I’m a big fan of Astoria, Oregon.
I’m not sure why exactly. Well, I did get married there, so I’m sure that has something to do with it, but the reason we even picked Astoria in the first place is that it’s just a cool little town. It’s a bit rough around the edges (although, less so since cruise ships dock there now) but it’s still very quirky. Beautiful. Strange. And sometimes even sunny. Okay. I guess that’s why.
On this recent trip, we rediscovered a restaurant that we both thought we didn’t like very much and tried a new one that we liked right away.
#1 12th Street
Astoria, OR 97103
So yeah, Baked Alaska. We actually first tried it a number of years ago, when we were looking for catering options and had a very disappointing lunch there. We gave it another try this last time we were in town (after not setting foot in the place for about five years) and hey, it was solidly good meal.
We started with calamari, because I have a calamari clause built in to all my dining out activities, and it came with an awesome spicy mint dipping sauce. The Caesar salad was quite tasty and liberally dressed (which is a bonus to me), with a large, seeded, toasty cracker standing in for the usual croutons. So far, so good, Baked Alaska.
For the main event, it was the Ranch And Ocean: a seven ounce natural beef top sirloin, flame broiled, with pancetta wrapped wild prawns and a bourbon demi-glace. Now, that’s a very unlike-me thing to order but it was still excellent. It even came with a basil-y, quinoa pilaf on the side (bonus quinoa points!). jwa had some sort of not very photogenic, healthy piece of fish, because he does that when we eat out sometimes.
After dinner, we were treated to an amazing sunset and then a full moon as walked along the Astoria Riverwalk. I snapped pictures like a person who had just gotten a new camera (because I just had.)
Blue Scorcher Bakery & Cafe
1493 Duane Street
Astoria, Oregon 97103
The next morning, in need of coffee and food, we wandered up to the Blue Scorcher Bakery and Cafe, which is a place we’ve passed many times but never, it seemed, when they were open. This visit however…score. There’s a bit of wait for the food (it was Sunday late morning, after all), but the coffee was good and there were homemade muffins to split at the table.
When our order did come out, it was hot and satisfying — eggs, freshly baked bread toasted and a sauteed greens dish for jwa and a hippie-riff on huevos rancheros for me. It was a pleasant place to hang out and have breakfast. It’s the kind of place where, if I lived in Astoria, I’d want to be a regular. Blue Scorcher — it’s not just the cool looking place (that’s usually closed) next to Fort George Brewery, it’s the place you should go to for breakfast.
We also went to Coffee Girl on Pier 39. It’s one of my favorite places to get coffee — specifically a salted caramel latte.