Though the term Arctic Circle may conjure up images of blizzards and sea ice, the restaurant chain of the same name is anything but frigid. Each Arctic Circle eatery churns out a combination of hot American diner meals and a warm atmosphere. Regardless of what entrees diners choose, platters arrive full of fresh ingredients, from the Black Angus in the 1/4-pound burgers to the deep-fried Alaskan halibut without any imitation seafood. Real fruit including pineapples and raspberries, along with decadent add-ins such as oreo cookies, are blended into the restaurant's Above the Rim shakes and malts. Sides of hearty french fries and onion rings come with Arctic Circle's signature fry sauce for dipping. The more-than-60-year-old fry-sauce recipe has developed such a following that Arctic Circle locations now sell 16-ounce bottles of the tangy, tomato-y condiment and provide scratch 'n' sniff car air fresheners to curb patrons' cravings when on the road.
The sixth-annual Oregon Brews and BBQ's festival floods McMinnville?s Granary District with frothy craft beers and the smoky scent of barbecue. With a souvenir beer glass and tasting tickets in hand, guests can sample more than 50 craft beers from more than 35 breweries, including Grain Station Brew Works, Golden Valley Restaurant & Brewery, and Hopworks Urban Brewery, an organic brewery whose director of sustainability chatted with the Groupon Guide about keeping its environmental footprint as small as possible. The hoppy flavors complement tender barbecued meats, many of which grill masters have slow cooked throughout the night by using low heat and a boogie-man-repellent seasoning.
Live musicians punctuate the air with such acts as The Jake Blair Band, which blends wailing slide guitar with gravely vocals and harmonica for a blues buffet. Audiences can dance along, check out the jewelry and art from local vendors, or explore the kids' zone. This year, proceeds from the festival will benefit St. James Catholic School and the GhanaHope Foundation.
Opened in 1993, Café Uncorked crafts gourmet comfort food. Chefs grill burgers, top Reuben sandwiches with housemade thousand island dressing, and load grilled sandwiches with three-cheese blends and sautéed seasonal veggies. The restaurant's extensive wine list supplies red and white pours to complement each meal, which guests can savor while seated outdoors or inside among plants sourced from the Willamette Valley. Following meals, visitors can stroll through the restaurant’s sculpture gardens, admiring chiseled marble representations of the entire Sesame Street cast.
Most dishes on the menu at Stampede BBQ Company come with sides, which means mac ‘n' cheese, fried okra, corn on the cob, french fries, and other Southern favorites inspire some tough decision making come ordering time. But regardless of the sideshow, the main event is likely to be enticing. Barbecue-beef brisket burritos layer cheese, sour cream, bacon, rice, and even onion rings atop tender cuts of meat, and a full rack of ribs fills a family-size bucket that would otherwise only be useful for transporting gold bullion.