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Bo Restobar Restaurant Review 9.4

September 13, 2008

Bo RestoBar, Thai Chicken Sandwich

Bo Restobar is another amazing restaurant masquerading as a bar. The service has been great on every visit, the food is spectacular & the drinks are as good as the food. It can be packed but you can also have the whole place to yourself if you come @ a non peak time.

Bo & Typhoon are separate companies but owned by the same person. The Typhoon flavor has a few similarities as Bo (this is a good thing for both of them).

The most unique thing Bo & Typhoon offer is the Lemongrass Clam Chowder. If you want traditional chowder, this is not for you.  If you want chowder infused with a Thai lemongrass zing, you must try it.  I can not get within a mile of here without craving this chowder.  On my way out of state, I had to make a pit stop for this Lemongrass Clam Chowder.

The Happy Hour menu has most of the same foods @ low prices. The portions are smaller but this just allows you to try more items. The Lemongrass Clam Chowder is $3, Salmon stick is $2 or $3, everything is delicious & affordable.

I have tried many items from Bo Restobar & have loved everything. The Lemongrass Clam Chowder is my favorite, my husband loves the noodle bowl. Depending on when you go, lunch, dinner or happy hour you can find prices from $2-$29, you can always find items around $10.

Our friend with celiac disease was able to have a turkey sandwich, without the bread. She said it was “yummy”.  There were not options on the menu but they were happy to accommodate her.

Lemongrass Clam Chowder – $4 / $7 ($3 happy hour)
Noodle Bowl – Choices of BBQ pork or shredded chicken with egg noodles, $10
Thai Chicken Sandwich with Peanut Sauce – Tender grilled chicken breast with peanut sauce on both sides, served on a burer bun accompanied with shredded iceberg, sliced cucumber in Thi vinaigrette, onion, and tomato slices. $10
Sticky Fingers Ribs – Babybacks with an Asian glaze. $10
Grilled Halibut – 10 oz filet toped with crispy ginger, served with wasabi mashed potatoes, $20

UPDATE:  They now feature Karaoke.  I don’t know the hours or specifics.  I am  nice enough to not torture others with my voice so I don’t sing Karaoke.  I have seen a gentleman sing several Tony Bennett songs wonderfully, I also saw an amazing girl sing, on the table, she probably would have at least made it to Hollywood week on American Idol.  Then there are of course the usual Karaoke singers with a big range of talent.  I braved the Karaoke bar, alone on Halloween, in my cowgirl costume, just to get the Lemongrass Clam Chowder.

Rating based on 1-10, 10 is best:
Quality of food: 10
Taste, flavor & texture of food: 10
Service: 9
Atmosphere: 9
Value: 9

Bo Restobar
Bend, Oregon Restaurant
550 NW Franklin Ave #118, Bend, OR 97701
541-617-8880
N 44° 3.435′ W 121° 18.821′
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bend-OR/Bo-Restobar/61305455147?ref=search&sid=1057683504.2647014761..1
http://www.borestobar.com

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Kebaba Restaurant Review 8.6

September 13, 2008

Kebaba, Chicken Schwarma

The smells greet you as you walk in the door of Kababa. The flavors are strong and distinct. I have never had true middle eastern food to compare this too but it is good with my American palate.

I have tried most things on the lunch menu plus a few from the dinner menu. The only item I will not have again is the spinach pie, it was different but one time was enough for me. Most lunch items are in pita, most things have a really good pickled onion. I don’t like raw onions but I crave these pickeled onions.

Add fries & a drink to any lunch meal for $1.75 more. The fries have a great herb seasoning & are well worth the upgrade. Also tough to pick a favorite but I like the Chicken Schwarma or Curried Tempeh. My husband usually goes for the Lamb Schwarma or Tuna Kebab. They also have a children’s menu for under $5.

The serving sizes are good, if you are not super hungry & have the fries, you can easily split this with someone.

A new Kebaba favorite of mine is the Lamb Burger.  I was hesitant to order a burger from a menu I know has good ethnic food but at the suggestion a friend, I did.  I was pleasantly surprised.  I will usually only try a bite of lamb and won’t order a dish of lamb.  This burger is a unique exception to all my preconceived ideas, you mush try it.

Lunch Menu:
Chicken Skewer (Kids) – one chicken kebab with fries & cucumber slices $4.50
Chicken Schwarma – Spiced roasted chicken rolled with garlic sauce, lettuce, tomato, cucumber and pickled onion, $6.25
Lamb Schwarma – Spiced roasted lamb rolled with tahini sauce, lettuce, tomato, cucumber and pickled onion, $7.25
Tuna Kebab – Marinated grilled yellowfin tuna, rolled with garlic sauce, lettuce, tomato, cucumber and pickled onion, $7.25
Curried Tempeh – Soy tempeh, celery, scallions, cashews and raisins, rolled iwht lettuce, carrots and a curried apricot dressing, $6.25

Rating based on 1-10, 10 is best:
Quality of food: 9
Taste, flavor & texture of food: 9
Service: 8 (order lunch @ counter, dinner is ordered @ your table)
Atmosphere: 8
Value: 9

Kebaba Modern Middle Eastern Foods
Bend, Oregon Restaurant
1004 NW Newport Ave, Bend, OR 97702
541-318-6224
N 44° 3.753′ W 121° 19.590′
http://www.facebook.com/kebabarestaurant?ref=ts
http://www.kebaba.com

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Aloha Cafe Restaurant Review 8.5

September 13, 2008

Aloha, Lava Chicken, Noodles & Cole Slaw

At Aloha Cafe you immediately feel like you are in a local surf hang out when you walk in with the surfboards on the walls & the surf videos or waves on the tv. Both locations are hard to find if you don’t know what you are looking for. They can be packed during lunch or after work. Service is friendly & quick.

You place your order @ the counter & they quickly bring it to your table.  If you have questions about the menu, they will be happy to explain or offer a recommendation. I have yet to order something I wouldn’t order again, it is all very good.

Choose your favorite meat, choose a couple or have the big kahuna with a little of everything. The sauces & food are all made fresh @ the restaurant. It is hard to pick a favorite dish. After you finally pick which meat, you still have to choose between noodles & rice, and finally you have to choose the macaroni dish or cole slaw. You really can’t go wrong with any of this Hawaiian Food made by Hawaiians. Aloha Cafe is addicting, I have been there 3 times this week!

I usually choose the Lava Chicken & Tri Tip Beef with noodles & cole slaw. The lava chicken resembles a sweet chili sauce, the noodles have a flavor that resembles Kecup Manis (Indonesian Sweet Soy Sauce), the cole slaw has a little pineapple & a hint of pepper. I have not tried the sandwiches.

Keiki (Kids) Mixed Plate $3.25
Lava Chicken $6.50
Kalua Pork $6.95 (Wheat Free)
Tri-Ti Beef $8.75
Choice of any 2 entrees & sides, small $6.50, large $8.50
Big Kahuna $11.75
Catering $4-$14.95 per person

Rating based on 1-10, 10 is best:
Quality of food: 8
Taste, flavor & texture of food: 9
Service: N/A (order @ counter, bus your own table)
Atmosphere: 8
Value: 9

Aloha Cafe, Hawaiian BBQ & Catering
Bend, Oregon Restaurant
Crossroads Plaza, 547 NE Bellevue #112, Bend, OR 97702
Sunriver Village Mall, 57100 Beaver Dr #20, Sunriver, OR 97707
541-382-KONA (5662) NE Bend
541-593-KONA (5662) Sunriver
N 44° 3.314′ W 121° 15.787′ NE Bend
N 43° 52.442′ W 121° 26.201′ Sunriver
no website

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Old Mill Martini Bar Restaurant Review 9.2

August 20, 2008

Martini Bar, Yellowfin Tuna

Bend’s best kept secret! Posh food, hidden in an upscale bar. The entrance is hidden on the north side of the Old Mill Saxon’s Jeweler building. You go up the discrete stairwell (or elevator) to enter the bar/restaurant. The 3rd floor is available for private events (will be again after they rebuild from the recent fire), the 2nd (main) floor has a bar area as well as a few nooks & patio with beautiful views. The look & feel is posh & modern with a touch of the brick from the Old Mill.

I invite friends to dinner her, they say “the bar? Shouldn’t we go out to dinner first?” Few people know they have food of this caliber. I have yet to find something that I would not have again. You really can’t go wrong with anything here (at least nothing I have tried). The descriptions from the menu make my mouth water & don’t do them justice. The portions are perfect, I never leave hungry but I am an inch away from licking my plate clean.

This is my favorite food in Bend. I have tried many items off the menu but my favorite is the seared scallops, my husband and daughter’s favorite is the sea bass. The bass is so soft & smooth, your fork glides through it like softened butter, the flavor is impossible to describe, it is amazing. The scallops plate has so many flavors that compliment one another, the risotto is almost as good as the scallops.

The food is spectacular & way under priced for the quality & flavor. The drinks are great but pricey. The website only shows the downtown location but is a great resource for mixed drink recipes. The food is always consistent but the service can vary, typically you are served like you’re in a bar & not dining out. Get you with the food, keep you with the drinks. I rarely drink when I come because I want to savor the food

Seared Scallops – Mango glaze, caramelized onion, napa cabbage, sliced pear, butternut squash, risotto, pomegranate syrup $24

Sea Bass Bene wafer crusted, winter vegetble medley, chef’s risotto, Walla Walla sweet onion cream sauce $25.5

Yellowfin Tuna – Togaraashi encrusted, wasabi potato egg roll, chili ginger soy dipping sauce with arugula frisee salad, warm tofu & goat cheese crouton. $23

Chimichurri Trip-Tip Grilled tri-tip, black beans & rice, roasted corn medallions, chive butter $13.5 (small plate)

Asain Beauty Bloody Mary – Mazama Infused Pepper Vodka, tomato juice, soy and ginger reduction wasabi, Demetri’s Bloody Mary Spice Blend, Sriracha Pepper Sauce, Cholula Pepper Sauce, cucumber, green onion $8.50

UPDATE:  The Old Mill location has closed.  They still have a downtown location but they don’t serve the same food.

Rating based on 1-10, 10 is best:
Quality of food: 10
Taste, flavor & texture of food: 10
Service: 7
Atmosphere: 9
Value: 10

(note the above value rating is based on the food)

The Old Mill Martini Bar
Bend, Oregon Restaurant
360 SW Powerhouse Dr Bend, OR
541-389-490
N 44° 2.800′ W 121° 18.871′
http://www.bendistillery.com

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Tony’s Delicatessen Restaurant Review 8.0

August 20, 2008

Tony's Delicatessen, Corn Chowder

Where have all the delis gone?  Tony’s Delicatessen is not a new idea but a long forgotten one that needed a revival.  Fresh meats & cheeses in the deli case, fresh calzones & lasagnas to go, sandwiches made to order, plus more.   Eat in or take out.   I asked if onions could be grilled & he said I can have him make it any way I want.  He didn’t even try to charge extra!   This is not the case with many restaurants.

We have been looking forward to the opening of Tony’s Delicatessen, we go to blockbuster for the movie pass all the time.  Pick up a movie & now a sandwich, yum.   When we finally had the opportunity to come in we were greeted warmly.  We asked for a recommendation & he said Mario’s Meatball is a favorite.

They all looked good to me so my husband chose The Beast for us to split.  It was served on Rye bread with a HUGE helping of meat, the meat was mostly in the center so I had to readjust a little.  The quality of the ingredients was very good.

Sandwiches come with your choice of potato salad, cole slaw or pasta salad.  I chose the cole slaw, it was a little wilted looking but very infused with flavor.  I would have made it slightly stronger in flavor but I like it strong.  A hint of a sweet & sour flavor to the cole slaw.  The cole slaw has a lot less mayo than most places, a little mayo goes a long way.

There is also a build your own form that you can fill out.   This is nice if you are craving a homemade sandwich made just the way you want it without the work or mess of making it.

Our daughter had the lasagna which comes with steamed vegetables.   She didn’t let me taste her lasagna but she did share her veggies (you’re not surprised?).  I don’t typically go for vegetables but I will eat them because you should.   These were steamed & seasoned with herbs & butter, just writing this post has me craving them.

My husband loves and keep going back for the Corn Chowder.  He finishes the bowl in 1 sitting.  I take half of mine to go & have a cookie for desert.  I usually like strong bold flavor, this one is a little light for me but I know several people that like a more neutral flavor.  Either I got really lucky or these are the best chewy cookies around, white chocolate macadamia nut with coconut and a hint of lemon.

Half Sandwich about $5
Whole Sandwich about $9
Lasagna about $8
Calzone to go about $8

A little pricey for a sandwich but service with a smile & a convenient location, I will be back, just not as often as I would like.

Rating based on 1-10, 10 is best:
Quality of food: 8
Taste, flavor & texture of food: 7
Service: 10
Atmosphere: 8
Value:7

320 S.W. Century Dr., Suite 410, Bend, Oregon
541-647-1653
N 44° 2.791′ W 121° 19.845′
No Website

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Flatbread Community Oven Restaurant Review 9.0

June 29, 2008

Flatbread

Flatbread Community Oven opened a couple weeks ago in Bend.   Rob, one of the co-owners, started flatbread in Boise, Idaho about 2 years ago.  “Pizza” does not do this justice.  The Ingredients are not your typical little caesars variety but more of a delicatessen pizza pie prepared by a gourmet.  Ingredients such as onions & portobello mushrooms are grilled, tomatoes are fire roasted and the flatbreads or pizza pies are prepared in a wood fired oven.   We have been twice this weekend plus we plan to go back again for $5 happy hour personal pizzas (Mon-Fri 4-6pm)

Flatbread Community Oven is in The Shops @ Old Mill, very well hidden right on the river.   As you walk in you are quickly struck with the modern flare of the interior, the comfort of the firewood stacked up for the oven & the temptation of the gelato beautifully displayed.  We were quickly greeted by friendly staff & seated.  We chose to sit @ the bar to watch the preparation.   Kyle immediately asked how we were doing but never missed a beat with preparing his pizzas.   Kyle was a dishwasher when Flatbread opened in Idaho, he worked his way up.

The only item I will not order again is the Asparagus Proscuitto, it was very good, just not even close in flavor to the other items on this menu.

14″ Pizza Pies about $13

Roasted Chicken & Portobello: Roasted Chicken, Herbed Portobello, Fire Roasted Tomatoes, Fontina, Garlic, Pesto.

Maple-Fennel Sausage: Caramelized Onions, FCO Formaggio

Asparagus Prosciutto: Fontina, Roasted Red Pepper FCO Formaggio

Blanco Magnifico: Roasted Chicken, Fresh Mozzarella, Olive Oil, Fresh Garlic, Caramelized Onion, Proscuitto

Capicola, Sausage & Salami: Casciappo Bros Italian Sausage, Capicola, Salami, FCO Formaggio, Pamadoro

Focaccia Sandwiches about $9
Caprese di Parma: Proscuitto, Fresh Whole Milk Mozzarella, Roma Tomatoes, Fresh Basil with Pesto and Honey-Balsamic on Rosemary Parmesan Focaccia

Fontina Fonduta $?
This is gluten free but I don’t recall the price. Suzi had this as a gluten free salad item and really enjoyed it. I did not have a bite so I can not say personally but it looked delicious.

95g of gelato about $2.5
Coffee
Peanut Butter
Watermelon

Each time Grace had the same focaccia sandwich, it was great.   Scott & I split a pizza each time, perfect amount if you are not starving.   I couldn’t decide which pie I liked best, they were both amazing, each so unique with flavors that blend so well.   The gelato was all so good, I think I liked Grace’s watermelon best.   Scott wanted more coffee.

Since this is my first rating, I am probably ranking it lower than I should but I don’t want to start out with a perfect 10.   There is probably room for improvement but I can’t think of anything I would do right now.

Rating based on 1-10, 10 is best:
Quality of food: 9
Taste, flavor & texture of food: 9
Service: 10
Atmosphere: 9
Value: 8

375 Powerhouse Dr, Bend, Oregon
Bend, Oregon Restaurant
541-728-0600
N 44° 2.840′ W 121° 18.963′ (about)
http://www.flatbreadpizza.com

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Introduction

June 29, 2008

My name is Jennifer, my husband is Scott & our daughter is Grace. I am not an expert, simply an average (opinionated) person who has been eating my entire life, just like everyone else. We didn’t eat out much before moving to Bend, there was not much of a selection & eating out was only for special occasions. Now we have plenty of occasions; Sunday, Monday, Tuesday…

There are a few things that we simply need for survival; food, water, oxygen, sleep, friends & family. Sometimes I eat out & feel like I am simply surviving & choking down the food. Other times I have an amazing experience made up of a combination of food quality, service, atmosphere, architecture & company. Instead of emailing everyone I know each time I go out, I will post here.

I have always had very specific cravings & try to follow them. If I don’t eat what I am craving, I typically will eat too much of whatever is in front of me.

Over the years my taste has evolved but there are still a few things I don’t like & will not be ordering; raw onions, cooked carrots or raw green bell peppers (any other color is good though). I have a thing about tomatoes; I am not crazy about tomato juices or sauces but I like a fresh ripe tomato or good bloody mary (spicy & thick enough you can chew) and I love sun dried tomatoes. I have some other food quirks too, I will share those as I think of them.

Cheers!