The Unvegan

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Down by the River at McMenamin’s

Winging it.
Winging it.

Possibly the best part of a road trip is not quite knowing where you’ll be sleeping that night, and not just which hotel, but sometimes which city. Somehow after a day at beautiful, if foggy Crater Lake we decided to make the trek to Eugene, Oregon to crash with a family friend. Knowing the kind of food I like to eat and the kind of beers I like to drink, he took us to McMenamins, a sort of chain of microbreweries throughout Oregon and Washington. He explained that each one was unique in its design because they typically opened up in buildings with previous tenants and worked within those confines. It was a pretty cool concept and the McMenamins North Bank in Eugene certainly had an awesome set up.

We were seated outside, right alongside the river with a great view of the wildlife that passed through. To start, we ordered wings with their Hammerhead BBQ Sauce. Hammerhead is one of their brews and the wings turned out quite nicely despite the fact that I am usually more a buffalo sauce fan.

Cooked to a crisp.
Cooked to a crisp.

As my main course, I ordered Wilbur’s Double Deluxe Burger, which came topped with bacon, Tillamook cheddar (for it not to be Tillamook would be like driving a Toyota in Detroit) and a fried egg. I ordered it medium-rare and without any veggies that it might have come with, then chose fries as my side. It arrived looking like a pretty thing, but after a few bites I realized the looks could be deceiving. Unfortunately, while the ingredients were great, they weren’t quite prepared in the way I would most desire. In fact, the burger itself was well-done and the egg was fried completely through.

Nonetheless, I have to say that I was happy with the existence of McMenamins. The location, atmosphere and general feeling of the place left me feeling more positive than not. I would avoid their burgers, but not McMenamins itself.