What's Happening in Salem? Summer+ 2012

Special Events:
Now Open:
Opening soon: Donatello's  & Gilgamesh Taphouse
Food/Drink:
Entertainment/Nightlife:

92 comments:

Chuck Bradley said...

This is a little off-topic, since it's in Dallas, but there's a terrific new Sushi place in the old Capone's location at 957 Main ST. Tiga Sushi Bar & Japanese Resturant. SWMBO and I agree it's as good as we've had in the mid-valley. Check it out. It's a little pricy but, we thought, satisfied a yen that was worth every yen. Meshiagare!

DeeDeeDiner said...

Time for the S-J's "Best of the Mid-Valley" poll (again). 2012 nominations start today and run through 3/12 with voting to follow.

We can't complain if we don't nominate and vote!! Make your thoughts known---go to: http://community.statesmanjournal.com/bestof2012/index.php
3-D

Anonymous said...

The REALLY cool thing about the SJ Best of votes is that you can vote over and over. Just a few little tricks to defeat the cookies/ip tracking and bingo. Especially if you are on your cell phone (IP randomness). Totally bogus results. So if you want a particular place to win you can vote 500 times (or more) a day.

I love it when the restaurant at the red lion motor lodge wins best steakhouse or best martini or best place to take a first date....Now that's really funny.

DeeDeeDiner said...

I totally agree that the process is horrible, but last year I vowed to at least do my part on the restaurant section to avoid the scenario you described.(Actually the steakhouse at the Red Lion is pretty decent :-)

Those who have been on this blog for a while have heard me rant about the year that Orchard Heights Winery was nominated in 18 (!!) categories including many for which they shouldn't have "qualified."

Salem has been the butt of many Portlanders' jokes---they metaphorically roll their eyes at what they consider our culinary wasteland.

Only my personal take, but I want to make sure my faves at least make the ballot.
DDD

Anonymous said...

I'm going to vote 500 times for olive garden as best I-talian

Chuck Bradley said...

I'll jump the tracks again. These are both in Independence, but thought folks might want to know about them:

Restaurante El Mega Burrito
226 S Main ST
(Limited but authentic menu. My Carnitas Quesadilla was wonderful)

Moothart's Market
94 S Main ST
(Now has a Mexican grill and two sit-down booths. Typically good bodega grill food.)

Chuck Bradley said...

I heard a rumor that the Smokehouse in Stayton is under new ownership and is BBQing a whole Pig, for their kick-off, this weekend. I tried their old phone number which is disconnected. THIS INFORMATION IS UNVERIFIED! (Caps for emphasis only) So if you drive out there and it's bogus, please don't shoot me. Will post as I learn more.

Chuck Bradley said...

We drove out to Stayton this morning and here's the scoop. They are closed today, but a young woman working there said they did BBQ a whole pig last night for their opening tomorrow (4/1/12) I hope it's not an April fool’s joke. She refused to give me the telephone number, which I thought was more than a little bizarre. A business with an unlisted number is a new one on me. She did not leave me with a positive first impression. I guess I'll take the bait and try again tomorrow.

Jenni Rusow said...

New food cart in Silvertion and it's worth the drive no matter where you coming from!! You have to try The Old Oak Oven! Amazing wood fired pizza in a cute little cart located on Jersey & Water St. The owner's (Katie & Daniel) are awesome and so is their pizza! We highly recommend the supreme... plenty of meat and really yummy sweet & spicy peppers. By the slice or whole pie! Open weds-sat 11am-4pm. For pics find them on twitter at "locogrinds". You won't be sorry! Delicious!

Chuck Bradley said...

After three tries and 90 $4 per gallon miles, I finally got to sample Kev's Smoke House today........kind of. I see great potential here. The guy's minister made an announcement to the whole congregation this morning and they were just overwhelmed by the onslaught. I took me over an hour to get a Pulled Pork Sandwich and side of Beans to go. This contradicts my usual my-time-is-as-valuable-as-anybody's rule. But the guy was so genuinely apologetic and his situation was so obvious that I sloughed it today. The food was good and would probably have been great had I been able to enjoy it hot from the kitchen. I think we may have another superior Que joint in the making.

Chuck Bradley said...

The "American Kobe Beef" nonsense has troubled me for some time. Here, finally is a credible source exposing this scam which is being perpetrated (unwittingly or not) by some otherwise good eateries.

Check this out:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/larryolmsted/2012/04/12/foods-biggest-scam-the-great-kobe-beef-lie/

lavachickie said...

Chuck, I think Kev's Smoke House is seeing how hungry we are in this area for good BBQ. Can't wait to try it. And I'm late to the party, but great point on that post. I'm glad to see that truth finally getting some wider press.

Chuck Bradley said...

Had lunch at the new Jimmy John's. Their J. J. Gargantuan is quite a sandwich. I'd rate them above the other chain Sub/Hero/Po'Boy/Grinder shops around town but still no match for the locally owned Submarine Shop in Keizer which still rules the roost.

Chuck Bradley said...

Anybody got the scoop on Panera Bread Company coming to Keizer? When, where, etc.?

Anonymous said...

Panera? That's bad juju as my Irish relatives would say.

Support local vendors to support the health of your local community!!!

lavachickie said...

I can't agree with this one, Chuck. They USED to rule. But after she moved, prices seemed to go up and the thickness of the meats went DOWN. Last time we went (a few months ago now) the meat was so thin that ALL TOGETHER the bulk of the sandwich was just a sliver... which doesn't stand up to the bread. I thought it was just me, but the people sitting at the table next to us were talking and said the same thing.

Anonymous said...

Great resource!
Thank you so much, whoever you are!

Our family is visiting your valley for a friend's wedding.
So happy to find all this local information in one place.

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

Here's a link to a set of bike maps updated in 2012, including a kml file for google earth. The 2012 map replaces the 2006 version linked in the penultimate bullet!

KandN said...

SBoB, Thank you so much!! I've been surprised and pleased at how many clicks these links have received.

Anonymous said...

Anyone know anything about Donatellos, new the pizza place opening up where Sharkeys used to be?

Chuck Bradley said...

A Donatello's Google search confirms that they're comin' to town but no further info.

I'm observing activity at the old e-San location, but no confirmable intel yet. Anyone?????????

Chuck Bradley said...

Very promising new Italian eatery in Independence:

Mangiare Italian Restaurant
114 South Main Street
Independence, OR 97351
(503) 838-0566

Hrs: Sun - Thurs 11A to 9P
Fri - Sat 11A to 10P

Had a good Chicken alla Marsala meal there today ($9.95) Yowza!

Also Coming Soon:

Hop & Vine Barrel House
250 Main ST
Independence 97351

Sadly Closed:

Mega Burrito
Main ST
Independence 97351

dinnersforwinners said...

There is a new coffee bar, Crema Coffee Brewtique, going in next to the Downtown Love Love Teriyaki location. Just happened to see the sign up and some workers there the other day; they have a limited presence on Facebook.

-guitar4me

Oregon Maiden said...

Did Mangiare go into the old J. Bella space?
OM

Chuck Bradley said...

Yes Oregon Maiden. It's gone through a couple of interim incarnations since J Bella but that's the venue.

Oregon Maiden said...

Thanks Chuck. What's the latest decor?
OM

Chuck Bradley said...

The look hasn't changed much since J Bella OM.

Chuck Bradley said...

Half Time Bar & Grill(on High ST NE)is under new ownership. Not sure it's an improvement. Gone are the fresh grownd hand formed Burgers.

Chuck Bradley said...

ground! Typo!

Chuck Bradley said...

Dinner at The Peach Tree last night. They've got some rough spots to iron out, but it shows wonderful promise. It will be a treat to have a nice restaurant in south Salem again.

Anonymous said...

Probably not the venue for this, but holy cow Chuck do you ever eat at home?

Chuck Bradley said...

Two things on the near horizon: El Bukanazz Mexican restaurant opening soon at the old El Maguey location. (260 Liberty ST SE) and Happy Curry Foods is opening a restaurant at 295 Church ST SE on August 1st! (Their store on Commercial NE will remain open.)

Chuck Bradley said...

Anon 7/27. I eat lunch out most days. Evening meals, which rarely consist of more than a very light snack, are almost always at home.

I am a restaurant review hobbyist and am very active on a couple of international sites. Although they don't compete directly with Eatsalem, Salem's premier food site, it would probably not be appropriate to mention them by name here.

Anonymous said...

I've been here twice. Great coffee and espresso, both hot and cold, from Stump Town. Looks like they have a few pastries and cupcakes by Dana at SugarSugar. Also, a very nice remodel on the space.

Chuck Bradley said...

Porter's Pub is locked, empty and has a "For Lease" sign in the window. Too bad.

Kolby's Restaurant Bar and Billiards opened today at 3838 River RD N. Had lunch there today. Good Burger, but they've got a long way to go in the service department. It's too early to judge them too harshly though.

KandN said...

Hey Chuck! I noticed that their FB changed the name to "new owners" yesterday. Too bad. I hope it really does have new owners rather than an empty storefront.

Yup, brand new is a tough place to be. I wish them and the other new places well.

I was sooo sure you would eat at Birdie's today! :>)

Anonymous said...

This was posted on Facebook "Our new menu is rolling out this Sunday the 5th and Its looking really tasty. Come on down at 7:00 AM and check out our huge breakfast plates.....Cheers"

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Porters-Pub/137239346415856

Chuck Bradley said...

Wow! I'm stumped! It sure looked like a failed business yesterday. No activity. An apparently empty building. "For Lease" sign in the window. Facebook page says they will be open for business tomorrow at which time I will get to the bottom of this. For now, please assume I was wrong. I would hate to be the cause of any loss of business for the new owners, it that's the case.

KandN. Birdie's is in my cross-hairs! ;~D

Chuck Bradley said...

Mystery solved! Here is Porter's Pub's response to my facebook inquiry:

Chuck, We are located in the same strip mall, next door to the vacant space. Our door is at the south end of the strip mall. It has an oak front door. Come by again and try us out. Thanks Chuck..Porters Pub.

THEY ARE VERY MUCH IN BUSINESS! (Caps for emphasis.) Sorry for the misinformation.

Chuck Bradley said...

Barnstormed Keizer today. Birdie's Bistro gets an A+ and Porter's Pub gets a D (on the food) and a B (on the service) on the Chuck-o-Meter.

AMD said...

CB, As a business owner, I'd prefer more information that just a letter grade. Give me some specifics I can improve upon. Thanks.

Chuck Bradley said...

AMD, Assuming your business is a restaurant and assuming I've visited it, it is a near certainty that I've written detailed review(s) on it on the two major international review sites. I feel it would be a disservice to this excellent website to advertise them here. But neither is hard to find. If you have any questions or comments, both have PM capability. My true name and likeness is available both places. I do not hide behind anonymity and expect to be afforded the same courtesy by anyone who desires direct communication with me.

Oregon Maiden said...

Chuck,
Methinks you may be a little harsh...since AMD posted a reply to your letter ratings for Bertie's and Porter's Pub, I assume the poster is from Porter's Pub...
OM

Chuck Bradley said...

You may be right on both counts OM.

To Admin. Is there a chance eatsalem may have a PM feature at some point in the future? It would sure be neat to be able to address each other privately on topics that the general readership may not find interesting. It may eliminate a lot of rabbit trails such as this one. Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

I may be wrong, C, but I betcha we'd all have to create an account (surrender our information to god knows who) for private/direct messaging. As far as your rabbit trails go? Why do you think I'm here?
Just call me Peter.

AMD said...

CB, I'm not sure why you can't say here what you said there. I don't frequent those "major international review sites".

Oregon Maiden said...

Not quite sure why I'm getting so involved in this, but " major international review sites" notwithstanding, if AMD is indeed from Porter's Pub, I tend to agree that she/ he might appreciate receiving the same specifics I saw you posted on yelp.
OM

Chuck Bradley said...

OM. The cryptic nature of AMD's posts, which take pains not to divulge anything about the poster or his/her restaurant affiliation, has me seriously questioning his/her veracity. Regardless of my suspicions, this person is very contended to be quite generous with my time and evidently unwilling to expend a half dozen mouse clicks of his/her own to ferret out the information he/she claims to seek. Although AMD never says who he/she is, if we draw the intended inference and bite that it's David Thomas (Whom other posts elsewhere have suggested is the new Porter's Pub owner), it's hard to imagine that he would not do so. I just don't think AMD is real. And at this point, I really don't care.

Have a pleasant evening OM.

AMD said...

CB If you don't want to post the info here that's fine, but no need to question my veracity or authenticity. I don't choose to use those sites, just like I'm sure you have things you choose not to use.
I made a request and you declined. We'll end it here.

KandN said...

Hi Chuck, maybe its time I stepped in. I understand how private messaging can be useful in some places, but Eat Salem is an open forum for discussion. A PM can lead to personal attacks, which we want to avoid. This way all information can be scrutinized and added to by the whole community. It may not always seem interesting, but one man's trash... Keep visiting new places and keep us up to date!

Anonymous said...

The old Spoons location has a sign on its for lease sign stating "Pending". Anyone have any news to share?

Cokie's Landing (formerly Weber's) on South Commercial is for sale per this website:
http://www.wiltseybars.com/listings.htm

The old Bikini Coffee Company building on Mission Street has a trailer out front advertising another coffee company, I believe from Las Vegas.

Out at Keizer Station, I saw another building going up, I think is the new Panera Bread location.

The little now blue house that housed Salem/Keizer's first Thai restaurant is for sale again:
http://salem.craigslist.org/bfd/3177829727.html

The Break Sports Bar (formerly Sharkey's Pool & Brew) is for sale again
http://salem.craigslist.org/bfs/3186575664.html

And while not a restaurant Salem's original Asian Grocery A Dong Market is for sale:
http://salem.craigslist.org/bfs/3115648517.html

Chuck Bradley said...

Not sure I follow the "personal attacks" logic, but OK. No biggie. It was just a thought.

Anonymous said...

Wow, both Pete's and Cokie's (Webbers and Webbers Too!) are on the rocks. Not good!

Chuck Bradley said...

Unsurprisingly Chelsea's Place on Liberty downtown is closed.

Chuck Bradley said...

Here's the article on Pete's Place closure:

http://www.statesmanjournal.com/article/20120813/UPDATE/120813021/Pete-s-Place-downtown-Salem-bar-closing

Anonymous said...

Chelsea's Place - they still have their Grand Opening sign up!

Anonymous said...

Came in to read reviews, not back and forth personal comments. Seems like this guy Chuck can get a bit carried away at times.

Chuck Bradley said...

New eatery in old Willamette Burger Co. venue. Burgers and Pub Grub. Open 11AM - 8PM Mon-Thurs, 11AM - 9PM Fri & Sat, Noon - 5PM Sun. Alcohol license pending.

MacGregor's Public House
2360 Fairgrounds RD NE
Salem, OR 97301
(503) 569-8973

Anonymous said...

The sign on the old Spoons Restaurant is down now.

A For Lease sign spotted on Lancaster Drive near the Tin Tin Buffet says at the bottom that the space is available, but I think Tin Tin is still open for now.

Jade a deli and looks like video poker den is now open on 12th Street in the little strip mall on the corner of Fairview that also has a hair saloon and a convenience store.

Chuck Bradley said...

Pardo's Deli & Market
275 Lancaster DR SE
Salem, OR 97317

(503) 798-4607

Open 24/7

Haven't tried it yet. It's in my cross-hairs for tomorrow. An acquaintance says the home-style breakfasts are excellent and ridiculously low priced.

Chuck Bradley said...

Tried a Reuben at Pardo's today. Good ingredients. Suggest getting Kraut on the side to avoid soggy Bread syndrome. I've heard the Breakfasts are cheap and good and the Burgers are fresh ground and built on Kaiser Rolls.

Think the place may be a winner.

Chuck Bradley said...

New Mexican place on Lancaster.

El Ranchero Market and Mexican Restaurant
2615 Lancaster Dr NE
Salem, OR 97305

(971) 600-3466

I haven't been there yet, but Amecameca says it's good. You can usually take that to the bank.

Chuck Bradley said...

Two bits of news:

Broken Bread is moving to the old Willamette Noodle/Nosh location in the Equitable Building on High ST NE this fall.

Peach Tree will be rolling out a lunch menu on or about September 12th, 2012.

Eat Broken Bread! said...

Chuck, thanks for the posting. We are VERY excited to be moving Broken Bread downtown!

Anonymous said...

Interesting article on the old Ming's Chinese Restaurant/Rainbow Chinese Restaurant on State Street. The building has an interesting history and future:

http://www.statesmanjournal.com/article/20120831/NEWS/308310023/Former-restaurant-State-Street-completes-first-phase-renovation

Chuck Bradley said...

I hear the new Momiji is open. (Across from Fred Meyer on S. Commercial.)

Oregon Maiden said...

Is this in addition to the others or is one closing?
OM

Chuck Bradley said...

The 2916 Commercial St SE location, just a few blocks to the north (between Subway and Straight from New York Pizza)is closed OM. Silverton RD and Albany are still open.

Anonymous said...

huh bikini coffee has sign saying Bentleys now

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have info on Donatellos Pizza on Commercial? It says that they were going to open in August, still waiting!

Rossella said...

Also, a new food cart opening up in South Salem very very soon, serving gyro and souvlaki sandwiches. More info here: https://www.facebook.com/Thermopylaefoodcart

DeeDeeDiner said...

First visit to Peach Tree Grill for lunch yesterday. Underwhelmed would say it all. Had a Caesar salad laden with bland croutons and average dressing; the blackened chicken I added on was pathetically dry. Thought the lunch menu was pretty limited.Hope dinner might be better. Service was phenomenally good.

Anonymous said...

I spoke with the owners of Donatellos Pizza today and they said they will be open November 20th. I saw inside of the building and it looks fantastic. My wife and I are very much looking forward to going shortly after they open.

KandN said...

Interesting, they seem to have two websites: http://donatellos-pizza.com/ http://www.donatellospizzeria.com/.
So, same spot as Sharky's?

Jon Sikel said...

Finally! I hope it is worth the wait!

Anonymous said...

It's offical the old spaghetti warehouse is opening for lunch !!! After dinner last night I saw a sign in their lobby stating lunch is coming soon . I was told the dinner menu would be served all day and a lunch menu would be added . Some of the dishes included sandwiches, cold pasta salads, and a lunch portion of spaghetti wich included soup or salad and and bread . Don't know about the rest of you but I can't wait !!!

KandN said...

Thanks for the tip

DeeDeeDiner said...

OK fellow EatSalemites---time for my semi-annual whine about the increasing "unwieldiness" of this section.

I almost gave up trying to find the follow-up info on Donatello's since it didn't show up on a search therefore I had to scroll through the entire #*$!*% list since my magic ball didn't tell me the thread began in September.

Any thoughts on how we can simplify/streamline it?

It is very helpful to have the summary at the top, but the "reply to this post" option is often more trouble than it's worth. (While I'm on my soapbox...it is also a little odd that it shows up as "March: What's happening.")
OK...hopping off now. Otherwise...HAPPY FRIDAY!
DDD

KandN said...

DDD, Funny, I was just pondering how to deal with this last night.
A yearly "what's happening" was too long, monthly too short. I'm thinking 3-4 months might be about right.
(March shows up, because of my short range thinking. ;>))
Thank you, I appreciate your feedback.
Happy Friday to you, too!

DeeDeeDiner said...

What about setting it up by seasons: Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall?
3-D

KandN said...

Thanks, 3-D!

Anonymous said...

From what I can see through the windows, it looks a lot like it did back when it was Pietro's. Can't wait to have a family pizza parlor in South Salem again!!

Jon S said...

Once again an opening deadline has come and gone. Is this place going to open?

Chuck Bradley said...

This has become a running joke at our house Jon. I stopped and asked (again) today. Was told "We're hoping for Wednesday." I'll believe it when I see it. I'm not holding my breath.

Anonymous said...

As far as I have been able to tell the opening in August sign has been down for months. Never heard of an official "deadline" posted since then. When I drive by it looks to me there are always people milling around painting and what not. Every time I peek in the windows it looks better and better!I'm excited to see when they post they are opening. All this speculating is making me hungry!

Anonymous said...

Soft opening today at 4pm open until 11 with a limited menu. I'm going to check it out!!

Anonymous said...

Anyone check out Donatello's yet?

Chuck Bradley said...

Looks like they're finally open limited hours through December (4PM - 9PM Sun thru Thurs and 4PM - 11PM Fri & Sat. Sign in window says will be open daily at 11AM and offer lunch buffet begining in Jan.

Anonymous said...

I checked out Donatello's this weekend. The pizza was excellent, reasonably priced and the place looked great inside. As a bonus, the cute girl behind the bar said they were getting some great local craft beers in. I'm going back for that!

Anonymous said...

My wife and I went to Donatello's Saturday night and were very impressed with the food. We had a calzone with marinara and an order of breadsticks. We intended on having pizza but were swayed by the special that night on the calzone. Im no expert on calzones but we thouroughly enjoyed it. I was pleased to see that the building resembles the way it looked way back when in the early Pietro's days. We will be going back in the next week or two to try the pizza which many were raving about around us.

Anonymous said...

I get regular news feed on Facebook from Thermopylae Gyro & Souvlaki on S. Commercial. I also pass them quite a bit when out south. They are rarely open when I pass there and every update I get on Facebook says one of the following, we will be closed today, we are ill, we are out of town, our employee is sick, we ran out of food, were closing early tonight, new hours closing at 6 instead of 7. People posting on their FB page have said, "It's really too bad you guys aren't open more often. My co-workers and I have driven by several times but have never seen your truck open!" and "Why are you never open... It's Tuesday at 4:30 pm... You are closed:/ yet your schedule says open til 6 pm... Frustrating". I don't see a bright long lasting future for this truck. You have to be open with consistent hours and no excuses. Another turn off for me, I drove by one day, while stopped at the light I observed the person manning the truck standing directly in front of the ordering window outside the truck under the canopy in the rain smoking in plain view. Then he proceeded to step on his cigarette and leave it on the ground before entering the truck. I wonder if he even bothered to wash his hands!

Chuck Bradley said...

I think you're right Anon. If they advertise hours, they need to find a way to make darned sure you're open. It took me several tries before I was able to sample their food. Also, by the time you pay for the add-ons to make it a real Gyro, they're really pushing the food truck/trailer/cart price point. They've had several months to get their act together. If they don't do it soon, I think their long term viability is iffy.