another “pseudo-casual dining experience” for eugene

The Register-Guard reports that the West brothers, a duo responsible for the oversaturation of pseudo-Mexican restaurants in town, are on the move again, closing their Fina Taqueria on Willamette (which wasn’t bad, and certainly better than the even more Americanized Mucho Gusto, their other Mexican offering) and opening up…

…wait for it…

another BBQ place and another burger joint!  Just what we need. They call them “Westraunts,” concept dining at a price point providing a “pseudo-casual dining experience.”

Joe Mosley describes the concept of the team’s trifecta of pseudo-Mexican/BBQ/burger in almost brilliantly constructed mixed metaphors (I hope this was on purpose):

The umbrella company is a three-legged culinary stool that the owners plan on using to corner the local “quick casual” dining market.

dscf42591All we need is a ringmaster and a carriagewhip, Mary Poppins, and we’ll get that sucker tamed!

The BBQ place will be where Fina now resides, and the burger joint will be in midtown.   One of the brothers commented that there were many BBQ places already in town, but this particular area didn’t have one, so therefore there must be a need.  This makes me want to cry in frustration.

There are going to be people who comment that I shouldn’t be Debbie Downer in these tough economic times, and it will provide jobs in an industry that desperately needs them, and at least these guys are local, and yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, I agree. I can’t begrudge any jobs right now, and I honestly wish every single waitperson and dishwasher in this town all the best of luck securing a spot in one of the new venues.

But as a Eugene consumer whose voice is not being heard, one who represents a significant segment of the population of academics and foodies and Slow Food members and vegetable gardeners and somewhat health-conscious people and hipsters and international students and out-of-towners LIKE MARK BITTMAN and regular people in town, can’t one single rich entrepreneurial team open up a good NON-burger/bbq/pizza/ribs/chicken wing tapas restaurant in this town?  Please?

We’re begging you, BEGGING.  Anything mid-priced and AUTHENTICALLY ethnically diverse.  Anything casual with slightly unfamiliar ingredients that you can find in Provisions.  Any slightly upscale sandwich shop you might find in Portland.  Anything like this “honest food, classic cocktails” bistro, Serpentine, in San Francisco.  They’ve even got a goddamn burger!  Even copy off Belly!  Please!!

6 thoughts on “another “pseudo-casual dining experience” for eugene

  1. Clayton 30 January 2009 / 10:08 pm


    Also, the BBQ in town is second rate, at best! AGGGHHHHH!!!


  2. Robin 31 January 2009 / 11:47 am

    Couldn’t have said it beter myself!


  3. Erin Gilfillan 1 February 2009 / 12:08 pm

    Thank god Black Rabbit opened. I live in the neighborhood and will miss Fina Taqueria. Have you tried Black Rabbit yet? I don’t think I’ve seen them mentioned on your Blog. I eat there frequently. They are consistently good, fresh, friendly and affordable. The perfect Southtown restaurant!
    On another note, had Belly again last night. Pork Confit with Pomegranate and Pineapple and Spiced Pork Stew with white beans and root veggies….Yumm Yummm Yummmm


  4. Eugenia 1 February 2009 / 12:48 pm

    Erin: I haven’t been to Black Rabbit, and I’ve been meaning to check it out. Thanks for letting us know your thoughts! I’m sure the EW Chow! coverage this week will get them more traffic. Will post when I have a chance to visit and review…


  5. e 2 February 2009 / 10:55 pm

    Yes! Yes! Yes! I can’t agree with you more.

    Another good example of an alternative to bbq/burger/etc is a new sandwich shop in Portland called Bunk. Simple, but well executed sandwiches made from traditional meat preparations. It’s reasonably priced and in a simple space.


  6. sharon 16 February 2009 / 11:33 am

    Hallelujah sister.

    Belly kicks Rabbit’s …. well you know… but the bartendress at Rabbit is wonderful and they have great prices.


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