Brian's Photo Blog — Article 702
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McMenamins on Oregon’s North Coast
Wednesday 20 December 2017   —   Category: Dining Out
This is the fourth and final article about a two-​day trip along the North Coast of Oregon my wife and I made in January 2017 as part of my Mc­Men­a­mins Passport adventure. The previous three parts are: The accompanying photo albums are: In this article I’ll share the details of our stops at the two Mc­Men­a­mins by the sea — the Gearhart Hotel and the Lighthouse Brewpub — which were the impetus for our 36-​hour, 360-​mile road trip.
On the first day we drove from Albany to Astoria via Portland. After spending a few hours there we drove southwest on U.S. Route 101 about 16 miles to the small coastal town of Gearhart, where we took advantage of the remaining hour of daylight by driving on the beach in my 2009 Toyota Tacoma.
The relatively small 18 room Mc­Men­a­mins Gearhart Hotel includes a res­tau­rant, 18 hole golf course, bar / clubhouse and golf pro shop, located just a quarter of a mile from the Pacific Ocean.
Upon arrival our first stop was the cozy but roomy Sand Trap Pub.

My wife had clam chowder, salad and hot apple cider. Since nothing else on the tap list looked interesting, I chose the always good McMenamins Hammerhead ale to enjoy with my meal.

Later in the evening we returned for hot buttered rum.
My dinner was a Terminator Steak Sand­wich. According to the menu, it con­sist­ed of a “6 oz ale-​marinated New York steak, Terminator steak sauce, beer-​bat­tered onion rings, horseradish, and kale on a garlic-​toasted roll.”

Instead of fries I had a salad. My notes from that day read: “This sandwich was really killer!!!”
As is often the case at McMenamins venues, there was an abundance of cus­tom paintings by the McMenamins art­ists. The current hotel was built in the early 1970s, on the same site as three previous hotels since 1890. A lot of that history is captured in the many photos hanging on the walls all over the three story hotel.
Like much of the rest of the building, the wood paneling on the walls and ceiling gave our room a warm, homey, cozy feeling.

McMenamins has a tradition of as­sign­ing names to all of their hotel rooms. Ours was called Body Politic.
A booklet in the room explained. Both the name of the room and the painting by McMenamins artist Olivia Behm in the booklet as well as the full-​size version that hangs in the room, were inspired by the book The Mystery of Golf by Arnold Haultain.
We returned to the Sand Trap Pub for breakfast the next morning. French toast sounded good to both of us, but when our Angel’s Crunchy French Toast was served, we were first surprised, then shocked, then disappointed and some­what disgusted.

Rather than regular French toast, this ver­sion was made of slices of bread in a thick apple-​crisp-​like coating (probably flour, oats, sugar and butter) and then fried in oil. It contained a lot of fat, al­most like a doughnut or a pastry.
I thought it was tasty, but very rich. I will never get that again! I ate only two pieces and then called it quits. I for sure did not want to ruin my appetite for lunch.

My wife was so turned off by the thick fatty coating that she stripped it all off and just ate the bread inside. What was left on her plate was a big pile of the coating, as you can see in this photo.
After breakfast we took a short walk along the edge of the McMenamins Gearhart Golf Links behind the hotel. This Scottish style golf course was founded in 1892, and is considered the oldest golf course in continual use west of the Mississippi. On this frosty, sunny morning it did not appear to be in continual use! Perhaps later in the day.
This 19-photo panorama shows part of the golf course. On the very left is part of the hotel, as well as the front of my black truck. On the very right, the newly-​risen winter sun shines through some trees. As with all of my articles and most of the photos on this page, click on an image to see a larger version.
Before we hit the road, we made sure to get the three stamps in our McMenamins Passports for this location.

Because the Gearhart Hotel, pub and bar are in their own section of the Passport, we also collected our prizes for com­plet­ing that section.
There was not much of a selection of items. My wife chose the leather bev­er­age holder, which she promptly gave to me. I chose a pretty nifty wine bottle opener gadget.

For details about our hundred-​mile, sev­en and a half hour journey down the coast from Gearhart to Lincoln City — with plenty of stops in between — jump to Section Three of my previous article.
We arrived at the McMenamins Light­house Brewpub in Lincoln City around 5:00 p.m. We had to get our Passport stamps before dinner because the prize was our food. To do that, we had to use the clue — “Small and potent fish, call me Fugu if you wish, a porcupine dish” — to find an object in the pub.

It was pretty hard because the object was not a painting or photo like at nearly all the other McMenamins venues. After a number of hints from the waiter, we fi­nal­ly figured out it was a model of a fish hanging high above our heads.
As usual, we had to take a selfie to doc­u­ment our find. Here is my wife and I in all our glory! And that got us each our stamp.
While we were waiting for our free bowls of clam chowder to arrive, I took this shot of the pub interior from our second-​floor table.

The chowder was pretty good, but it would have been nice had it been hotter.
With the choweder I had a pint of Seaside Porter. According to the brewer:

“Ebony-colored with soft chocolate notes. Softer than a stout, but it still has the malt flavor of a porter.” Meas­ure­ments: 6.5% ABV • 35 IBU

My notes from that day read: “It was good, especially with the clam chowder ... just what a porter should be.”

After an hour and three-​quarters drive we arrived back home in Albany around 7:30 p.m., bringing our 36-​hour, 360-​mile road trip to a close.

I took a total of 93 photos at both of these McMenamins lo­ca­tions. The best 27 are on display in the new McMenamins by the Sea 2017 album.
For more tales about other locations, see My McMenamins Passport Adventure.
Brian's Photo Blog — Article 702
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