Sunday, April 17, 2011

Culture Can Be Pretty Heavy

            This blog is concerned with all things that encompass not only travel, but culture as well.  I have written about places to go and things to eat.  But I have yet to focus on some of the cultural aspects that truly describe what it is like to live in Southern Oregon.  Art defines and expresses the culture of a people and art is a direction I will start to focus more on in my travels.  With that said, this blog is going to focus on one of my favorite musicians in our region, the band “TallBoy”.
            TallBoy, which is based out of Medford, Ore., is a heavy metal band that is extremely popular among local music lovers.  They are known throughout the West Coast, especially in Oregon, California and Washington because of their frequent touring schedule.  Even though they are often on the road, they manage to play a couple shows a month in the Rogue Valley.
            Jimmy Roberts fronts the band and is known for his wild antics onstage.  During a TallBoy show it is not uncommon to see Roberts flailing on the ground, jumping up on the bar or jumping into the pit to help inspire their fans.  Although it sounds over the top, Roberts show is very interactive and during breaks he will often take the time to speak with fans.  TallBoy realizes that their fans are their livelihood and it is nice to see an artist take such an honest interest in communicating with show attendees.
            TallBoy should be checked out by anyone interested in heavy metal music.  But if you live or travel through a place where they are holding a show they are a must see.  Check out their website at http://www.reverbnation.com/tallboy for more info.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

How To Quell Seafood Cravings


            Deep concentration, the kind that monks possess while fasting, furrowed into the brow of my girlfriend.  A sudden crack resounds against the walls.  With this crack comes the faintest smile across her face as the meat from the crab claw she furiously fought with dropped to the table.  With a quick and total drowning of the meat into her lemon butter, she takes a large bite, moaning softly, as her eyes move toward the next claw on her plate.
            This scene is played out every Thursday evening during the seafood buffet at the Gathering Place Buffet located in the Seven Feathers Casino Resort in Canyonville, Oregon.  Although the buffet is open seven days a week, the seafood buffet they offer is the real attraction that draws in customers.
            During the seafood buffet the menu is diversified and exciting enough to draw in any seafood lover.  For starters there are three different kinds of crab offered including: snow crab, Dungeness crab, and the colossal king crab.  But crab is not the only enticing menu item.  The buffet also offers: steamer clams, oysters Rockefeller, and a pretty decent clam chowder.  Everything a crustacean lover with a voracious appetite requires.
            The seafood buffet at the Gathering Place Buffet is open Thursday from 4 p.m. till 9 p.m. for $19.95 per person.  Though it is a bit high-priced it is certainly worth the occasional indulgence to quench that seafood craving.  For more information call 1-800-548-8461 or visit Seven Feather’s website at http://www.sevenfeathers.com/.

Friday, March 11, 2011

It’s Not Always Bad To Be The Black Sheep


            The Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Ore., is world renown and attracts thousands of visitors every year.  But when visiting this hot travel location in Southern Oregon visitors always need advice on the best places to eat when not experiencing the theater.  That is where the Black Sheep Pub & Restaurant enters the traveler’s itinerary.
            Located in the Plaza in Ashland near Lithia Park, the Black Sheep is the closest thing in Southern Oregon to an authentic British pub.  Bangers and mash, fish and chips, and shepherd’s pie are just some of the authentic entrees that can be experienced at the establishment.    Classic British beverages are also available at the restaurant such as; Guinness on tap, Irish Car Bombs and a wide range of aged scotches.
            The food and beverages at the Black Sheep are not the only remarkable elements of the restaurant though.  D├ęcor and atmosphere at the restaurant are also remarkable, from the traditional red British phone booth situated in the corner to the cork dart boards; the ambiance is amazing and is something that visitors will not soon forget.
            Events are another forte of the Black Sheep which include seasonal and weekly functions.  Some events include the weekly Oyster and Beer Fest on Wednesday nights and the famous Dart Tournament held every Thursday night.  On Sunday afternoons the restaurant even has live Celtic music played by local musicians.
            The Black Sheep is an amazing experience in Southern Oregon and it should not be missed by any traveler.  For more information call them at 541-482-6414 or visit their website at www.theblacksheep.com.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Traveling Success With Winter Safety Tips


            The winter months in Oregon are frigid and icy.  These conditions can impede the traveling plans of many living in this region.  But being trapped inside all winter is not altogether necessary either.  When venturing outside of one’s hometown it is always necessary to be prepared.    Many an intrepid traveler has stumbled on their wayward journeys merely because of poor preparation and planning.  This is especially true of Southern Oregon during the wintertime.
            The first, and most important, preparation for travel is ensuring that the vehicle being taken on the trip is properly maintained.  Vehicles with four-wheel-drive such as jeeps and trucks can handle icy conditions better, but these are not the only vehicles that are plausible to travel in during the winter.  No matter what vehicle is used for winter travel, studded tires or chains should be carried or equipped on the vehicle.  This ensures traction on the ice.  Also, carrying a shovel and sand in the vehicle is necessary in case the vehicle becomes stuck.  Lastly, make sure all your fluids are checked and travel with a full tank of gas.
            Remember travelers, be prepared for the worse.  This involves packing; a fully charged cell phone, some food and water, extra clothes, a couple jackets, flashlight, jumper cables, spare tire, jack and tire iron.  Carrying these essential items guarantees there are far fewer worries while on the road.
Finally, as with all travel plans, having at least a semi-formulated itinerary will help immensely with the expedition.  Everyone likes to live in the spur of the moment sometimes, but with basic planning, a trip will run far smoother.
These tips should help any traveler prepare for their journey and will relieve some of that bothersome anxiety that can be felt when the unexpected happens out on the open road during the wintertime.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Happy Hour Is Where The Heart Is


            It is the New Year, and the buzz of activity that amasses around the holiday season is slowly declining.  As people settle in to the year at hand, many think about what activities or places may define their life for the next year.
            Recently, I returned to the Cedarwood Bar and Grill with my girlfriend because we were looking for something to divert our attention from the humdrum of daily activity.  Although we use to frequent this establishment on occasion, for me, it was never a usual stomping-ground.
            On New Year’s Eve though, we decided to give this local bar another chance.  Upon entering the bar we were greeted by the typical sights, and sounds we had come to expect of the Cedarwood.  This atmosphere involves a largely cedar wood interior with random humorous signage, and chotzskys placed around the bar environment.  But what stood out to us on this current outing were some of the recently added specials for happy hour.
            The most notable of these specials are the $2.00 domestic drafts, and $5.00 for 10 hot wings.  If you have the urge for cheap, cold, beer, and an ample, affordable, amount of delicious hot wings, then this certainly is a find.  But, the habanero martini, and blood mary were significant additions to this bar’s menu that are satisfying, and very affordable at just under $6.00 each.
            So if you’re looking for something new to try for happy hour specials in Grants Pass, OR, try the Cedarwood at 1345 Redwood Avenue.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Where To Meat New Friends


Southern Oregon is known for hunters and citizens with passion for barbecue.  Cooking, smoking, and packaging meat are specialties of Taylor’s Sausage in the town of Cave Junction.  This hidden Mecca of meat in the countryside is a must taste for any carnivore connoisseur.
            According to the Taylor’s Sausage website, “We use the finest meats, natural spices, natural casings, natural smoking hardwoods and a minimum of preservatives.  We feel we make sausages second to none.”  Through personal experience, this statement is only begins to describe the quality of this company’s products.
            Taylors offers many distinct flavors and types of sausage ranging from; German bratwurst, British bangers, Polish sausage and even Portuguese linguicia.  All of these sausages are deliciously aromatic and mouth-watering.  They also provide a large smoked meat selection which includes their signature Trailbuster beef strips.  There is nothing at Taylor’s that has not been exceptional in my experience.
            Construction on the current incarnation of Taylors was finished in 2001 and the business employs 75 workers locally to work in their meat processing plant.  They’re open seven days a week and they have space provided for meals on the premises.  Take-out is always an option as well and products can be purchased fresh or frozen.
            Visit Taylor’s Sausage in Cave Junction or order their products online at www.taylorsausage.com if you want a chance at trying some of the most delicious meat selection Southern Oregon has to offer.