~The following is a guest post submitted by local Keizerite Rebecca Wilcox
Three Great Food Spots in Salem
I recently sojourned to Salem, OR on a business trip and was immediately blown away by the beauty of this state. Then I got hungry, of course, and as an avid teriyaki fan I quickly found myself perusing the local selection using the YP Mobile App on my smartphone. Teriyaki meats, grilled or boiled in a sweet soy sauce marinade and layered over white or brown rice, make a great meal any time of day, whether it's brunch , an on-the-go snack, or a dinner feast. Fortunately, I was able to find three great little spots in Salem:
Love Love Teriyaki : Love Love serves some of the best teriyaki in Salem, with tofu options for vegetarians. What I like about this restaurant is that even though the food is delicious, it's extremely affordable. You can easily get a lunch for under $7 and will almost assuredly have leftovers for later. Another great characteristic about Love Love is the love they put into their sauce. The proper mixing, heating, boiling and reducing of soy sauce, sake, mirin, sugar and honey is an art form, and the Love Love chefs are undoubtedly maestros. I heavily recommend this restaurant. The new downtown location has been open for less than a year, so give them a shot.
J's Teriyaki: This teriyaki joint at 613 Lancaster DR is also a sushi restaurant, featuring some of the most excellent fish in town. On the teriyaki front J's is known for having fresh, spiced meats that are full of flavor and extremely inexpensive. The Spicy Teriyaki Bowl is one of the house favorites and I can confirm that it
is truly a culinary treasure. These bowls run in the $4.95-$5.95 range. There aren't very many restaurants where you can score teriyaki/sushi rolls combinations for under $10. J's is one and while their dishes, specifically the sauces, aren't as top-notch as Love Love, they're still worth a nice meal.
Best Teriyaki: With a name like this, the pressure's on. This joint is located at 360 High St NE and moved into the upper echelon of teriyaki after the closing of Young S'. The prices are a little higher than J's but the portions were bigger in my experience and you have the option of getting white meat chicken breast. Other
teriyaki options include the usuals: beef, steak, pork, garlic shrimp, salmon, and short ribs. You can also get side order versions and combination versions of them all. I like that they offer the brown rice option, which offers some nutritional benefits to the meal.
I was not disappointed by the teriyaki selection at any of these restaurants. While Seattle is often crowned the teriyaki capitol of the country (even though there's isn't a traditional version), Salem, OR is a growing market for this delicious and increasingly ubiquitous Japanese cuisine.