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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Former Ernesto's Spot to Reopen As Pub and Brew Shop

Owners of the Brew Shop have signed a lease to move into the former Ernesto's spot on Third Street.

Posted By on Wed, Mar 30, 2011 at 6:59 PM

The owners of The Brew Shop, aka the homebrew shop on Division, have signed a lease for the iconic Ernesto’s building on Third Street. Owner Tom Gilles said he and his partners signed a lease earlier this week that will allow them to open an expanded brew shop and basement pub in the Ernesto’s building by early summer, depending on how their city permitting process goes.

Gilles said the space needs some minor remodeling to suit their needs, but is largely ready to go. The building will allow the Brew Shop to add to its existing inventory, upping the shop’s supply of grains and other accessories that Bend’s growing homebrew community desires. The Brew Shop will also be bringing over its walk-in cooler and expansive collection of bottled microbrews that Bend beer lovers know is unrivaled among Central Oregon suds purveyors. Gilles said the additional space would only add to the dizzying array of ales and lagers at the Brew Shop.

Most interestingly, the new digs will allow Gilles and his partners, all of whom have retired from the Bend post office, to expand into the restaurant and pub business by reincarnating the former Ernesto’s lounge as a downstairs pub. Gilles said the partnership would likely expand the existing bar, a holdover from Ernesto’s, from six handles to something on the order of 15 beers.

While the menu has yet to be finalized, Gilles said he is planning to purchase a smoker and focus on a BBQ-based menu that features briskets, pork shoulders, ribs, as well as burgers and other deep-fried classics. Gilles said patrons could expect to find a few diversions in addition to the food and beer. The pub will include several dartboards and may incorporate a shuffleboard table, something that Gilles said is getting harder to find around town in other bars.

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Monday, February 14, 2011

Well Good Morning, Valentine's Day! Have a Cupcake

Posted By on Mon, Feb 14, 2011 at 6:52 PM

Happy Valentine's Day, Bent Readers! Here, have a cupcake

Probably one of the best Valentine's presents I've received in a while was waking up this morning at my house on Hill Street and Delaware and realizing that I could, for the first time ever, walk across the street and buy a muffin and a cup of coffee instead of driving downtown or starving until lunch, because I'm too lazy and/or don't have gas in my car. This is because Gotta B Gluten Free opened this morning. Happy Valentine's Day, indeed!

Hey, it's the little things that count.  But seriously, thank you Gotta B Gluten Free for making muffins and red velvet cupcakes that taste like regular moist, awesome baked goods instead of seeds and dry, chalky crackers. It's a Valentine's Day miracle. Welcome to the neighborhood.


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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Bend's New Downtown Japanese Spot

Posted By on Sat, Feb 12, 2011 at 12:43 AM

Sushi lovers  have been eagerly anticipating the announcement that the new Japanese restaurant from Kanpai's owner would be opening soon and they got their wish Friday when chef Michael Murphy and owner Justin Cook announced that Boken is taking reservations. The restaurant is located in the Breezeway adjacent to Mirror Pond Plaza in the former home of the Downtowner, and, more recently, Lola's. The restaurant will be open for lunch and dinner with small plates ranging from $2 - $14. Here' s a sampling of some menu items that Boken included in its press release: Pork belly and kimchee steamed buns, Thai beef salad, Green papaya salad
Pho Bo, Laotion chicken wings

As far as the name, the owners tell us that it's Japanese for "adventure."

Reservations and info, 541.706.9091

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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Where to Eat on Valentine's Day

Posted By on Wed, Feb 9, 2011 at 10:03 PM

There are a couple options for what to give the object of your affection on Valentine's Day.

There's always the heart-shaped box of chocolates or chalky candy hearts from a drug store, and the ubiquitous cliche cards that say something like "I choo-choo-choose you!" above a picture of a train. Of course, you could splurge on jewelry, maybe one of those "open heart" necklaces that actually looks like a snake made by Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman at Kay Jewelers.

But no matter what you decide, you'll probably have to eat. And luckily, many restaurants serve special Valentine's Day menus that go above and beyond their everyday offerings. Below are a few options. Because while celebrity designed jewelry is nice, you can't eat cubic zirconia.

Here's a roundup of some of the Valentine's Day dinners in Bend:

Maragas Winery

6 p.m., $95/couple


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Monday, February 7, 2011

Celebrate Love With Free Coffee

Posted By on Mon, Feb 7, 2011 at 7:49 PM

Valentine's Day is upon us, with just one week left to figure out how to make love explode all over your relationship (or find a way to avoid the whole ordeal altogether if you're not feeling the love). But even if you hate Hallmark holidays, there are a few good things about next Monday.


One of those things is Dutch Bros. giving out free 12 oz. coffee drinks to anyone who donates three cans of food for NeighborImpact. It's called "Dutch Love Day" and it's happening at each Dutch Bros. in Bend and Redmond. Just drop your cans off at Dutch Bros. and get your coffee. Now that's what we call spreading the love.

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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Eleven Days of Chocolate in Sunriver

Posted By on Thu, Feb 3, 2011 at 7:00 AM

Willy Wonka is alive and well in Sunriver! For eleven days starting on Feb. 11, Sunriver Resort will be hosting chocolate dinners, tastings, drink specials, spa treatments and even a chocolate-themed 5k road race (this is Central Oregon, after all).

The event is called, fittingly, Chocolate Amour.

For chocaholics, there's probably nothing better than nearly two weeks of straight chocolate. If there will actually be a river of chocolate with a chocolate waterfall is still unknown and, just in case, leave Augustus at home. 

For a full calendar of Chocolate Amour's events, click here.


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Monday, January 31, 2011

Be a Farmer for a Day With Central Oregon Locavore

Posted By on Mon, Jan 31, 2011 at 9:52 PM

You may have heard of WWOOFers (Willing Workers on Organic Farms), volunteer farmers on organic farms who trade labor for housing and food. Central Oregon Locavore, an online community and marketplace for local farmers, is creating a similar project, called WWOLFs - substituting "local" for "organic" (although most of the farms are organic, too).


If you've ever entertained the idea of farming or just want a good workout and homemade meal, join WWOLF for a day on Rainshadow Organics' farm in Terrebonne on February 13. It may seem a bit early to be growing vegetables, but, according to farmer Sarahlee Lawrence, "We'll be building the soil for all the goodies it will produce in the coming months."


Instructions are to bring warm clothes, gloves, lunch and snacks. Dinner will be cooked using the farm's food. RSVP by emailing or calling 541-633- 0674. For more info, visit their site at

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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Pho Viet & Cafe Is Open, Serving, and We're Eating

Posted By on Wed, Jan 19, 2011 at 7:00 AM

I just got back from the new pho place on 1326 3rd Street, Pho Viet. The Rico's Taco's sign is still up, but that didn't stop Pho Viet and Cafe from opening this Monday. The inside is pretty bare-bones but so far, it's been packed. The owner, Peter Nguyen, said Monday was packed with people.

The place was pretty busy when we went and from the looks of it, every table was stoked to be there. Vietnamese food obviously has more than a few fans in Bend and it seems to be the newest ethnic food craze.

As for the pho, it's a bit expensive - $7.95 for a small and $8.95 for a large - but it's pretty good. It's not the best pho I've ever had, but it's solid and it's the real thing. I'll definitely be back, and look forward to trying the food after the staff has had some time to settle in. Truth be told, I'm just glad that Bend finally has a pho place. It's about damn time.

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Pho at Home: Recipe from a reader

Posted By on Tue, Jan 18, 2011 at 7:00 AM

Judging by the amount of comments we received on our blog on Bend's newest pho restaurant, Pho Viet, it seems that I am not the only pho-obsessed person in Central Oregon. As it turns out, one of our readers, Larry Sullivan, happens to be something of a pho expert and has blogged a bit on the subject. You can check out his blog on pho here.

On my previous blog, I mentioned that I suck at cooking pho. So Larry shared his pho recipe, which I will share with you:





  • 8 cups of water
  • 32 oz. box of Swanson’s low-sodium fat free beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons of “Better Than Bouillon” beef stock concentrate
  • 1 pound of lean beef, cut into 3 inch, very thin strips (I like eye of round)
  • 1 large white onion, peeled, quartered, slice thin, soaked in cold water for 30 minutes
  • 1 bunch of green onions (scallions), sliced at an angle
  • ½ bunch of fresh basil, chopped
  • ½ bunch of fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of Thai Kitchen Roasted Chili Paste
  • 1 teaspoon EACH of Thai Kitchen green and red curry pastes
  • Lemongrass, either:
  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • 2 star anise pieces
    • Note: Don't be put off by the per pound price of star anise at the market. 10 pieces and it will likely run you about thirty cents.
  • 4 tablespoons of soy sauce (light, low sodium works fine)
  • 12 oz of your choice of Asian noodles, cooked according to the package. I prefer Udon or Soba (buckwheat)

Garnishes of:

  • Lemon or lime wedges
  • Thin sliced jalapenos (with seeds)
  • Fresh bean sprouts
  • Thai basil if you can find it, regular basil leaves if you can't - whole leaves on the stem
  • Sriracha red hot sauce (no substitutes, track it down!)


  • In a stockpot on high heat, combine the broth, 8 cups of water
  • Stir in the bouillon concentrate, chili paste and curry pastes
  • Add the lemongrass, star anise, cinnamon, soy sauce
  • Stir in the beef, reduce to medium high heat
  • Stir in the cilantro, basil, green onions, return to a boil
  • Drain the water from the white onions, add to the stockpot, return to a boil
  • Reduce to medium low heat, partially cover, simmer for 45 minutes
  • Remove the star anise and cinnamon, and the lemongrass if you used whole pieces

Prepare the noodles according to the directions (generally, have the water boiling and allow 15 minutes for the noodles.  Some take longer, some shorter, this is a good guideline).
To Serve:

  • With tongs or a pasta server, place some noodles at the the bottom of large soup bowls
  • Ladle the soup over the noodles
  • Serve with the garnishes and chopsticks and Chinese soup spoons

The Vietnamese Way:

  • Tear off a few leaves of basil and toss them in the bowl
  • Throw in a handful of bean sprouts
  • Squeeze a wedge of lemon or lime on top
  • Use Sriracha to your own level of heat tolerance (it's hot, but imperative!)
  • Pick up the noodles with chopsticks, "chew" them off.  This is not a neat process, but this is how you do it!
  • Use the soup spoon for the broth and remainder of the ingredients



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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Jackalope Grill's Women Tasting Wine is Extra Awesome this Month

Posted By on Tue, Jan 11, 2011 at 7:00 AM

Sometimes Bend is flush with dining events, making me wish I had buckets of cash to blow on food and wine. Actually, I pretty much always wish I had buckets of cash, but sometimes the desire is especially great.

This is one of those times. Spork just had their second supper club, Brickhouse opened to great acclaim (see our article in this week's paper) and the Jackalope Grill's Women Tasting Wine event this month features wines from the Piedmont region of Italy.

Let me preface this by saying that I am of the opinion that Piedmont wines are the best in the world. Yes, Oregon has great wine, don't get me wrong. But Piedmont is where Barolo and Barbaresco come from and they're some of the most complex and, for lack of a better word, passionate wines available. Also, they're usually a hell of a lot cheaper than French wines.

It's kind of a shame that this event is only open to women, since everyone needs to be drinking more wine - as Benjamin Franklin said, "Wine is proof that god loves us and wants us to be happy." And he was a smart man.

If you're a lady and have some extra cash on hand, the event is $45 and includes an accompanying tasting menu. If you're a dude and/or don't have $45, I'd recommend getting some friends together and picking up a few bottles from Jackson's Corner's small but impressive Piedmont wine selection. Alternately, The Wine Shop has some great Italian reds. Or, if you're in my shoes, get some 2 buck chuck and call it a day. 

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Monday, January 3, 2011

Bend Finally Gets a Vietnamese Restaurant

Posted By on Mon, Jan 3, 2011 at 10:16 PM

I  just drove by the former Rico’s Tacos space on NE 3rd Street and saw a beautiful beacon of light in the form of a sign announcing a new Vietnamese restaurant opening. I dropped in to talk to the owners, who were in the middle of some pretty heavy construction.

The owner, Peter Nguyen, said the family owns a Vietnamese restaurant in the Portland area and he and his wife decided to open a Vietnamese place in Bend. Nguyen plans to open on January 15. 

They already have a menu available, which has ten varieties of pho as well as other Vietnamese specialties. But really, the most important part is that Bend is finally getting a pho restaurant. It took us 30 years longer than everywhere else, but it’s here! And thank God. Because I've been trying to make pho at home and my pho sucks.


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Monday, December 27, 2010

Allyson's Kitchen Closing December 31

Posted By on Mon, Dec 27, 2010 at 10:14 PM

It's a hard knock life out there for retailers. We've just heard the sad news - Allyson's Kitchen, one of our favorite kitchen stores (and the best place to buy wine for Les Schwab summer concerts) is closing its Bend location this Friday. The original Allyson's Kitchen, in Ashland, will remain open.

According to KTVZ, the financial burdens became too much for the owners. We'll miss the wine club, wine tastings, wine tastings with our dogs, great selection of kitchen products and friendly staff. It's a tough pill to swallow to see a specialty kitchen store unable to cut it in the Old Mill, and we hope a local shop will fill the space instead of another big box chain store. Join Allyson's kitchen for their last wine tasting on Dec. 31. If there's a better reason to start boozing early on NYE, we can't think of one.

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