Memorable | One of the Best
Astoria Coffee House & Bistro
Review by: Michael Stern
In the 1980s, Jane and I wrote a story about an interesting phenomenon we had discovered: the Pacific Northwest is a coffee-lover’s destination. Our “discovery” came late – Starbuck’s had already begun to proliferate, having started in 1971 (reaching Chicago in 1991 and New York in 1994). Today, everybody knows that America’s coffee culture is at its zenith in Seattle, Portland, and throughout the region – all the way to Anchorage, which has more coffee shops per capita than any other American city.
Not too long ago during a trip through Oregon, I was impressed by Astoria Coffee House & Bistro in the northwesternmost part of the state. The coffee is Caffé Vita brand from Seattle; and in addition to all the usual espresso drinks are such exotic lattes as lavender vanilla, cardamom mocha, salted caramel, and maple brown sugar.
Actually, it was the food at breakfast that rang my chimes, most notably smoked salmon hash, which was a rough-hewn melange of bite-size salmon, potatoes, and peppers, topped with eggs and sided by a hearty buttermilk biscuit. In addition, I managed to savor several pleasing pastries, including an almond paste-filled croissant and a slice of moist chocolate cake. Other morning menu highlights include aebleskivers (Danish pancakes), cardamom bread French toast, and biscuits topped with bacon gravy. There is a wide choice of serious (over $20) meals for supper, which the menu describes as “neo-regional cuisine using direct caught seafood, all natural meats and wild local produce ‘foraged’ from the area.” These items include Cajun oysters, chickpea and tabouli salad, pork mole, paella, steak frites, French dip, sushi rolls, and pad Thai. The list makes me confused about the concept of neo-regionality, but the goodness of the salmon hash and freshness of the rhubarb scones make me want to return and discover exactly what it means.
|Meals Served||Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Dessert|
|Credit Cards Accepted||Yes|