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Corvallis Top Recommendations from our reviews (see the reviews below for
more information, address, telephone, etc):
Chowgeeks.com supports both fixed-based restaurants *and* food carts.
See below for full reviews on these establishments.
- It is reported that The Old Spaghetti Factory will be opening in the
former Terminus/Michael's Landing location.
12/4/10 GJ: I looked forward to a lunch at Al Jabal with considerable interest, as I am very fond of Middle Eastern food and was very disappointed when Oasis closed awhile back. Al Jabal is a small cafe at the back of an interesting market, almost hidden next to Les Schwab on the south side of Corvallis on 99. We arrived a little after the usual lunch hour on a Saturday, and there was only one other table seated. Service was prompt, and we ordered a mezza platter, in order to get a few tastes of several different dishes, and a bowl of red lentil soup. The soup arrived very promptly, and was hot and very good. The bread served with it was extremely disappointing -- cold, stiff, and overcooked at some point far previous to our meal. The other dishes were brought out fairly soon, along with another basket of cold, hard bread triangles. Although not terrible, the rest of the food was not as wonderful as I had hoped, either. The baba ghanouj was very mild, and the hummus bitter. The falafel was overcooked, hard and dry like the bread, and the dolmas were unremarkable. The yogurt cheese was a nice addition, and the olives were good. We asked for more bread, which arrived warm and soft, leading me to conclude that the first couple of baskets were leftovers from the earlier lunch crowd, which had been reheated and left to get cold more than once. We were charged extra for the one basket of palatable bread. Finally, we had to flag the server for our check, and although my dining companion has very limited mobility and uses a walker to assist her, I had to take her card to the counter for her to pay, as the server refused to act as her cashier. Unfortunately, Al Jabar is no Oasis.
10/10/10 TA: We've been to the new Middle Eastern restaurant in south Corvallis a few times now. They offer take-out as well as dine-in service. The lighting in the restaurant leaves something to be desired, but the service is very friendly. So far, we've tried the chicken shwarma, baba ganoush, humus, falafel, some of the salads, and baklava. The servings are very generous and this is the best Middle Eastern food we've had in Corvallis. Too bad they don't make their own pita bread. The baklava is amazing -- perfect amount of honey, so that it is still sweet, but the phyllo is still crispy and not dripping.
8/11/12 BJ: I made my first visit to Alley Gyros with much anticipation. I was so looking for a good Gyros like I have had in Detroit and New Jersey. I was expecting a restaurant that focused soley on Gyros would be good. Boy was I disappointed. While all the fixin's were the same, the flavor just wasn't there. Perhaps the meat was too lean. I can get better Gyros in the food court at the mall. I think more recipe development is in order. I would try different variations and collect written survey feedback from customers until you get it right. Otherwise, I am afraid the business won't last long and it is sad to see a good idea fail.
7/8/12 PR:My wife and I have now been to Alley Gyros and I must say it was excellent. We both got the lamb gyro both times and the lamb is so flavorful and juicy. It is nice being able to put your toppings (tzatziki sauce, cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce, feta, etc...) on your gyro, so you can top it with whatever and however much you want. I was a little hesitant to have fries inside of my gyro, but it really grew on me. Talking with Kimber, the owner and was preparing food the first night we went there, we were informed that when she traveled to Greece, the vendors there included fries inside. The baklava was the best I have had in the area. The restaurant is rather small, but they comfortably put a lot of seating for the size. They ran out of hummus the first night we were there, but that was also only a few days after opening, so I attribute that to simply learning the demand in the first month. The pricing is pretty typical at $6-7 for a gyro. Overall, I give it an A- with chance to move to a solid A after they work out just the first month jitters. I plan to be back and often.
7/2/12 RM: With so much excitement about this new restaurant, it's disappointing to say it's not very good. This might be a place to get gyros sandwiches, but it will take me sometime before I try it agian. We all hope the owner can step it up a notch and get some better pita bread that's not stale and having fries inside the gyros does not work. Nothing to rave about. I wish Alley Gyros luck.
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On our last visit, which was quite awhile ago, the food was quite tasty, with excellent presentation. One favorite of mine is the ravioli appetizer. The chicken also seems popular. The Mahi Mahi entree was cooked to perfection, and I even liked the Salmon (I don't normally like any kind of Salmon) Service is fast and attentive. The Key Lime Pie got my attention, since it wasn't too sweet like many interpretations. The Ganache was simply amazing. The only minor glitch in our great experience was that my son had to ask for a replacement fork when his original one was cleared away with the appetizer dishes. No big deal.
The menu has changed, and the quality has declined since the above visit. Aqua had been a favorite, but it merely now just "OK". Rating: B.
2/23/11 PJ: Previously, a big fan; disapponted on recent visit. There seems to have been a major menu change such that it is extremely difficult to find an entree' that was not overly spicy. I had stuffed prawns that were very good, but some spice stuck with me for the rest of the evening. My mother-in-law found the sauce on the tenderloin to be overpoweringly spicy. However, my wife said that the lamb shank was great. Also, even though the restaurant was not crowded, it seemed to take a very long time to get our food. Too bad; used to be our first choice for a special occassion!
8/31/10 BM: While visiting friends in Corvallis Oregon, I took them out for dinner at Aqua. My intention was to treat them to a very nice meal. Our appetizer was dungeness-stuffed giant prawns, topped with a Banana Salsa. It was absolutely amazing. My main course was Grilled Mahi-Mahi, on a bed of perfectly cooked whole grain rice, topped with a pineapple ring, and drizzled with a savory sauce. The combination of the sweet from the pineapple and the savory sauce went perfectly with the fresh fish. Dessert was homemade raspberry-mango cheesecake lightly drizzled with a tart sauce. This place is not cheap. For three people to have drinks, appetizers, meal, and dessert, expect to pay about 150$, after tip. It was the best meal Ive had in YEARS. Worth absolutely every penny. I will certainly be back.
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4/15/11 LP: There is joy in Corvallis, as Vietnamese Baguette has reopened in the former Zia location on Feb. 14. The line for lunch was to the door, the food was as outstanding as it was at the previous location. They now have tables and chairs, making it possible to 'eat in', if there is an open table in the place. No opening-day blues here, the staff was efficiently making the line move through quickly without any quality issues and keeping a smile throughout. I had the Vietnamese Dip, which was a well-flavored beef stew with a baguette to dip into it. Others in our group had the Daring and another sandwich I don't remember. I also got the shrimp spring rolls, which were very tasty. Prices are the same as the old location, which was very affordable.
8/13/08 MS: Vietnamese sandwiches make for an interesting combo given the French influence in Vietnam. The bread is good. The meats are best if you don't worry about what it is (though I've had many funky things between Paris and Singapore). They have a nice accompaniment of veggies in them. The appetizers I've had have been so-so (and in one case bad, as in seemed like it was very stale). Still, a decent light lunch. Recommended.
9/9/09 RM: This was some of the worst food I have had in Corvallis. It's hard to explain how bad it was. It was not hot and the service was strange. I would not recommend going. Avoid. Go to Kim Hoas Restaurant if you want good Asia without spending a ton, same owners [Ed note: not the same owners anymore]!
3/12/09 OS: This place is packed every day at lunch. It is a Thai/Vietnamese/Chinese mix, primarily take-out with a few tables. You can get 1, 2, or 3 different dishes, served with either noodles or rice. The Spicy Panang Chicken is the BEST. I definitely recommend it.
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WS 11/15/10: Last weekend I ate at Big River in Corvallis. I was disappointed when served a burned calzone. My largest disappointment was the fact when I complained to my waiter, there was no response from the manager. I ordered the NY steak in replacement but was unable to eat with my family due to the wait. I really wonder if the management at Big River even made the kitchen aware that there is a problem with serving burned food? I would not recommend this restaurant to friends after my experience. I did use the rest room and had to wait for six other guys, one of which said the restroom is shared with another bar/grill [Ed note: they share bathrooms with 101 Bar].
Update: The 2011 Blocktobertfest was just south of horrible. Not only did Block 15 charge $7.00 (yes seven) bucks to get in, the beer prices were high, lines moved slowly, and the some of the servers were, well, crappy. There was one server that let her [presumed] boyfried cut in a long line for a beer. I did somewhat enjoy the band, though. Never did get a glass mug, since they sold out of them quite early. We went inside the usual Block 15, and the horrible service continued. [Ed note: B15 does have a good server or two, but they must have all been off that night] Blocktoberfest was, to put it nicely, a ripoff. That poorly executed event earns Block 15 a D+. It's been a long time since I've been so disappointed with a generally respected establishment. Again, Rating: D+.
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10/28/09 BJ: It's criminal that you're missing Blue Sky Chinese Restaurant from your list! [Ed note: not any longer. ;)] This is easily my favourite Chinese in Corvallis, hands-down. They are located in the Safeway/Bi-Mart plaza on Philomath Blvd, next to a Quizno's and Phagan's Beauty College. Their atmosphere is pleasant inside, and they have a nice amount of space, which means not too much waiting even at 12:00. I take my lunch hour from 1-2, and my boyfriend and I are never there more than 45 minutes from seating to paying our bill. All of the lunch specials are tasty, and they do a marvellous job with keeping your tastes in mind (my boyfriend always orders dishes without green peppers and if they forget to, they take it immediately back and do it over, usually within ten minutes). We have never eaten anything that is bad there, trying a variety of their dishes, and it's easily the best hot and sour soup in Corvallis. Highly, highly recommended!
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3/17/12 HB: We have been to this new BBQ joint 4 times now and love it! The meat (we've tried just about all the options) is tender and flavorful and the 5 different sauce options are delicious individually or combined together. Fun atmosphere and kid friendly. Wish they had garlic bread as a side, but the curly tails are great. Also wish beef ribs were a constant on the menu, as they were amazing when we had them on special. Good prices, casual and an excellent addition to downtown in our opinion.
2/23/12 RM: I was truly excited about going because I heard so many good things about it, but was very disappointed. My boyfriend and I spent way to much money for what we got. My sweet potato casserole side dish was burned and the meats that I ordered were not all that good, a boring meal overall! The coleslaw had no flavor. We had chicken, ribs and brisket and also baked beans that tasted bland. The brisket was so fatty it was hard to eat. The ribs were maybe the best meat we had. I would never go back. And I'm sad to say this, I would give it a C rating at the most, really a D. The hushpuppies were very good and the staff were very nice. Other then that, I would not recommend this place. We'll just go to Flat Tail if we really want some okay BBQ, at least it's better next door.
1/27/12 LP: BrewBQ is now open for lunch, so a group of us gave it a try. I was hoping against hope that Flat Tail's apple-bacon-blue-cheese-mac was there (as I was told by the waitstaff at FlatTail that it would be when they, uh, remodelled their menu) as well as FlatTails's brisket sandwich. I was to be disappointed that neither were present. Most unfortunately, the awesome ribs that Flat Tail had have been replaced at BrewBQ by spare ribs that, in my opinion, are not cooked long enough. Members of our party called them 'unseasoned' and 'uninteresting'. But, a BBQ place should not be judged by ribs alone. I got a 1/2 lb. of the pork butt, fellow diners got the brisket and chicken. By all counts, these were done quite well. The pork butt had a nice 'bark' on it, and was very flavorful. A colleague got the sweet potato gratin as a side which was well flavored. I got the 'curly tails' - aka curly fries, but found them fried to death to the point where they were burnt, and the 'red seasoning' on it which did nothing for them. On a wall were several bottles of their 5 signature-sauces - probably enough so every table could grab a bottle of each. Favorites were the sweet & hot and the blackberry pepper, but all were a tasty accompaniment to the food being served. The service at BrewBQ is counter service, but the staff is quite helpful and knowledgeable. They could really use a better way of calling people's names than screaming them out, as with the restaurant noise when it was busy, it was hard to hear your name being called. The decor is very 'back woods brew pit', which fits. Seating was limited based on the number of people checking out the place. I can imagine at a rush-time it would be very hard to find a place to sit. There is not much the restaurant can do about that, however. I'm going to give BrewBQ a B for the food, only because the ribs were disappointing, the fries were burned, and many promised items that went away from FlatTail did not arrive at BrewBQ. The other BBQ items were delicious though, so it raises the grade. Perhaps they'll migrate the 'missing items' back to FlatTail??? (hint-hint) Decor gets a B, as the lack of seating and lack of PA system hurts when the place is busy. Maybe when the novelty wears off, it'll be better. Service was an A, the staff are doing a great job and seem to like working there. I'll be back for a return trip, hoping they fix some of the easier issues by then.
PR 1/25/12: After a second visit to BrewBQ, all I can say is that I am disappointed. Knowing this is owned by the same guy as Flat Tail, I had high hopes for the barbecue. The ribs at Flat Tail fell off the bone, the spice rub had great flavor, you left with a smile. BrewBQ's rib were a little tough, rather fatty, and had very little seasoning at all. If you aren't going to smother barbecue with sauce as it cooks, at least season the stupid thing! The brisket wasn't bad (although rather fatty as well) but once again, wasn't as good as Flat Tail's. And I'm not paying $10+ for a "not bad" lunch... Normally I would wonder if it were an equipment issue, but they took the barbecue items away from Flat Tail (a full month before BrewBQ opened btw) because BrewBQ was now using Flat Tail's barbecue equipment. So breaking in the equipment isn't really an excuse here. I think what confuses me most is Duncan's business strategy here. You have menu items that are working (and working well) and you take them away to supply your smaller, brand new venture. But instead of simply moving them over to the other restaurant, you make similar, but not quite as good, items instead. I had been excited when Flat Tail opened as I felt we finally had a decent barbecue joint around here (even it wasn't the entire menu), but it seems that by opening a second barbecue joint (one that is completely dedicated to barbecue) has now given us none.
9/9/11 UM: I visited the Broken Yolk in Corvallis for breakfast for the first time on 08/29/2011. I have never had a worse restaurant experience in this or any other country I have visited, including meals in undeveloped, non-Western countries. If you value cleanliness and if you wish to be able to consume the food you order, I would recommend that you avoid the Broken Yolk in Corvallis. The food took far to long to arrive at our table, especially considering its poor quality. My companion's pancakes looked and tasted like restaurant grade pancake mix fare. My fruit was old-ish, my toast was burnt and when the waitress set down my hash browns I decided to leave - on the plate was an oily, half-cooked pale yellow block of (what?) frozen shoelaces compacted together. At that point I paid the check and left, didn't even bother to eat. Stay away!
EK 7/19/2010: The Broken Yolk is a favorite breakfast spot for my wife and myself. Yes, the kitchen is slow, but if you are eating on a deadline you shouldn't be eating out anyway! The lines for seating look terrible, but be sure that you've signed your name in the book and your patience is often rewarded by people giving up on the wait. In our experience, service is usually quite attentive and friendly, and I've only had to wait for coffee once. The food has been quite good and is worth the wait. It is worth thinking of this as a relaxing morning out. Just be aware that when ordering, that a "Half Stack" provides plenty of food.
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5/9/12 MS: Tried Burrito Heaven today for the 1st time. We were disappointed. We had pork burrito verde, a chicken chimichanga, and a carne asada torta. All were bland and under spiced. Everything needed salt. My chimichanga was 90% beans, and was not fried. The carne asada was not tender. Burrito verde also was mostly bland beans. Our order was to go and they did not give us any salsa. We won't be back. We should have gone to Taco Bell where the food is better and about half the price.
2/16/10 BP: [Tacos Uruapan] closed. The new business that took over their spot (Burrito Heaven) has been open for about a month I think. I tried them for lunch today and was VERY happy. I had a very good chorizo burrito and an awesome carne asada taco. Homemade tortillas!!!
And: Sold a while back and food is slowly declining (and it was never that great to begin with). Best Chinese food in Corvallis, but that's not saying much. Suggested.
10/16/08 SE: China Delight is my favorite Chinese restaurant, hands down. They make the best Hot and Sour soup in the state. (And yes, I've eaten lots of Chinese food elsewhere.) When I was in Corvallis more often, I ate there weekly; now I'm lucky to get there once a month, but I'll drive over there just for the soup. They still remember my standard side order was: hot and sour soup, World Peace tea (which they no longer make, unfortunately), steamed rice. Just off the top of my head, they have fantastic kung pao, excellent General Tso's chicken, and marvelous Mongolian beef. And wonderful service! They always greet me by name and ask how friends I eat with are doing. I don't know where the rest of your readers have been eating or if someone was having a bad day when they visited, but good grief, they don't deserve to be panned like that.
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6/26/09 SJ: An associate was driving and picked Clodfelter's as the place for lunch with a visiting vendor. A long time native, I think she probably has romantic memories of student life. I had the BBC. Yeah, it was an okay burger, but just. Liberally seasoned with that smokiness that only comes from burned grease. Not much more to say. It's a pub. Students and ex-students hang out there. I'll give it a C+ for nostalga's sake.
And: Hamburgers are 'OK'. Definitely not the best place for a burger and beer in Corvallis, but does have sports coverage. Suggested.
Cloud and Kelly's / Downward DogCloud and Kelly's is an "Irish Pub", and was formerly know as Cloud 9. We think the current incarnation is an improvement. The Reuben is recommended. B+.
Cloud and Kelly's owns a bar next door (in the former Chippery location). The bar (named the "Downward Dog") has a warm feeling. We like the atmosphere of the bar.
4/30/12 LP: Cloud and Kelly's, formerly known as Cloud 9, is now open for lunch. Their daily happy hour goes from 2:30-7:00 as well. Our group went both on Friday for lunch, and because it was so good, on Monday as well. The Irish-inspired menu is a complete rewrite from Cloud 9, save the mac and cheese, now done in a irish cheddar sauce with bacon and peas, or just a cheese-only version, but no longer a 'rotating mac and cheese'. The decor has been redone in Irish pub style and the menu selections match that theme nicely. They sell out of the shepherd's pie often (at least, both times we've been there), but that didn't diminish the selection. I had the pulled pork sandwich with the espresso stout sauce, which was light on the sauce so you could taste the quality pulled pork, but still get the aroma and flavorings of the sauce, a winner here. I had the bangers and mash on my second visit, which seemed very popular; probably due to the two delicious sausages and flavorful gravy. The lamb burger was described as very tasty but messy. The mac-and-cheese was quite good, it was recommended to let it cool a bit at the table so the flavor of the cheese comes through stronger (don't eat it fast). The reuben was named "best reuben in town" by our reuben aficionado. The house-made corned-beef was cut thick and grilled before being put on the sandwich. Fries are seasoned nicely, and the special bacon-potato-cheese soup was very tasty with a nice toasted-cheese taste to it. In all, the menu looks great, the food was delicious and we can't wait to try more of it (full Irish breakfast next...). Prices are comparable to other lunch sit-down restaurants. The remade Cloud and Kelly's gets an 'A+' in our book, a well executed restaurant makeover where a lot of work was put into it, and it shows. Slinte!
12/30/08 BC: They just started offering beer and wine for sale and will be having live music on some evenings. They also now offer some additional "real food" breakfasts (not just pastries and quiche) and have expanded their lunch offerings. Recommended.
11/6/08 MS: You need to add coffee culture to your list of restaurants. Their food and atmosphere is fantastic. I love the KC special - grilled cheese panini and tomato bisque soup. I don't even like tomato soup - but I can't seem to get enough of it! I recently tried a Hot Buttered Rum White Mocha as suggested by one of the staff and now I am craving them!
6/13/09 PL: Hi there, I just wanted to say thank you. I am visiting Corvallis and I was craving a real down-home, slippery grease breakfast at noon. I looked online for "Corvallis Greasy Spoon" and your site was one of the top hits on Google.? I went to Darrell's today and it was exactly what I wanted, and exactly as you described.? As a side note, I noticed that they serve Freixenet splits for $3.50 (I didn't get one because it was only noon) but I am pretty sure this is a sweet deal. They sell those in restaurants in Southern Oregon for 6-7 bucks. Kind of a classy kick. Thanks again,
And: Great place for greasy diner food. If you're craving a standard US diner breakfast this is it. If not, stay away. Suggested (for what it is).
10/20/10 WT: Del Alma is top notch. The location and atmosphere sets high expectations for the dining experience and those expectations are met and exceeded. The new chef brought a brilliant latin-style menu and packs it with local fare from the farmers market and local suppliers. Seasonal emphasis. Sauces and relishes are featured and uniquely flavored. My wife and I avoid eating grains, and the menu is full of dishes we can eat. They know how to cook a rare steak and have great vegetable medleys highlighting the side dishes, which reach way beyond mashed potatoes (although those are good). Portions are generous. Service is excellent and engaging. Prices are reasonable for Corvallis fine dining. Seats are cushy. Nice to know that the bar has been raised once again in Corvallis.
10/10/10 TA: Last night, my partner and I visited del Alma for the first time and were very pleasantly surprised about our entire experience. The service was great; they greeted us right away, gave us menus to look over while we waited, and throughout the meal, our server was attentive, but didn't hover. The ambiance was great; soft lighting, intimate spaces, and the music was appropriate and just loud enough that you could hear it, but not so loud that it was distracting. Although del Alma is a bit pricey, their food was definitely worth it. They started us off with potato-rosemary bread with a white bean spread and olive tapenade. For my dinner, I had two Tapas plates - dark chocolate lamb mole with sweet cornbread ($10) and wild mushroom manchego empanadas with plum-tomato salsa ($9). The mole was one of the best I've had - very rich and complex and the flavor of the sauce went extremely well with the lamb and the sweet cornbread. The empanadas were flaky and not too greasy -- my only complaint was that I would have liked more of the tasty mushrooms. My partner had the Pollo Grellada Cubano ("Plato Grande", for $16 -- most were over $20). The chicken was smokey and the black beans had an amazingly complex flavor. I wish we'd saved room for desert; the list looked great. Very nice wine, beer, and cocktail lists, too. We'll definitely be going back!
3/6/12 BA: I've been a frequent visitor to Chowgeeks... But I don't think I've ever submitted a review. I am now. After having lunch a couple of times from La Roca and La Rockita in Corvallis (which are your recommended Mexican choices), I figured there had to be something better. Because their portions were good but I found the quality average. After seeing some good reviews about Delicias Valley Cafe, I tried them today for lunch. I'm originally from Texas and rarely find a Mexican restaurant that impresses me. This one does. The service and owners are very friendly. The chips were crisp and not greasy at all, and the salsa was amazing. For lunch, I tried their Chorizo Potatoes Enchiladas. Rice and black beans on the side. The presentation was good and the food was amazing. I'll definitely be back. I find it hard to believe that this place isn't packed at lunchtime. Maybe you could give them a solid letter grade and more folks could find out what great homemade Mexican food tastes like.
11/13/11 MR: My husband and I had breakfast there this morning and are already planning another visit. The food was delicious and very plentiful. I had the biscuits and gravy and the gravy was wonderful, probably the best I've ever had. My husband had the tamales and eggs breakfast and he loved the chicken tamales. They were definitely home-made and delicious. The service was good and the restaurant is inviting and comfortable. The lunch/dinner menu includes Mexican dishes, salads and a couple of types of fish and chips. I would definitely recommend this restaurant for a delicious, inexpensive and plentiful meal.
10/21/11 HM: This place has excellent Mexican food, including Mexican and traditional American breakfasts. Not your usual Mexican cafe-- the cook really knows what he's doing. It's open every day, from breakfast til 9 pm or so. We went with a foodie group for Sunday breakfast, and everyone raved about the food. People seriously are missing something if they haven't tried this place yet. The owners work there are really welcoming.
10/22/11 TD: Surprised to see this place hasn't made it to your site yet. [It has now, Ed] It's in the little mall on Circle, near 9th, next to the liquor store. The menu is a rather unusual mix, especially for breakfast, of conventional "American" breakfasts and Mexican specialties. The Mexican breakfasts are excellent, the Rancheros Potle is an upgraded Huevos Rancheros with a really flavorful red sauce. The Chilaquiles are also great, tortilla strips fried in a red sauce with beans, Mexican cheese and eggs over the top. Also of note is the breakfast Enchiladas, made with Chorizo, the Chorizo is really good and not greasy. The food is flavorful, but not too spicy. The service is friendly and fast. Lunch and dinner options are quite good too, and the breakfast menu is served all day. Given the relatively few options for a great breakfast in Corvallis, I'm surprised this place isn't packed on weekend mornings. We went there on the morning after a football game, and we were the only party in the restaurant.
And: It's been many years since I've eaten here (OK, it was the Beaver hut before that and I never went there). That should say enough. Not Recommended.
And: It has good chips and salsa. After that it is completely unremarkable. Not Recommended. Rating: C-.
3/8/08 BC: El Tapatio is now another El Sol de Mexico. They have always been owned by the same people. For some reason, the 9th street location has better food imho and the wait staff on Circle is never very friendly. I like El Sol's chicken mole.
And: El Tapatio is probably the most reliable Mexican restaurants in this town. You can always count on prompt, friendly service and much better than average Mexican food here. As a native Californian who has some knowledge of what good Mexican food is, El Tapatio serves at least that!
10/5/08 TR: Highly recommended for those with food allergies. My family and I visited El Sol and let them know that I was allergic to soy. They went and got their manager (a good sign) and he ended up waiting on us personally, checking every single ingredient and laying out exactly what I could and couldn't eat (no deep-fried foods, no desserts). It was a busy Friday night and they were so kind and helpful, and the food was great too
And: Not good. A bit expensive and the food is very run of the mill (or worse). Might be recommended.
And: This is one of our favorite Mexican restaurants between Corvallis and Albany. Good service, nice, relaxing atmosphere, clean, and the best chili relleno's around.
Closed on 8/31/11.
12/9/10 MS: Emmons has the best barbeque sandwiches around, and some of the best Ive had anywhere. My favorite is the pork sandwich. It has been perfect every time Ive had it. The pork is actually sliced and not pulled, served on a great pub roll. I prefer the barbeque sauce on the side, and all of theirs are really good. I love their house sauce which is a perfect blend of sweet and vinegar. You can also get them with slaw and a Carolina style vinegar sauce. They put plenty of meat on them as well. The meats are also well trimmed and lean. I have also tried the prime rib sandwich and the tri tip. Both top notch. The pastrami did not thrill me as much as the others, it was OK but not great. It is great to be able to get a 1st class barbeque sandwich in Corvallis. Most are $5 and well worth it.
12/15/08 TB: Emmons Meat market has some of the best jerky I have ever had. Our family has been buying it from them for nearly two decades and it is incredibly yummy! We send it out for gifts to friends/family who like jerky and seem to always "hint" to us if we are getting them more around Christmas or a birthday. They have samples of all their jerky so try it out and see for yourself. I have asked the owner (original owner passed away) over the years why they haven't started selling this stuff world wide on the internet but they always tell me they are happy with just doing it the way they have been since they started. Staff [are] working there that have been there for years and years it seems like. Must be a good sign they treat their folks well and probabally why their jerky is so darn good! We have purchased the smoke salmon (black pepper) too which is very good. They sell all sorts of other meat products that I would assume are top notch as well but highly recommend the jerky. They have it in pork, turkey, beef and buffalo with some rare occassions with other meats too. It is a little expensive but jerky in general is expensive so I don't think they are too out of line for the quality of jerky you get.
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11/21/11 LP: I hate it when restaurants mess with their menu so much that they destroy what made them a good restaurant in the first place. Flat Tail unfortunately did that - removing all their BBQ items from their menu so it can move them to their new 'counter service' BBQ restaurant next door. At Flat Tail, that means no more incredible brisket sandwich, no more Old South, no ribs, no more apple-bacon-blue mac (I may cry). The only thing left was the burgers - thankfully, and some new daily specials, that are highly inconsistent. I had the grilled ham and cheese special (at $6, a good lunch value). The first time it was on italian / sourdough bread that was grilled and tasted good. I got it a second time expecting a good sandwich, but it was now on ungrilled marbled rye and was not nearly as good. The wait staff have all seemed to have the attitude that "Yes, the good stuff on the menu is gone, and we're sick of hearing about it." The diners are responding, the restaurant is not nearly as busy as it used to be. I hate to say our group will likely be not-so-frequent visitors now. I'm changing my previous B+ rating, down to a C-.
9/10/10 SS: Had lunch here today with wife around 1:00 pm. Place was crowded with the downtown lunch crowd and a couple of OSU affiliated groups. The wife order a Bowl of the Smoked Chicken and Corn Stew soup with Corn Bread. The soup looked good and provided a good tasty hearty meal. The Corn Bread was bland & tasteless and did not provide a good compliment to the soup. I had the Quesadilla with Smoked Brisket and Sweet Potato Tots. This was a winning combination. The tots was not your bland frozen tots, but a freshly made variety with a unique taste. The Quesadilla was ok and satisfying, but not memorable. Service was friendly and efficient, though the food took a tad long to arrive at the table. As for a lunch recommendation, provided parking is available, I give Flat Tail a B+.
LP 2/24/10: Had lunch at the newest restaurant in the Corvallis scene. While they are having normal new restaurant issues, the service was friendly and reasonably knowledgeable about their menu, the food was very tasty, and the prices were reasonable for lunch for the quality of food. Our group got the 'old south' sandwich, very tasty pork shoulder with fixins, the 'ring of fire' sandwich, which had good flavor but was not burning hot, and the tempeh (soy) burger with bbq toppings, which had a nice flavor. One creative option for the tempeh burger was with bacon and blue cheese. I guess that's for vegetarians that eat pork? Fries were steak fries with a nice seasoning on them. I'll certainly be back for lunch at Flat Tail in the future to try other items on their bbq-leaning menu, which is a nice thing to have downtown. Rate a B+ with potential.
8/13/08 MS: Been here for the breakfast brunch a couple of times. The food is fresh and very good. You start off with a long bar a varies ^?starters^? with a good assortment of both sweet (little pastries, cookie like things, ^?) and savory (smoked salmon, cheeses, stuffed mushrooms, ^?) rounded out with fruit. After you have a selection of about six main dishes. Add to that fresh orange juice and a French press of coffee on you table and you have a good spread. I would list this as a treat for just about anyone. Highly Recommended.
11/21/11 LP: Did you know that Francesco's serves food other than their amazing gelato? Yeah, neither did I, and I'm kicking myself for the lack of knowledge. Super fresh, flavorful ingredients go into their salads, soups, cold pasta salads, and panini sandwiches - which are piled high. You can mix and match your lunch between their offerings, and it is all sold at a very affordable price for the quantity of food provided. If you still have room when you are done, you still have a choice of 20 incredible gelato flavors to choose from for dessert. Rate Francesco's an A!
6/29/09 LM: Francescos: A Probably the best gelato outside of Italy ( I'd say the best even in Italy but wouldn't want to offend). They have wonderful flavors and even offer dairy and sugar free (great for my mother-in-law's restricted diet). In particular their Pistachio is to die-for! As are the cofee and chocolate. I know this goes against the traditional way of making gelato but I wish there were some flavors that swirled in flavors or bits and pieces of cany/pastry. I know usually these added flavors sit on top and are somtimes scooped into a cup (if lucky --such as a piece of brownie or cheescake etc.,) but with the way we have become accustomed to our loaded icecream here in America it might be welcomed by many if there were a few flavors of gelato that also did this (an example/suggestion would be to swirl chocolate fudge with a vanilla cream or custard flavored icecream).
1/21/09 BR: Really tasty gelato in a rainbow of flavors. Espresso drinks are good. The surprise was the lunch menu: somewhat higher-end flavors (e.g. Tuscan Tuna) with a changing cast of cold salads. The Panini are tasty, although sometimes come out a bit cool in the center. That said, the staff has always been more than happy to rectify the situation. Nice soups as well. The decor is a bit sparse, but evokes the Italian countryside and is quite pleasant. Check out the upstairs, complete with the burbling sounds of a fountain. Highly recommended.
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SA 10/23/10: Hi, my wife and two young daughters (both under the age of 3) went to High 5 Sports Bar & Grill this past weekend to watch a MLB playoff game and grab some dinner. We had never been, and hadnt heard ANY reviews of this restaurant, positive or negative. We seated ourselves and were greeted almost immediately by one of the two bartenders who came out from behind the bar to wait on our table all the way across the dining room (they didnt have any other wait staff). He was friendly and we ordered a large Trojan pizza and an appetizer Sampler. As was expected all of the items on the sampler plate were deep fried, some tastier than others and the plate included three different dipping sauces. For our entre, the Trojan pizza was average a bit too much cheese for my taste, and without a ton of flavor all in all. To try and extend our visit (the game was only in the early innings) and to pacify our children, we also took a chance on their only dessert, the Super Bowl Brownies. It was basically a home made brownie from a box mix with ice cream and whipped cream. Our conclusion was that High 5 was a nice, clean sports bar with average food at average prices and friendly service. Not all that bad for Philomath.
Fireworks Restaurant and Bar(Formerly known as Intaba and Wildfire) Fireworks feels good, and they focus on local, organic, sustainable food. The focus of Fireworks is the hand-built wood fired "earth oven". Many items on their menu, from pizza to bread, are baked in this unit. If you sit in their outside covered seating area, you can get a good look of the cooking operation in this oven. With the new menu (see below) the food has improved. Recently we sampled several of their dishes: salmon and ahi. Both were quite good, presented nicely, and cooked right. Also, they're accomodating to dietary restrictions: we ordered some veggies with the artichoke dip appetizer in addition to the Focaccia bread because one person in our party was on a very-low-carb diet. The veggie were an extra-cost option, though. Fireworks also has gluten-free pizza options as well. Service is decent, if not a little on the slow side. Our main suggestion would be to "spruce up" the gravel parking area on the south side of the restaurant by trimming the landscaping and general cleaning up debris and equipment. With the recent improvements at Fireworks, we recommend them. A-.
As of May, 2010, Firworks has a new chef, and has reworked the menu. Their new chef is Scott Schufelt. His cooking cooking career highlights include a Harper's review fishing lodge in Alaska, a retreat in Hawaii, and a 200 seat tratoria in Burlington Vermont. Scott has revamped the entire operation, from top-to-bottom, resulting in a new menu, with more affordable prices, new pizza selections, and new "Pub Classic" sandwiches. Scott also scored the number 2 position in a recent local chef's competition.
MS 5/9/12: We tried pizza at the Fireworks and it is fantastic! We agreed that this is the best in town. It's thin crust, similar to New York style. Cooked in the wood fired oven. Toppings were of good quality and fresh tasting. I had the meat lovers and my girlfriend had a zorba the greek, with feta, spinach, kalamata olives. Both were excellent. Pies are a little expensive, $12 - $15, but worth every nickel. We've been back once a week for 3 weeks now. They pour good drinks and cocktails.
BP 8/16/10: I stopped going to Iovino's a few years ago after they moved [the first time]. The food [at the former location] was fine but wasn't wasn't worth the money. After they downsized and moved to southtown I thought I'd give them another chance for lunch this week. I'm glad I did. The lunch was fabulous and definitely worth the money. I'll be back and start taking out of towners there again for lunch. Highly recommended, at least for a sandwich.
11/1/11 YS: I finally decided to try Jack Okoles for lunch with some friends last week. It was so bad that none of us will go back. To start, we arrived at noon to find the restaurant open but not ready for customers. We had to set up our own table and chairs. I expected some island decor but found it to be stark gray concrete, wierd. There was one other group sitting down and another couple, so they place was not busy. The service was BAD. Our server could not remeber to bring us anything we asked for unless we asked four or five times. The menu looked good, there were several things I wanted to try. I ordered the crab po'boy and fries. The rest of our group ordered nachos, the traditional Hawaiian meat plate and a club house sandwich. The food took nearly an hour, one of our party had to leave to get back to work and asked for the nachos to go. She later reported that the nachos were so bad (old looking chips and velveeta cheese) that she tossed it all in the garbage. When the rest of our food arrived it was all cold, not even slightly warm. My po'boy was canned crab without an ounce of flavor. My sandwich was very cold which I thought was wierd for a po'boy. The traditional meat plate was blah and cold. Even the bacon on the club house was cold. The other group in the restaurant waited even longer than we did to get their food. They did not seem very happy either. In the end it cost us an average of $10 each for lunch. They gave us lunch club punch cards which would earn us a free lunch, but those cards will never see another punch!
8/7/07 JB: I just saw the previous review for King of Falafel (we're talking about Crystals on Monroe right) and I have to emphatically disagree. I'm not sure when Paris became the authority or originator of the falafel, and maybe if you're used to pita pit Crystal's is not for you. Anyway, their falafel sandwich is great, and its huge, all you need for a meal.
La Rokita/La Roca has excellent, authentic Oaxaca style Mexican food. The decor is somewhat lacking, but the food is good (and cheap). Good thing they don't serve beer [the 3rd & Western location now serves beer] otherwise the place would be overrun with college students. Formerly called La Roca, now named La Rockita. Highly Recommended. Rating: A.
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7/8/08 BC: They are open and even better than they were in their old location! Located in the Richie's Market area, they did a nice job of taking a crummy shopping center storefront and creating a nice cafe ambiance. Their croissants are wonderful, a bit pricey but this should not be an everyday indulgence anyhow! I am looking forward to trying one of their specialty cakes for an upcoming birthday.
2/10/2011 RD: Our family has liked Local Boyz for years - except for this last trip and I do mean last trip. The place has good food but this time they got one of the orders wrong, no big deal. I politely tried to point this out the girl who took our order but she rudely cut me off stating I wrote the order down that way so it has to be correct and then she dismissed me! Im 53 years old and havent been dismissed ever in my life. She had quite a set of cojones especially after I had just paid $40 for an incorrect meal. I could have gotten in an argument but who can argue with a child, so we are doing the next best thing and voting with our feet and wallets. We will not go back and I urge everyone not to eat there unless they want a side of insult to go along with the food you obviously cant order correctly. Quite a big loss for Local Boyz over a scoop of rice!
12/30/08 BC: I'd like to commend them for changing to use all biodegradable to-go containers and utensils. They may not be heart smart but they are environmentally friendly!
And: In the mood for some meat? This is the place for you. Cheap, quick and guaranteed to make you sleepy after lunch. The 5a and 7a are good bets for first timers.
6/10 SS: Just had dinner at Luc for the first time, and it was amazing! We stumbled upon it after a friend mentioned that there was a new place in town near Madison, and we are glad to have found it. Delicious, high-quality food at a fairly reasonable price with excellent service. The steak was wonderful, but the caramelized onions really pulled the plate together and made it out of this world. Same for the California sea bass, served with a wonderful tomato coulis that was just the perfect amount of spicy, and paired with Israeli couscous. Great ambiance, decor, and service to complete the experience. Add the cinnamon creme brulee, and it was the best meal we've had in Corvallis yet. Highly recommended!
5/1/12 OB: We have been going here since we first moved here two years ago. Loved the cocktails, dim sum, and friendly, professional service from the bartender. However after our experience there last night we will never be going back. Beside sub par service (we can live with that occasionally), the dim sum that we have been getting regularly was terrible...the tuna tartare was bland and pursed to a pulp, the emu carpaccio was cooked and was maybe, maybe a half an ounce of meat. The cabbage they use for garnish is usually dressed but instead it was dry and flavorless. We split a duck entree because we love it so much. It was presented ok but once we started eating it we both commented on how bland everything was. Especially the sauce. We had both just had duck in Bend two nights before, so we were really disappointed that this dish didn't even hold a candle. It wasn't until I looked closer at the meat (about halfway through) hat I realized we were eating beef. It was gray around the edges, stringy, and, well, tasted like beef. I felt like we had been had. I reserved a few pieces (would have been more but my husband has to clean his plate) to show the server. When I asked about it he seemed confused but said he would ask the kitchen. He came back and said that yes it was duck. He also said the owner, Kimber was back there and confirmed it was duck. I can't believe that when given the opportunity to fess up they didn't at least try to say it was a mistake. Let me be clear that I am a chef and know what duck tastes and looks like...and that wasn't it. I really liked going to Magenta for the atmosphere and cocktails but I don't feel like I should give them my business any more if they are pulling that kind of crap. So disappointing...and to top it off it was my birthday.
10/21/11 SL: Visiting Corvallis for the weekend. Wonderfully appealing menu posted in window. Pleasantly surprised to be presented with a tapas menu, and had a hard time deciding from extensive list. Food was OK. Salad was fine, fried salmon very strong, fishy taste; rice and cheese balls mediocre. All of this would have been tolerable, but my server basically took my order, delivered my food, and took my money. Never inquired how things were or asked if I would care for anthing else. Disappointed, might try one more time.
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1/23/12 FA: I've been going here for a couple years & thought I should give it a review! It deserves it! The lunch buffet is varied and has always been fresh. I've gone at slightly off times & the buffet food was hot & delicious. It's not huge but it has a nice mixture of items. It includes 3 desserts as well! I believe they have a dinner buffet now too which I can only imagine is fantastic. The staff is outstandinglyg nice & helpful. They make recommendations of items that go well together. For instance I ordered veggie korma & chicken tikka masala (both SO tasty but both creamy) & he kindly recommended I try a vindaloo because it blended better with the korma. Tried the lamb vindaloo - spicy & super good. They will also adjust spiciness to your preference. The lamb naan is also a MUST try. The prices are reasonable (slightly less than Evergreen I believe). The atmosphere is not super ethnic but they have nice place settings and serve water in wine type glasses - a nice touch (except for when small children are involved ha!). Always very clean as well. I went in for an order to go on a cold rainy day & instead of having us wait in the lobby he invited us to a table & gave me a free hot chai. And one time they threw in a free appetizer with my to go order. That is not to say you will always get free items, but they really want their customers to be happy. Definitely try this wonderful place! Now if they would just open a place in Albany!
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1/16/08 BN: I would like to suggest upgrading the rating for Mexico Lindo from "somewhat recommended" to "recommended". Mexico Lindo, and it's sister restaurant Ixtapa in Philomath, are two of my family's favorite restaurants. Their food is fresh and tasty, their service is fast and friendly, and their prices are very reasonable. They do have some "zesty" choices if that's what you're looking for, but also offer milder dishes for those of us that appreciate things not quite so spicy.
[Ed Note: Wow, what a review. Even though it's "flowery" it is based on fact. Murphy's is good, but it's not fine dining. It also tends to be a younger crowd] 3/10/09 DD: Murphy's Restaurant and Lounge! If you are similar to me, you are sometimes indecisive about what to eat in Corvallis, being a small city the choices are limited and become repetitive with the franchise cookie-cutter restaurants. You have probably driven the city streets and tried every restaurant and fast food establishment, and still, you crave a satisfying meal in good company. Murphy's is the place you have been seeking. At first sight, Murphy's does not seem like an exciting and tasteful place to be. Trust me, you are wrong, take the opportunity to see what Murphy^?s has to offer. You will find me there every day they are open. Newcomers are always welcome here. I am guessing you want to hear about the food. I personally have had nearly everything on the menu. I have not come across an appetizer, side, wrap, burger, or entre that I did not love. There are fresh and creative specials each day. The soup is fresh and different each day. The dinner menu is superb. You will find something you like with the selection they offer; they have something for all tastes. Wings, southwest eggrolls, onion rings, fries, crab dip, whipped potatoes, prawns, dessert, burgers how you want it, wraps, prime rib sandwich with au jus, daily soup, dinner salads, Mediterranean inspired pastas, fresh seafood, poultry (I suggest the chicken bombay satay), baby back ribs, rib eye steak, pork chops (the house favorite), prime rib, and much more. Do not Miss the summer barbeques! Enjoy an expanded menu on Thursdays. Enjoy the best Barbeque in town, so good at times there is standing room only; trust me I do not exaggerate. Corn bread, potatoes, vegetables, seafood, chicken, beef, pulled pork, and brisket. If you enjoy wine with your dinner, they offer an excellent selection wines including Cabernet, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Zinfandel, Pinot Grigio, and Riesling from La Terre, Eola Hills, and Chateau St. Michelle by the glass or bottle. If you want, you can choose from the 15-20, local and imported beers and micros by the pint or bottle including Budweiser, Coors, Pabst, Widmere, Calapooia, Oakshire, Deschutes, Kona, Cascade Lakes,Fearless, Ninkasi, Guinness, Rogue, Corona, and Heineken. The bar at Murphy^?s is the place to be. Between the shots, drinks, and laughs, you will keep coming back time and time again. If you are looking for something in particular or a seasonal beer, just ask the bar tenders, they will not do you wrong. The staff at Murphy's is dedicated to excellence in service. They take pride in how friendly, quick, precise, and fair their service is. The bartenders are the best you will ever meet. You can come and play pool (billiards), the lottery, foosball, reserve a party, trivia with prizes on Wednesdays for the sharper minds in the crowd, and enjoy sports on more than 10 televisions. Dull moments do not exist at Murphy's. You will have a great time. They are open Tuesday through Saturday; typical hours are 3:00pm to 11:00pm or Midnight. I highly recommend Murphy's to anyone who asks about the best food and atmosphere in Corvallis.
10/5/08 HM: Yuuuummmyyyyy! Best sandwich I have had in Corvallis by far. Huge portions. Very friendly staff. Highly recommended.
10/1/08 ST: Not suggested for those with food allergies or wanting to keep anything out of their meal besides meat. After being diagnosed with an allergy to soy, trying to find restaurants that can accomodate my special dietary needs has been a challenge and NN's has unfortunately been one of the worst restaurants out there for me. I assumed that since the staff was so good at keeping meat out of a meal that they might be sensitive to other dietary restrictions, but sadly I was wrong. After making it very clear to the cashier that I was allergic to soy, asking him to check with the chef's (which did happen, he yelled back "is there any soy in the fakin' bakin burger?" To which someone barked back "No!") and having him guarantee me that the fakin' bakin burger had no soy, I blindly believed him and ordered. After getting sick that night I called and confirmed that there was soy in the mayonnaise, bread, chips (soy oil) and margarine used. I e-mailed them to ask the manager if she had any soy-free recommendations for me from their menu, to which she replied "We have many options, just make it very clear to the cashier that you are allergic to soy." I pressed further for specific menu items, and never heard back from her. I had already become increasingly annoyed with NN's policy of absolutely no substitutions (wasteful when you don't particularly want half a plate of plain black beans and would actually eat a side salad) and having gone in there a couple of times around 5/5:15 with my hungry, cranky, picky toddler and having them tell me that I couldn't order pasta until 5:30 - really? You can't possibly boil a pot of water 15 minutes early? Personally I am done with Nearly Normal's, which is unfortunate 'cause I really appreciate the overall idea of the restaurant and am grateful for a pure vegetarian place to eat.
3/8/08 BC: Normal's has so many great choices, it is hard to choose what to order! The food is always so fresh and the outdoor area is great in good weather. If you go for lunch arrive pre-noon as you wait in line to order before you sit down and the line can be long. Be sure to check the specials board as that is where you find the best dishes. I love the Guido's Italian (a "not-meatball" sandwich), the Tofu Potato platter and the mini shepherd's banquest a lot (salad, soup and bread)
And, another point of view: Good place for a vegi sandwich (the Mighty Meatless), other than that the food is very run of the mill. Also has the downside of only serving Oregon Trail beer on tap (though I appreciate the alliance from a community perspective). Suggested.
And: My wife and I love to go to Old World Deli. Their sandwiches are a good value for the money. The chili is hearty and the soups are flavorful. We also like the atmosphere and go to many of the events held there. We especially like the Ginseng Porter. I would highly recommend them if you're looking for a reasonably-priced sandwich place.
1/21/09 BR: OK, at Potters there's no seating. There's also no better value for a sandwich to take back to work with you (or, if the weather cooperates, to the riverfront). They use quality meats (sliced on the premises), offer numerous vegetable toppings, and the sandwiches are HUGE. I'll often order a club and eat half for lunch and half for dinner. I recommend the club with all the veggies (but kraut) on whole wheat. The pastrami is killer. And the price for a soda can't be beat. Highly recommended.
TD 11/20/10: At last, a Chinese restaurant in Corvallis with food on par with what I've had in the Bay Area. And at reasonable prices. For the most part, the menu looks like standard American Chinese fare, but the food is so much better than average. They make their own Wonton, and their Wonton soup is simply to die for, great texture, subtle ginger flavor in the chicken filling, way better than the usual bulk frozen Wonton. Same with the sliced BBQ Pork, they make their own, and their own dumplings as well. Their stir-fries are uniformly excellent, veggies cooked but still crisp, flavorful sauces that compliment but don't overwhelm the ingredients, and decent portions. The Cantonese Pan Fried Noodles is a favorite of mine, the noodles are fried until they form a crust on the bottom, still soft on the inside, then smothered in a spicy sauce with shrimp, scallops, chicken, beef and lots of veggies. I've seen some criticism of the service in other reviews, but it has always been fast and very friendly when we've been there. I can honestly recommend Queen's Chopstick as the best Chinese food in Corvallis.
WW 11/16/10: Ordered Queen's Chopsticks for take out around 3:45. There was only one customer while I was waiting. I went in to place my order. Ordered the Lo Mein w/ Tofu and General Tso's Chicken. My order was done in about 5 minutes. I was really impressed. The chicken's flavor was bland, but I liked that it was served with broccoli. The lo mein had a baby corn, water chestnuts, snow peas, carrots, and bamboo shoots. The lo main was seasoned perfectly, but there were some charred pieces of noodles. Overall I give it a C+. Shanghai Wok is still my favorite.
HM 11/15/10: We were at The Queen's Chopstick early Sunday evening at the same time when the reviewer who posted the very negative review was. We were already seated when a succession of two large groups of 8 and 10 arrived. The waitresses moved tables and chairs to accommodate the people. Anyway, our experience was fine: our food was piping hot, absolutely delicious, and arrived quickly, and in the right timing after finishing each course. Our waitress, the same one who waited on the disgruntled table, did her usual friendly and efficient job for us, despite the onslaught. It is good to remember that everyone is allowed a mistake now and then, especially when under extra demands. We love this restaurant, and the service has always been excellent and very friendly.
DD 11/14/10: We came to Queens Chopstick on a Sunday(11/14/2010) around 5:45pm. We were sat pretty quickly but we were not told about any sort of wait or slowness. The place was at about 50% full. After we ordered a table of 10 were sat behind us. After 35 minutes of waiting with NO communication from our waitress the table behind us is brought out their food. The table next to us who had already ordered and had been sitting waiting for food also had not been brought food. Another 10 minutes pass and they brought out food for the other table but they brought out the wrong food. They had brought out a mix of my tables food and their tables food. They took my tables food back to the kitchen and brought out one plate at a time to the other table over the next 5 minutes. They then brought me my food (all I ordered was chicken fried rice) and even though I ordered it as a entree they brought out plates and set it in the middle of the table for us to share. I spoke with the waitress about when our table would get the rest of the food she said anytime. We then waited another 15 minutes for the other people at my table to get their food but they brought out 2 of them and we were left with 3 of us with food and one of us still waiting. 3 minutes later they brought out his food. The food was less than amazing for their avg 9.50 a plate prices. One of us ordered Beef and Tomatoes and it came with uncooked tomatoes in a SOUP of sweet & sour sauce. The chicken fried rice was mildly cold by the time the rest of my companions food had made it to the table. The food came with no sides other than the smallest cup of white rice that wasn't even well made white rice as it wasn't even that hot. We asked to speak to the manager when we got our ticket that was $43.xx and they gave us some of the worst explanation and told us "We got busy and are understaffed and the owner isn't here to help. I also can't speak to the cooks so they are just doing whatever they are doing because of a language barrier." This was also on their ! "Grand O pening" weekend as the sign outside the restaurant said. I told her that even with slow service the fact other tables were severed before us and that our tables food wasn't even brought out together is not acceptable. She again asked what she could do and offered to give us a discount. She gave us a WHOOPING 10% discount that wasn't even applied correctly. The discount was for 3.59 when the total bill was 43.xx. 10% of $43 is $4.30 . This being said I DO NOT recommend anyone to go here their service is the WORST I have had in Corvallis.
HM 11/10/10: The Queen's Chopstick has greatly improved the Corvallis food scene. Everything we've eaten there has been good, for example, the sesame shrimp, anything made with their garlic sauce, Cantonese noodles with home made lean BBQ pork, the seaweed salad, and sizzling rice seafood soup. It's very pleasant and friendly. This is now our favorite Corvallis restaurant.
11/8/10 LP: Went to lunch at the newest Chinese restaurant in town, Queen's Chopstick in the Winco mall. I had the General Tso's chicken, with fried rice and soup off their lunch special. An interesting touch on the soup - the egg drop soup has the typical peas and carrots, but also added mushrooms and bamboo shoots. The lunch portiions were good and the food was very tasty. One co-diner described the sauce on the General Tso's as a pleasant combination of sesame oil and napalm. It was quite hot, but very flavorful. I tried some of the sesame chicken as well. Unlike most Chinese restaurants, it was not coated in 'brown sauce', but rather had a red glaze of some sort that was very flavorful. This is definitely not the typical Corvallis Chinese bland food. Service was quick and friendly, and the restaurant was still busy for lunch when we left at 1:00.
11/5/10 PR: Might be the best Chinese food in Corvallis and they have barely been open a week. If you are looking for bland food (like half the Chinese food in Corvallis), this is not the place for you. My wife and I got a pair of Appetizers (Crab Rangoon and Dumplings) and a pair of entres (General Tso's Chicken and Sesame Chicken). To begin with, the Crab Rangoon arrived at our table just a couple minutes after we ordered and was delicious. Crab Rangoon normally isn't something that impresses me much, even though I rather enjoy it (not too complicated of dish nor do they normally have that much of a depth of flavors). But after a few mediocre Crab Rangoons in Corvallis leaving me mostly disappointed, I was rather pleased with this one. The dumplings arrived to our table shortly after being done with the Crab Rangoon, so the timing was perfect. The dumplings were excellent. When our entres arrived, it looked wonderful. I normally judge a Chinese restaurant by its General Tso's Chicken and this one met the mark wonderfully. It had a nice heat to it and the chicken was perfectly crunchy on the outside and juicy inside. This may have been the best cooked chicken in a General Tso's that I have had before. Good flavor and full of it, with a perfect texture. I will order this again in the future. We had read from reviews on #$@! that people recommended the Sesame Chicken so we tried that as our second entre (my wife and I like to order two things together and split them both). The Sesame Chicken exceeded our expectations. It got rave reviews and was even better. It was paired with steamed asparagus, something I hadn't seen before in a Chinese restaurant, but the flavors went well together. The price was reasonable, with most en-trees on the dinner menu between $8-12. Appetizers ranged from $4 to $7 with a $10 sampler. Good variety, and we plan to try many more. Service was great. They were quick to refill a glass, but didn't hover. Their lunch special is only $6.50 and features 1 of 13 entres, choice of soup and steamed or fried rice. Haven't been there for lunch yet, so I don't know the portions, but the dinner portions were large enough that my wife and I each have a lunch's worth of leftovers from dinner of 2 entres and 2 appetizers. Overall a great Chinese experience and will be going back often. My wife and I had been searching for a good Chinese restaurant in Corvallis since we moved here and had been rather disappointed...until tonight. A+
This restaurant operated in the former Michael's Landing location after
they closed. Terminus is now in that building. See the Terminus listing for
Riverview Mongolian Grill
Your average Mongolian grill (you fill up a bowl of chow, and they cook
Riverview is somewhat recommended.
3/8/08 BC: Average Mongolian place but great if you or one of your dining companions is on a diet as the only high calorie thing is some of the sauces and you get to be in control of that!
And: Good place to go if Local Boys didn't fill you up. Seriously though, I have not been here is years. A fairly standard "Mongolian grill" (all you can eat, assemble it yourself stir fry). Suggested.
9/7/11 PN: [Ed note: I'm not sure if we made the best journalistic ethical decisions in "printing" this review. But, Sada *is* good. However, there are certainly establishments with an hour or so drive that are better.]
We LOVE Sada's (and Sada himself, for that matter). We have frequented the restaurant scene in Corvallis for the past 8 years and have found it to be, well, haphazard at best. Sometimes inspiring, more often merely acceptable. Sada's is sublime. His sushi is the freshest, most flavorfully-prepared we've had. We and friends have sampled the kitchen's dinner offerings and found them equal to the quality of the sushi. Sam (pronounced "Sahm") runs the kitchen and prepares whatever you order with a beautiful flair and presentation. He put together some mackerel for us that changed my opinion of the possibilities of oily fish forever. I can't wait to have it again! The lunch menu, although it is a *lunch* menu, has been tried by us and friends from top to bottom and never found wanting - even the green tea, hot or cold, is exceptional. We give it our personal 4 stars (unless you allow 5 stars, in which case, please upgrade). Oh! I can't believe I almost forgot. Sada's sake list is to die for. Order from the Ginjo and Daiginjo sections with complete confidence (except skip the "gold flake" sake - unless gold is what you want instead of sake). The flavor descriptions are beautifully accurate, the flavors themselves are wonderful. Altogether we are very, very grateful that Sada's has made a home in Corvallis.
8/22/11 RB: You have to try our new sushi place on the riverfront in Corvallis. The owner Sada, has been my favorite sushi chef of all. I use to drive over for years just to eat at his establishments and he would always remember my name when i walked in the door. His food is creative and always fresh. You will find Sada's new eatery on the river front under Aqua's. Eat Raw!
8/16/11 LP: Had lunch at Sada, in the former Terzo location at the Water Street Market building. They did a nice job redecorating the space, it was kind of a shock walking in after going there often as Terzo, but the seating made it so the restaurant was not loud, which was nice. For food, I had the bento box with teriyaki chicken and tempura shrimp / vegetables. It was very tasty - the tempura veggies were a nice texture. Other tablemates had the sushi lunch special and the lunch rice bowl with tempura. Overall, everyone was very complimentary about the food. They are having typical new-restaurant things - wait staff being unaware of what the specials were or what comes with what. That'll get worked out soon, and didn't detract from the experience. I'll have to go back for a deeper sushi experience for dinner. Rate an A for the food, and the prices were good for the quantity of food received.
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12/17/07 SC: Just wanted to throw out an update on Sharon's Cafe in South Corvallis--They've expanded into twice the space so waiting isn't a problem any more. The staff seems just as efficient, the food just as diner-food good.
7/30/10 TK: Thai Chili Restaurant: I love Thai Chili. The food is always good, although it takes a long, long time to get your food. The wait staff is quite pleasant. We really enjoy the Mieng- Khum appetizer (lettuce leaf with lime, red onion, toasted coconut, cashew and tamarind sauce). I almost always order the cashew nut chicken, and its always delicious. They are also really good at substituting out the onions and including broccoli (without extra charge, which is nice!). The other dishes Ive tried have also been very tasty! Generally better to eat-in than to get to go. I highly recommend, if you arent in a hurry. A
1/31/10 MA: And it's damn good - not the best I've had in the world (I lived in Thailand for a year) but better than many, particularly the alternative in town. Cheap, friendly, and not afraid to flavor their dishes. Highly recommended.
And: Yes it is a tavern, but that doesn;t mean they don't have good pub food (and if Clodfelter's and McMenamin's makes the list, it should too). Best place in town for a burger and beer. The Chicken Little (Chicken breast with shredded cabbage and hoisin sauce) is tasty as well. Cheap, good bar food. No credit cards. Highly Recommended.
And: MS 10/17/2007: Squirrel's. Squirrel's burgers are way better than average. They are the best around, and some of the best I've had anywhere. They are a hand made patty, not a pressed food service disk. They come with cheddar, Swiss or provolone. My friend says they have the best Rueben around too, although I haven't tried one cause I can't seem to order anything but the burgers. I agree that the fries would be better twice cooked, but I still like them and get them every time.
7/28/09 CJ: As a relatively new transplant to Oregon (3 years) from Southern California, I've been jonezin' for good Mexican food for a while. Up until now, the best I've found locally is Tacos Uruapan, but their distance and hours, plus the fact that they dropped carnitas from their menu, have kept it from being a regular haunt. Amador's Alley in Independence and Luis' in Woodburn have been of occasional help. I've never been impressed by La Rockita and the corporate Qdoba and Chipotle are just rice heavy imitations. Thankfully, Taqueria Alonzo just opened in the old Marzini's spot on Kings and I couldn't be happier. If you know what the typical L.A. mom n' pop Mexican restaurant is like, you'll feel right at home. Not too much in the way of decor, but the watermelon ice, the weekend menudo and the chiclets for sale at the counter smacked of authenticity. I had the 3 tacos combo with beef, chicken and carnitas. My wife had the vegetarian taco plate and my son had a regular carnitas burrito. Total tab was $21 and the food was excellent! The chicken had a very flavorful marinade and the carnitas was as good as any I've had outside of Mexico. Even their chips were good. For those who care, I believe the frijoles had lard, but am not sure. This is their third restaurant with one in Albany and Dos Arbolitos in Lebanon. If you are familiar with either of these places, you'll know what to expect. I wish them great success as our default "I don't want to cook, let's get some Mexican" had become Baja Fresh and believe me, I have grown very tired of it. They also serve beer, wine and margaritas and are open for breakfast (gotta get me some of their huevos rancheros soon. Their hours (for now) are 9AM to 1AM daily.
5/16/08: AB: The food here is quite good. No, it's not 'authentic,' but it is worth trying to find a parking place for. The decor is pleasant and the service good. It can get a bit loud when they're busy, but isn't that the sign of a good restaurant? I have several friends who don't enjoy spicy food, and the menu is diverse enough that they can find something to satisfy them as well. They are also good about making adjustments to dishes as requested (leaving out the peanuts). I've enjoyed experimenting with the different meat variations they offer for some of their dishes.They have some of the best Pad Thai that I've had, in several countries. Other dishes I would recommend: black curry with squid and asparagus, Num Tok- very spicy grilled beef salad, glass noodle soup, mussman curry- chicken and potatoes with coconut milk, the grilled chicken with spicy honey sauce, and the crispy fish with chili sauce. If you are looking for a decent Thai meal, then I would High Recommend the Tarn Tip.
CJ 1/16/12: I recently went to Terminus for the first time for lunch and was pleasantly surprised. I had read the reviews and talked with others that had gone and wasn't quite sure what to expect..but the service was good, friendly and prompt. The food was appealing and fresh. My husband had the culinary week special of Chicken Tagine and I had the Chicken Schwarma. We also ordered the pomme frittes which were wonderful. The only criticism would be that I thought both dishes could have used a little more seasoning or flavor. Overall I was happy with the experience and we will try them again
YS 11/13/11: My husband and I tried Terminus for the first time this weekend and we were pleased. We made reservations as was recommended for Friday night. There were plenty of people there, but we probably did not need the reservation. We were anxious to see the drink menu since there is a lot of hype about Chris the bartender. The drink menu was very interesting, heavy on bourbon, gin, and whiskey type drinks. Light on the popular flavored vodka type drinks. I tried "Stars At First Blush" (Goslings Black Seal rum, cherry liqueur, lemon infused sweet vermouth, absinthe, angostura and cherry bitters). Initially it was very cough syrup like but then you began to taste to cool licorice flavor of the absinthe. My husband ordered the "Pearl Rabbit" (Earl Grey infused cognac, house triple sec, lemon, almond extract, vanilla sugar rim). Both drinks were quite delicious, complex and unusual. Each drink was about $7.50. We shared the Baked Goat Cheese Salad ($9), which we enjoyed. The salad was small and came with two pieces of bread with a dollop of goat cheese on each one. For dinner, I had the artichoke ravioli ($13). It was four good sized ravioli's stuffed with spinich and cheese. It was in a red bell pepper sauce. The sauce was okay, it defintitly tasted like bell pepper. I thought there was a little too much of it on the plate, but that was not a problem. My husband ordered the calamari steak ($13), which we were very interested in. The steak came on jasmine rice and it had great flavor. Again the portion was quite small. We attempted to order another drink when we saw the impressive Harvest Bloody Mary go by, however they were out of bloody mary mix. It was still early in the evening so that was a bummer. The service was good. Our waitress was knowledgeable about the items on the menu and we asked a few questions while deciding. On the other hand, while we were paying our check we heard her telling another table about the nightly specials which she never mentioned to us. Overall it was a good experience. The portions are small but reasonable priced. We will try it again.
AC 8/31/11: We returned to Terminus a week after our first visit. What a difference a week made! It makes me happy to be able to say that the service was excellent, the food beautifully presented and delicious. Thanks, Terminus!
BJ 8/19/11: Three of my friends and I go regularly out to lunch downtown and decided to give Terminus a try today (8/19/2011). Hands down, all four of us agreed it was the best lunch we'd had to date. Between the four of us we tried four entrees (Meat Pasty, Terminus Burger, House Pizza and Chicken Satay) and two desserts (Queen of Sheba Cake and Marionberry Cobbler). The quality of food was absolutely outstanding, and the waitress we had (kudos to Brittany, top notch!) was very friendly without being overbearing. Our drinks were filled nearly the instant we emptied them. It took us a little longer than usual, but had we not indulged in dessert it would have been close to our normal hour-fifteen (we were almost two hours from leaving our building, being seated, served and driving back to work). The food presentation was excellent, the service was excellent, the interior was clean and charming - four picky eaters highly recommend this restaurant!
AC 8/15/11: My husband and I, along with another couple, had dinner at Terminus on Saturday evening. Same great location and view as Michael's Landing! The dining room is on its way to being spiffed up, but from where I sat, it looked like it needed a good cleaning. After we'd been nursing our drinks for at least 45 minutes, the waitress brought us five slices of baguette with a dab of butter and three plates. Our dinner took a LONG time to arrive, maybe another 20 minutes. I ordered the potato napoleon and my husband ordered the vegetable pasty, both of which we very small, with no sides. The napoleon was dry and bland and was in serious need of a sauce. Our friends ordered more substantial entrees and were happy. The desserts (creme brulee, marionberry cobbler and Queen of Sheba cake) were tasty but disproportionately large. The service was erratic, to say the least. No apologies for the delay, no warning that there would be any delay. Our wait person seemed like she was trying out for the role of "charming bistro waitress" in a French movie, which is to say that she was a bit weird and very awkward. Considering that the restaurant has been open for only a week or so, we will go again.
They seem to not understand one of the golden rules: feed the kids first, at all costs. As one recent diner says: "Duh!".
If you want a somewhat pricey Teppenyaki with bad service, go there. As usuall, lunch prices are quite a bit lower. Based on our experiences and the reviews we have recevied, Tokyo Steakhouse is not recommended. D+.
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1/16/2011 CG: Second and last visit. I eat sushi often, in many places, and have never been as disappointed with sushi as I was last night. We ordered 6 rolls and 6 nigiri sushi. Quality ranged from ok to nearly inedible. At the low end was the spicy tuna roll which is a roll filled with pureed tuna(?). The texture is awful - my wife couldn't get beyond the initial taste.
Tommy's reopened in 2011 after a fire. The food is mediocre, and so is the atmosphere. There are better choices nearby. C-.
8/3/11 HD: We ate dinner Tommys last week for the first time, tempted by the article in the Weekender that said a lot of the food was made from scratch. I ordered clam chowder, pork chops, garlic mashed potatoes and the veggie of the day was corn. The chowder was good. The chops were maybe 1/8th of an inch thick, dry and were like chewing on leather. I asked before I ordered if the potatoes were fresh and was told yes. They were instant, did not taste of garlic (maybe they didn't sprinkle enough garlic powder in them). The corn was boiled to death and soggy. I sent the plate back. My husband ordered meat loaf. It was decent but covered by instant brown gravy along with the instant potatoes. What a disappointment! Needless to say we will not be going back.
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And: OK pizza. Favorite for the after softball crowd. Suggested.
And: What can I say? Great pizza, lots of toppings, nice crust, both white and whole wheat.
7/20/09 RK: Oh, and I would add my (B) recommended to your recommendation of Young's Kitchen.