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Brian's Photo Blog — Article 658
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A McMenamins Eugene Pub Crawl
Friday 19 May 2017   —   Category: Dining Out
As part of my McMenamins Passport adventure I wanted to get a stamp for the “Ride a Bike to the Pub” Experience. I couldn’t really see myself hauling my bicycle in my truck 75 miles north up the I-5, and then riding it along a busy city street to some McMenamins venue in Portland.

As of August 2016 I had not yet visited any of the three McMenamins pubs in Eugene, 45 miles south down the I-5. When I looked at their locations on a map, I noticed that the North Bank restaurant was right on the Willamette River, next to Alton Baker Park.
 
Riding my bicycle along a bike path next to the River sounded much better than riding in the Big City for this country bumpkin.

My bicycle just fit into the back of my 2009 Toyota Tacoma truck for the drive from Albany to Eugene.
 
After taking my pick of parking places in the huge parking lot at Alton Baker Park, I pulled out my bike and got ready to pedal.

It was a leisurely ride one-​third of a mile north to McMenamins North Bank.
 
In order to get the ‘experience’ stamp, I took this photo to fulfill the requirement to “take a selfie of you next to your bi­cy­cle, wearing your helmet, and show your server.” Well, I was on my bicycle in­stead of next to it, but apparently it was good enough to get the stamp.

As I have written previously, seeing that I hate the selfie craze, it is very ironic that in order to get certain McMenamins Passport stamps I have to take a selfie.
 
This is most likely the only picture I will ever take of my bike parked in a rack in front of a McMenamins.

On the other hand, never say never!
 
Here is part of the wonderful view I had from my patio table of the Willamette River and Ferry Street Bridge.

Just below is a 13-​photo, 180-​degree panorama of the entire awesome view. Be sure to click on it to see the larger version in all its glory.
 
Lunch provided a glorious view of a dif­fer­ent kind!

My very first elk burger was one of the best burgers I have ever tasted! Ac­cord­ing to the menu, it consisted of an elk patty, Gruyère cheese, Black Rabbit Red Wine aioli, organic greens, tomato and red onion on a bun.
 
Instead of fries I had a salad with a won­der­ful champagne vinaigrette dressing.
 
The current version of McMenamins’ elk burger uses white cheddar instead of Gruyère and adds coffee-bacon jam. I’m not sure about that jam, but perhaps I’ll give it a try.
 
To wash down my luscious elk burger I had a Reed’s Red. Ac­cord­ing to the brewer:

“Much like its namesake, this mildly-​malted beer is always on point! The spicy Centennial hops are reminiscent of his snark. The smooth reddish, caramel hue is enough to put you at ease, much like his golden pipes. Bubbles? Yep, lots of those. One for each thought that this great man is willing to share with you. So chillax brahs and bettys, you’re in good hands with The Reed­ling!” Meas­ure­ments: 5.8% ABV • 37 IBU

My notes from that day read: “I don’t know who Reed is, but this beer is really good ... it kind of reminded me of my favorite Lompoc Proletariat Red ... I would definitely get again!”
 
The patio was a lot more crowded by the time I finished my meal.
 
The expansive interior is a nice place to eat as well, as I discovered on sub­se­quent visits.
 
Part of the North Bank interior has been transformed into the Kapu Hut bar, dec­o­rat­ed with a tropical island theme, in­clud­ing this unusual creature.

Even though I have been to North Bank four times now, I still have not gotten any decent photos inside the Kapu Hut. Obviously I will just have to go back and try again!
 
The atrium near the front entrance.

In addition to the bike stamp men­tioned above, I made sure to get the Passport location stamps for both North Bank and the Kapu Hut.
 
Before putting my bike back into my truck, I pedalled along the Ruth Bascom Riverbank Path System two and a quar­ter miles southeast until I arrived at the Whilamut Passage Bridge which carries the I-5 over the Willamette River. Then I biked back to my truck.

The photos along the river from this trip and the following one are featured in the article Eugene’s Ruth Bascom Riverbank Path System and the accompanying al­bum Eugene Willamette 2016.
 
 
Packing up my bike and heading across the river, I entered downtown Eugene, where I found McMenamins High Street Brewery and Café, amazingly enough, on High Street.
 
None of the beers on offer sounded too interesting, so I opted for a pint of scrumptious blackberry cider instead.

Almost as tasty was one more location stamp in my Passport.

 
 

For some reason I didn’t take any other pictures here. Another venue to revisit!
 
 
The third and final stop on my Mc­Men­a­mins Eugene pub crawl was their East 19th Street Café, only half a mile south­east (as the crow flies) from the High Street Brewery, and just south of the University of Oregon campus.
 
Because it was such nice weather I sat outside on the patio, just as I had at the other two McMenamins locations that day. It was warm enough that I was happy to find a nice shady corner.
 
For refreshment I had a pint of A Firefly Kölsch. According to the brewer:

“For those who have been fortunate enough to witness the won­der of fireflies, you know that for a few months during summer evenings, this tiny critter can fully capture the imagination. Unfortunately, almost none are found here in the Pacific North­west ... until now. Both radiate a bright golden glare and both are symbols of summer, with magical qualities that can fascinate and captivate. Firefly Kölsch is a true summer beer. It’s a crisp, thirst-​quenching golden ale made as true to this unique German style as possible. Using only German malts, this beer provides a flavorful, yet surprisingly subtle malt profile. Tettnanger hops impart a distinct, yet extremely smooth hop character. Collect Firefly Kölsch in a jar, glass, pint or pitcher and add a little brightness and magic to your summer evening.” Meas­ure­ments: 4.6% ABV • 16 IBU

My notes from that day read: “Slightly watery, but pretty good for IBU 16 ... their Confessional Kölsch is much better.”
 
 
 
With my final McMenamins Eugene lo­ca­tion stamp, I was rewarded with a free basket of Cajun Tots with peppercorn ranch sauce.
 
 
 
During this first McMenamins Eugene outing I took a total of 73 photos over a period of three and a half hours. The best 23 are now on display in the new McMenamins Eugene 2016 album. The pictures from my three subsequent visits to the McMenamins Eugene pubs during the following months of 2016 have also been added to this album, bringing the total to 43. The details are found in these articles:
For more tales about other locations, see My McMenamins Passport Adventure.
Brian's Photo Blog — Article 658
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Brian's Photo Blog — Article 658
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