2017 was quite a year of dining out here at Cuisine.
Sports editor John Gunther and I spent the year having lunch all over the South Coast. We hit restaurants in Coos Bay, North Bend, Bandon, Coquille, Myrtle Point and Reedsport.
It's amazing to think that during the year, we visited 35 restaurants and 12 food carts (I hit a few more at this summer's Food Truck Challenge at The Mill). I also spent a week in Ireland/England and spent a few weeks writing about the experiences.
All-in-all, I was thrilled with how the year went. I thought we had really good meals almost everywhere we went. This week, I'm going to give you my list of the best meals I had during our journey in 2017. Next week, John will do the same. I can't wait to see what he thought.
First, let's remind you of all the restaurants we visited this year, it's quite a list: Warehouse 101, Margaritas, Millers At The Cove, Bedrocks, Yeongs, 7 Devils, Thai Gourmet, Sea Basket, Vinny's, North Bend Lanes, Coach House, Captain's Choice, LaCosta, Tony's Crab Shack, 19th Hole at Watson Ranch, Tai's Dynasty, Dishners, Little Italy, Benetti's, CourseHouse at Forest Hills CC, Puerto Vallarta, Shakin Burger, Tokyo Bistro, Bandon Brewing, Billy Smoothboars, Flappers Cafe, Devil's Kitchen, City Subs, Bungalow Market, Spruce Street Grill, Rogue River Cafe, The Boat, Sea Level Coffee House, El Guadalajara, and Noster Kitchen.
I'm thrilled that the top two stories online both garnered over 1,000 views and that the next two were very close. Noster Kitchen on that list was a surprise, having only been out the final week of the year. Given another few days, I'm sure it would have also surpassed the 1,000-view mark.
One side note before I start, my burger at Vinny's isn't going to make my top five meals, but I've been back multiple times since our visit in March, and tried their brisket sandwich. I think the brisket is fabulous and easily would have made my list.
Do you know how hard it was to get my list down to five. The top 10 was hard enough.
Let's start with maybe the most surprising to me, North Bend Lanes. I had their chicken alfredo flat bread pizza and shared an order of sriracha chicken bites. Sometimes it's difficult to have a good white sauce pizza, but this one was really good. And the sriracha bites make a great appetizer.
In October, we went to Flappers and I ordered their steak sandwich and got it with the tomato soup. The soup alone could have made this list. The sandwich was a nice bonus.
I enjoyed our trip to Little Italy in June. I ordered the Calzone Contadina, which had Italian sausage, meat balls, chicken breast and mozzarella filling. I got two very filling meals out of this delight.
My two favorite meals were both burgers this year. I have several favorites at Yeongs, but this year I added another one when I ordered the Ortega Chile Burger. I've always liked Ortega chiles, and this was just a wonderful pairing on this burger.
Probably the lunch I won't forget this year was the Meat Lovers Burger I had out at Devils Kitchen in Coquille. I couldn't put it down, no matter how full I was. It had two patties, barbecued beef, bacon, cheese, lettuce and tomato. It has everything you could want on a burger, and a little more. I get full just thinking about that burger.
It was a good year. I hope 2018 is just as good.