Diners at Coburg Mongolian Grill make each meal their own by hand-selecting the fresh veggies, tender meats, and noodles that will appear on their plates. Chefs then sear the ingredients on a large, round grill and return them piping hot and cooked to perfection. Splashes of soy sauce and sriracha add flavor to these entrees.
Five flat-screen televisions, including a 60" flat-screen TV, surround Legend Sports Lounge’s diners, who can take in a game while sipping seasonal beers from local breweries. Before grabbing the microphone and singing karaoke at the eatery, which is located in the Red Lion Hotel, patrons snack on appetizers in the lounge and take bites of burgers or fish ‘n’ chips between shots at the pool table. A special menu is available during happy hour, and the lounge stays open until 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.
Chase Gardens Cafe and Bistro's owners clearly take pride in the details. They hang strings of twinkling lights on their eatery's back walls, which are brushed with cityscape silhouettes, murals of porticos, and the outline of a majestic mountain range. The front wall is almost completely covered in picture windows that allow sunlight to stream in as patrons nurse cups of espresso.
On a given day, their soup specials, such as heirloom sausage or organic beef and barley stew, steam beside delicate quiches and hearty sandwiches. When they're not perusing the Internet on free WiFi, guests can question the barista about Chase's wine selection or bate them for information on how they get all those guffaws into their trademark Snickers drink.
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.
The accolades accorded several of LaVelle Vineyards' wines in the pages of Wine Enthusiast magazine serve as evidence of the diligent work of founder Doug LaVelle and his son, Matthew, who tends the vines today. After taking over the winery?then one of the oldest in Southern Willamette Valley?in 1994, Doug took it upon himself to make a number of improvements to its antiquated technology and distribution network. He started the wine club in 1995, and just recently opened a brand new wine bar and tap room off of International Way in Springfield called the LaVelle Tap Room. The tap room serves as an in-town location for wine club members, but also to provide a new wine-bar-meets-tap-room experience with more than 30 wines to choose from and several local beers on tap.
Doug's investments paid off. Today, with Matthew as lead winemaker, the winery ferments grapes both from its original Willamette Valley location and another site in the Columbia Valley in eastern Washington. At the rustic Elmira Winery, visitors can recline on the sunny deck, tour the winemaking facilities, or outsmart tipsy minotaurs in the garden's labyrinth.
Chef Bupar acquired her culinary prowess alongside her mother, who operated a street-side café in Bangkok for more than 20 years. Today, she draws on recipes she learned from her mother to conjure up the bustling, spice-tinged air of the city of her youth. The traditional Thai flavors of ginger, lemongrass, and garlic flood dishes and thick coconut milk helps lower the potency of red chilies in a range of curries to a pleasant warmth. Beneath the eatery’s saffron-hued walls and decorative greenery, bouquets of basil, cilantro, and fresh sprouts bestow portions of noodles and rice with textural variety.
Diners can sit outdoors if the weather and 80-foot sentient dragon statue permits, or enjoy after-dinner entertainment at the nearby Matthew Knight Arena. Downstairs in The Underground Lounge, diners can feast on the main restaurant’s full menu in a more casual atmosphere adorned with pool tables, HDTVs, and dartboards.