Bend is on (another) top 10 list

City of BendYes, Bend has made yet another “top 10″ list, in this case in Men’s Journal’s “The 10 Best Places to Live Now” compilation. Which we saw first in, ironically enough, the Oregonian.

Think of Oregon, and a hazy green vista comes to mind, a valley of evergreens behind a veil of perpetual rain. It’s easy to forget that half of the state is desert. It’s the other Oregon, and Bend is its bustling metropolis.

A former logging town on the edge of the Cascade Range, where dense pine forest gives way to desert junipers and sagebrush, Bend is sunny and mild all year round.

Bend was their fourth of 10. The other entries on the list seem fairly arbitrary (as these lists are)—cities like Carbondale, Colorado, and St. Paul, Minnesota—but maybe it’s seeing Bend pop up on so many of these type of lists (best beer town, dog town, “best place to reboot your life”, “sunny places to retire”, for startups, and so on) that I’m fairly desensitized to them.

What other Top 10 lists should Bend be on?

Broken Top Bottle Shop’s Gluten-free 5-course dinner

Broken Top Bottle ShopIf you suffer from celiac disease or other gluten intolerance, check out Broken Top Bottle Shop‘s gluten-free, five-course dinner they are putting on this Thursday, March 12. BTBS is well-known for having some of the best vegan and vegetarian dining options in town so this dinner seems like a natural fit.

The five course menu prepared by Chef Phillip Michael Price is as follows:

FIRST TASTE
Burrata, Fennel, Blood Orange, Parsley, Olive Oil

PEANUT, BELLY, & JELLY
Braised Carlton Farms Pork Belly, Strawberry Jelly, Salt Roasted Peanuts

SEA, CREAM, & CRUNCH
Roasted Sockeye Salmon, Lemon Thyme Aioli, Micro Herbs, Crisp Potato

A GAUCHO IN BEND
Painted Hills Ribeye, Chimichurri, Charred Lemon, Grilled Baby Corn

A SWEET FINISH
Crème Brûlée, Pink Peppercorn, Bay Laurel, Thyme, Crisp Sugar

The cost is $50 per person, and will be set up as communal seating, running from 6:30 to 9:30pm. You will need to get your tickets in advance, either by visiting BTBS in person or calling 541-728-0703.

And, please be aware that Broken Top Bottle Shop takes gluten issues seriously and does post a disclaimer:

Any food not prepared in an entirely gluten-free facility runs the risk of being cross-contaminated. We use the utmost care & integrity in avoiding cross contamination when handling gluten free foods. If you have an immediate &/or potentially life-threatening allergy, YOU WILL KNOW BEST THE SPECIFIC PRECAUTIONS Y0U NEED TO TAKE. We use the term “gluten-free” knowing that if you have a severe gluten allergy, you understand that in a restaurant that is not entirely gluten-free, there may be some minimal exposure for which YOU MUST DETERMINE YOUR OWN PERSONAL RISK TOLERANCE.

Market of Choice coming to the Old Mill District

Market of ChoiceKTVZ reported today on this bit of development news that I hadn’t heard about for awhile:

Construction crews are breaking ground on the Old Mill’s newest addition. A 35,000-square-foot grocery chain called Market of Choice will be constructed on a parcel of land between Colorado and Arizona avenues south of downtown Bend.

Developers also will put in two small commercial buildings for retail, restaurants and offices.

City officials told NewsChannel 21 they have approved a master plan to turn the Old Mill’s former crane shed site into a new four-story hotel and some other commercial buildings. However, that land is currently preserved as a historic site. City Planner Aaron Henson the developers are in the process of getting that designation removed.

The Bend Bulletin ran an article on this back in November with more details, for instance the Market of Choice store will occupy 2.6 acres of the lot across from Lava Road. The other 1.5 acres just east of it will hold the other business buildings.

So it’s really more on the outskirts of the Old Mill, between it and downtown, and I’ve been wondering for a while what if anything was going to happen to those lots (I’d forgotten about the earlier MoC news). Market of Choice is a Whole Foods-esque chain of boutique grocers over in the valley and southern Oregon, and should be a benefit to the downtown residential area even if it’s spendier than other stores.

No word yet on when construction will be complete, but now that they’ve broken ground I expect it could be open by the fall.

Juniper Brewing’s 1-year anniversary this weekend

Juniper Brewing CompanyThis weekend, Redmond’s Juniper Brewing is celebrating their one-year anniversary, starting Friday afternoon and continuing Saturday. The fun kicks off tomorrow (Friday the 6th) at 4pm (until closing), and continues Saturday starting at 11am. Their plans:

We will be having a blast as we turn 1 year old this weekend! Dump City Dumplings will be on hand to fill your bellies, Onay Weaver will be providing some Live Entertainment Saturday Evening, Beer specials, giveaways, and more!!

It’s going to be a great weekend for it too, so make sure to head over there if you can (come on, it’s a super easy drive from Bend!). One caveat: because they are a production brewery only (with a tasting room), minors are not allowed unfortunately.

Juniper Brewing anniversary

Juniper Brewing
1950 SW Badger Ave., Ste 103
Redmond, OR 97756
541-548-BREW (2739)

DIYCave – A MakerSpace for Bend!

DIYcave seeks to further the cause of the Maker Movement by assisting do-it-yourselfers.

A new MakerSpace called DIYCave is now up and running, and occupies 3000 sq ft in half of the old Pakit Liquidators building on 9th just north of Wilson. It’s nice to see something like this happening in Central Oregon. Members will have access to workshop space, tools, classes, and group projects. They were recently featured in Cascade Business News.

Kudos to this group for bringing a space for DIYers, geeks, and tinkerers to life!

DIYcave
444 SE 9th Street, Bend
http://www.diycave.com
http://www.facebook.com/diycave
Services: Space rental, tool rental, and instruction in various disciplines, ranging from metalwork to gear repair.

Les Schwab’s summer concert lineup is looking good

So far it’s looking like a pretty interesting summer concert lineup at the Les Schwab Amphitheater this year—and just today they announced the latest concert, Willie Nelson and Family with Alison Krauss and Union Station on June 25. (“Online presale Thursday from 10 to 5 with the password “local”. All tickets go onsale to the general public on Friday, March 6th at 10:00 a.m. through www.bendconcerts.com and in person at the Ticket Mill.”)

Willie Nelson and Allison Krauss

Here’s the schedule as they have it now:

  • The Decemberists, May 22
  • Ryan Adams, May 23
  • The Doobie Brothers, June 16
  • Willie Nelson et. al., June 25
  • Death Cab for Cutie, July 9
  • Lyle Lovett, July 12
  • Weird Al Yankovic (yes, Weird Al!), September 4

And that’s not the end of it; I believe they have another four ticketed concerts to announce yet (not even counting the free Summer Sunday concerts). So it’s looking good.

Who do you want to see? And, who would you want to see come to Bend?

Feeling decadent? How about a Whiskey and Cigars dinner?

Whiskey!I happen to really like whiskey and the occasional cigar, so this definitely has an allure: a Whiskey & Cigars dinner at Pronghorn Resort on March 14. It’s honestly a bit steep at $80 (tickets available online here), but I have to admit my mouth is watering (both for the food and the whiskey) looking over the menu here (PDF).

Here’s the description from the press release:

Whiskey & Cigars is a five-course meal featuring perfectly paired whiskeys, served neat and as cocktails. Following the meal, guests will retreat to the heated clubhouse deck to enjoy a cigar and whiskey pairing. Professional bagpiper and military veteran David Brock will provide an introductory and mid-meal performance. Tickets to Whiskey & Cigars are $80 and seating is limited. A portion of proceeds will benefit the Returning Veteran’s Project.

In addition to pairing the various courses with a variety of whiskeys and bourbons, the food is cooked with whiskey as well. So it’s definitely an immersive experience. And of course finishing the night with a cigar and Scotch—if you’re into that, and if you’ve read this far then you might be—can’t go wrong for a dinner like this.

After such an evening you absolutely should have a designated driver at the very least; but Pronghorn is also offering room deals. From the release: “Room are available at the beautiful Pronghorn, an Auberge Resort. Special rates apply to those staying after the dinner. To reserve a room, call (866) 320-5024, and mention Whiskey & Cigars.” Pronghorn is a ways out of town, so if you do go, plan accordingly.