Kaneko Dining Room (Willamette University)

~Review by Chuck Bradley
This is another of Willamette University’s hidden dining opportunities. It’s located on the main floor of Kaneko Commons, just south of Mission Mill on Mill ST SE. Marc Marelich; Bon Appetit’s Director of food service at WU assures me that it is indeed open to the public.

It is open for breakfast and lunch only. Their lunch menu can be viewed at: http://willamette.cafebonappetit.com/cafes/kaneko/weekly_menu.html. Typically they have a Weekly Entrée, three “Market Fresh” lunches, Kettles (Soups), a Noodle Bar, and a Donburi Bar. (All but the Weekly Entree may change daily),

Don’t be put off by the cafeteria style set-up. This is quality food. Today I had their Weekly Entrée which was Slow Roasted BBQ Painted Hills Beef Brisket served with real Mashed Potatoes & delicious white Gravy and Steamed Broccoli Crowns. The meat was cooked to such tenderness that it just fell apart on the fork and the BBQ sauce had a hint of Mustard and was not overly sweet. An excellent meal for just $5.75! I can’t wait to return and try their Market Fresh offerings and Donburi Bar!

Gaining entry and getting out was a bit of a challenge requiring some improvisation on my part. I am told that today was the first day they were open since the holiday break. Someone had neglected to deactivate the automatic locks on the building effectively locking anyone without a key-card out and then, when other means of entry were employed, in. It made for an even more interesting lunch adventure with a delicious hint of naughtiness to it. It’s one which should not be necessary to repeat during future visits.

One more untried lunch destination on the Willamette campus remains. Cat Cavern! Stay tuned more to come!

Kaneko Dining Room
Kaneko Commons
Willamette University Campus
(Just South of Mission Mill Museum)


Anonymous said...

Kiley Davis is a wonderful Executive Chef and business man. Every time I take my family to Kaneko to eat we are greeted by Kiley and other staff who talk with us about the food. He definitely has a passion for cooking and loves Japanese food! He is surely going places with his love of the kitchen!

Salem Dinner Table said...

Mmmmm sounds good!

Anonymous said...

I would like to try them! They were featured on Rachel Ray's 40 dollars a day!

Anonymous said...

This wasn't featured on Rachael's show, actually... another Willamette Univ spot, Goudy Commons was. Great food and prices as well there.

Anonymous said...

It's definitely delicious and a great local secret. The cost is amazing for the food that you get. The chef there really knows what they're doing and it's always fun to go there because they actually are nice as well!
And by the way Goudy, when it was featured on Rachael Ray had Kiley as the chef, but now he's moved on to Kaneko, so you have to follow him since he's the one that she loved.

Chuck Bradley said...

SWMBO and I took another run at Kaneko Cafe today. I tried the Donburi Bar at which you create your own dish from the selection of ingredients. I started with a large mound of Sticky Rice straight from the cooker. I then piled on large chunks of Salmon and Tuna then Seaweed, Tofu, Yellow and Zucchini Squash and Bean Sprouts. I doused it all with Miso Soup, Soy Sauce and Chili Pepper Powder. She Who Must Be Obeyed had a big bowl of Miso Soup. We shared a Diet Cola. I was a little distracted at check out but I think both our lunches came to less than $8! Unbelievable!