted garlic ketchup. I was really looking forward to that garlic ketchup. It was ketchup, nothing garlic about it. Sad because the Onion rings were decent.

Then came the salad. Yep it was the same. Huge chunks of veggies and undercooked bacon. I kicked myself for not asking ahead of time to have them crisp it up. Not only that, but the avocado was so under ripe you could not eat it.

Ok one more chance. I played it safe. Ordered the veggie sandwich. This was a nice sandwich. Nothing to write home about, but tasted good. Served on Rye bread with cream cheese, cucumber, tomato, red onion, avocado, sprouts, mushrooms and ranch dressing. The bread seemed a tad dry but the fries were good.

Back again. I really wanted this place to work for me. I ordered the house salad and a bowl of clam chowder. The salad was fair, again standard Fancy greens in a bag. The soup was surprisingly good. Hot, creamy, nice tender clams and oyster crackers to top it off. Then off to sit at the bar. I ordered a Bloody Mary. WOW, this thing was a piece of art and a meal in it’s own right. Good amount of vodka to mix. Nice and spicy with Tabasco and horseradish, a bit too much acid (juice of lemon, lime and olive juice). Then the garnish. Pickled Asparagus, celery, green olives, pickled onions all place strategically on a rim of salt.

At this point they are moving up my taste bud scale.

New night. Ordered the Crispy Chicken Sandwich. Lightly coated in Panko bread crumbs, with portabella mushroom slices, Swiss cheese, fried onion rings and a smoked bbq sauce on Ciabatta. This was a bit of a disappointment. The bbq sauce tasted vaguely of bbq and more like marinara. The cook must have dunked the breaded chicken breast in the sauce. The chicken was very soggy. I only ate half of this and all the fries. The fries here are great. Hot, crispy and salted just right.

The service has been great each time and the place was nice and clean. I commend the owners for cleaning up the old Lantern.

I’ll most likely try again, but further down the line. I had high hopes but so far my hopes are dashed.

Beacon Bar & Grill

2030 NE Vine St
Grants Pass, OR 97526
(541) 472-9375

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