Seize the Bagel is a family-owned bagel bake shop and café that offers a wide selection of bagel-based items. Owner Bruce Yamamura is committed to using sustainable locally procured ingredients. There are no trans fats, hydrogenated oils, high-fructose corn syrup or preservatives in any of the bagels served. Yamamura has incorporated 37 years of food industry experience to ensure his food quality, business practice, and community involvement are the best he can provide. He supplies bagels to Clark College and high schools in the east county, as well as various coffee shops around Vancouver.
Why: Jorge's Margarita Factory opened in July in the space previously occupied by Los Potrillos, which has since moved to a new location. This is the second restaurant venture for owner Jorge Castro. Castro's first, Guadalajara Mexican Grill & Cantina in Longview, has been operating for five years. Jorge's brings a different experience to the Mexican cuisine component of Clark County's dining scene. The restaurant has fresh, modern appeal and brings a vast menu that offers some unique dishes, along with several traditional-turned-vegetarian selections.
Laurelwood Public House & Brewery is an option for weekend breakfasts. Menu items range from house-made Space Stout buttermilk biscuits to scrambles that include a house-made chorizo, as well as griddle selections served with brown sugar-cinnamon butter, and hazelnut-finished ham.
Why: About four years ago, I stopped in at the Pioneer Street Cafe for dinner and was not at all impressed. Soon after placing my order, the waitress made her way to the kitchen and then the hum of a microwave filled the air -- but that was then.
• Why: Gourmet burger enthusiasts take note: Killer Burger has come to town.
Provecho Mexican Grill offers authentic cuisine in a casual dining setting.
Why: This month is the fifth anniversary of Twilight Pizza Bistro in Camas. They have quite a following among Clark County pizza-lovers. Although known for specialty pizzas that are nothing short of gourmet, the restaurant serves some other outstanding items that are all part of Twilight's magic.
Bites and bits make a delightful meal on Camas’ Birch Street
The shopping and dining options continue to impress within the small grid of streets that make up downtown Camas. On a recent visit, I stopped in at the Birch Street Uptown Lounge. It makes a classy first impression without being pretentious and the menu is substantial enough to enjoy a small healthful meal.
Prairie Bar & Grill is a family-owned and -operated establishment with a full bar, pool tables and live bands scheduled for most Friday and Saturday nights, but food has become the largest part of the business since 2000. Regular menu revisions keep favorites around while adding new selections for patrons to try.
Why: After years of Subway’s domination as the go-to place for a submarine sandwich, it could be that Jimmy John’s is bringing some competition with fresh subs that are, as they claim, “Just like Mama used to make them.” If your Mama made the best, it’s likely that you will agree.
When I first started working in downtown Vancouver, I was excited by all the lunch options within walking distance of the office. It doesn’t take long, however, for the lower-priced restaurants to start seeming stale and for the cost of the others to add up. Sandwich Box is a new addition to the affordable downtown lunch scene.
Asian -inspired menu includes chicken, vegetarian choices
Why: Tucked into a storefront next to the Salmon Creek Fred Meyer, Bamboo Hut offers healthy Asian-inspired food that’s easy for diners to customize. Sauces come on the side, so you can choose whether to drench your chicken in teriyaki sauce or take it light. Though chicken, salmon and prawns play center stage in more than half the entrees, Bamboo Hut also has a robust vegetarian menu that makes abundant use of tofu and soy chicken. It’s one of the few places around where vegetarians can order pho, a hearty Vietnamese stew usually made with beef broth.
Why: It’s berry season, and it’s hard to get berries much fresher than from the fields. Better yet is getting in-season food at the farm where it’s grown. That’s what happens on Saturdays through December at Mrs. Joe’s Kitchen at Joe’s Place Farms in Vancouver. The kitchen opened about six years ago, said Michelle Shumaker, 48, daughter of Joe Beaudoin, who owns Joe’s Place Farms, an 80-acre farm clustered in suburban Vancouver. The simple menu offerings were inspired by weekend breakfasts with the Beaudoin family.
Why: There’s always room for another carry-out and delivery pizza restaurant. Blazzin Pizza sets itself apart by offering a more diverse menu than many other rapid-production pizza shops, and now has a second location: in the Hazel Dell-Salmon Creek area. (Its first is in Cascade Park).
If you are looking for a go-to Chinese restaurant where cleanliness is a priority, flavors are fresh and a few out-of-the-ordinary dishes offer a bit of adventure, the Golden City may fit the bill. Unpretentiously situated in a strip mall shared by a martial arts studio and a Mexican restaurant, the Golden City offers family dining and authentic dishes.