Since 1997, 3rd Street Pizza Company has fused food and film into a ready-made night out. On one side of the business, hand-tossed dough is fired atop hot stones, which yields crisp New York–style pizzas topped with a signature blend of mozzarella, provolone, and monterey jack cheeses. Sauce options also reach beyond the standard red to include thai peanut, pesto, and garlic parmesan. The pies anchor a menu that features calzones, sandwiches, and microbrews, all of which can be taken into showings at Moonlight Theater. Recent releases stretch out across a full-size movie screen that teams up with a 12-speaker surround-sound system as high-tech as the ones judges use to make their verdicts extra scary. The restaurant also supports arts beyond film and pizza—a dining-room wall functions as a rotating gallery space, and live musicians occasionally play during dinner.
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 fifth-annual Oregon Brews and BBQs festival floods McMinnville’s Granary District with frothy craft beers and the smoky scent of barbecue. With a souvenir beer glass and beer tokens in hand, guests can sample 50 craft beers from 22 breweries, including Block 15, Golden Valley Brewery, and Raccoon Lodge. 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 the Willamette Valley Cancer Foundation and the GhanaHope Foundation.
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.
Oly’s Wrap Shack pummels pangs of hunger with 24 different fillings, each available to bulk up a wrap, pita, or salad. Locally crafted surfboards dangle above reed booths, where guests unearth stuffings of thai chicken or chicken and avocado that the kitchen crew delicately nestle in grilled flatbread pitas or one of five flavors of tortilla, including spinach, garlic herb, and tomato basil. Oly's Wrap Shack abates morning munchies with egg-based wraps and espresso drinks, and the eatery's vibrant, emerald-green walls recreate the sensation of dining inside a giant peapod.
Originally established and overseen by a committee of parents, Sip! McMinnville Wine & Food Classic began in 1994 as a small community fundraiser for St. James Catholic School. Today, the annual festival draws nearly 10,000 people to the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum, requiring more than 300 volunteers to assemble regional winemakers, culinary masters, and artists. Vintners disclose trade tips as they peddle their ambrosial libations, all of which are ultimately ranked by a panel of professional judges into bronze, silver, gold, and best-of-show tiers. Guests can take wine-tasting classes, which teach sippers how distinguish fruity undertones from a banana hiding in their glass, or glean cooking tips from kitchen demonstrations and food booths. Throughout the weekend-long gathering, artists display their opuses in the form of tangible wares or live music.
The Joel Palmer House fills fine china with globally inspired dishes that fuse locally produced herbs and vegetables with wild Oregon mushrooms. Amorous eaters take breaks from sweetheart staring contests to thaw benumbed tongues with warm bowls of Joe's wild mushroom soup, a 75-year-old family recipe that combines the rich essence of pureed suillus mushrooms with creamy crème fraîche ($9). The beef stroganoff pleases palates with succulent meat, wild mushrooms, and seasoned rice ($30), and the sautéed sea scallops, served with lotus root, wild mushroom duxelles, and a creole pinot gris sauce ($32), fill abdominal abysses. Fortify fungus fare with a bottle of locally fermented pinot noir from a sprawling list of Oregon wines and achieve a culinary harmony unseen since the California Raisins dominated the airwaves.