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Rockin' Dave's Backstage Lounge finally opens to the public

Mom's Saucy Balls, Pigs in a Blanket and Bacon Wings are delicious, shareable treats for anyone with a mouth. Photos by Angela Moore.

Mom's Saucy Balls, Pigs in a Blanket and Bacon Wings are delicious, shareable treats for anyone with a mouth. Photos by Angela Moore.

Rockin' Dave's Bistro and Backstage Lounge is the newest addition to Bend's eatery options. Attached to the backside of the bagel shop, this intimate setting is equipped with a full bar, monthly specials and addictive foods.

Rockin' Dave Flier is a bit of a celebrity about town, running his Greenwood Avenue bagel shop in a shirt as loud as his personality. The local chef, entrepreneur and innovator has outdone himself in his latest food venture, focusing on fresh, natural, and locally-sourced ingredients. "I love this community and I feel the new lounge will allow me to support local even more than before," says Flier, who buys free-range, no hormone, no antibiotic chicken, beef and pork. "People should know where their food is coming from, and now they can actually see on the menu who I'm buying from."

When the time comes to taste the wares, I am prepared. Knowing the menu will be stockpiled with some serious meat, I drag along two guy-friends in an attempt to conquer more of the menu. This turns out to be an excellent plan.

To start, we order three appetizers: Mom's Saucy Balls, Pigs in a Blanket and a full pound of Bacon Wings. Dear Diary, thank you.

Flier tells us Mom's Saucy Balls are made from his mother's meatloaf recipe, and as he talks about the best part of meatloaf being the caramelized saucy edges, my dining companions and I stab at each other with feverishly flying forks as we jostle for the last of the remaining balls. I'm not exaggerating when I say they melt in your mouth. The sauce is tangy and sweet, counteracting the meat's savory flavor. I will definitely be ordering these again. And again. And Again.

Next up: Pigs In A Blanket. These turn out to be an aren't-you-glad-you're-an-adult version of the childhood comfort classic. Rockin Dave's version is a bagel dough-wrapped hotdog that has been hugged with cheese, peppered with onion and pickle, and toasted until the edges of the dough resemble the tanned muscular hide of a Greek God. A little bit of Sassy Sauce adds just the right amount of acidic heat to these sliced-up, ready-to-eat morsels from Mount Olympus.

Is there room for a pound of Bacon Wings? You bet there is. My companions and I don't mess around, and neither does Rockin' Dave. He offers us a choice of four sauces: Mexican Jalapeno, Jamaican Habanero, BBQ, and Asian BBQ. We choose Asian and let the meat sweats begin. As you might have guessed, Rockin Dave's Bacon Wings are cooked in bacon fat. We all know that no tastier fat has ever been collected and shared than that of bacon, and these wings serve as further proof.

Stuffed already, we order two entrees and get them boxed to go. We have high hopes of a second round of bloodshed later in the evening. But the saucy line has been drawn and we dare not cross it. As my deadline approaches, it is clear my protruding belly and glistening lips can take no more, so I am sadly unable to comment on the entrees. I guess I'll have to go back.

If you're planning a trip to Rockin' Dave's Backstage Lounge, our advice is to go hungry.

Rockin' Dave's Backstage Lounge

Tuesday to Saturday, 4pm to close

661 NE Greenwood Dr., Bend



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