Click here if you're looking for Mina's Cafe in south Salem.
Closed, is now McNary Restaurant.
We hadn't planned on going to miNa's, but somewhere between home, sharing our day and a companionable silence, N and I found ourselves on River Road North in Keizer. Remembering hearing about miNa's, I asked N where the McNary Golf Club was. We were nearly there.
We opened the double oak doors and walked into the entry way. No employees were in sight. We could hear (how large was that crowd?) a lot of conversation and laughter pouring out of the lounge area, along with an 8-10 person birthday party in the dining room. Happy noise without the smoke - I'm liking this change more and more.
While we were trying to decide whether to seat ourselves or not, a young man appeared with menus to lead us to a table. N immediately turned to the back page featuring their Thai menu. Me? After smelling grilled beef wafting out from the kitchen, all I could think about was the top sirloin at the top of their steak section. When the waitress came over to see if we were ready to order dinner (she had already brought us our ale and porter), N asked about one of the Thai entrees. She explained how they're slowly phasing out their Thai selections and are only offering the Pad Thai now, so he joined me in ordering a top sirloin, medium rare. I ordered the 8 oz. for $14.95 and N ordered 12 oz. for $18.95.
Big picture windows line one side of the dining room. At 7:30 PM, I couldn't tell you exactly what the view was (golf course?), but it was framed on either side with tall fir trees, with hills in the distance. It's a large room, broken up with a privacy screen or two and some large plants. We picked up a hand-out on our way in, announcing a name and menu change. In my opinion, the direction they're headed is a good one - "natural, sustainable products from local businesses". As I read the items that will be on their new menu, my mouth began to water. The only question is - will we be able to afford it more than once or twice a year? It's a good thing they'll also be offering meatloaf or pot roast!
Our dinner salads were made from a crisp wedge of iceberg lettuce with a wedge of tomato, slivers of carrot, red onion slices and croutons - dressing on the side.
I was surprised to see an old vegetable favorite of mine, pickled beets, sharing the plates with our steaks and loaded baked potatoes. N sliced off a piece of steak, put a bite in his mouth and sighed. I think this is one of the best top sirloins I've had in town - cooked and seasoned just right, juicy, so tender and full of flavor. The pat of herb butter provided an unexpected burst of extra flavor once I worked my way into the center.
The great food and attentive service made for a nice experience.
Thank you, MiNa's!
165 McNary Estates Dr N
Keizer, OR 97303