MARTINSBURG, W.Va. (AP) — If you had told Scott Anderson 20 years ago he would be hip deep in giving back to the community as a hospitality chef for a local recovery center, he would have said you were crazy.

This time of year, boneless, skinless chicken breasts are my go-to protein. You can add them to a grain bowl, a green salad or Caesar, or shred them to make chicken salad, soup, casseroles, one-pot meals, etc.

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I always have a Plan B. Always. I think it's part of my job description. In restaurants, I'm the same way. I usually have two choices ...  just in case. Until the day you don't.

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The Lumberman's Burger will have to wait for another day. We've tried a lot of big burgers along our journey, but The Lumberman's scared both of us. The menu reads: "The biggest, juiciest burger in town. One full pound of hamburger topped with bacon and two kinds of cheese. Guaranteed filler-upper." One pound!?

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For utterly selfish reasons I liked when The Boat (formerly Unger's Bay Fish and Chips) was up in Winchester Bay, floating off of T Dock and I could go down and grab some fish and chips and a beer and watch the sunset.

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The last time sports editor John Gunther was in Kum-Yon's, rocks were soft.

Or, at least that's the impression I got when he was talking about the last group of folks from work he was with when he ate there.

I, on the other hand, was there last week. Autumn and I often drop in for a quick lunch.

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Happy New Year.

Here's to hoping that 2020 can be as successful a year at our favorite restaurants as 2019 was.

Many of the restaurateurs I've checked in with over the past few months, said that the busy season started early in 2019 and lasted well through the summer, making it a nice year.

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Sports editor John Gunther and I are making a habit of finding burgers in places that I usually don't associate with burgers.

I was looking for a restaurant to do our penultimate burger stop, and came across The Pancake Mill.

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Stephanie Polizzi, MPH, RDN certified lifestyle medicine practitioner with Coos County Oregon State University Extension's Family and Community Health will give two presentations.

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COOS BAY — Learn about keto at Coos Bay Public Library when they co-host a class, Keto Diet 101, presented by Natural Grocers’ Nutritional Health Coach, Cheryl O’Dell, MSN. The class will be held 5:30-6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 15, in the Myrtlewood Room at the Coos Bay Public Library.

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We knew exactly what we were getting into. Kinda like when you're in a train tunnel, and you see that light at the other end ... you know what's coming.

Sports editor John Gunther and I have been to Railroad Cafe before, and he even ordered one of their huge hamburgers that time, The Logger Burger. So on our burger quest for the next few weeks, it just made sense to visit Railroad Cafe again.

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Whenever you hear of an event in Bandon, especially a charitable event, you almost always find Billy Smoothboars' owners Dan and Lynn Barnett among those donating. And sometimes they even host these events. One of them is coming up soon.

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I just never get tired of going to Shark Bites.

I don't get there often enough, but I have a harder time narrowing down my selections here more than probably any other restaurant in town. Whether I'm feeling like burgers, seafood, tacos or something in a basket with fries, I always have several choices.

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I've watched enough "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" to know you can find restaurants and good food almost anywhere. But, a gas station? Really? In Lakeside? Yep.

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A few weeks ago when sports editor John Gunther and I announced our burger quest for the next few months, our new executive editor Amy Moss Strong had one request — to save Vinny's for a time when she could go with us.

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Bite, napkin. Bite, napkin. Bite, napkin. Even if I hadn't put it in the headline, those of you who have been to Yeong's Place would've guessed.

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Half the fun of doing a burger series like this is watching sports editor John Gunther when they bring out his order. Such was the case again Monday when we found ourselves at Praus Haus Bay Burger Inn.

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Coos Bay Public Library will co-host a class, Building Healthy & Delicious Meals, by Natural Grocers’ Nutritional Health Coach, Cheryl O’Dell, MSN. The class will begin at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 23 from in the Myrtlewood Room at the library.

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NORTH BEND — The Avenue Restaurant, Bakery & Lounge will celebrate its grand opening from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19, with select $1 tacos, including carne asada (beef), al pastor (pork), chicken, vegetarian options. 

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COOS BAY – Southwestern Oregon Community College’s Oregon Coast Culinary Institute announces its First Annual South Coast Chowder Competition and Craft Bazaar. The competition and bazaar will be held from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 23, on the Coos campus of Southwestern in the OCCI facili…

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COOS BAY — Coos Art Museum will host its Fall Fling for the Arts fundraising dinner will be catered by Black Market Gourmet's Chef Jardin Kazaar on Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019. The event will begin at 5 p.m. and will include both live and silent auctions, and a no-host bar.

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NORTH BEND — Preschool children and their caregivers are invited to a special evening story time with pancakes. At 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 26, the North Bend Public Library will celebrate National Pancake Day with pancakes provided by the Pancake Mill.

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It was a slow start in that morning waiting for entries. Once they started rolling in, a little panic set in. A total of 21 contestants brought a variety of amazing creations to the Elks for the third annual "It's All Berry Good" Recipe Contest during Coos Bay Downtown Association's Blackber…

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COOS BAY - Back when I was organizing Music on the Corner, it was for the Coos Bay Downtown Association. That was a series of free lunchtime concerts at the corner of Fourth and Anderson every Friday starting after the Fourth of July and continuing through the end of August. That was a big a…

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BANDON - It's been 10 years since Coastal Mist Fine Chocolates and Desserts opened its retail shop doors in Bandon. The Bandon Chamber of Commerce helped celebrate the anniversary by presenting the business with a plaque. 

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COOS BAY — Southwestern Oregon Community College is excited to offer a series of cooking classes that get non-degree seeking students in the kitchen to gain some recreational cooking experience. The Community Education and Workforce Development department in partnership with Oregon Coast Cul…

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COOS BAY — On Saturday, July 13, Coos Art Museum launches its 26th annual "Maritime Art Exhibition" with a dinner and auction fundraiser.  The evening will begin at 5 p.m. with a social hour. Preview silent auction items and enjoy a refreshment of punch, beer or wine before dinner. The Marit…

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COQUILLE — There were two signs that should have tipped me off about the size of the meal I was thinking about when ordering the combination calzone at Rolling Pin on Monday.

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