Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Serving up Oregon Oysters and Clam Chowder with a View

Roseanna’s Cafe
1490 Pacific Ave. NW
Oceanside, OR

The coast of Oregon is rugged and wild. Beautifully remote, you’re bound to bump into more elk and sea lions than people.

Leave your cell phone in the rental car. There’s hardly any service here anyway.

Don’t worry. You won’t miss it.

Oceanside, Oregon is one of the most spectacular settings on the West Coast.

Monstrous breakers crashing into a cauldron of white foam.

Green cliffs towering high above the surf.

Haystack rocks majestically rising up from the ocean.

That was my view from my windowside table at Roseanna’s Cafe, a rustic little place teetering on the top of a seaside cliff.

Deschutes Black Butte Porter in hand, I perused Roseanna’s menu completely disinterested in whether the food was going to be any good.

I was more than content.

Sipping the dark, sweet, toasty brew out of Bend, Oregon and watching the violence of Mother Nature unfold a couple hundred feet below me, I could have just sat there all day just knocking back West Coast microbrews, riding out this cold, storm-swept fall day.

But a Suit cannot live on beer and gorgeous scenery alone.

The first thing I ordered was Roseanna’s famous clam chowder.

I know New England and Manhattan like to argue about whose namesake clam chowder is best, but I can spare them all a lot of discord and profanity.

The best clam chowder in America is right here along the Oregon coast.

I guess folks in New England can still stake a claim for credit, since Oregon chowder borrows heavily from the New England version.

Every diner, brewpub and mom and pop joint along the Pacific Coast Highway serves up its own version of this thick, creamy soup.

Roseanna’s chowder is the best of the best.

Loaded with meaty clams and oodles of seasoning, the parsley, thyme and other secret ingredients transformed this thick hearty chowder into a party in every bite.

You have to love any chowder sporting more clams than potatoes.

Next up were the “grilled oysters”.

These were huge meaty oysters straight out of Netarts Bay just down the street.

They were coated in a thick well-seasoned breading that really brought out the salty flavor of the local delicacies.

On the side were homemade tarter sauces infinitely better than the crap out of the jar you get served at most seafood joints.

The only downside was that the home fried potatoes on the side looked better than they tasted -- a bit bland, especially compared to the flavor-packed chowder and oysters.

The waitress tried to talk me into some of Roseanna’s delicious-looking homemade desserts, but I was too stuffed to even consider it.

Oh well. Next time.

That’s the great perk of have a job as a traveling Suit.

Sure, the TSA crotch gropings, 757 middle seats and too many trips to Third World outposts like Detroit can be soul-crushing.

But every once in a while, you find a little remote nook of America that you want to come back to.

Mental note: the Oregon Coast and Roseanna’s is worth cashing in some of those frequent flyer miles for.

And next time, I’m saving room for dessert.

Rating: Bought the Shirt!

Roseanna's Cafe on Urbanspoon


  1. The chowder looks so yummy. So what were the desserts they're offering? I'm sorry cause I do sometimes ask the waiter/waitress what they have for desserts. So if ever I won't enjoy my meal, at least there's something lovely could make me happy in the end. ;)

  2. I'm still haunted by the fact that I didn't try the Baily's White Chocolate Cheesecake or the Oregon Wild Berry Cobbler with Tillamook Ice Cream churned down the road at the Tillamook Creamery. time.