Bend Oregon Restaurant Closings
Restaurants in Bend Oregon are closing, most blame economy, I blame bad food and service. There are too many restaurants in Bend serving up shiite. Is a little thinning of the herd what the restaurant industry in Bend needs? There are great restaurants in Bend and I feel bad that most are struggling but is the economy the only thing to blame? How about the fact that we have/had about 290 restaurants in Bend and only about 100 of them are any good? I mean the Source did their restaurant guide of the top 100 restaurants and it seemed like a stretch to get to 100.
How about restaurants serve up great food and separate themselves from the heard? We don't need another Mexican restaurant, we're good on fast food, we don't need another brew/pub/sports/bar. What we need is for the food and service at our current restaurants to be amazing. Can't restaurants focus on their strengths, adapt, improve their weaknesses, and overcome? I've thinned my list of restaurants I rotate through, cutting out the restaurants that haven't changed, that have poor service, that are overpriced for what you get. I want the best meal for my money.
All of the reports I've heard about the restaurant closings mention the poor economy. When was the economy really that good? The job market in Bend sucked 3 years ago and it still sucks today. That didn't stop new restaurants from opening. I mean the real estate market in Bend obviously blew up and then blew out but was that the only thing that was keeping these restaurants open? Was it all the successful realtors, mortgage brokers, and builders keeping the restaurants afloat? I don't have any of the answers. I just know that there are restaurants in Bend that have gotten away with poor quality and service for a long time and am shocked that some are still open.
Pepe's was a loss but there are plenty of Mexican restaurants to choose from. The others, I'm not so sure are going to be missed. Don't get me wrong, I feel bad for the owners and the employees that are losing their business and jobs. That sucks ass. I feel bad for anyone that owns a restaurant right now. I'm just saying that I don't think it's JUST the economy to blame.
In an exception to the above comments, 38 Degrees
appears to be closed. I can't seem to get the official word but I've driven by a couple of times when they should have been open and they were not. That's sad, I really liked the sangria flights. Their tuna was always great and I loved their clams and chorizo (when the chorizo was not dried out). Instead of just blaming the economy on this one, it could be that 38 Degrees really didn't have the best location. Could be a combo of things but their food and service were good.
Kayo's Roadhouse in Bend and Redmond has closed. A reliable source shot me an email and was able to find the Z21 news story
to confirm that in fact Kayo's is done. The news article mentions that Kayo's is probably best known for the buckets of peanuts and the shells on the floor. I never got around to writing my review of the one trip I made it over to the East side for dinner at Kayo's, but it would have focused on the same point.
The food was bland. We tried the appetizer sampler which was a cut bomb of overcooked chicken wings, huge potato skins covered in cheddar, mozzarella sticks, and spring rolls. We totally should have waited to order our dinners until after the appetizer. After sampling the appetizers, we weren't really hungry.
I had the bacon burger which was overcooked and the Kraft singles slice of American was tough to wash down even with my huge beer. The wife got the ribs which were some of the worst we've tried. We ended up taking a bunch of left overs but ended up throwing them out as they stayed in the fridge way too long.
I never got to the Kayo's review as all of the photos came out way too dark. I couldn't get a good photo but trust me, there wasn't a way to get a "good" photo out of what was on our plates. Great peanuts and really cold beer are the best parts of Kayo's.
---------------------------------------Ernesto's closed their doors
. I didn't post my review of Ernesto's before I heard of their closing. I had visited for lunch as a dare about a week before the news of their closing was announced.
A friend and I went to Ernesto's for lunch. After reviewing the menu we both decided on getting the buffet which consisted of soup and salad bar, pasta with a choice of three sauces, pizza, some sort of chicken dish, and then the special of the day. I think it was a Wednesday and prime rib was the special.
I decided to try all three pasta sauces, tomato, pesto, and Alfredo. In order from left to right, or right to left, or mix matched (doesn't matter really) they were blah, blehk, and boring. I also tried a slice of the pizza which looked really dried out but tasted ok. Old pork is still good pork in my mind. I just call it aged and be done with it...until I'm running to the restroom in the middle of the night. Damn you aged pizza!
The prime rib was a waste of time. I got a couple of good bites out of it. My favorite parts of the meal was the salad, bread, and water. Actually, the soup was pretty good. They had the normal minestrone soup out front but the waitress told me about the specialty soup of the day in the back, chicken pesto. It was rather good.
Pepe's Restaurant moved back to Madras. "I'm going back to Madras, to Madras, to Madras, I'm going back to Madras, no, I don't think so." Could you imagine if LL Cool J lived in Central Oregon? No, I don't think so.
I wrote up my review of Pepe's Restaurant
and am actually sad about this restaurant leaving. I really liked going to Pepe's. I went up to Portland for the International Beer Fest and saw that Pepe's has a restaurant right on the main strip in Madras.
Labels: Restaurant Closings