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Cafe 3456 - Bend Oregon

Cafe 3456

Cafe 3456, located out at the BEND airport, is well worth the trip out East. If you live on the east side, you have no excuse to not drive over. I want to emphasize that Cafe 3456 is at the BEND airport since every person that I've talked to seems to hear airport and assume Redmond. Even when I say Bend airport, they get Redmond airport stuck in their head.

My first trip to Cafe 3456 was for lunch and after looking over the menu, I had to go for the Yak Burger. Yup, Yak. They offer Elk, Bison, Yak, Antelope, and Beef burgers. When I'm given the opportunity to eat something that I can't normally get anywhere else, I'll go for it.

It used to not be that way for me. I used to go to El Caporal and get the chicken enchiladas every time. Or Bend Brewing Company for the BBQ Turkey of focaccia. Just the same places for the same dishes. Ever since writing this blog I've branched out to try new stuff and really have enjoyed it. So I went for the Yak burger - $9.

The Yak was very meaty, not fatty and not too juicy really but great meaty flavor/consistency. I'd get it again if it wasn't for the other burger options. I mean, with all the great choices on the menu, the burger might not make it into rotation for a long time. Great burger and fries.

On my next visit I took the Wife for breakfast. I went for the Monte Cristo - Brioche with Ham, Turkey and Cheese. Battered and served with Cranberry Port Jam.

Very pleased to see that the Monte Cristo was actually battered on all sides instead of just being a few slices of French Toast and then called a Monte. Quality wise the Monte Cristo at Cafe 3456 is very good, I just wish there was more Turkey and Ham. It seemed very light on my sandwich. If there was a little more meat, I'd recommend it but for right now, I would pass.

The table next to us had this huge cast iron skillet with what looked like a pancake covering the entire bottom. The Wife asked what it was and then proceeded to order it, the Dutch Baby - Oven Baked Egg Souffle with Apples (for only like $7.50!)

The Dutch Baby is awesome and everyone should get one. The only down side to it is the temperature. That thing was like a fruit lava. It took forever to cool down to an acceptable eating level and we kept burning our mouths trying to force it too soon. But it was so good we couldn't resist.

Cafe 3456
63136 Powell Butte Highway
Bend, OR 97701-7906
(541) 318-8989


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Trattoria Sbandati

Trattoria Sbandati

Our first trip to Trattoria Sbandati was absolutely fabulous. We've gone for lunch twice and for dinner three more times since then. I feel fortunate in my life that I've been able to go this many times. Lucky for me, a couple of those dinners were paid for by our guests. The best way to dine out is on someone else's dime!

I love that we have Trattoria Sbandati in Bend - a great dining experience that we can feel great about taking our visiting family and friends to. We've attended four dinners and every single one was incredible.

Trattoria Sbandati runs one seating per night and offers a prix fixe menu that changes weekly. For $50 you get a four course meal with wine pairings included. In my opinion, four courses with four (half) glasses of wine perfectly matched with each course is a phenomenal deal.

Here's the run down on Saturday night followed by a quick note on Trattoria Sbandati's lunch.

Sformato alla Gorgonzola
Mini frittata made with gorgonzola cheese

This little morsel just pissed me off. It was sooo good yet only just a taster to wet the appetite. Rest assured that by the end of the meal, I was full. But I could have polished off a half dozen of those lil bastards easily. Cheesy goodness!

A traditional Tuscan winter bread stew made with cannellini beans, kale, thyme and other vegetables

When I first read the menu I was sort of thinking "blah, bread stew, who cares." But man, that stew was awesome. Not a bite left in any bowl I saw and I thought it was quite a hearty portion. Juri uses day old bread and continues to add it to the stew until he gets that thickness that he wants. It was perfect and that touch of Kale was a nice added touch.

Maiale in Crosta di Pane
Pork tenderloin encrusted in a baguette and bacon and drizzled with a port wine reduction

During Juri's Italian Cooking School that I attended, he taught me how to make this main course. Mine didn't come out as great as his always does. The pork is wrapped in a baguette and then wrapped with pork caul fat. The pork came out super tender and very juicy. The bread is like a pretzel and gives you that crunch that you need on a dish like this. So good.

D O L C I / D E S S E R T S
Mousse al Limone.
Lemon mousse don in the Italian style made with fresh lemons.

Ahh the lemon mousse. Last time it was too tart for me and this time it didn't seem as tart. I still passed it off to the Wife.

Lunch at Trattoria Sbandati
I've gone to lunch a couple of times. I believe they are open for lunch Tues - Fri. The first time I went I had the Meatball sandwich made with Juri's home made meat balls.

I can honestly saw that I have not had a better meatball in any restaurant, ever. I couldn't pick this sucker up and eat it like a real sandwich. I ended up going with the knife and fork as it was too big to manhandle. If you go for lunch, I HIGHLY recommend getting the meatball sandwich.

On another trip for lunch I went with a pasta dish off the specials board. It was good, I don't exactly remember all that was included but I remember being hungry after. It might have been enough for some of the ladies but I needed more. I have only been to Trattoria Sbandati for lunch these two times so I don't know about the other menu items. I'd get the meatball sandwich in a heartbeat though.

Trattoria Sbandati
1444 N.W. College Way
Bend, Oregon

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Deschutes Brewery's 8th Annual Crabfest

Deschutes Brewery's 8th Annual Crabfest

The 8th Annual Deschutes Brewery Crabfest sold out so fast this year that they opened up a second day. I was smart and got my reservation in nice and early so we were locked into the traditional Saturday event. When we heard that the second day was on Friday, I was a little worried that we'd get left over crab.

Turns out they threw all of the left over crab from Friday night out. Deschutes has this new policy that employees are not allowed to take food home which is probably an attempt to keep them from making extra just so they could take some home. But throwing it out? That just seems so wasteful.

Doesn't matter to me as long as I get mine. I'm selfish that way. So we had fresh crab for Saturday night but I did learn that on Friday night they went through 2.5 cases of Champagne and so we didn't have any for Saturday night. LAME.

Well I showed up and of the 4 beers on tap, only one seemed to fit for mass consumption of beer and crab - the Pub Pale (the original Mirror Pond). I got one and claimed my seat. Then sampled an appetizer.

Passed appetizer:
Dungeness Crab Stuffed cucumber
Dungeness crab stuffed jalapeno poppers wrapped with bacon

I'm not big on jalapeno poppers of any sort and chickened out on trying these. But I did go for the stuffed cucumber. Crab on a cucumber, fine. I tried one and then gave up cause I'm not here for cucumber.

Next up was the seated appetizer:

Free form Pasta Salad with Dungeness Crab, Cherry Tomatoes, Avocados, and Pistachios tossed in a buttermilk herb dressing

The two bites of pasta that I had were very good. I'd love to eat an entire plate as an entree but tonight, I don't want any of this. Well, I do want the crab. I took my fork and scraped the crab off the pasta, ate it with a bite of avocado and pistachio and then pushed the plate away. I feel sooo wasteful but then I get another beer and forget about it.

Up next was the soup course and it was beautiful. A bright red bowl of crab bisque with a dab of crab meat floating in the middle topped with creme fraiche and herb oil. I scooped out the crab with some bisque and grubbed it up. Had this been any other night, I'd have gladly had the entire bowl. But after feeling that I tasted enough, I pushed it aside. I was feeling pretty good so I forgot to take a photo. Sorry.

After the soup came the main event!
All you can eat Crab with Andouille sausage and corn on the cob. No one likes you CORN!!!

I destroyed either 23 or 24 crab legs. I lost count and stopped caring after a while. I have this great system for breaking down a crab and stuffing my face. I'll grab a leg and rip it up through the body to get a section of body meat at the end of it. I'll scoop the body meat out easily and break off the tip of the leg. The rip off the rest of the leg.

Crack it a couple times and presto, the entire leg is out. That little part of the leg is useless since there is SOOO MUCH CRAB! So I just chuck it into the shells bowl. Again, wasteful but now I'm tossed and I don't give a shit.

I'd run through an entire half of a crab this way until I had a pile of meat. Then I'd grab the coffee pot full of clarified butter and pour it over the top. Add a squeeze of lemon, then dive in. I did this about 4 and 1/2 times. It was awesome!

I ate one prawn but it was pretty overcooked. I stayed away from the corn, mainly for my twitter friends that dont want to hear my bathroom humor.

And finally we had a Fresh Vanilla Bean Cream Pie topped with fresh roasted strawberries and white chocolate drizzle.

Two bites and I couldn't eat anymore...but I put down a few more pints fo sho!


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Baldy's BBQ - 5TH Anniversary

Baldy's BBQ

This week Baldy's BBQ is celebrating their 5th Anniversary with $5 specials all week long. From what I've heard, they're doing $5 full racks, smothered fries, dozen wings, 2 pulled pork or chicken sandwiches, and more + drink specials.

After lunch at Baldy's today (Monday) I have the $5 specials:
- Full Rack of ribs (these are the Danish ribs, little smaller than their normal but well worth $5)
- 2 pulled pork sandwiches
- 2 pulled chicken sandwiches
- Dozen smoked wings (had them for Super Bowl and they are gooood)
- Smothered fries
$5 drink specials as well

Then Saturday they have a FREE pig roast in the parking lot, with live music (the boxcar string band), raffle prizes, Ski/snowboard equipment, Sunriver weekend for two, and Baldy's gift cards.

I hate, HATE posting shit like this because I don't want all you non-regulars of Baldy's to take advantage of a great week like this and take up seats that real patrons and I should have. My friends and I are planning to visit daily all week long. In fact, I wrote this Sunday night and am posting it at 12:30 even though I'm planning on being at Baldy's at the time of this post. Hopefully I'll get a seat.

I'll update after when I get some more info on the specials this week.

Baldy's Barbeque
235 SW Century Drive
Bend, OR 97702-1052
(541) 385-7427


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Beach Side - Bend Oregon

Beach Side

Beach Side is the new burger joint that took over the old La Costa Azul location near Port of Subs. The menu looks very affordable and they have a happy hour burger for $5 and free buffalo chips.

A friend and I sat down for lunch and were presented with a basket of potato chips which appeared to be made on site. They were ok, something to nibble on while we waited for our lunch.

I ordered the Cheeseburger in Paradise - basic burger with two sides for $6.95. I picked fries and beans.

The burger was very thin and forgetable. As you can see, a small portion of fries. If these beans are made in house, I'll eat my hat. I'd bet a ton that these are straight out of the can.

For $7 I could have had my fill at Wendy's including a Frosty or saved a couple bucks with the $1 double cheese burgers from BK. Those things are awesome! They're like little bricks of beef.

After spending $7 for a burger and fries, the last thing I want to do is feel like I could easily eat another burger and fries. It wasn't the best experience ever.

Beach Side
63055 Layton Court
Bend, OR 97701-7088
(541) 585-1043


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