Fine, perhaps “Goonie-ville” isn’t a fair nickname (especially 26 years later), but those of you who grew up watching the cult-classic movie The Goonies will remember the stunning beauty of Cannon Beach, Oregon.
Cannon Beach is located about 45 minutes south of Astoria, Oregon. It was named for a cannon from the US Navy Schooner Shark, which sank off the coast in 1846. The cannon washed ashore and is currently housed in the Cannon Beach Museum. Two additional cannons, also believed to be from the Shark, washed ashore in February 2008, after a large storm.
Even if you’re not a Goonies fan and/or have never heard of the movie, you will recognize Cannon Beach’s most famous landmark, Haystack Rock (at right).
I’ve been spending every spare second I have in Cannon Beach for about 5 years now, and I dare say there isn’t a restaurant, pub, coffee shop or salt-water taffy store I haven’t been to numerous times. My most recent trip (last week) was no exception. Here are the highlights:
The Pig ‘n’ Pancake | 223 South Hemlock St. | Cannon Beach, OR | 503-436-2851 | www.pignpancake.com
I almost always order Eggs Benny when I dine out for breakfast. Mostly because Hollandaise Sauce (or “Holiday Sauce,” as I call it) is so annoying to make. I gladly pay real chefs to make it for me whenever possible. This dish was pretty darn perfect, what can I say? It was huge and they deliberately gave me 800 pounds of delicious shredded hash browns cooked to perfection as well. It’s a conspiracy, I tell you!
I’ve seen the place lined up out the door on weekends, with a 2+ hour wait for a table, but we went on a Tuesday morning and had no problem getting in the door (getting out the door after all that deliciousness was a different issue). Pig ‘n’ Pancake is on my “must” list if you are going to be in town for any length of time. I don’t know that I would wait for 2 hours, but if you time it right, it’s definitely worth it.
Mo’s Restaurant | 195 Warren Way | Cannon Beach, OR | 503-436-1111 | www.moschowder.com
“Everybody knows about Mo’s.”
Mo and her first husband started the original Mo’s restaurant in Newport Beach, OR in 1940. In the years since, Mo’s has expanded to include an additional 4 restaurants along the Oregon coast, as well as a successful clam chowder factory and retail business. The business is now run by Mo’s granddaughter, who, in turn, is passing the torch on to her children.
70 years after Mo opened her restaurant, I paid them my first visit. I honestly have no good reason why it took me so long, but I guarantee I will be making up for lost time throughout 2011 and beyond.
The obvious specialty at Mo’s is seafood. As you can see from the photo, buckets adorn every table for discarded shellfish shells (or whatever you call them). This is where I admit I don’t eat seafood… I used to eat seafood, but that was back when my parents made me. Now that I’m an adult, I refuse to eat it anymore and you can’t make me! So there!
So… anyway, luckily, Mo’s has burgers for brats like me:
Pretty good, as far as burgers go. It’s kinda hard to screw up a bacon cheeseburger, but hey, the price and the surroundings made it taste amazing! Also, they have real brewed, unsweetened iced tea! My favorite thing about America!! (Dear Canada: please take note).
El Mariachi Loco | 316 Fir St. | Cannon Beach, OR | 503-436-1021 | www.elmariachilocoseaside.com
One of the friends I was with is a Cafe Mexico partner-in-crime, and another lives in Texas, so a lot was riding on this dinner. As much as we were curious, I think we all were a little snotty about the whole ordeal. I mean, how can a little Mexican restaurant in Cannon Beach even begin to compare to the amazingness that is Cafe Mexico or real Tex-Mex? We had to know…
I got the chimichangas:
My completely biased review:
Rice = not as good as Cafe Mexico
Beans = not as good as Cafe Mexico
Guacamole = a much larger portion than Cafe Mexico
Chimichangas = nowhere near as good as Cafe Mexico
Portion size = ridiculous (even by Cafe Mexico standards!)
So, basically I liked that they gave me a ton of guacamole, but everything else was “meh” and I had leftovers for 3 days (which you’d think would be good, but it really wasn’t. Although I did eat it all, cause even ‘bad’ Mexican food is better than any other food in the fridge).
Partner-in-crime got the Cornish Game Hen with flour tortillas and ‘stuff.’
Neither of us were convinced it was a Cornish Game Hen. It was WAY too big… it was definitely chicken. But is was delicious (I stole some when she wasn’t looking haha)!
There was a fourth member of our party who opted for Nachos. They looked like this:
I didn’t hear any loud complaining or sobbing or anything, so I’m sure they were decent. They certainly looked colorful!
Mr. Tex-Mex didn’t say much (he had a lot of food to eat). He got what I got, only with one chimichanga and one enchilada (don’t ask me what the difference is). I doubt the dish compared to anything found in Texas, but it kept him quiet, so I’m guessing it was a hit!
Overall, I think it’s great that Cannon Beach has a Mexican restaurant and I will definitely be back (although I may have to slide some Cafe Mexico recipes under the kitchen door).
So there you have it, my favorite places for breakfast, lunch and dinner in Cannon Beach. Not all on the same day, mind you – I was there for over a week. I really don’t recommend doing all 3 in the same day. You might die. It would be delicious, but you will explode.
Honorable mention to Warren House Pub and their amazing ribs, and Bella Espresso for their much-needed coffee injections. Drinking Folgers in a hotel room does NOT count as “having coffee.” Also, Bella Espresso has a doodle/guest book and the most amazing leather sofas where you can relax and daydream an hour or two away, saving the world from fugitives and pirates.