Schatzi: Since Eli had only been to the Oregon Coast once since he’d moved here, we decided to make a short jaunt over my Spring Break. We drove out to Astoria down Highway 30, where we had lunch at the Fort George Brewery & Public House at Malia’s recommendation. She especially recommended the fish and chips, so we had to try them. However, on seeing that they were albacore rather than halibut or cod, we had our doubts, especially Eli, who almost ordered something else. Thank goodness we did order them, because those albacore fish and chips were by far the best fish and chips I have ever had. The tuna was perfectly cooked, moist and juicy, and the batter–oh, the batter! No matter how much lemon and malt vinegar I slathered on, the batter did not get soggy and fall off the fish. It was crisp on the outside, with perfect adherence to the fish. The chips were pretty good, too. I also had some nice beer, Divinity, a raspberry re-fermented wit, and the Bourbon Barrel Cavatica Stout. However, we did have some concerns about the rest of the menu, after seeing their description of jambalaya. Jambalaya is not served on a bed of basmati, people! The rice is cooked in the sauce at the end of the cooking process. I learned to make jambalaya from Letty Leftwich of Louisiana (I cannot make this stuff up), and she would never countenance such a practice.
After a leisurely luncheon at the Fort George, we headed down 101, making stops at various scenic outposts so that Eli could see what he’d been missing. We stayed overnight at the Lincoln City lol-iday inn (employee discount ftw!).
Eli: The drive down 101 was nice, and we stopped at Ecola State Park to be blown around at about 40 MPH. It was beautiful though. We spent the evening in our motel room watching Gossip Girl, and Schatzi drank Sweet Carolina Sweet Tea Vodka, which was delicious with a little soda water and lemon.
The next day was spent in and around Newport, as we explored the Aquarium and the Bayfront. The line at the aquarium was ridiculous, I think we waited for a half hour to get in. Once we finally got in we had a bite at the cafe there, which was just awful. Who puts mayo on grilled cheese without asking? Then we looked around for hours, pet abalone, watched otters being fed, and fell in love with the auks. At least I did. The auks were my favorite at the aquarium. They had so much character and “flew” underneath the water.
After having so much fun at the aquarium, we went to the Bayfront and walked around for a while looking in shops and ogling the salt water taffy. We went to three different shops before deciding on which one to purchase our taffy from. We got about four pounds of taffy between the both of us. The watermelon pickle was my favorite, I wish I had bought more of those.
Schatzi: Before making the long drive back to Portland, we had dinner by sunset at The Bay House. I’ve seen the place listed on various lists of romantic places on the Oregon Coast, and it’s easy to see why. The food was delicious, the wine list extensive, and the service unctuous and impeccable. The entire experience was enjoyable. I was super excited to share The Bay House with Eli, and he had a lovely time. I must say, their crab cakes and soups are always excellent. I almost cried when I found out they were not serving the cream of shrimp and onion soup I fell in love with when I was there last, but the smoked potato and green onion soup was heavenly.
Eli: We had some great crab cakes for an appetizer, simple and delicious. I had pan-seared scallops in a maple-shoyu glaze with sesame soba noodles and baby bok choy for my entree, and it was delicious with perfectly cooked scallops My only complaint was that the noodles were already coated in the maple-shoyu; I would have rather had them plain. Schatzi’s prawns were also cooked perfectly. For desert I had a pistachio custard on a flourless chocolate cake, and Schatzi had a Tokaji (Tokay) which I had never heard of. It was a real treat to try, I had never had anything like it before. The whole meal was dynamic with a rapid succession of changing flavors. I’ll never forget this dinner. We had a lovely time.
We drove home to Portland happy and content with the dinner we had and our whole experience all together. I can’t wait till we do it again!