Oregon is home to a lot of restaurants and bars, but there are tons of hidden gems that the majority of Portlanders aren't unearthing. To help guide us to these potential discoveries, we've enlisted some of our city's many food players to share their recommendations for a weekly feature dubbed Dining Confidential.
Photo of Driftwood Room courtesy Facebook
Suzeanne Mager's father Horst founded Portland's long-running Der Rheinlander back in 1963, and since then, she's been involved in the Rheinlander and its four Gustav's Pub and Grill offshoots scattered throughout the Pacific Northwest. Mager officially took over the company in 1997, and while she's best known for operating the landmark German restaurants, she says that exploring food "from all over the world" remains a passionate pursuit. But when she's relaxing on the coast (which happens several times a month), you can find her knocking back oysters and cocktails at Cannon Beach's old-school Driftwood Restaurant.
Sometimes I like to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city to our house in Gearhart, near the coast. When I'm there, I love to take the short drive to the Driftwood Restaurant in Cannon Beach, a classic, old-world spot with a great patio and interior as well. Every time I visit, I always feel welcomed.
While the patio is wonderful, especially on a clear day, for me there's no better place to see how the locals hang than sitting at the Driftwood's classic, minimalist bar. As it's old school, I like to order a martini and oysters to start and chat up the owners and mix with the locals. For the main course? You can't go wrong with seafood on the coast (Dungeness crab when in season), of course, but I like to go with a steak, baked potato, salad, and garlic bread.