Weekend in Ashland

We were all eager to head down to Ashland, but it didn't stop us from getting grumpy as we bumped into each other getting ready Friday evening. I had done some packing the evening before, plus Liseanne had offered to make dinner while we were still at work. Yet another time saver. It was probably 6:30 by the time we were heading south.
Four of us decided to stay in a motel since the main reason we were driving down was to help youngest daughter Fran's boyfriend J move from apartment to house. We chose a kitchenette with a separate bedroom and a sleeper couch. After checking in and then checking out the room, we discovered that a sleeper sofa in a motel is much like what I remember from staying over at relatives; a thin foam pad and a bar across the back. :>( Liseanne and her J opted to put the mattress on the floor to avoid the body bruising effects of the bar. Our next discovery was that the air conditioning unit in our bedroom didn't circulate as well with the bedroom door closed. So much for privacy. The rest was good - N and I had a comfy bed and a lot of movies to choose from on the TV and there was an okay spread in the breakfast room both mornings.
Even though we didn't start until 9:45, the move went better than any of the others I can remember. It was good having the extra help and all of the college textbooks still in boxes from the last move. We stopped for a late lunch (around 1 PM), hopped into vehicles and drove the short distance downtown to eat.
There are so many options for eating out in Ashland, but we always try to work in a meal at Munchies. They have a cozy, friendly atmosphere, with varied menu choices, a reasonably priced menu, AND CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER PIE (among several other delicious desserts). I'm still kicking myself for not buying a pie to go. Even with 4 people left in the house, it would probably last a week.
That evening (on the late side) we went to Standing Stone Brewing Company for dinner. We were elated that even the cleaning part of move was completed, so we felt like celebrating. There was a short (15 minutes) wait for a table for the 6 of us. We enjoyed the live music from the Glenn Millerish type band playing in the back of the establishment while we sat and waited. This brewery, with it's efficient and friendly staff, has a more contemporary feel compared to a McMenamin's.
Once we were seated at our table near the bar, we all ordered our drinks; 2 ambers, 2 porters and one honey cream ale. Their porter reminded me of McMenamin's Terminator without the chocolate & coffee undertones. The honey cream ale, tasted exactly like it's name suggested - light, smooth with a slightly sweet honey flavor. Since youngest daughter's boyfriend lives in Ashland, I asked for his food recommendations. He said the burgers were okay, but said that their wood fired pizzas were excellent. Five of us ordered individual pizzas; Spicy BBQ Chicken, a Greek, an Olive & Spinach Tapenade, a Three Meat, a Standing Stone Italian Sausage and the 6th diner in our group ordered Fish and Chips with garlic fries.
Okay, maybe my girls are right, perhaps I am easy to please when it comes to dining out, but my pizza WAS delicious - really. The sliced red onions were the perfect compliment to the barbecued chicken and mozzarella. Youngest daughter Fran and N said their pizzas were delicious, too. But both Liseanne and Fran's J said that their pizzas were burnt enough on the bottom of the crust to affect the flavor. The garlic fries I stole from the fish and chips plate, were worth distracting the owner more than once. (Sorry James!)
A stroll around downtown would've been the perfect ending to our meal, but after our busy day sleep seemed like the best ending of all. I look forward to our next trip south - for both the good company AND the next Ashland dining experience.


Anonymous said...

I highly recommend a dinner at Omar's for anyone visiting Ashland. Great cocktails and world class steak.

KandN said...

I heard that years ago Omar's was THE place to go. So, it's still good?

Salem Man said...

I wish Ashland was closer.

KandN said...

That is quite a drive, isn't it?
The hills and semi-trucks definitely keep a person from getting bored, though.

Salem Man said...

Southern Oregon is my favorite part of the state. Every time I drive through there I want to pull over and look for a place to live.
I really like those slide shows, I've been having a heckuva time posting photos on the new blogger in draft.

KandN said...

I really felt that way when we drove from Brookings to (I think this is right) Grants Pass. So beautiful!
I went into my Picasa and began organizing my Eat Salem photos into separate files. I like the slide shows and the choice of display size.

Anonymous said...

Ashland - You gotta hit Omars. Great steaks, great cocktails, cheap beer. I have spent incountable hours. Wonderful joint.

There is a great Italian joint downtown right next to O'Ryans Irish pub. I think it is called Geppettos. I have ate there a bunch, great food.

Munchies is very good.

Greenleaf is very good lunch spot.

I think the Unground is gone, but that was a wonderful breakfast spot.

The hidden gem of Ashland is the teriyaki joint across from campus (close to the 7-11). They marinate their chicken for 24 hrs and it is heavenly...though a very low key restaurant. I think it is called Mihama.

If you are looking for a good time (and maybe a fight) the Emigrant Lake Tavern is about ten minutes away towards the lake. Expect a local crowd who will try to shark you in pool, but otherwise is pretty harmless (mostly). I love getting a taste of the local color and this place will kick you in the teeth.

The Key of C coffee shop downtown is one of the few true New York bagel shops I have found on the west coast. Their lox is mouth watering.

The Morning Glory is a great coffee and pastry shop.

There is a great bookstore in downtown - on the west side of the street that has a coffee shop in the upstairs. Can't recall either name. I go there every time I am in town.

Whatever you do. Don't miss a long walk in Litha Park. It goes and goes and is one of the most beautiful parks you will find.

I really miss Ashland.