Chow of the Year | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

Chow of the Year

A look back at some of our fave food reviews from 2022

It's on our minds, at least three times a day, so it's no wonder that we spend so much time researching and writing about food around these parts. While every one of our food reviews conjures beautiful memories of wonderful meals enjoyed with friends, these are some of the stories that we remember most from 2022, with a little blurb from the original story.

Chow of the Year
Tambi Lane
Flights Wine Bar offers incredible shareable options.

Hidden Gems of the Delicious Kind

For our Summer Guide, Jared heads to some of the off-the-beaten-path spots

by Jared Rasic

In a way, the number of culinary choices in Bend is comparable to the amount of content being put out on all the streaming services: so many choices; how does one wade through the mediocre and terrible to find the gems?

So many dishes from so many carts deserve to be obscenely popular in the Bend food scene. The birria from Alebrije (behind Bunk and Brew) is to die for. The Beyond Beefy 5 Layer Burrito from Toasty at The Podski will make you forget that beef or Taco Bell ever existed. The insanely great artichoke toasted from A Broken Angel at Spoken Moto will change what you dream about.

A Taste of the East Coast in Bend

Mimi's Bagel Deli crafts with precision and care

by Jared Rasic

The thing is, Bendites are passionate and loyal about their bagels. I know people who've never set foot in Big O because they love Dave's so much, and vice versa, and don't get them started on boiling bagels vs steaming vs whatever other ways it's possible to make what people consider an authentic bagel.

All the Flavors

Northwest-Japanese fusion shines at Chomp Chomp

by Jared Rasic

Not too many secret spots are left in downtown Bend where you can just roll in and fill yourself with incredible food and beverages without reservations. But for these last few months I've been selfish and absolutely devastated by all the food and adult beverages at my favorite downtown happy hour without having to fight my way to a table, throwing elbows at tourists and locals alike. But it's time. I'm blowing up the spot. If you're not enjoying the happy hour and dinner at Chomp Chomp, then your FOMO meter should be exploding.

The Flamingo Room is Feeling the Local Love

San Simón's west side sibling offers a vibrant atmosphere, cool cocktails and thought-out food

by Donna Britt

The Flamingo Room, tucked into an unassuming business plaza off Century Drive on Bend's west side, has been open since the spring of this year. It's been bustling ever since, despite its hidden location. Owner Brian Trottier says it's local residents that are responsible for the positive reception.

Coast To Coast

Sebastian's Seafood and Specialty Market lives up to the hype

by Jared Rasic

"My inspiration for Sebastian's is driven by my family's hard work and success," says owner Sebastian Galletti about his inspiration to open a combination of a market and café." My father, grandfather and my two uncles have been distributing seafood for 40 years now from their family-owned business, and now sell fresh and frozen products to more than 16,000 grocery stores in the nation."

Birria Fest 2022

In search of the tastiest morsels of this trend, in Bend

By Jared Rasic

The main discovery I made from trying birria at six different locations is that there isn't possibly a way to decide which is best, because no two dishes tasted remotely the same. Every restaurant I tried had a completely different approach to birria and not a single one was bad. There were some that are going to make my constant rotation, but none of them actively made me tired of eating birria and birria-related snacks.

Smash Burgers in Bend

Where to find them and why they're so dang good

By Donna Britt

My grandmother, the one who cooked everything at home, would make burgers by mashing them very flat and cooking them very fast in a cast iron skillet with melted American cheese on top, served on a soft bun. The condiments were the eater's choice. I actually liked her little burgers best of all and the three smash burgers I tried recently reminded me of hers.

Here's where to find them: Blue Eyes Burgers on Greenwood; Americana Food Truck in the Podski on NW Arizona; and MidCity SmashBurger next to the Boneyard Beer taproom on NW Lake Place in Bend.

I can't pick a favorite as I loved them all.


Yoli brings Korea to the Northwest

by Jared Rasic

Joe and Laura Kim aren't interested in finding their own place in the ecosystem of the Bend food scene and they never have been. Instead, ever since Joe was chef at 5 Fusion and Sushi Bar and Laura was front-of-house manager, they have been expertly anticipating food trends and curating menus so diverse and fearless that they are the ecosystem. Not many people cared about fusion in Bend before 5 Fusion came to play, and now with Yoli, Bend has Korean cuisine that leaves no room for imitators.

Flights Wine Bar Fall Menu Focuses on Shareable Plates

Come for the wine; stay for the food!

By Donna Britt

"Food and wine just make each other better," states Flights owner Kelsey Daniels. "Now that we have really gotten to know our customer base, we've realized that smaller portions and more shareable options are the way forward. If you're trying three different wines for example, you can also try three different food items that pair well with each of those wines and have fun and feel satisfied."

Not a Sushi Bar

Bend Izakaya Ronin builds connections

By Jared Rasic

An izakaya is basically a Japanese bar that serves snacks, drinks and is designed as a hangout for people as they get off work, similar to an Irish pub or Spanish tapas bar. The brilliance of what owner Scotty Byers and General Manager Mikelle Byers have done: supplanted the casual vibe of an izakaya and given it a Pacific Northwest makeover, upscaling the sushi and small plates into a lovely fusion of fine dining without the stuffiness.

Crispy, Caramelized, Cheesy Edges Set This Pizza Apart

Abe Capanna's serves up authentic Detroit-style pizza from its cart behind Crosscut taphouse

By Donna Britt

While New York-style appears to have been the first type of pizza in the country; in the years since, many other pizza styles have evolved. There's Chicago Deep-Dish, Californian, St. Louis, Greek, Neapolitan and several others including Detroit-style, which is the style served up at Abe Capanna's Detroit Pan Pizza + Italian cart at Crosscut Warming Hut No. 5 in Bend's Old Mill District near the Box Factory.

A Place Where Everybody Knows Your Name

Bend's Iconic El Rodeo, a local favorite for over 20 years

By Donna Britt

"The people. The atmosphere." Those two things, says Cesar Acosta, are what make El Rodeo such a special place. Oh, and the delicious food and the fast kitchen, and of course, the exceptional margaritas! Bend's quintessential Mexican restaurant pretty much has it all, and has since opening on the southern end of Third Street back in 1999.

Nicole Vulcan

Nicole Vulcan has been editor of the Source since 2016. You can mostly find her raising chickens, walking dogs, riding all the bikes and attempting to turn a high desert scrap of land into a permaculture oasis.
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