Monday, November 18, 2013

“What’s a Zebra Bar?”

…Chuck asks.

“I have no idea.” was my response. “I guess we’ll find out.” And then we walked through the doors of Bridgewater Ocean Fresh Fish House & Zebra Bar (BOFFH&ZB).
And while we’re on the topic of things with stripes, did any of you see yesterday’s Detroit Lions v. Pittsburgh Steelers game? Did you see those 1934 Steelers throw-back uniforms? As Anwar S. Richardson said at “Just when you thought nothing could uglier than Zubaz* pants, the Pittsburgh Steelers brought back their throwback uniforms…Vintage clothing is often stylish. But these uniforms, which are a combination of ‘Where’s Waldo?’ meets Dr. Seuss in a paint store, definitely rank high on the hideous scorecard.” The Dr. Seuss reference is to the striped socks worn by the players. And who ever thought that black and gold horizontal strips were a good look on a 300 pound lineman?

But back to BOFFH&ZB. The restaurant is located in one of the historic Old Town Florence buildings. “Several Old Town buildings come with pedigrees. Most notable is the 1901 William Kyle & Sons Building at the corner of Bay and Laurel streets. A two-story, false-fronted Italianate structure, it served as a mercantile until 1961.
Restored in 1971 as a benchmark of Old Town revitalization, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1981. Today, it is a popular restaurant—the Bridgewater Ocean Fresh Fish House and Zebra Bar…” (John Gottberg Anderson for The Bulletin at

During our time in the Pacific Northwest, we have been mercifully spared the “nautical kitsch” so often seen in Atlantic Northeast seafood houses. We haven’t seen nets draped on walls. We haven’t seen large ships’ wheels. Nor have we seen buoys and stacks of lobster traps. But I wasn’t prepared for an African safari motif in a fish house on the Oregon Coast. There are zebra striped rugs,
zebra striped upholstery,
and both can be found in this small and inviting nook off to one side.
As one would surmise from the name, the menu is fish and seafood-centric. Appetizers included: seared ahi tuna rolled in Cajun seasonings, seared, and sliced thin and served with honey chipotle sauce; barbequed charbroiled oysters drizzled with garlic butter and citrus BBQ sauce; and shrimp and scallop skewers drizzled with Teriyaki sauce.

For entrées you could choose from: linguini marinara with scallops, prawns, and fish blended with tomato and garlic marinara; Alfredo prawn linguini topped with sautéed garlic Tiger prawns; smoked salmon pesto linguini tossed with basil and parmesan pesto and topped local honey-smoked salmon; and shellfish cioppino containing fish and a variety of crab, prawns, steamer clams, mussels, and scallops.
But there was one entrée that had caught my attention when I reviewed the menu on BOFFH&ZB’s website—the two-pound serving of steamer clams and mussels in garlic and white wine broth. Granted, there was an appetizer portion of this same dish that I could have ordered along with the day’s soup—vegan split pea. But I have been so hungry for a pile of mussels and clams that I know that the smaller order wouldn’t be enough.
When I see the words “steamer clams” on a Northwest menu I know that I am not going to get the kind of plump and juicy steamers (also referred to as soft shell clams) that you get along the Atlantic coast. Still, these were a decent size and, along with the mussels, made for a satisfying lunch. And the clams and mussels came with a good size portion of grilled sourdough for dipping in the broth which, in my opinion, had just a touch too much wine.

Chuck opted for a cup of chowder and two appetizers. The chowder was thicker than I like which means that it is just as Chuck likes and contained bacon, clams, fish, and shrimp.
When he placed his order, our server asked if he would like all three items brought out together. He asked that the chowder come first.

And here is an interesting phenomenon that we have encountered at a number of Oregon restaurants. I am sitting watching the food orders coming to the tables around us. And right across the table was a party of four, each of whom had ordered an entrée plus soup or chowder. And all four received the soup/chowder at the same time as the entrées. Having had the same occur with us at other restaurants, we can only surmise that this is the Oregon norm.

To accompany both his chowder and menu item to follow, he selected BOFFH&ZB’s appetizer of warm crusty bread that came with small cups of regular butter, roasted garlic butter, and garlic pesto.
This bread had a really nice sour bite and was almost as good as that served in San Francisco.

And rounding out his meal was the appetizer plate of three panko coated and fried Dungeness crab cakes.
While I will probably always prefer crab cakes made with the jumbo lump meat of the blue crab, these were quite good with a minimum of filler and not so much seafood seasoning to overpower the crab.

This was an enjoyable lunch. Not one to be memorable but enjoyable enough to merit 4.0 Addies.

To review the role of Adler, Kitty Humbug, and the Addie rating system, read the November 14, 2011 blog.

* I had to look these up, too. “Although Zubaz began as a line of shorts, the brand was extended into long pants, caps, shirts, and even diapers. The pants are tapered at the ankle, with the outer part of the leg being longer than the inner part. They have an elastic waistband to allow for greater flexibility and movement. The pants were originally created in a zebra print, but later began to be sold in almost any design imaginable” (

But the day wasn’t over. As we are walking back to The Big White Truck, Chuck sees the sign for B.J.’s Ice Cream. “It’s too cold for ice cream.” I tell him. But then he sees the sign saying salt water taffy. So into B.J.’s we go.

As Chuck is perusing the taffy choices and filling his “serve yourself” bag, I scan the ice cream choices.
Hey, it’s never too cold for ice cream. And there’s always room for ice cream. So it was a scoop of huckleberry for Chuck and one of Kalua Krunch (the crunch coming from bits of dark chocolate) for me.


eyad ammar said...

شركة تنظيف بالطائف شركة الهدي افضل شركة نقل عفش بالطائف كذلك هى افضل شركة رش مبيدات بالطائف
شركه الهدى
شركة رش بالطائف
خدمات الطائف
شركة تنظيف بالطائف
شركة تنظيف فلل بالطائف
نظافه عامه بالطائف
شركة تنظيف منازل بالطائف

eyad ammar said...

شركة تنظيف شقق بالطائف
نقل عفش بالطائف
بالطائف شفط بيارات
تسليك مجارى بالطائف
تنظيف خزنات بالطائف
رش مبيدات بالطائف
نقل عفش بخميس مشيط
شركة عزل اسطح بالطائف

eyad ammar said...

ان اردت نقل عفش منزلك بالدمام ابيات الشرقية من اهم شركات نقل العفش بالدمام والخبر والجبيل والقطيف والاحساء
شركة المتحدة
شركة نقل عفش بنجران
شركة نقل عفش بخميس مشيط
شركة نقل عفش بالطائف
شركة نقل عفش بمكة
شركة نقل عفش بينبع
شركة نقل عفش بابها

eyad ammar said...

شركة نقل عفش بالرياض
شركة نقل عفش بجدة
شركة نقل عفش بالدمام
شركة نقل عفش بالمدينة المنورة
شركة نقل عفش ببريدة
شركة نقل عفش بالقصيم
شركة نقل عفش بتبوك