Monday, August 1, 2011

Review: Local Ocean Seafood, Newport

Despite the procuring of employment generally getting in the way of our festivation plans, my little family finally made it to the Oregon coast. I realized on our drive out that i hadn't been to the coast of my home state in over 5 years. That is simply unacceptable! The Oregon coast is a magical place: one worth visiting as often as possible (and often requiring frequent visits to get 1 good day without rain or bitingly cold wind!).

My last trip to 'the coast' was a horrible experience on the Gulf coast of Texas. I'm pretty sure i whined the whole time, though trying to embrace any goodness from the very different sort of 'ocean' view. Short beach, no waves, dirty water and campers and cars all filling any beach that was there. I'm sure there are nice parts of the Texas coast, but it's just not what i'd call 'ocean.' To me, ocean requires a certain amount of surf, preferably with limitless beach to either side for walking for hours. A wind sheltered dune for sleeping is also a must, or at least a perk. Needless to say, i was thrilled to be back to a 'proper' sort of beach. No offense intended to my Texas family and friends...... i just like my coast a little rougher and more picturesque!

Since we're living in Philomath, ( just west of Corvallis ) we headed west on 34 and landed in Newport. We did it up on this particular trip! It was my belated gift to my husband: a trip to the aquarium, a delicious lunch, introducing Pocket to the ocean, all tied up with a fishing trip in the coastal range. I normally spend zero dollars when enjoying the Oregon coast - but we were big spenders this time, and it was well worth it.  The Newport Aquarium is rather small, but has some gems of critters inside. We were unfortunately there on a Sunday, due to the husband's work schedule, so it was quite crowded and we didn't really get to sit with any of the critters for long. It was still a fun trip though and we worked up quite the appetite. An old friend of mine recommended a lunch spot on the old bayfront and we took her up on it. Glad we did!

We had an early lunch at Local Ocean Seafood, right on the bay overlooking fishing boats and rolling fog. Local Ocean is also a fish market, with some delicious and uber fresh looking catches in their cooler. We had hours worth of play plans afterward, so we weren't able to bring any home, but we sure enjoyed our lunches. Local Ocean is also dog friendly, so Pocket was able to join us. We brought her a bone to enjoy and she settled into the scene perfectly. Local Ocean gets their fish as fresh as it can be: their fish and crab comes in daily from across the street, sourced from a 3rd generation fishing family. Can't beat that! You could taste the freshness. I had a fish wrap and my husband had the crab po'boy topped with some Oregonzola from Rogue Creamery. I coerced a bite out of him, and it was truly delicious! My wrap was tasty too, slathered in a freshly made spicy tartar sauce. We were quite full and I was glad to have miles of beach to burn our lunch off on.

I'm on a diet, right? See, i left a few bites on my plate!
 Local Ocean isn't the cheapest place, but it's not overly spendy either. You're definitely paying for quality, and can taste the freshness. This gem of a restaurant is almost hidden, as well. As you drive from 101 down the main Bay drag, you go past lots of other tourist joints, restaurants and candy shoppes. Keep heading east to the end of that drag and you'll find Local Ocean. Get there early, it's not a huge place and fills up fast. We got there closer to 11:30 and were soon surrounded by full tables and a line out the front door. Oh, and i can't forget to mention that all the staff were super courteous, friendly and willing to make suggestions. If i was a star giving reviewer, i'd definitely go with 5!

For Pocket's first beach experience, we hit up Yaquina beach: plenty of soft dunes, wide beaches, and seagulls to keep us all busy:

Do you have a favorite restaurant or market for super fresh food?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you so much for your feedback, especially if you've cooked one of my recipes or tried one of my tips: let me know how it turned out!