~ Central Oregon (Bend, Sisters, Redmond) ... Restaurants: A Report from the Field
In BEND ...
The Lay of the Land ... DOWNTOWN BEND is a historic area of about 8 or 9 blocks. It has matured nicely. A lot of locally owned shops and restaurants (without the touristy overtones you'll find in Sisters, for example). [RV: PARK WAY OUTSIDE OF DOWNTOWN] ... THE OLD MILL DISTRICT is the yuppie-ish 'renewal' zone with your REI, Red Robin, movies, etc. (not that central Oregon is a place you'll find many cliched 'yuppies'). [RV: TIGHT BUT OK] ... HIGHWAY 97 BUSINESS is road that could be outside any town in USA, Home Depot, Taco Bell, WalMart, etc. ... ELSEWHERE IN BEND there are all sort of little 'Portland-esque' neighborhood/enclaves. Be sure to explore. ... IF YOU ARE HERE TO SKI, Mt. Bachelor is in Bend, but somehow you have to look for it. I'm sure there is a ski (or apres ski) culture, but I'm not part of it. I skied there once, decades ago, and am pretty sure if I hit the slopes again, ever, anyplace, it will be in Colorado :-) ... Also, AROUND THE REST OF BEND are many parks and outdoor activities for everyone, many centered around the river that winds through town. BEND PARKS AN REC DEPARTMENT
Like Portland, Bend is developing quite a FOOD TRUCK culture. Check out the weekly "GO!" section of the "Bend Bulletin" for complete lists. My two favorites: "TheTap" LINK, the one on 27th Street by the hospital (Cheese steak with Amoroso rolls from Philly) [RV: VERY TIGHT] ... and in nearby Tumalo, anything there (at the court with the ENCLOSED PAVILION) "The Bite" LINK ... (There is another, smaller, food truck court you may pass on your way to The Bite.) [RV: VERY GOOD]
MAGGIE & TREVOR ... are RF reviewers and they have done a great job: LINK Bend has many breweries and brew-pubs ... I've not explored them deep enough to be an authority. All are certainly better options than Applebee's. LINK
Downtown ... - D&D Tavern ... LINK One of three or four places where you can get good grub (and a cocktail) any (early) morning of the week. Looks a little rough around the edges, it isn't. Friendly. Very good corned beef hash, chicken fried steak, etc. (Full bar)
- Pizza Mondo ... On their best days, it is some of the best west of the Mississippi. On an average day, it is still worth going to. If you must have pizza in Oregon, this is a very good choice. A reliable sweets shop and gelato place across the street. REVIEW TRIP ADVISOR (Beer/wine)
- Pine Tavern ... White tablecloth-y. Reliable. (Full bar)
- Sintra ... Quality/casual ... Breakfast/lunch ... I didn't expect an nice, open, comfortable order-at-the-counter place (from elegant facade, it could have been upscale, white-tablecloth). They call themselves 'Portuguese' which keeps my 'any-hint-of-spice' friend away (her loss). I had a nice scramble which was good, tasty and almost bland. Great orange juice. TRIP ADVISOR BREAKFAST MENU LUNCH MENU (Drinks too!)
Not Downtown ... - Pho Siagon ... Along 97 (biz route). Reliable. Comfort food, for if that's what you need. [RV: FORGET ABOUT IT, or PARK FAR AND WALK] (Beer/wine) - Rockin' Daves Bistro ... A 'watch-out-or-you'll-miss-it' joint snuggled between an old motel and a plumbing place on highway 20, on the right, just about a half mile from where 20 heads east from Biz-97. Just a sliver of parking [RV: VERY NOT-FRIENDLY ... go east and park at the shopping center, in front of the gym] Dave's was written up for thier bagels (it said they we're pretty good - even mentioning NY - I went in with a bagel test in mind, but was distracted by the corned beef hash. I was not dissapointed and I will be back. They have a lounge (as of yet, unexplored by me) ... and some interesting dinner events. - Hola ... It is a loosely-tethered, multi-location operation. Mexican/Peruvian ... I like the one by Barnes & Noble, or the one in Redmond best. [RV: FRIENDLY by BARNES & NOBLE] (Beer/wine) - Sparrow Bakery ... Phenomenal. [RV: GOOD ROAD ACROSS THE STREET AT SCOTT STREET ... NOT SURE A NW CROSSINGS LOCATION] - Sparrow Bakery ... So good, I'm listing it twice. They close early (like at 2 at the one near the highway) ... RF LINK ... You'll find them in more and more good grocery stores, but their stuff always sells out. - Cibelli's Pizza ... A number of locations in the area. Decent crust. Nice size slices. Quality toppings. Beer/wine. (Beer/wine) - Bend Burger ... 2 locations. Not fast food. Good. [RV: PARK ACROSS THE (busy) STREET - ALONG 97-BIZ- SOMEPLACE, THE OTHER ONE IN IN TOWN] (????) - McCay Cottage ... Breakfast and lunch ... Dinner (I'm not sure) ... I've tried, but never eaten there (I always encounter a long line). LINK [RV: FRIENDLY] (Beer/wine ... I think)
- Rodoloberto’s Taco Shop ... No frills. A good, quick choice. [RV: FRIENDLY]
On My 'To Try' List ... - WILD OREGON FOODS ... locally-sourced, in the factory outlets strip center LINK
On the Outskirts of Bend ... - SunRiver ... I've not really explored it deeply. It is the 'picture book' ski town that looks like the set for a Hallmark movie (restaurants/shops/grocery) an enclave that might be Vale, Arrowhead, Killington, Whistler. I guess it is an adjunct to Mt. Bachelor. Worth a quick side-trip, about 10 miles south of Bend two miles off highway 97. SUNRIVER CHAMBER LIST OF RESTAURANTS [RV: FRIENDLY]
In REDMOND ...
The Lay of the Land ... DOWNTOWN REDMOND you'll find a town that has some heritage ... and you can see from the 'For Lease' signs or otherwise somewhat recently closed business that things haven't been easy here. (It reminds me of my hometown, Northampton, Massachusetts when I first got there in the 1970's, only, now, as we near the 2020's in Redmond, the small businesses here are coming and are apparently getting a foothold. The revitalizing downtown is not yet bustling, but it is becoming a viable detour. Stop there. Explore the shops. Help the resurgence.) ... COMING INTO REDMOND FROM THE NORTH - OR OUT OF REDMOND FROM THE SOUTH ON 97: Keep you eyes open there is some viability along that stretch. Beyond downtown, Redmond is pretty much nothing more than an intersection (west and south, to Sisters and Bend; north to out-of central Oregon).
- La Posada ... A converted Taco Time restaurant. Nothing special, but always consistent. WEB TRIP ADVISOR [RV: OK-ish] - One Street Down ... Really good breakfast. MENU TRIP ADVISOR REVIEWS [12/14/18 ... WENT THERE TODAY AND HAD THEIR DAILY BENEDICT SPECIAL, IT WAS A NICE COMBO OF VEGGIES AND SOME SPICED PORK ... VERY GOOD!] [RV: OK]
- Smith Rock Brewing ... Noon-9-ish. This place is an extremely viable choice. Open Tuesday-Saturday. Despite very low prices the food I had (Only been there once as of this writing) was superb. Order at the counter, they have half-sized beers (I admit I enjoyed my burrito lunch so much, I kind of wished I hadn't down-sized :-) ... MENU TRIP ADVISOR REVIEWS  [RV: OK-ish. Plan to park around the block or down the street.] - Clock Tower Pub ... A nice pub. North of town in an unlikely, off-the-beaten-path strip mall that seem like it's built to be in the center of a yet-to-be-built housing development. My one experience found friendly bartender and a promising menu. My choice of a fried halibut sandwich with homemade slaw was a great, satisfying choice. ZOMATO MENU GOOGLE REVIEWS  [RV:Very friendly. Park on the street by the cul-de-sac.] - Green Plow Coffee ... DOWNTOWN ... The 'quintessential' downtown, one-of-a-kind neighborhood coffee shop. They sell the high quality, excellent Sisters Coffee without the Sisters Coffee shop (in Sisters) high prices. FB - Diego's Mexican ... Good but it seems to get more expensive every time I go ... (which I am doing less these days, because it is getting more expensive ;-) - Brickhouse ... DOWNTOWN ... (Steak place) ... White tablecloth. I've read good things. (I think, dinner only.) - Hola ... (see Bend) [RV: ON SIDE STREET] - Jody's ... Strictly a drive-in. Reliably good burgers with nice fresh toppings. I've heard the fish & chips are (is?) good. Not always reliably fast service, but worth the wait. [RV: OK] - Bogey's Burgers ... Slogan: "The Best Burgers in the World" ... Good, certainly the best in their 2 or 3 block area. Worthwhile. [RV: OK] - Redmond Smoke House ... a worthwhile jerky stop. [RV: FRIENDLY, after navigating a few easy-to-execute turns off the main drag.]
- Bend/Redmond Burger ... See Bend. Certainly worthwhile. [RV: PARK NEARBY] - Rigoberto's Tacos ... Good+ [RV: PARK NEARBY] - Sno Cap ... Good. See Sisters listing below. If you can, go to the Sisters location. [RV: FRIENDLY]
- Original Pancake House ... By the airport. A RF (small chain) fave ... for good reason. [RV: OK]
Also ... Porter's Brewery ... very out of the way ... 611 NE Jackpine Court #2, Redmond, OR 9775
6 ... is CASK-ONLY ... very good beers that will make your taste buds think that they are in an English pub ... it feels a little like that -- especially if the pub was in an English industrial park. I wish they had a kitchen. Currently they are paired with the Bad Boys BBQ truck ... food-wise, your taste buds won't think they are in Memphis or Lockhart, certainly not England! Again, beers are very good (I am a major cask beer enjoyer). [RV: FRIENDLY, ESPECIALLY IF YOU TAKE A MINUTE TO EXPLORE THE LAY OF THE LAND] There is a hard-cider place right next door, in a slightly more visible spot. Don't be confused (as I was first time there).
Outside Redmond ... - Powell Butte Country Store ... (Between Redmond and Prineville) ... they got GO! magazine's best fried chicken award ... I have not tried it. Be aware you are not in Nashville. LINK [RV: Very good] ... [Update: Now that I've been there, it was ok chicken ... I might be saving my next culinary adventure for someplace in Prineville ... a few new places that seem 'try-worthy' are appearing there] - The Dawg House ... (Prineville) ...
- Eagle Bakery (Madras; about 15 miles north of Redmond) ... I just heard about it (I've yet to try it) ... someone told me it's on the same level of quality as Sparrow (see Bend) ... When I posted THIS TRIP ADVISOR LINK, it was a solid 5 STARS. Caution: Odd hours.
In SISTERS ...
The Lay of the Land... Sisters was once a way point, just east of the Cascades. It has morphed into a destination. No surprise, in that I could write for hours about the beauty, trails, lakes and forests that Sisters is in proximity too. Google to find more on that. ... DOWNTOWN is maybe 3/4 mile long. Most shops seem to have a real tilt towards 'touristy'. Town was once about as rustic and old-west as you could get. Thanks to, some say 'too many', grants and beautification projects, the town is more picturesque that truly 'old-west' any more. Pick up the free local paper THE NUGGET to get a flavor for town and certainly visit the CHAMBER OF COMMERCE and see if there are any of the many FESTIVAL AND EVENTS happening when you are here. ... BEYOND DOWNTOWN: happily there is no strip of big box stores ('we have Bend, our 'Mount Pilot,' for that :-) ... but remember to take advantage of the recreation around town. ... BLACK BUTTE RANCH is just west of town. It's kind of an upscale enclave, but very pretty and it only takes a few minutes to drive along the meadow (bring your camera for that side trip :-)
The town has been hosting a major rodeo for 70-some-odd-years in early June. Stop by the store called Antler Arts on the main drag (Cascade Street) and maybe get a souvenir rodeo poster in a rustic, reclaimed-ranchwood frame (hand-crafted, by a guy, who posts detailed, informative Central Oregon food posts ... ;-)
- Trail Stop ... At the Sinclair gas station in the middle of town. Homemade breakfast and lunch things for on-the-run. Tables outside and in the back of the store. If they have their FRESH ORANGE JUICE, GET SOME! [RV: FRIENDLY, ONLY IF YOU USE SIDE STREET] (Beer/wine) - Tacos El Comal ... Gas station. Mexican. Good, rustic fare that you'll need to eat in the car (or tempt fate by trying to use the jittery picnic table out back). [RV: EXTREMELY EZ] - Open Door ... (Wine bar and gallery.) Very good food. Often too busy evenings. I keep forgetting they are open for lunch too! LINK [IT JUST SO HAPPENED, I WENT THERE LAST WEEK FOR LUNCH ... A GREAT TURKEY, BRIE, CRANBERRY SANDWICH ON A WARM CROISSANT ... SUPERB!] [RV: FRIENDLY] (Beer/wine/spirits) - Sno Cap ... THIS IS ROADFOOD ... "old fashioned" burgers. It is kind of a no-frills dairy bar with locally-legendary burgers, fries and superb shakes. They have a very good veggie burger and fish burger too. In summer there will be a line ... I've always said, "if you see a line for food, get in it." [RV: FRIENDLY by parking a bit down the side-street] - Chops Bistro ... Dinner only. The only white tablecloth place in town. Not cheap. Excellent food. Eat in their lounge and try their burger ( ... it is sometimes on and sometimes off the bar menu. No harm in asking). Local favorite Tony Lompa plays music Fridays from 6-8pm. FB (Full bar) [RV: FRIENDLY, SIDE STREETS] NEWS CLIPPING: NEW CHEF If you are staying at any of the motor lodges west of town 'Takoda's' is the place they'll tell you about at your front desk ... just because it's an easy walk, doesn't mean you shouldn't stroll farther and walk (or drive) into town. If you are looking for anything special, walk past 'The Gallery' on the main drag, despite having nice 'curb-appeal,' there is nothing special in there, although word is they have been taken over by the people who run Timbers in Redmond, that would bode well for this well-located place. (The tavern out back is viable.) One hotel is owned by the Sisters Saloon ... (see below). - Hotel Sisters (Sisters Saloon) ... It hasn't been a hotel for eons, it is okay. You don't go there for consistency, when they are on their mark they are viable. [RV: FRIENDLY] (Full bar) - Sisters Smokehouse ... a butcher shop with excellent jerky. It's great for a sandwich. Have some baked beans. Take home some jerky or pepperoni. A few tables inside and out. [RV: FRIENDLY] (Beer/wine) - Melvin's Grocery ... A quality market. Find good grab-and-go or custom sandwiches out back. Tables in front and outside. TRIP ADVISOR [RV: FRIENDLY] (Beer/wine, but no on-premise) - Cottonwood Cafe ... JUST CHANGED HANDS ... It was the best in town for breakfast. I can't say how they are now, I'd be wary. [RV: FRIENDLY] - Sister's Coffee ... Good. A bit of a cliche. Expensive. 'Serviceable' breakfast offerings. [RV: FRIENDLY, A LITTLE WALK] - Sister's Bakery ... Worthwhile. [RV: PARK ON SIDE STREET] - Three Creeks Brewing ... Okay. Predictable brew-pub fare. [RV: FRIENDLY] (Full bar) - Martolli's Pizza ... (um) ... Let's just say "You won't think you are in New York or New Jersey" ... "Best pizza west of Tumalo." [RV: FRIENDLY ON SIDE STREET]
- Shuler's Pizza ... (new) ... Let's just say "You won't think you are in New York or New Jersey" ... Generous, quality toppings. I'n not a big fan of west-coast crust. The calzones, etc. I saw go by LOOKED viable. (Beer, wine, delivery). If you must eat pizza in Sisters ... [RV: DESPITE HAVING THEIR OWN LOT, PARK ON SIDE STREET] - R Spot Take Out/Eatery ... I haven't been there. I've heard nothing negative. I would go. Oh, they have good beers and you can eat in. FB MENU ... [SO, I FIGURED, I'D GIVE THE 'R SPOT' A TRY TODAY. GOOGLE SAYS IT OPENS AT 11:00 ... I GO THERE AT 11:15 TO SEE THE SIGN SAYS 11:30 ... (OKAY, THAT HAPPENS) ... I KILLED SOME TIME AT THE PARK ACROSS THE STREET ... 11:35 STILL NOT OPEN ... 11:40 SOMEONE PULLS UP IN A TRUCK, GOES IN, COMES OUT, DRIVES AWAY ... STILL CLOSED ... I GO SOMEWHERE ELSE TO EAT AND DRIVE BY ON MY WAY HOME AND SEE SOMEBODY TURNING THE SIGN AROUND TO 'OPEN' ... I LOOKED, IT WAS EXACTLY 11:58. SO, NO REPORT] [SO, I WENT BACK A FEW WEEKS LATER ON A WEEKDAY... I PULL UP AT ABOUT 2:30, JUST IN TIME TO SEE THE MAN TURNING THE SIGN AROUND TO 'CLOSED'] [I THINK THEY ARE CLOSED SUNDAY/MONDAYS, EVERY WEEK.] FINALLY, GOT THERE AND GOT 'ITALIAN TORPEDO' SANDWICH ... IT WAS VERY GOOD FOR BEING SO FAR FROM THE EAST COAST!] [RV: FRIENDLY] (Beer/wine)
- Depot Deli ... I eat there when someone else wants to meet there. - Fika Coffee ... (added by WGEDC: May 2019) A new place a few blocks north of town, just down the street from the post office, in an industrial park building, but actually a great location for locals ... A very good alternative (maybe a step above anything else in town). Really just coffee, very nicely done in a very friendly setting. Rene is just starting to add some food, I'm sure it will be excellent. Worth the stop, just for the coffee. Open Monday-Saturday until 4pm. NEWS CLIPPING [RV: PRETTY FRIENDLY]
- Hardtails ... kind of an almost not-a-dive, biker-bar with food. I've eaten there for very basic burgers without any vehement complaints ... THEIR MENU TRIP ADVISOR [RV: FRIENDLY] (Full bar)
I don't agree with every rating here: TRIP ADVISOR MEXICAN IN SISTERS RECREATION GUIDE A CENTRAL OREGON DRIVE
On the Outskirts of Sisters ... - Black Butte Ranch ... is an upscale enclave, just west of Sisters ... The Bistro at Black Butte (Beer/wine) is fairly dependable ... I'm not sure I ever had breakfast there (I wouldn't expect it to be memorable, so no surprise). My friend says their baked goods are very, very good. Lunch of chicken on a stick or pizza (not bad, for not being in New Haven) ... get the pizza with sausage and caramelized onions ... I always think I should ask them to go a touch towards 'well done' but am afraid how that might turn out. ... Robert's Pub ... is kind of a '19th hole' place ... with a nice view. The Lodge at Black Butte ... is for dinner, pretty much white table cloth. BLACK BUTTE RANCH DINING [RV: FRIENDLY]
- Camp Sherman ... is a very rustic enclave in the national forest, west and north of Sisters. The Camp Sherman Store ... Summertime especially (see LINK for winter hours). Excellent, hearty sandwiches to eat outside. Hola ... (see Bend) ... with very abbreviated hours after Labor Day. Lake Creek Lodge ... is a court of cabins with a restaurant with somewhat erratic hours 'always call ahead' (my first time in a decade-plus on RF that I used that line). I eat there when the stars line up (I've only had breakfast there). [RV: FRIENDLY]
Bits & Pieces ... BEND BULLETIN REVIEWS SOME SISTERS HISTORY
MAY 2019: The popular Mexican place, Los Agaves, quit business and the tiny HAPPY WOK is moving into the space. Meanwhile, the space HAPPY WOK vacated is being replaced by a new Philly cheese steak place ... I'll report back (hopefully, they will have the right kind of bread. We'll see ;-) Where to Stay in Sisters ... my opinion only ... BEST WESTERN is probably the newest (although something else is being built across the street and a bit west) ... a good Best Western in a nice setting. (The Best Western owners family also run Sisters Saloon.) SISTERS INN & SUITES is next to the supermarket with good parking lot views ... looks clean. CLOSEST TO TOWN: SISTERS MOTOR LODGE LINK, a ma/pa place that has always been well kept (it was on the outer edge of town before the town grew and grew to accommodate the other motels, the tire dealer, the A&W, etc.) I'm guessing it is not the most modern, but much closer to town if you are planning a stroll in that direction. There is no place bad to stay in Sisters ... the inns east of town are fairly standard 'lodge' type places. Maybe try the SISTERS BUNKHOUSE in town. It is probably a B&B-type place, but I don't know. (As with most locals folks in most towns, I have very limited in-town motel experience.) RV'ING IN SISTERS: The city-owned, SISTERS CREEKSIDE CAMPGROUND ($$$ LINK) (Seasonal) is quite viable, treed, but sites are not particularly private. A very easy walk to town. I'd stay there because I am not towing a car yet on my rig and that means an easy walk means a lot. ... The BEND/SISTERS RV PARK ($$$$ LINK) ... Good Sam, maybe 4 miles out, by the rodeo grounds is one of the nicest private places I've seen anyplace. ... SISTERS RV PARK, seems like 97% permanent, I think I'd feel like an intruder as an overnighter. ... The NATIONAL FORESTS (especially Camp Sherman area) ($) are all rustic, but very pleasant. (The private places in Camp Sherman are not very rustic). ... TUMALO STATE PARK ($$$ LINK) is just outside Bend, not convenient to Sisters, but as is the case with all Oregon state parks, it is very nice. I get RV info and reviews from a subscription site called AllStays-PRO. ... RV PARKING IN SISTERS: Sisters is great for RV'rs. Just north of the main drag (Cascade Street) are many very large parking places jst for RV's and I'm sure nobody will give you trouble if you take a few spots at once on any side street, you see people doing that all the time.
Enjoy your visit.
post edited by wheregreggeats.com - 2019/05/17 10:14:05