Some of Our Favorite Places to Dine Out
with Friends & Family
We live along the Columbia River in Southwest Washington State. We like to make dining out an integral part of our local driving adventures, whether traveling in a sports car or riding two-up on a sportsbike. It is fun to combine a scenic drive, a memorable day of experiencing sights and sounds of interesting places along the way, and sharing good food with our traveling companion(s). The food needs to be adaquate enough to satisfy our appetite as well as provide us with a tasty meal treat that we would not normally prepare at home for ourselves.
From our dining experiences, we think the following list of restaurants are excellent places to eat in this scenic region of the great nation in which we live. Many of these full-service dining establishments provide the driver and his or her traveling companion with an excellent view of the Columbia River waters from their front window seats (and outside dining areas, when open during the summer.) Some of these restaurants even have nearby public docking facilities with temporary moorage slip spaces available for their customers, if you happen to be an avid recreational boater (power or sail.) All of these restaurants are casual eating establishments with medium-priced menus. All of the restaurants provide either pub (micro-brew beers and wine) or full bar alcoholic beverage services to their lunch and dinner customers (please drink responsibly, and don't drink and drive -- especially on a motorcycle roadtrip.) Some of these restaurants also serve breakfast (as noted.)
Hawaiian & Pacific Islands Food: Unfortunately the primary owner of this restaurant suddenly passed away in 2012, and the family had to close this restaurant in 2013. We will miss this excelent (and unique place) to eat in St. Helens OR. The restaurant that replaced it serves Thai food now. We will miss the family and their great Islands hospitality.
Seaside, Oregon Restaurants
Crab Cakes & Beer: The Relief Pitcher serves homemade crab cakes with the best cole slaw I have ever eaten. The rough-cut cole slaw recipe includes whole cranberries and a sweet sauce -- absolutely delicious. Their slightly-spicy sauce served on the side for the crab cakes is also very unique. Their crab cakes plate is less than $10 per person. This is the only place on the west coast that I have found homemade crab cakes served Maryland-style. Located on the south end of Seaside out next to the helicopter ride port, this old-fashoined tavern with blue shake siding has really good food. It is a also a summer hang out for many of the locals when they host their outdoor parties with live music.
Mexican Food: We go to Seaside each year to celebrate our marriage on a "getaway night" at the Best Western Inn located on the boardwalk [the strand] at Seaside. While staying there one time in May, I asked the front desk crew at the motel where the the best mexican food restaurant in town was located (as it was Cinco de Mayo.) They suggested that we try The Stand located at 109 North Holladay Street in old town. They are open 11:00 AM to 8:00 PM Monday through Friday in Seaside, Oregon. This is a small restaurant with limited available seating, but the service is good and the seating turns over relatively quickly. The food is authenic mexican food (no Tex-Mex) and a little spicy, but not too hot. Many of the locals eat there.
Breakfast on the Road: Most folks like a good, hearty breakfast when traveling on the road -- we certainly do. One place we enjoy eating at when traveling to southern Oregon or down to New Mexico is Sybil's in Salem, Oregon. They describe their restaurant as "An Omelette Lovers Paradise." Sybil's offers 110 different types of omelettes (sides of great hash browns and a homemade specialty muffin or coffee cake are included with the meal.) We like their coffee too. They feature a daily breakfast special before 8:00 AM for early risers. They also serve lunch. Sybil's is located about a half mile west of I-5 (turn off at the Detroit Lake & Airport exit; you can buy gas at the Costco if you are a member.) Their address is 2373 State Street, Salem, Oregon and the phone number is 503-581-7724. Bon Appetite!
Chinese Food: The Lucky Dragon in the City of Kalama serves very tasty Chinese food for very reasonable prices. It is located right next to I-5 on the east side of the freeway for easy-off, easy-on access back to the freeway. One order of the Happy Family menu item with a spare plate will feed both of us. We also like the Combination Plate dinners. The Oolong tea they serve is excellent and a hot teapot full comes free with the dinner. Order ahead for take-out if you want to eat on the road or have a picnic at the city park on the Columbia River side of I-5. They are located at 274 Frontage Road, Kalama, Washington 98625. Their phone number is 360-673-1818. They are open 7 days a week from 11:00 AM to 9:30PM M-F, 11:00 AM to 10:00 PM Sat, and 12:00 noon to 9:00 PM on Sunday. They accept all major credit cards, but they do not accept personal checks.
Sports Bar & Grill Food: The Triangle Tavern, established in 2011, is at 934 Washington Way in north Longview (a few blocks south of Ocean Beach Highway.) It is a great place to watch sports, have a beverage with a friend, and eat some good pub food at a reasonable price. Their phone number is 360-353-5229. Sarah and Robert have a full bar and standard fare American beers with some microbrews on tap. They serve up prime rib of beef on Friday and Saturday nights after 4:00 pm that is cooked on a Trager slow roasting grill (the prime rib portions are quite generous and the baked potato is huge.) Don't come too late after 5:00 pm on the weekend because their prime rib dinner sells out fast. They also have excellent burgers and sandwiches. Some say their garlic fries are "habit forming". The parking areas next to the building are rather small, however, there is usually ample overflow parking around back. Entry is on the west side of the building, and the regular customers are a nice cross section of Longview area business and hard-working folks. Sometimes it is quite noisy inside, but it's friendly place to eat and visit with friends.
Updated 11May16; Please visit us again to read more about our roadtrip dining experiences.]
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