Salem, Oregon

I was last there over 20 years ago, and my most vivid memory is that it is the last time I had Jagermeister. (I also recall that the Jager spontaneously ejected at some point, and it was the last time I had Jagermeister.) So, now with that taste long gone, is there any tasty chow in/around town? We’re going for the eclipse in August and expect that the city will be packed, so I’d make an reservation if there are worthy selections.

If you want to up your game, try Goldschlager.

If ejected, at least you get sparkles.


I’m going to revive this in the unlikely event that someone has a useful suggestion :wink:

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Now that we’ve been, here’s what we ate, with a preface. The city center was packed with people from all over. We decided to have a light lunch as it was already getting a bit later, and then a real dinner. Many cafes were full with people waiting outside for a seat. We finally settled on the Taproot Café. What a joke. They were woefully understaffed. “Seat yourself” sign, so we did. It took about a half hour before the table was cleared from the prior patrons’ visit. But there weren’t a lot of options around, and we had a place to sit. We ordered a turkey hoagie with tortilla chips, with 2 glasses of an Oregon white wine.

We should have gone to Subway.

Eventually this pathetic little sandwich came, not one that you’d expect from a cozy local eclectic cafe (which has 4 yelp stars), but rather, one that looked like it just came from an emergency purchase from a 24 hour convenience store. They then forgot the wine, and then remembered and brought one glass. They then forgot we had ordered two. I decided to just enjoy the fact that this was a very low calorie lunch instead of thinking that we just wasted an hour. I could have forgiven how slammed they were on perhaps the busiest day in their history but for receiving what they served.

I then decided to look on Open Table to insure we had a place to eat at a time certain. We then walked around, and stopped at the 1859 Cider Co., which was a worthwhile visit. Only 1 guy was working when we arrived, and he was slammed. I just couldn’t figure out that these places didn’t try and staff a bit more (unless no one was available) because this was all anticipated. Nonetheless, the ciders were good to excellent. I particularly liked the Impeachment Cider, which had on the ingredient list, Covfefe, sourced from DC. “We used the largest peaches in the history of the world to make this cider.” We spent quite a while here, talked with various eclipse tourists from various places, and enjoyed ourselves. I’d return in a minute when it is less crowded and I can learn more about what I’m drinking.

After more walking around, it was time for the dinner reservation. There were only 4 places available on OT when I had checked, and two were steak homes.

We ate at Amadeus, a “Fork to Mouth” restaurant. Busy as they were, they had things under control. And a bonus - they usually aren’t open on Sunday, but on this special Sunday they were, with the Happy Hour menu available all evening. We decided to sample several things from that menu, with some happy hour wine (which was fine enough).

(1) Summer Poutine- Crispy shoestring fries baked in the oven with Oregon tomatoes, Burrata mozzarella, fresh basil and balsamic.
(2) Bruschetta Pizza– Thin crust topped with an asiago cheese spread, tomato, onion, bacon, Monterey Jack cheese and a balsamic reduction.
(3) 1/2 order of Painted Hills Brisket– Our famous smoked brisket, shredded and tossed in an Ancho chile cream over polenta.
(4) Fish Tacos- Battered Alaskan cod, shrimp ceviche, lemon aioli.

We liked everything, and while eating the brisket over polenta, couldn’t figure out the familiar flavor. I thought it was a bit too sweet, but there was this “I’ve eaten this before” taste. Indeed, we finally concluded it tasted like a Taco Bell taco, in a good way. Attractive space, great hostess (owner). Server was ok. I’d return if I find myself in Salem again.

In the morning, we had planned to go to a coffee shop near the hotel, but weren’t particularly hungry. I went downstairs to the “complimentary continental breakfast” and other than the coffee, the only thing that looked even semi-edible was the bread, of which I toasted two slices, and we each ate one, and then watched the sun disappear, deciding to get out of town quickly afterward and eat at PDX, so unfortunately, that is the end of the Salem food report.