Every year more of Bend's classic eateries close their doors. For every chain like McGrath's or Applebee's that shut down, there's a local staple like Cheerleaders or Palmer's that quietly says goodbye, as well. The Victorian Café is one of those local staples that it's hard to imagine the Bend brunch scene without, and luckily, we don't have to.
The Vic is an institution (winning Best Breakfast a whopping 13 times) and as great as the Big Easy Benedict or the Caramel Apple French Toast is, the Bloody Mary is legendary. The 23-ounce Proud Mary is a gargantuan mutant X-Man of an alcoholic concoction. Just in case you haven't partaken in the beast, it comes with Andouille sausage, a prawn, a cube of pepper jack, lemon, olive, pepperoncini, grape tomato and lemon. There's also a garlic breadstick and, oh yeah, a double shot of house-infused pepper-vodka.
I think it's a valid question to ask owner John Nolan where the Proud Mary could have possibly come from (aside from the dreams I have of adding sausage to everything).
"The simple truth to the Proud Mary recipe is that I had created the skewers for a BBQ party I was having," says Nolan. "As my guests and I were enjoying them it just dawned on me that they would be the perfect complement to our Bloody Mary! And obviously a bigger Bloody Mary is better, too, right??" No arguments here.
Nolan knows exactly the experience he wants patrons to have and explains it perfectly: "I want people to leave the Vic saying, 'Wow, that was awesome!' The food is unique, the drinks are outstanding, and the people that work there and frequent the Vic just make the whole experience a one-of-a-kind place."