August 21, 2007

Ashland Bakery [Oregon]

A stroll down Main Street led us to the busy Ashland Bakery brimming with pre-theater diners on their way to the Shakespeare Festival. After a week of dining out, I was more than relieved to spot homey portions of spaghetti and meatballs and dinner salads from my vantage point on the street. We were sold and joined our fellow Romeo & Juliet playgoers at the only remaining table in the house.

My grapefruit juice was freshly squeezed, as evidenced by the pulp straining through my teeth with each gulp--just the way I like it. While the start to our meal was promising, it only intensified the foil of a disappointment that followed.

After a long wait and an only okay Vegetable Soup to start, our entrees finally arrived. My Seared Scallop Salad ($13) looked sickly and tasted worse. The ghastly pale scallops barely showed signs of being cooked let alone the tan of a sear. As if looking raw weren't crime enough, the scallops lacked any seasoning whatsoever, while the chardonnay vinaigrette on the salad was a poor pairing. I hate to waste food, but anymore than two bites would have sent me retching.

The Salmon ($18) fared a bit better and was the homey preparation I had been craving. Healthfully grilled and served with a mango-papaya salsa, broccolini, and rice pilaf, the salmon quickly became our shared entree for the night.

To compensate for my dinner failure, I ordered a Blackbottom Cupcake to-go. The moist, gooey, chocolate cupcake was dense and sent me reeling in waves of nostalgia. Remember those chocolate muffins they used to sell at recess in grade school? Those muffins used to be part of my daily repertoire and I was glad to find something grown up for my evolved palate.

Judging from my limited experience, I would bet they do a better job at breakfast and lunch.

Ashland Bakery

38 E Main St
Ashland, OR 97520
(541) 482-2117

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