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.
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!!