Grants Pass, Oregon, January 5, 2015—
WE DINED HERE twice before, most recently in August 2009. Can it have been that long, really? How many restaurants, in how many places, since then? Here it is, not yet a week into the new year, and already we're on the road, staying in a cheap motel the Sweet Breeze Inn, acceptable, even a little cute in its modest way), and dining once again at what seems to be The Only Place In Town.
Whatt you see here is the daily special, of which only two orders were left as we sat down, just a little after six o'clock: a sixteen-ounce rib-eye steak from an animal about whose provenance I chose not to inquire. Our waiter, Caleb, was engaging, and I didn't want to subject him to a Bay Area Slow Foodie grilling.
Under the steak was a serving of peas and carrots, the latter nicely roasted, the former odd — starchy: definitely not spring peas (though my companion was served young asparagus with her Pacific salmon). Frozen, I would have thought: but in that case they'd have been sweeter and tenderer. Perhaps these were fresh garden-variety cold-weather peas. In any case I ate them all.
Also potatoes, roasted Yukon gold potatoes that had been quartered and cooked not quite enough with olive oil and garlic and a hint of rosemary. And, not afterward but first, what I call a Caesarish salad, chopped, with lettuce as well as Romaine, a vaguely Worcestershire-flavored dressing not innocent of lemon, and shreds of what seemed like Parmesan cheese. Well: we've done worse.
Riesling, Foris (Oregon); Cabernet Sauvignon, Simi (Healdsburg), both of unknown vintages
• River's Edge Restaurant, 111936 Rogue River Highway, Grants Pass, Oregon; 541-244-1182