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Eats: paradise is nothing without fancy restaurants 

It was a mixed group, a few longtime Bend residents and some more recent arrivals. As the conversation turned to the pluses and minuses of living in our fair city, the longtime residents seemed a bit jaded in their outlook; the newer residents were more of the Bend as paradise-on-earth mindset.

Pressed as to what was my favorite era during my time living here, I said: "I enjoyed Bend most mid-way between when I first arrived in 1978 and the beginning of the gold rush, boom times."

I went on to offer a slower pace of life, few traffic or noise problems, plenty of things to do, outdoor activities right out the backdoor, lower cost of living, strong middle class, low crime rate, etc as reasons why I liked that period of time.

"That all sounds well and good," countered a relatively recent arrival, "But what you didn't have then was restaurants."

"Restaurants," I replied quizzically, "Sure, we had tons of them. Let's see, there was The Pine Tavern, Kayo's, Han's and a bunch more for fine dining, the Pilot Butte Drive-In and Dandy's for burgers, the Taco Stand, the Hong Kong and Chan's for Chinese, etc."

"Yea," he shot back, "but you still didn't have any restaurants."

I thought about it for a minute and then realized that I was wrong and he was right. Back in the day, Bend didn't have any restaurants as in see-to-be-seen, cost-you- a-week's paycheck restaurants.

Bend, in my opinion, was once even more liveable than it is now, only residents, regretably, didn't have any restaurants to go to - just good places to dine.

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