La Fraternite du Bondage Gastronomique's Bondage by the Coast - 10/1-3/10

"Bound to Eat!"

Introduction and Explanation

This is the official, unabridged account of Bondage by the Coast (BBTC). Don't settle for an imitation! And be sure to read the footnotes.

After the unparalleled success of Bondage by the Bay, we found it necessary to execute an adequate follow-up. This wasn't it. But that's only because our investments [1] haven't yet generated sufficient revenue for international bondage. Meanwhile, we needed to keep in shape for getting out of shape out of town, so we chose the northern Oregon coast. It's close [2], relatively inexpensive, and loaded with opportunities for good eats and good times.

All the necessary planning, not to mention the unnecessary planning, took place at our September bondage at Apizza Scholls (unnecessary but cool photo). Said planning consisted of choosing dates, route, where to spend our two nights, and what time to start. Dates were easy; October generally (as in sometimes) brings good weather to the coast. Jon has a house in Cape Meares, perfectly positioned between our southern and northern nodes. A no-brainer. Which was good, because we needed our brains to plan an itinerary and a departure time. Our brains weren't quite up to the full itinerary part, so we settled on a first stop: Otis, home of Otis ("My man!") Cafe [3]. At least one of us had eaten there. Others of us had heard about it - it's been written up in the New York Times [4] - and were impressed by the fact that anyone who's eaten there talks about the large portions. We weren't sure when O("MM!")C opens, but we were sure it'd be open by 8. That made it easy to compute an estimated approximate possible time of departure (EAPTD) of 6:30. Yes, am.

10/1 (Friday) - Day One

6:40 am - The Bondomobile - quietly powerful, hugely comfortable, often reliable [5] - is on its way. Good news: we're all inside. And it's not raining. By the time we're a bit south, rain threatens. Of course.

8:30 am - We arrive at Otis Cafe and are greeted by drizzle. A review posted on one of the walls notes that it's "worth the wait." Good to know, because there's always a wait and always includes right now. A full porch tricked out with a couple of benches makes waiting pretty enjoyable. We spend the next half hour getting acquainted with other patrons-in-waiting. Said PIWs include a group of six women, five from Idaho and one from Seattle, and a couple from Denver. It is not insignificant that no one we've met on the porch is from or has roots to anywhere closer to Otis than Corvallis - sixty miles and one mountain range away.

Our meal is everything the worth the wait review had promised. And more. As in lots and lots more. One could make a meal of the wonderful bread - more slabs than slices - and a side of the "world famous" German potatoes. One could compare regular hash browns with the WFGPs, but, as Richard Nixon put it, "(one) would be wrong." Valuable stomach space would be consumed, and this is one place in which that commodity must be preserved. Failure to heed this warning may mean not having room enough to tackle the actual breakfast. Seeing that each table comes equipped with a guest book, we sign ours and insert our bondage business card.

One final note: Otis Cafe is open for lunch and dinner, too. The prospect of having three full meals there in a single day occurs to - even tempts - us, but no one wants to take a heart attack for the team.

10:30 am - We stop at Depoe Bay, a town that's a testament to tackitude. [6] There's absolutely nothing in any of the shop windows facing the ocean that doesn't qualify as kitsch. [7] On the other hand, there's the ocean itself. The Depoe Bay Whale Watching Center is not only a good vantage point for whale watching, it's also a museum of sorts. We take advantage and are rewarded by seeing whales.

12:15 pm - We arrive in Newport and, thanks to our experience in Otis, are forced to take a quick nap in the bondomobile, which we've parked just above the beach. After we're able to function again, we note that it's no longer raining. We explore. Almost immediately, we find Newport's Viet Nam war memorial. It's inspiring, not least because it pays homage to everyone affected by the war, dissenters included. [8]

1:45 pm - Lunch at Local Ocean. It's right on the waterfront. It's also another 30 minute wait, but, once again, it's worth it. We recommend the tuna mignon.

3:30 pm - We have just enough time to squeeze in a visit to the Oregon Coast Aquarium. Way cool. Way, way cool. Not to brag, but the megalodon shark jaws remind us of, uhhhh, us.

5:15pm - Now that the aquarium's closed, it's time for eating. [9] And given that we're in Newport, we're forced to pay a visit to the Roguesonian Cultural Heritage Interpretive Center and Beerquarium, otherwise known as Rogue Nation World Headquarters [10], otherotherwise known as the Rogue Brewery. We sample beer (of course), whiskey (huh?), and share a "haute dog" (WTF!).

7:50 pm - We're in Pacific City for dinner at the Delicate Palate Bistro. Even though it's in Pacific City, this is one helluva elegant place. And even though it's appended to a motel (ok, they call it an inn, but we know it's a motel), the food is terrific. The duck especially. We pass on the $1200 bottle of wine, which doesn't stop them from trying to substitute a more expensive version of the wine we actually ordered. But that's Pacific City for you.

11:20 pm - After our nearly 2 1/2 hour dinner, we arrive at Jon's beach house in Cape Meares. It's a wonderfully designed (and constructed) space, though we're too wiped out to fully appreciate it. What we do fully appreciate is the location and the possibility of making our own dinner there tomorrow. We vote to think about it.

10/2 (Saturday) - Day Two

10:00 am - After a late start, we're in dire need of breakfast. Cape Meares has nothing in the way of food (and Cape Meares includes Jon's kitchen), so we're off to the big city. Tillamook. The sun is threatening to break through.

10:15 am - The big city has approximately two (2, II) promising breakfast eateries, the Dutch Mill and the Pancake House. We cruise by the former and note that it's empty. By "empty" we don't mean to suggest that there aren't tables and chairs. But people, i.e., customers, y'know, people who willingly part with their money to eat there, are altogether missing. In fact, we see no signs whatsoever of human life, even though the door is wide open. We consider the possibility that Jim Jones has returned to earth and is out back with the staff and whatever customers were around, sharing some Kool Aid. [11]

We move on and, looking in from the street, find the Pancake House has people in it. Not just staff, but real customers, some of whom have what looks to be genuine food in front of them. An easy call. After breakfast, we conclude that much of what appeared to be real food from the other side of the window was, indeed, genuine.

1 pm - A leisurely drive up the coast takes us to Astoria. And now we have a plan. We'll check things out for a while, eat lunch, visit the Columbia River Maritime Museum, buy some fresh fish and fix dinner for ourselves at Jon's.

1:15 pm - We find ourselves outside the Clatsop County Historical Society Heritage Museum and, in spite of the sunny warmth of the open air, decide to check it out. It proves eminently check outable, not least because the newest exhibit is "Vice and Virtue in Clatsop County: 1890 to Prohibition." What makes the exhibit especially worthwhile - we'll spend well over an hour there - is Astoria's sordid past. Well, not entirely sordid, but certainly checkered with a not at all subtle pattern of sordidity [12]. Gang wars, commies, racial and ethnic feuds, the Klan, prostitution, corruption, gambling and, best of all, shanghaiing. Lots and lots of shanghaiing.

FYI, we failed to notice much in the way of virtue. Maybe that's just us.

2:40 pm - Time for lunch. Past time, really, and we find ourselves at the Wet Dog Cafe. WD is home to the Astoria Brewing Company, so we're sure to have some good beer with our food. Our problem now is which good beer. We want a pitcher, so we've got to choose. As we puzzle over the possibilities, our waitress volunteers to bring us a free sampler. Eight sampler glasses for zero dollars and zero cents. The vote is unanimous: Stone Cold Strong Ale. And fish and chips. We're happy.

On our way out, we engage one of the staff in conversation and rave about our angelic server. It turns out that the person we're speaking with is the owner and our waitress his stepdaughter.

4:00 pm - At last we've made our way to the Columbia River Maritime Museum. Our spirits are high, abetted by the weather and beer. But it took a while to get through those beer samples and that pitcher, not to mention the food, and we have only an hour before the museum closes. We're pros, though, so we handle it with our usual competence. [13]

5:15 pm - We buy some fresh sockeye salmon at the Uniontown Fish Market. We plan to stop at a supermarket for salad ingredients and tomorrow's breakfast [14], but we want something a cut above Safeway fare for dessert. It turns out that pretty much everything that resembles a bakery closes at 5 pm in Astoria. [15] We know from experience, namely Bondage by the Bay, that artgallerypeople are pretty good sources for dining info, so we pop into a gallery and ask for a bakery recommendation. We're told to try the Blue Scorcher, even though it's likely to be closed.

5:30 pm - And it is. But a sign invites us to pick up a loaf of bread. The remaining 60% of a vanilla almond lemon creme cake and an assortment of pastries later, we're on our way.

7:15 pm - We cop everything else we need at Tillamook's Safeway. Safeway is Safeway, but the elk herd we saw on the way over was impressive.

7:45 pm - Drinks, dinner, drinks, dessert, a few more drinks. We bask in the glow from our monumental achievement: preparation of an exquisite meal with minimal planning and rather less direction.

10/3 (Sunday) - Day Three

8:00 am - We're up early, so we have time for a homemade, leisurely breakfast. This is followed by reading and napping. Napping, apparentment, is becoming a mandatory bondage activity.

Noon - Having recovered from our naps, we set out for a stroll along the beach. The weather's fantastic. Not just fantastic for the Oregon coast, but fantastic by sensible standards.

1:30 pm - We're off for Portland. Only one more stop before we get there.

3:00 pm - And here's our stop, the Helvetia Tavern. Renowned [16] for its huge burgers, it's a perfect bookend to the Otis Cafe. We devour our jumbo burgers and a side of onion rings that we were led to believe was gonna be huge. It isn't, but the burgers are. Too bad that's pretty much all they are. No soul, no originality, no distinction. [17] Our fingers are too greasy to deploy the bondocam, so we can't provide you with photographic evidence.

5:00 pm - Home at last, home at last; thank god almighty, we're home at last! Except we don't thank anyone, regardless of deitic standing. A quality deity would've held off the rain that's set in. But we're quite satisfied that we accomplished what we set out to do (eat) plus a bit more (eat some more). And that the bondomobile worked.

"Do not ask if it is true. It is all true."
-Ernest Hemingway


1. Powerball AND Megabucks. Diversification is essential. [back to where you were]

2. Thanks to global warming and erosion, it's getting closer all the time. [back to where you were]

3. Requisite gratuitous Animal House reference. [back to where you were]

4. May 17, 1989. Check it out. [back to where you were]

5. See BBTB. Specifically, see Sunday. [back to where you were]

6. Apologies from the editorial staff at FBG. [back to where you were]

7. That's right, we're liberal, elitist snobs. Apologies again. [back to where you were]

8. In case you didn't notice, the average age of death for US casualties was 22. [back to where you were]

9. It'd be time for eating even if the aquarium were open. You knew that, right? [back to where you were]

10. Nothing to do with John McCain or Sarah Palin. In any sense - logical, psychological, cosmological, astrological, ontological, or epistemological. Thank god. [back to where you were]

11. Not likely? They said Bush couldn't get elected in 2000. Think about it. [back to where you were]

12. Don't bother; we know it's not a legitimate word. Yet. We have Sarah Palin working on it. [back to where you were]

13. We get neither lost nor injured. After a certain age, these rate as accomplishments. [back to where you were]

14. One breakfast in Tillamook is enough. [back to where you were]

15. Maybe that has something to do with its sordid past. We report. You decide. [back to where you were]

16 - Not world renowned or, like Otis Cafe, U.S. renowned; more like some parts of Portland (namely the hamburger eating parts) renowned. And not renowned enough to have a web site. [back to where you were]

17. If you're in Portland and dying for a burger to die from, we advise Stanich's. [back to where you were]


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