Black Bear Diner – March 25, 2006

“Think Biscuits” is what A.H. gave as a hint yesterday when we were discussing today’s breakfast. I knew we weren’t going to Biscuits restaurant since we’ve been there before. (Biscuits Restaurant was good – 4 stars I think; we just don’t usually go back somewear we’ve been).

The hint was right on: the biscuit was huge, but it wasn’t the flakiest I’ve ever had. It reminded me of what someone once said of Spinal Tap “Wow, they are louder than I remembered”. Of course someone once said that of me when I was cheering at a band competition many years ago. So, a kind of compliment I guess. And as a friend of mine says: “quantity has a quality all its own.”

A.H. also indicated we’d be seated and eating earlier than usual; making me think we were staying on the west side. As we turned east from Murray onto T.V. highway, I thought “Oh no! A.H. has scooped me and picked one off my list”. We pulled into the Black Bear diner, which used to be a Lyon’s restaurant. It shares a parking lot with a hotel.

I’ve been on the verge of ordering corned beef hash for weeks now, so when I saw it on the menu with a little bear icon indicating a home made recipe, I figured the time had come. And this was the hash to wait for; it was FANTASTIC; a beautiful mound of shredded corned beef with a few potatoes mixed in. I also opted for poached eggs. If you’ve been a faithful reader of the blog, you know I’m particular about poached eggs! A great poached egg is a little bite of heaven while a badly poached egg can be a soggy brick. These eggs were very, very good. I cut into the little clouds and got nice runny (but not watery) yolks.
It was so beautiful I had to take a picture of it!

The hash browns were definitely good; nice and crispy which is how I like them. The coffee was good but not great. Our waitress was great – a real professional; she did a great job of describing the various options. Also, lots of staff were walking around with coffee pots and they kept the cups filled. The booth we had was great with lots of room on all sides.

The Black Bear Diner is very popular; it was pretty full when we got there at 8:45 and when we left (after a couple of hints from our waitress) there was a huge line. It turns out to not that it is one of a chain – Carlita and I ate at one in central Oregon a few years ago.

As I mentioned, the diner shares a parking lot with a little hotel; when we parked we saw a school bus from some place in Montana. As we left we saw a young man loading his stuff. We struck up a conversation and discovered his school is in a little town 60 miles north of Missoula and they came to Oregon for their senior trip. They were packing up to head for Seaside for the day. Wow; from Montana to the coast in a cheese wagon! I guess we take the ocean for granted.

Definitely a place to return to – I give it 4 stars.

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