Snails?! | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon


Navin R. Johnson explores Bend dining

The Jerk, considered one of Steve Martin's funniest films (ranked the 48th greatest comedy film of all time by Total Film Magazine, and No. 20 on Bravo's list of 100 Funniest Movies), follows the rags-to-riches-and-back-again life of misfit Navin R. Johnson. Raised from infancy by poor African-American sharecroppers, when Navin learns of his (obvious to everyone else) adoption, he sets out to travel the country in search of a place where he fits in—guided along the way by his sensible advice: "Lord loves a working man," and "don't trust whitey."

We add to that advice with a few food recommendations for Navin.

Navin, we know your favorite meal is a tuna fish sandwich with mayonnaise on white bread, a TaB cola and a Twinkie. While restaurants are typically reserved for a birthday treat, there are plenty of spots around town that can help to satisfy your trashy food cravings. You and your trusty pup, Shithead, can park outside downtown's French Bayou fusion diner, the five-month-old Drake (801 NW Wall St.), for an upscale tuna melt. With olive oil-poached albacore, cheddar cheese and curry aioli (that's kind of like mayonnaise) served over DiLusso's dill rye bread, the open-face sandwich is a bit harder to eat than if it were wrapped in cellophane (defiantly a fork-required meal), but still light and delicious.

We also know you like grits about as much as I like blues music, but Drake has those, too. Topped with tender shrimp, roasted peppers, caramelized onion, bacon and a handful of arugula. Or, if you're feeling nostalgic for your upbringing, order the "Po Boy," a breaded and fried catfish delicacy with gribiche and a zesty tomato and sweet corn slaw.

Drake might not have TaB on tap, but the eatery does offer a Mexi-Cola float topped with velvety vanilla ice cream. Bring your own Twinkie and enjoy the apocalypse-resilient dessert in Drake Park while Shithead plays with the geese.

For a fancy dinner out with your money-obsessed wife, try one of downtown's most upscale dining joints next to the lavish Oxford Hotel. But we're warning you, like many expensive restaurants, Jackalope Grill (750 NW Lava Rd #139) can't keep the snails off the plate. We know, crazy, right? A fancy restaurant with those prices and there are SNAILS on the dish! So many that you can't even see the other food! But, Chef Tim Garling's Escargot a la Bourguignonne will have you begging for more slimy delicacies, baked in rich garlic-shallot butter.

Jackalope also boasts an expensive wine list so you can splurge on some really fresh bottles, none of that old stuff. The 2011 Avalon Cabernet Sauvignon ($25) will do for a sophisticated fellow like you. They also have aged bottles such as a 2005 Treana Bordeaux blend ($175) and the even older 2001 Tilenus Pieros from Bierzo, Spain ($120). Bamboo umbrellas not included.

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