dining niblets — it’s christmas time in the city edition

Some lovely discoveries to put a little more hohoho in your step this December!

  • A bûche de noël from Caramel, a new French pâtisserie caterer in Eugene. Barbara made me this little traditional jelly roll yule log cake for a recent party, and it was delicious!  You can choose either chocolate or chestnut mousse filling.  Sample her wares at the holiday farmer’s market at the Fairgrounds.
  • Premium candy at Marché Provisions.  I saw a French Toast chocolate bar; footlong skinny marshmallows in flavors like orange blossom; little Vosges holiday chocolate bars flavored with peppermint candy cane and gingerbread toffee; bags of old fashioned hard candy apple drops and orange rock; and more salted caramel than one can shake a stick at (including a salted caramel latte);
  • Brewed Awakenings, a long-held Korean food secret on Willakenzie has become Sushi Seoul, serving sushi in addition to their mindblowing array of Korean specialties, coffee shop standards, panini, brunch, sandwiches, nightly karaoke, and free Wi-Fi for all.  Don’t get distracted — stick to the bulgogi, soft tofu soups, and grilled items.  The banchan (kimchi array) is better than any other set in town.  You can find them in North Eugene, in the same plaza as Market of Choice.
  • One kitchen gadget that looked cool:  Single-cup filters with a stopper on the bottom for about 15 bucks.
  • Fisherman’s Market has, as of late last night, Oregon dungeness crab!  Woo-hoo!
  • Osteria Sfizio posted a picture of their grilled octopus, fried corona beans & sauce romesco small plate ($12) the other day on Facebook.  Mouthwatering.
  • Another potential stocking stuffer, if you have big stockings: Frigoverre glass containers at the Ross next to Valley River Center, whose name I now know because it’s been so long since I’ve been to the mall I had to google it.
  • Gigantic Pacific oysters on the half shell with a spicy, briny, vinegary dressing at Izumi Sushi.
  • Sweet Briar Farm’s thick-cut pepper bacon, probably the best bacon I’ve ever had.
  • And, for those of us who (1) went to VRC for the first time in 5 years and attempted to order a sandwich at Honeybaked Ham; (2) graded ten thousand papers; (3) finished an article with ten thousand footnotes, no, endnotes in blasted Chicago style, which can be likened to annotating in a foreign language; (4) drank too much champagne at the tasting at Marché Provisions; and/or (5) have to travel to L.A. when all they want to do is lounge about in Eugene and eat cake, candy, bulgogi, coffee, crab, grilled octopus, oysters and bacon…Justin at Belly is serving up scrumptious Corpse Reviver #2s with more than a hint of bitter orange peel.  Or something bitter. Or maybe it’s just me.
  • But can we really complain about travel any longer? Happy holidays, everyone, wherever you might be!