Nominate the 2010 eatsalem.com Restaurant of the Year

This is it Salem foodies, your chance to tell us which restaurant is the best. We will have an online poll starting January 1st and ending January 9th, that will determine, by your votes, which eatery is tops in town. But first we need to figure out who we should put on that poll. That's where this post comes in. Use the comment section of this post to nominate all of your favorite restaurants. We will take the restaurants that have been nominated the most times and put them on the online poll in January. For instance, even if you see someone has nominated your favorite restaurant, nominate them again to get them on the poll. Got it? OK, nominate away! Past winners include:
2010 Word of Mouth
2009 La Hacienda
2008 Apizza in Stayton
December 30th will be the last day to nominate restaurants.

52 comments:

Anonymous said...

I've been waiting for this! I nominate Willamette Burger Co. for being there for their customers in every way possible. ~H

Anonymous said...

Jonathans is the restaurant of the year in my opinion.

Mostly very good food, good service, and I love their new location. It feels like a touch of nw Portland.

Anonymous said...

Anettes diner should be put in the mix for sure, wonderful food in a fun environment!

Anonymous said...

Is there any way to prevent ballot stuffing? In other words preventing people from voting for their own restaurant over and over?

I know this was an issue in the past.

It would be nice to get a more objective take on the restaurant of the year.

DeeDeeDiner said...

You didn't restrict the number we could nominate at one go---my choices are: La Capitale, DaVinci's, Morton's, Silver Grille, Crooked House Bistro. (If we're restricted---take La Cap as my vote.)I would heartily second Anon's suggestion that we avoid "stuffing the ballot box." No fun and certainly not fair...
DDD

Anonymous said...

I nominate the Off Center Cafe. Their new look combined with their always awesome food pushes them over the top this year!
-Ryan

Missy said...

I absolutely nominate Andaluz! I'm addicted and I love their ever-changing and seasonal menu. In my opinion, their tapas menu and ambiance fills a big hole in the local restaurant scene.

Stephanie Matlock Allen said...

My favorites this year:
Andaluz
Cascade Baking Co.
Wild Pear
Willamette Burger Company
Sushi Kyo
Venti's

Nate Rafn said...

Caruso's Italian Cafe is my pick. (But I'm biased!)

Chuck Bradley said...

If I have to pick one only, it would have to be Jonathan’s. If the choices are within categories (much more interesting), Salvador’s Bakery (Mexican), Gamberetti’s (Italian), Red Ginger (Thai), Super Pho (Vietnamese), Love Love Teriyaki (Teriyaki), John’s (Chinese), Sushi Topia (Sushi), Star of India (Indian), Original Pancake House (Breakfasts), Jonathan’s (Steaks) and Jonathan’s (Seafood)

Rebekah said...

Okay, for places that haven't been suggested already? La Margarita Express, Thai Beer, and Straight From New York. Those are my go to places that aren't already listed. Love lots of the ideas already out there as well!

Anonymous said...

TNT BBQ, not technically a restaurant but the best bbq in Salem. The pulled pork is legendary (as a born and raised North Carolinian, now living in beautiful Salem Oregon, I can vouch for its greatness). The Jolly Green Giant himself would get down on his hands and knees to bask in the glory of TNT's southern style green beans. Tony is nursing an injury but he'll be back in the Spring. Get well soon!

Anonymous said...

Andaluz for dinner. Cafe 22 for breakfast. Fuji Ricetime for lunch.

riggity said...

Christos.

Anonymous said...

Picking just one is tough... but for price and tasty food - not to mention the hip bar downstairs - my vote goes to Venti's. Gotta love a good recipe for hummus!

Anonymous said...

Jonathan's, Wild Pear and Venti's are my top three...

Anonymous said...

Church St. Pizza , Super Pho and Word of mouth all owners that go out of there way to make the best freshest food possable.

Anonymous said...

Pizza: Padington's South
General: Jonathan's
Burgers: Willamette Burger Company

Anonymous said...

Re: ballot "stuffing"
That happens with all these online votes. Look at the statesman journal best of winners.

As for restaurant of the year I really like divincis and mortons.

Nate Rafn said...

I've had some pretty good meals at La Capitale too. I think they should be on the list.

Emily said...

La Capitale.

Anonymous said...

We don't eat out often, but my favorites are SFNY Pizza, Jonathan's, and Fuji Ricetime.

Anonymous said...

La Capitale deseves this. Reasons: For its food and enegy, for raising the bar in Salem, and for gathering attention outside of Salem. It would also be a nod to the great work the owner is doing in Salem (La Capitale and Andaluz) and the family he comes from (La Margarita).

Anonymous said...

I definitely give my nomination to La Capitale! They do such a great job. I've spent most of my dining-out money there this year.
I also nominate Andaluz and Red Ginger. Consistently above expectations every time. Christo's, too!

Anonymous said...

I nominate La Capitale too, for most of the reasons mentioned. I especially enjoy stopping by the bar for an after work cocktail and a tasty snack from the appetizer, small entrees or seasonal dessert menu. Sometimes the service is a little slow, but the atmosphere and regular customers are friendly and the food and drinks delicious and fresh with lots of local, seasonal ingredients. Not cheap, but not expensive either. Got another positive mention in this morning's Oregonian.

Other votes: Ventis, La Margarita, DaVincis, Mortons (expensive though), SFNY Pizza

Anonymous said...

Cascade Bakery! The owners are so awesome! So helpful and proud of their breads, and they should be.

Melina Tomson, MS said...

My nods are of course Word of Mouth, La Capitale, I love Amadeus, and Wild Pear is great too.

I too would want to to see David win for raising the bar in Salem with La Cap and Andaluz. I appreciate that he took those risks in Salem and hopefully we have responded in kind with making his restaurants successful.

Anonymous said...

This year for Restaurant of the year I believe that it is a dead even tie between two great establishments. The reason for the tie is because both go above and beyond everytime I have dined with them.

Word of Mouth Bistro is excellent as they never fail to deliver a great dining experience. What they lack for in no dinner service they make up more than enough for there steller soups, and spectacular breakfasts.

Andaluz, I have to say does Salem really know yet that this place exists? I feel it is still somewhat of a hidden gem in downtown Salem. If you have never had Tapas before it is worth trying out. Love the execution of the dishes here. I am a meat eater but the veggie dishes are amazing here. Its an ever changing seasonal menu and that is simply amazing everytime.

One or the other of these restaurants truly shine above the other therefore the tie this year. No one comes close in matching the quality of the service and food at these two Salem area dining establishments.

Anonymous said...

La Capitale!

-guitar4me

Anonymous said...

Morton's never fails to wow me.

Anonymous said...

If you are looking for an intimate date night or to celebrate an important event, Morton's is unbeatable in my book. Food and service are five star.

The new Johnathan's is extremely well done. We have only eaten in the bar, but it was a great experience that really is unique in Salem.

I really admire La Capitale for taking a chance with a whole different level in Salem. The food has been at times spectacular (other times not so good). Who would have thought we'd get a French restaurant in Salem?

Christo's really went out on a limb to move into an undeveloped part of town and did a great job on the remodel. I really can't call them the restaurant of the year due to inconsistency. We do love their pizza.

Venti's has done enough good to be included in the conversation, but their service in the restaurant is their achilles heel. Heavily staffed with college guys in fancy jeans with bad attitudes. My wife and I, as well as a lot of friends, have had enough negative experiences to stay away. It's really too bad because I like the owner and they really do good job in many ways.

Word of Mouth is a serious contender but they were the winner last year so I would think they should not be a included. If they are included they would be top five. The atmosphere is great. Breakfasts are good and service is very good.

Out of all these, I think my vote goes to Johnathans or Morton's.

Anonymous said...

Church St. Pizza! Delicious and great customer service!

Anonymous said...

I have to put Gamberetti's up, they have a great price point, I have had great service everytime and the meal is always fresh. They have some of the best reviews on line and they have not disapponited me !

Amecameca said...

Best Sandwich: Saigon Kitchen's new banh mi Vietnamese sandwich (go get one and see what I mean).

Restaurant of the Year: It's got to be Los Temos, a little slice of Mexico just a little north of our fair city (http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/276/1217775/restaurant/Los-Temos-Salem).

Anonymous said...

X2 on Saigon. Had lunch there today and food was delish. Haven't tried their new sandwiches but they looked good. We usually have the buffet at lunch which is very good, especially if you go early. Take out vegetarian dishes are strong. Wish I had my take out menu handy to give more specifics.
They are right next to the Guv Cup.
Trust me It's very good. Great service as well.

Anonymous said...

I nominate Andaluz/La Capitale jointly. It seems unfair to split the vote, since they both exist because of incredibly hard work, dedication and enthusiasm from David Rosales. Both of those restaurants added something new to the Salem scene, and both serve food that stacks up favorably against anything Portland has to offer. Rob (the bartender) is the best in town, the staff is gracious and warm, and the d├ęcor modern and inviting. They raise the bar in the Salem food scene.

Amber said...

La Margarita Express, La Capitale and Andaluz get my votes!

Anonymous said...

Definitely - RED GINGER Restaurant in Keizer gets my votes! They have great Thai, Lao, Vietnamese, and Chinese dishes that are far superior to any of Asian restaurant in the Salem/Keizer area!

Anonymous said...

I have to second both Church St Pizza and Red Ginger. I wouldn't go anywhere other than these two places if I had the chance. Both are under appreciated and have owners/staff I kinda want to hug for both their fantastic food and service/atmosphere.

Anonymous said...

Jonathan's, Venti's, Best Little Roadhouse

Anonymous said...

I am assuming this is Salem area restaurants only??

If I am sticking to Salem, jonathans really sticks out. There are a lot of places that I like la perla, carusos, rudys, NY pizza, Christos, Kim houng, and mortons. The restaurant of the year is tough. All of these good spots but to be restaurant of the year I think it really needs to be special.

So my pick goes to orupa. They are doing a lot of good things there and the facility is very cool.

Anonymous said...

Mmmmm... Willamette Burger. Just ate there tonight. YUM.

Anonymous said...

I would like to nominate Panezanellie's in Sublimity, Oregon. A family owned and operated business that treats a person like family plus the business has a country "grandma" house feel. The best pizza to ever come to the willamette valley.

P.S Glad to see John doing Better and back in the kitchen!

Your Country Kitchen (in Lyon's Oregon): Family owned and operated. Small prices for HUGE portions and DELICIOUS food. Pancake, omelette and hashbrowns are soo yummy! Will not pay over 20.00 dollars for 2. The best american food one will have. Remember Big Guys on hwy 101 in Newport?? Well this is next to best to Big Guys.

Hong Kong House, Chinese restaurant on commercial.

The Ram.

Best Little Roadhouse on Commercial.

Anonymous said...

Salvadors Bakery
Word of Mouth
Venti's
Andaluz
Willamette Burger Co
SFNY
Kim Huong

Anonymous said...

Caruso's Italian Cafe.

Anonymous said...

Andaluz
Willamette Burger Company
Ventis
La Capitale

Anonymous said...

Church St Pizza is bomb.

Anonymous said...

Word of Mouth service and food consistently deliver. They hire very good staff. They can't always put together a bloody mary quickly at 10 am on sunday morning, but they do so many other things well you will not mind a bit. There is a reason so many people flock here.

Christos old world pizza great new venue. love a glass of red wine with the margarita pizza. Staff can be a bit scruffy and service can be lacking, but pizza overwhelms any concerns with staff. It's that good. Great owners.

SFNY Pizza cheap tasty slices and cheap good beer. Giant slice of pesto veggie and a pint of locally made beer for $6 is the best deal in town. Pepperoni with sausage is pure heaven. If I am drinking water only I can get out of here for $3 (+tip) for a meal, which is insanely cheap. There is a reason they line up out the door here.

Saigon authentic. masterful use of spices and sauces. food is very good. Dinner portions are gigantic. if you have not tried this place you are missing one of the best, most unique foodie experiences in Salem.

Andaluz very unique, good food. Love the concept. couple dishes were heavenly good. Rotating menu. Good service. One of the have to hit spots in Salem.

Carusos excellent food. I haven't had anything here that wasn't high level. Service is very good. You can't go wrong here. I sealed a very important business deal by taking a client here. Shows class and attention to detail.

Mortons intimate, great food. great date spot. sometimes you have a meal that is so good that you get lost in the experience. That is Morton's. Well thought out menu, limited to very fresh local ingredients. This is where you take someone for an important birthday, an engagement, retirement, an anniversary - - and get pampered by the staff and awed by the food.

La Capitale most interesting food selections. some selections move me. Not what I am used to in Salem. Catches me off guard. Sometimes it doesn't hit, but when it does - look out. Always makes me think of walking into a bistro somewhere they don't speak English - actually quite exciting to order because you just don't know what to expect in a very good way.

Johnathans fresh local seafood. best seafood in town hands down. limited beer selection. great cocktails. very good service. This place is where the young professionals meet at happy hour. Great vibe. Lots of energy.

La Perla I love their tacos al pastor. Very basic substantive food. Service is clunky at times but works. Owner Marco is a good guy. For $3.96 (+tip) you get four very tasty tacos. Reminds me of the good stuff you get from a stand in downtown Guadalarja or La Paz. The places mexican families go after church on Sunday to sit out in the open air at card tables and savor the slow cooked meats and freshly chopped and grilled onions, freshly made picante in sandwich bags, and fresh chopped cliantro.

Orupa beautiful space. great spot for drinks. Take your boss their for cocktails. Blind date? Perfect. Want to impress your in-laws? Easy here. Seal a big transaction? Done. Took them a while to get in the flow, but it is a great addition to the dining scene downtown.

and one that I haven't seen mentioned Marco Polo. great food. Awkward location and facility, but the food more than compensates. Great for family meals. Get five dishes and sample a lot of the flavors. From a food only standpoint, you will not be disappointed. Some very good staff here too.

Who says we don't have great dining options here in the cherry city?

Anonymous said...

Wild Pear

G*J said...

It has to be La Cap!

Anonymous said...

word of mouth again ballot stuffers will flock

Anonymous said...

Tuff Ranch's BBQ! It is in Keizer not Salem, does that count?