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Brian's Photo Blog — Article 662
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A Date with My Wife at McMenamins Eugene
Monday 5 June 2017   —   Category: Dining Out
After three outings to McMenamins ven­ues in Eugene, Oregon, during 2016, my fourth and last visit of the year was a date with my wife, Catherine. However, we were not sure that we had picked a good day to go to downtown Eugene because there was a Ducks football game there that day. There was potential for traffic, parking and restaurant-​crowding problems, but in the end all of my fears were ungrounded.
 
On the last Saturday of October we left Albany around 1:00, and parked down­town about 45 minutes later. I had read about the Passionflower emporium in a recent edition of the AAA’s Via Mag­a-​zine, so we dropped in to check it out.

The items sold there illustrate a lifestyle very foreign to mine. I can’t imagine ever buying something there! But to each his own.
 
Next, we spent some time strolling through the multi-​block Eugene Farmers Market, which seemed more our style. There we found a tie-dye t-shirt for our youngest daughter.
 
Eventually it was 3:00, the beginning of the McMenamins happy hour. So for some refreshments we dropped by their East 19th Street Café, just south of the University of Oregon campus. Un­for­tu­nate­ly, on game days they decline to offer happy hour prices. Boo!

This was Catherine’s second visit to a McMenamins, the first one being three weeks earlier. It was right there and then that she bought her McMenamins Pass­port, so we could start collecting stamps together.
 
Around 4:00 we parked at Alton Baker Park and went on a three-​and-​a-​half-​mile walk on a small portion of the Ruth Bascom Riverbank Path System, which encompasses both sides of the Wil­lam­ette River in central Eugene.

It was a lovely walk which sharpened our appetites for a good dinner. For more details about this Path System, see my recent article Eugene’s Ruth Bascom Riverbank Path System.
 
We arrived on foot at the McMenamins North Bank restaurant, situated right on the Path System close to Alton Baker Park, around 5:30. Because of the season and the hour, we decided to sit inside instead of on the riverside patio.

As I have previously explained, part of the McMenamins Passport adventure is collecting up to 24 optional ‘ex­pe­ri­enc­es’ stamps. For every four in your Pass­port you receive a $20 McMenamins gift card.

One of the 24 ‘ex­pe­ri­enc­es’ stamps is “Try a Wine Flight.”
 
Because we wanted some wine with our food, and because there is no time like the present to start collecting Passport stamps, we each ordered a wine flight.

Mine consisted of three white wines from the McMenamins Edgefield Win­eryPinot Gris, Chardonnay, and their White Rabbit blend.

Catherine’s consisted of three Edgefield red winesPinot Noir as well as their Black Rabbit Red and Cuvée de L’Abri Rouge blends.
 
For dinner I had Carolina East Chicken, which the menu described as “half a Mary’s brined and smoked chicken, Hogshead East Carolina BBQ sauce, belly’d baked beans, pickled pineapple slaw.”

My notes from that day read: “I cannot believe I ordered this! It was pretty good, but I probably would not do it again. I’m really expanding my tastes, because BBQ sauce on chicken and in beans is usually not my thing. Nor is having beans ... they were OK but not great.” There was so much chicken that I ate only about half of it.
 
My wife had Maple – Miso Steelhead which included “shiitake dirty rice and braised heirloom carrots.”

My notes from that day read: “Catherine said it was good, but not as hot as it could have been. It seemed like the por-​tion was a bit on the small side because she also ate a fair amount of chicken from my plate!”
 
After all that we were both pretty full, so we opted for liquid rather than solid desserts. Catherine had a couple of cups of her usual coffee.

I had a Three Rocks Hot Buttered Rum. According to the menu, it consisted of “Edgefield Three Rocks Rum and housemade hot buttered rum mix.”

My notes from that day read: “My first hot buttered rum ever ... it was like liquid toffee, with a kick ... very good!”

I didn’t take too many photos while at North Bank. The best eight have made the final contribution to the four-​outing Mc­Men­a­mins Eugene 2016 album.
 
For more tales about other locations, see My McMenamins Passport Adventure.
Brian's Photo Blog — Article 662
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Brian's Photo Blog — Article 662
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