Chef Richard Balajadia’s food presentation can be dazzling—in his hands, green apples become swans and ahi tuna piles atop rice and vegetables to create gravity-defying sculptures—but he relies on seasonal ingredients to ensure that the dishes taste as good as they look. If organic arugula and free-range chicken don't sound like standard sports-bar fare, that’s precisely the intention. Lifelong friends and owners Michael Hoover, Todd Bardwell, and Bill Hutchins told the Register-Guard that they hired Balajadia because they wanted a menu that would appeal to their own "foodie tastes." Accordingly, even the bar’s burgers transcend their simplistic origins with jalapeño barbecue sauce, grilled portobellos, or house teriyaki sauce.
Even the bar’s drink menu rotates seasonally, with specialty cocktails that change to incorporate fresh summer fruits or entice tipplers with autumnal spices. The mixologists create their medleys of rosemary-infused Gentleman Jack whiskey, silver-agave tequila, and guava nectar at a bar where flat-screen televisions keep the atmosphere lively by showing Ducks’ games instead of documentaries about watching paint dry. The patio's red and yellow triangular shade sails for sunny days, and outdoor heaters fire up on chilly ones. DJ Reddfox transforms the vibe by spinning live on Saturday nights.
At The Highlands Brew Pub, a glittering row of silvery beer taps and the clack of pool balls beckon to passersby to stop in for a tasty craft beer and relax with their friends and neighbors. A menu of upscale pub cuisine pairs with frosty brews, with selections such as clams saut?ed in white wine, prime rib sandwiches, and buttered halibut fish and chips.
The staff at The Peacock Bar & Grill whips up classic American pub fare in a convivial atmosphere that has served Corvallis since 1929. Half-pound hamburgers sizzle in more than 15 gourmet varieties, and fresh steak and seafood entrees round out a menu of traditional American fare. Late-night food specials please the after-hours crowd, and catering services lavish special events and get-togethers with mouthwatering morsels. A pool table, video-game machines, flat-screen TVs, and a full bar add to the air of revelry at the tavern that, like the ham radio, has kept mouths busy for more than 80 years. The Peacock Bar & Grill struts its plumage and ability to entertain with nightly events and specials including sports games, karaoke, and live DJs.
In true democratic fashion, Evan Phipps, the owner of Mint Leaf Bar & Grill, left up the theme of his restaurant to the people of Jefferson. "They wanted a place to take their family,? he told the Albany Democrat-Herald last year. So he allotted half of his space to a family-friendly restaurant that serves grill food such as burgers and the other half to a bar with a pool table and a neon mint leaf blazing behind the counter. One of the highlights of the establishment is the housemade potato chips, which are plucked each morning from the branches of the potato-chip tree out back.
For 60 years, Wooden Nickel Pub & Eatery has served up hearty eats in a wood-paneled bar with games, live music, and the familiar ambience of a hometown hangout. The pub's cooks smoke, cure, and brine meats in-house, sandwiching them within breads baked on-site. In addition to slow-smoked prime rib, German sausages, and sizzling fried chicken, they simmer pots of jambalaya or shrimp and grits. Diners can find the same savory, homestyle food at a second location in Sublimity.
At Northern Lights Theatre Pub, audience members sip riesling and sink forks into chicken breasts as movie families sit down to dinner on the silver screen. Cinema-goers order their meals before sitting down to watch second-run flicks, letting waiters ferry their pulled-pork burritos or Angus burgers right to their seats so they don’t miss a screen couple’s passionate first kiss, tender final embrace, or heartwarming jump from an exploding helicopter. In addition to finger foods, the chefs take their fare up a notch by layering personal pizzas with housemade sauce, sprinkling parmesan cheese and squeezing lemon juice over chicken breasts, and piling pineapple atop their banana splits. Before evening films light up the theaters, Northern Lights’ full-service bar kicks into gear, leading to age restrictions so that moviegoers can freely sip on-tap beers such as Blue Moon and Gilgamesh Mamba or wash down bites with chardonnay and shiraz. In addition to screening blockbuster movies, the theater pub’s three auditoriums occasionally show sports or host live shows such as standup comedy.