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16 October 2017 : Port Orford            jump to this page > > >
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Arrived in plenty of time for our reservation at the Chef's Counter, where we watched Gino and his team pump out extraordinary, generous, delicious, sustainable seafood dishes.

I have been looking forward to this meal for years, and so I ordered big: local crab two ways, in roasted garlic crab soup, and a crab cake. The crab in the soup was sweet, and the cake was a delicacy. Rochelle wanted a salad, and we had a field greens salad with local bay shrimp. The two mains that we shared, Rochelle's favorite fried oysters and a grilled halibut preparation over sauteed onions, bacon, chard, and noodles in a gently savory light sauce. (Fish must swim.)

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18 October 2017 : to Caspar            jump to this page > > >
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Lunch at Renata's Crêperie on G Street in Arcata – what a lovely town! Put a high-end state college in a remote town, not too far but far enough from a county seat and commercial center to draw off the mercenaries, and Voilà! You got yourself a lovely town.

The crêpe was delicious, too, but not especially photogenic.

On through Eureka and the gorgeous, windey freeway south through Garberville, then the super-twisty Highway One out to the coast and along our blessed ocean. Not much smoke, but some fog, just like the Oregon Coast.


22 August 2018 : Port Townsend            jump to this page > > >
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As has become our habit, we start eating before we remember to take a picture; only the Cider and Clam Chowder are unmolested here. The Buffalo Chicken Tenders are a nice refinement – all the joys of Chicken Wings with no gnarly bones – and a fairly standard Caesar. I note with sorrow that the popularity of the Caesar has led to the loss of proper dressing – each salad should be assembled in a big bowl, dressed, and tossed before serving, not dressed in its serving bowl. C'mon, guys; you can dedicate a stainless steel bowl to Caesars!

Port Townsend appears to be a poetry town:

Here's to a Long Life

And a Merry One;

A Quick Death

And An Easy One;

A Pretty Girl

And A True One;

And A Good Beer

And Another One


A ways down the street, an Irish shoppe called 'Wandering Aengus' ... a favorite Yeats poem of mine. I congratulated the shopkeeper on her naming; she acknowledged it was the poem that inspired her. A gorgeous wool cape I wanted for Rochelle, but she wasn't having any.

Still farther, a gallery with wonderfully whimsical birds and brightly painted panels, glass sculpture, furniture, paintings -- all nice. I appreciated the collection, and the shopman said, “It started as a small shop many years ago, with me the potter; 41 years of accumulation, and this is what I got.”

30 August 2018 : to Caspar            jump to this page > > >
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Lunch stop in Arcata at Renata's Creperie, where we indulged in the specials and enjoyed the ambiance of California's Northernmost State College town.


28 August 2019 : Moolack Beach            jump to this page > > >
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Tonys Crab Shack


We stopped for lunch in Bandon at Tony's Crab Shack and had a crab salad out on the pier as a sort of anticipatory stopgap, because we knew that the real point of the day was another dinner at Local Ocean Seafood in Newport.

29 August 2019 : Silverton            jump to this page > > >
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After a short walk, we found Wild Pear Restaurant where we were welcomed like brother and sister, and fed a delicious grass-fed local burger, salad, and Key Lime Tart.  

31 August 2019 : Port Townsend, WA            jump to this page > > >
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Simple fare at a place with impaired ambiance (Tides Family Restaurant) but the hand-breaded fried oysters were great and the onion rings were possibly the best I've ever had. A nice hard cider from Corvallis, and we were relaxed enough to travel onward.

1 September 2019 : Port Townsend            jump to this page > > >
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In addition to the cidery, Finnriver Kitchen prepares and serves produce from the farm and neighboring producers – that's a local bratwurst and the Finnriver Salad – and most evenings and every Saturday and Sunday during the summer other vendors show up to offer their specialties: Hama Hama oysters, pizza from a large navigation buoy converted into a pizza oven ("The Dented Buoy"), and this busy Saturday of Labor Day weekend, ice cream, popcorn, chai, hamburgers, and crepes. 

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Hama Hama oysters are too good to pass up, so we had half a dozen grilled with jalapeno butter, and gobbled 'em up before I could take a picture ...and then for dessert, chai and a superb local strawberry and rhubarb crêpe made with blé – buckwheat – in the best French style. The crêperers were a family of French folk who gabbled together in French while they created their delights.

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While all this eating was going on, so was Deep Squeeze, an accordion festival sponsored by the local FM station ...I'm guessing because at least one of the radio station luminaries is an accordionist. The two guys that played while we stuffed food in our faces were amazing. "I didn't know that an accordion could be played like that," said Rochelle, who's only been exposed to the blind lady that plays (not very well) at the Fort Bragg Farmers Market. (Yah, but she's blind. That she plays at all is amazing and to be encouraged.)

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Almost every tune had a collection of folks, from very young to very old, out on the dance floor having a fine time.

Meanwhile, in the adjacent field, two huge tractor tires were getting the expected attention from young ones – this always tickles me in the Caspar playground.


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Rochelle was especially impressed with the general crowd management. For example: discards. Separated into four distinct barrels, with thoughtful explanations of what's meant by "paper" ... lots of dishes used by the several vendors, but all collected in appropriate bins that helped folks separate their cutlery from their glasses from their plates, then washed in a single central facility.

When ordering something that took time to prepare, a buzzer was issued, and when it buzzed, it was time to go get your food. 

Rochelle: "Wouldn't it be fun to have an event like this – music, plus the local food trucks and mobile vendors..."

"...and we could make pizzas and run the bar..." 


Overall, the Finnriver experience had us thinking (1) how well we've done in Caspar, such a small town, to produce this kind of community, and (2) how much can be learned from watching others, like-minded, produce their own similar events. 

next group : Victoria, BC

other topics:    Dinners     Markets     Transport

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