Newport: Birthplace of Rogue Ales.

This past September we had the pleasure of entertaining out-of-state family and, thus, took the requisite trip to the coast. Our destination of choice: the lovely Newport, Oregon. I love the Oregon coast. I’m also firm believer that a trip to the coast (or any trip for that matter) takes a little planning and preparation (i.e.bringing snacks – duh). However, the planner of this particular trip was less concerned about itineraries, agendas, and ensuring the availability of food during standard meal times. So, a two and a half hour car ride and a late start to the coast without stopping for lunch on the way, meant a few starving and crabby travel companions. But we were in Newport, which does not have a shortage of good restaurants. So upon arriving, we headed to the old, historic waterfront which seemed like the most promising place to find a top-notch lunch.

After some walking and peeping in a few places, we ended up at the Rogue Brewery. Not being from Oregon, I hadn’t realized that Newport is where Rogue Ales was born – exciting! And on top of that, it was September 11th which meant that Rogue was serving up commemorative free tasters of American Amber Ale – how patriotic (um yeah, just go with it)! Red meat and beerseemed to be the name of the game, so I ordered a hamburger and the Mom Hefeweizen.

Now, these people are serious about beer. When my naked hefeweizen arrived I asked for a wedge of lemon – which I just always assumed was an unspoken accompaniment – the waiter tilted his head to the side and asked me sternly if I had, “even tasted it yet.” Silly me. When I recovered from the shock of being scolded on an empty stomach, I said something super clever like, “the beer doesn’t need a lemon, I do”. Nevertheless, I was brought lemon wedges and the beer was delicious.

My hamburger and fries were also tasty. So much so that I had to be reminded to take a picture of my meal before I ate everything on my plate. My lunch companions ordered a sausage with sauerkraut that came with potato chips, and a grilled salmon sandwich. Both meals received satisfactory marks but I think my burger was the best of all three options. That being said, there are about six pages of menu for food and four pages of beers and liquors (I know, Rogue is a distillery, too!), so I’m certain anyone can find at least one pleasing thing to eat.

After our meal we headed across the street to ogle the sea lions and listen to them bark as they pushed each other off the docks. Our original plan was to go to the aquarium but, having gotten a late start, we arrived only half an hour before it closed (hello, agenda?). So, we drove to Devil’s Punchbowl, which is always pretty awesome, and then began our journey back to Portland. It was a long day and I was glad we chose to re-fuel at Rogue.

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