Saturday, September 11, 2010

Two Great Places to Eat in the Salem/Portland areas

We've had some good news this past week or so, and we've ended-up eating out a little bit more frequently than usual for us. What began last week with a horrible dining experience at a local Mexican restaurant has ended on a much more welcome note.

First, Spoons Gourmet Deli in south Salem is a remarkable little place. We drop by every few months, and it seems each time we come away really pleasantly surprised. Well, they've done it again this time. On our last visit, I had what I was expecting to be a simple hamburger, and my wife had a turkey/cranberry sandwich. Both were prepared to perfection. The hamburger was, I think, the best I've had in Salem for a few years. The first bite yielded a surprisingly intense flavor. The buns, first of all, appeared to be freshly-prepared. The hamburger was cooked to perfection (medium well) and each mouthful of hamburger yielded a symphony of flavors. (We're going to try to simulate it today by mixing spices and seasonings in the hamburger before cooking, but I'm sure it will not compare.) Topping off the burger, were two delicious fried slices of tomato and assorted greans. Hats off to Spoons Deli! I'm only sorry I don't have an extra hand so that I might offer three thumb's up!

Next, we also greatly enjoyed our visit yesterday evening to Sweet Tomatoes in Tigard (just south of Portland). The dining experience was excellent as usual--except for a little wait due them being full. For those who haven't tried this chain before, it's basically a salad buffet restaurant, but they also serve fresh bread and soups. This month, they're featuring creations with a Greek flair, which included delicious Greek salad and humus with pine nuts. The corn cheese chowder was particularly good. In short, it was all excellent as usual.

I thought I'd make a final note on costs. Surprisingly the worst food we've eaten in the past week at a restaurant was also the most expensive. In the case of Sweet Tomatoes, signing-up for the "Veggie Club" will get you rather good coupons in your inbox every month, or so.

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