1 Feature: Featured

On the trail for chowder

Clam chowder — such flavor, such humble beginnings.

Chowder may have originated as poor man’s food on the shores of New England three centuries ago, but as it made it's way west, we added a local twist and it became a food of everyone. On your next visit to Newport, look for a chowder that features a common creamy, mouth-watering base but with the flavor of our own ocean — pink shrimp, halibut, and salmon chowders to name a few.

It’s a perfect way to ward off the chill and refuel from that brisk walk on the beach. Here are some great spots to dig in:

Chowder Bowl at Nye Beach — the Slumgolian Chowder Cannonball. Wait, what? A signature dish featuring pink shrimp-topped chowder in a sourdough bread bowl baked right down the street at Panini Bakery.

Mo’s Seafood & Chowder — an enduring favorite with two locations on the bayfront.

South Beach Fish Market — look for their Clam Chowder Cannonball, or smaller servings, with options to add shrimp or crab.

Ocean Bleu Seafoods @ Gino’s — this chowder is made with house-smoked bacon.

Fish Peddlers Market- Creamy and chalked full of clams fresh from Pacific Seafood. Bread Bowl or not the choice is yours to make. Add some Bay shrimp– to top of the chowder experience here! 

Local Ocean — with a mission of giving people “the best seafood experience of their lives,” is calling its offering a soup, but you decide. It has a creamy clam base, roasted garlic, and Dungeness crab, seasoned with fresh herb. We’ll let it slide — down easy, that is.

There are lots of spots to enjoy clam chowder and all the creative flair that has been added to it. Whatever your choice, as you dip your spoon into a cup or bowl of this signature coastal dish, give maybe thought to Herman Melvin and Moby Dick: “When that smoking chowder came in, the mystery was delightfully explained. Oh, sweet friends! hearken to me. It was made of small juicy clams, scarcely bigger than hazel nuts, mixed with pounded ship biscuit, and salted pork cut up into little flakes; the whole enriched with butter, and plentifully seasoned with pepper and salt.”

Hungry yet?

2 Feature: Featured

The Perfect Saturday

Looking to spend the most perfect Saturday in Newport? We have an itinerary that is sure to leave you with that “best day ever” feeling the minute your head hits the pillow. 

It starts with breakfast at La Maison or The Coffee House. You really can’t go wrong with either option. If you want the best cup of coffee these two know how to serve it up. Coffee House has their pour-over down to an art and it’ll give you a pep in your step. The coffee house is also known for its outrageous pancake size and portions. La Maison is a French treat that has crepes and the best eggs benedict you’ll ever have in your life. They serve up a fresh brewed organic coffee that is roasted in Eugene from Cafe Caffeto. If coffee isn’t your thing, try the Green Machine smoothie from Coffee House or get some fresh squeezed OJ from La Maison.  Either one will not disappoint. 

Next, head over to the Newport Farmers Market centrally located in town on Highway 101 where you’ll find local artisans, fresh-squeezed lemonade, and fresh seasonal produce. Not to mention this last weekend, there was a tamale booth! So maybe save some room at breakfast and give those a try. 

Then you can head over to Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area for a little exploring. For only $7 a car, you and your parties can check out the lighthouse, the tide pools, and maybe even catch a glimpse of some wildlife down below. Often, you can spot a whale spout or see some harbor seals playing in the waves and lounging on the rocks. Word on the street is that there is a bald eagle hanging out in the trees there quite often. No binoculars needed to view this American icon!

You came all this way to go to the beach right? Be sure to check out the South Beach Jetty trail. It’s a great little trail that connects to the beach at South Beach State Park and is a perfect place to let those four-legged friends stretch their legs and check out all the activities where the Yaquina River meets the Pacific. This is also a great spot to watch the sunset!

Head over to Clearwater restaurant where you can dine inside and dine out at their covered tent in their parking lot. You can’t go wrong by ordering the clam chowder by the cup (or bowl), or the oyster shooters. Not to mention they have a stocked bar in their tent. Their signature cocktail, called the Clearwater, is a recipe for relaxation after the perfect day featuring vodka, housemade lavender syrup, and fresh lemon and lime juice.

Either way, you spend it–we hope you have the best Saturday in Newport, Oregon! 

3 Feature: Featured

The Newport Zoo

Zoo offers hands-on experiences with exotic animals

They’re unlikely stablemates: a pygmy goat, a silky chicken, a couple of llamas, a few pigs, an emu, and a dog. A trio of kangaroos shares an enclosure nearby. The stable itself is unconventional — a large part of a 7,000-square-foot former banquet hall at Aquarium Village in South Beach. A pair of macaws walk along the fence; other birds are perched up high in the rafters.

“My family has always had animals,” said Blaine Brown, founder of Newport Discovery Zoo, an animal sanctuary offering up-close encounters with threatened and endangered animals, animals you are likely to only encounter in zoos.

His grandfather imported animals for zoos, Brown explained. Brown owned pet stores in Spokane, Wash., before selling them when he came to the coast to care for his grandfather.

“I thought about a pet store, but people just don’t know how to take care of stuff,” he said. Instead of providing animals, why not set something up where people could come to visit these animals and learn about them, he thought.

He pointed out that alligators are illegal in all the western states, but people still seem to find ways to acquire them as pets. When alligators are confiscated, they are usually destroyed, Brown said. In addition to a pair of alligators, Brown said the zoo is home to a Nile crocodile, as well. 

Working with state agencies in Oregon and Washington, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife, and Washington Exotic Animal Rescue, the zoo provides a home for animals that would otherwise be destroyed, educating the public on the often rarely seen animals, Brown said. The zoo works with Oregon Reptile Man, who usually takes animals on visits to schools and libraries but is currently doing online education.

The zoo has two Nile monitors, an African version of a Komodo dragon. “They’ll rip your arm. They don’t make good pets. People don’t comprehend how big they get, what their needs are, what they’re going to eat,” Brown said

Some current residents at the Zoo are alpacas, six-banded armadillos, kinkaju, poison dart frogs, fennec foxes, tortoises, African crested porcupine, Agouti, rattlesnakes, geckos, cobras, chameleons, tarantulas, fruit-dove, ducks, and rainbow lorikeet. 

“Resident critters come and go as they move on to other zoos, sanctuaries, become a part of important breeding programs, etc.”

The zoo is offering admission by appointment only at this time. Appointments can be made on their Facebook page or by phone at 541-961-6371. The zoo is located at 3101 SE Ferry Slip Road, South Beach

Always Training

To hone their skills as the lifeguards for the waters near Newport, Coast Guard Station Yaquina Bay’s red-and-white-clad mariners fill time between rescue missions methodically replicating their lifesaving maneuvers until they are second nature.

BM1 Raymond Aguilar is the station’s operations petty officer, responsible for ensuring it can maintain its operational posture. He said they schedule trainings three or four days a week, while search and rescue operations provide unscheduled learning opportunities.

A five-member crew hosted a News-Times reporter as an observer on a 47-foot motor lifeboat during a four-hour, two-boat training run April 23.

Before they cast off, coxswain BM2 Tyler Hurst led the crew in a risk assessment on the stern.

Aguilar said the Coast Guard uses the “PEACE” model to assess risk and gain as low, medium or high in five areas. The crew together identifies elements of planning, event complexity, assets (boat and crew), communications and environment that contribute to two overall scores.

The April 23 outing was assessed medium risk, medium gain.

Environmental conditions were relatively favorable — a daylight voyage with wind at 5 knots, and 2 to 4-foot chop. Contributing to risk was the fact that two crewmen were still not rated — recent bootcamp graduates who have yet to earn a certification and were not yet fully trained on all tasks about to be performed. And the mission would be complex, with multiple trainings conducted — man overboard, search pattern drills and towing.

Among the mission’s gains were the training hours crewmen needed to earn or keep certifications. SN Dakota Huck and FA Cristiano Patinella would gain time in several areas, and BM3 Matthew Roque would earn time driving that he needs to be certified as a coxswain, the crew member in charge of a boat.

MK2 Kyler Stuchell was the boat’s engineer, responsible for starting the engine and performing checks prior to embarking. He also guided less-experienced Huck and Patinella hands-on during the training exercises, getting into the boat’s starboard recess and helping to retrieve the dummy body, which weighs as much as an adult male, from the waves.

Moments before, he’d thrown the heavy, weighted dummy from the back of the stern, calling out with others “man overboard” and pointing to where it was floating. Roque then executed a maneuver Aguilar said was meant to give the ship the most controllable rescue approach.

“What we like to do, even if the conditions don’t warrant it, we like to ingrain the muscle memory of doing a heavy weather turn downswell,” Aguilar said. “That kind of sets up our break-in boat drivers, who are going to be heavy-weather coxswains and surfmen down the road.”

Several crew members took a turn at driving. They performed a search and rescue pattern called an expanding square, used for locating people in the water after a craft has gone under by starting from its last known position.

The 47-foot motor lifeboat has twin engines that can be throttled in opposite directions, allowing the boat to pivot in place. All the Coast Guard’s 47s are equipped in the exact same way, from their first aid and rescue gear to the hot water in the water-tight survivor’s compartment. They’re built to withstand hurricane weather and be self-righting if capsized.

And now that the 52-foot motor lifeboat Victory is restricted from duty, the 47-footers are the station’s workhorse for vessel rescue.

Accompanying April 23 was a 29-foot craft with a crew of three. The response boat-small has a top speed of 45 knots, and its designed to support the range of Coast Guard missions, from search and rescue to interdiction. While the 47-foot lifeboat was engaged in training just west of the bay, the shorter, faster response boat visited the southern and northern reaches of the station’s area of responsibility, or AOR, which are Seal Rock and Cape Foulweather. Its crew met back up with the 47-footer to act as the rescued vessel in a towing exercise.

To send the tow rope, a Coast Guard crewman first throws a lighter heaving line with a plastic ball on the end to the waiting vessel, which is then used to pull the heavy-gauge line to attach to the bow. Huck and Patinella practiced their throws, and Stuchell demonstrated how to tie off to the T-shaped tow bit on the stern.

MK3 Curtis Williamson was on the 29-footer’s bow to catch the heaving line and retrieve the tow rope. Coxswain BM2 Tyler Locatis was at the wheel next to MK2 Trent Rodanhisler. They allowed themselves to be towed into Yaquina Bay. As the 47-foot boat pulled its counterpart toward the channel, a crewman called out whether the towed vessel was moving up or down the swell, allowing the driver to throttle accordingly. If slack in the line is permitted it can snap when a boat tilts upswell, pulling back.

The 29-footer accepted a transfer — the News-Times reporter — for the last leg of its mission to its AOR’s eastern, upriver limit, the W23 marker near Riverbend. They’re required to travel to all four corners of the AOR once every six months to maintain awareness of conditions.

The reporter was grateful for the comparatively smooth ride there and back — just maintaining one’s footing aboard the top-heavy 47 can be exhausting, especially for someone unaccustomed. Station Yaquina Bay’s coasties continuously rehearse strenuous and complicated tasks in those conditions, and worse, so that they’re automatic when it counts — when lives are at stake in some of the U.S.’s roughest coastal waters.

By Kenneth Lipp of the News-Times

The Kitchen Wilds Clam Cakes with Spicy Mayo

They’re spicy, crispy and loaded with clam flavor because these small cakes are packed full of clams! Topped with that Spicy Sriracha Mayo (that would taste amazing on just about anything), this is definitely a winning combo.

Clam Cakes with Spicy Sriracha Mayo

Cockle Clam Cakes

Makes 6 clam cakes.

Ingredients:

1 limit of cockle clams (20 clams)

1 tablespoon butter

2/3 cup red bell pepper, diced small

2/3 cup green bell pepper, diced small

2/3 cup red onion, diced small

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 egg

3 tablespoons mayonnaise

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper 

1 cup panko crumbs, plus a little extra for dredging clam cakes before they hit the fryer.

Oil for frying 

Cilantro and avocado for garnish.

Directions:

In a food processor, pulse clams until chopped into very small pieces. Set aside.

In a skillet, add butter and sauté onions and peppers until soft, add garlic and clams and sauté for another 2-3 minutes. 

Remove from sauté pan, allow access liquid to drain in a wire mesh strainer. 

In a separate bowl, mix egg, mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, cayenne, salt and pepper. 

Add well drained clam mixture to egg mixture, then add 1 cup panko crumbs. 

Form into 1/3 cup sized cakes, shaping them into approximately ½-inch thick rounds. 

Refrigerate for at least two hours before frying. 

Right before deep frying, press a little extra panko crumbs on each side for extra crunch. 

In a deep fryer or skillet, heat oil to 350 degrees and deep fry until golden brown. 

Top with Spicy Sriracha Mayo and garnish with cilantro and avocado. Enjoy!

Spicy Sriracha Mayo

Ingredients:

1/2 cup sour cream

1/3 cup mayo

1/2 teaspoon garlic

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/4 teaspoon salt

3-4 teaspoons Sriracha 

Mix well.

Follow @kitchenwild on Instagram for local PNW harvested recipes. 

1 Feature: Featured

Tide’s out? Fun is in

When the tide goes out the fun is just beginning. In 2021, the lowest tides of the year are happening between April and July, when low tides are predicted to go below two feet at points up and down the Oregon coast.

This year’s super-low tides will take place around April 29, May 27, June 25, and July 24, according to predictions by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association. The dates in May and June offer the lowest tides of the year.

Places to take in the magic of the coast at low tide are too numerous to name. All you really need are rocks that are exposed as the tide goes out — plus your curiosity. But here are a few possibilities.

Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area — marked by the highest lighthouse in Oregon — has two great places to explore at low tide. One is a cobblestone beach with pools teaming with life out near the light. The other is Quarry Cove, located closer to the gate to the natural area. Sheltered from much of the wave action of the ocean, the cove is also tucked away from the wind, which allows for warmer and more relaxing perusal. Sighting harbor seals and birds of prey are likely here too. Look for the signs as you enter the natural area.

A little further north, Devil’s Punchbowl State Natural Area at Otter Rock features a massive bowl carved by the waves into the rock and an entire network of pools stretching north along the shoreline.

For adventurous hikers willing to make the trek down the beach, the north side of Yaquina Head will be a treat of more great tide-pooling and likely not much in the way of crowds.  

What will you find? Anemones, urchins, mussels, barnacles, and sea stars, to name a few. See a shell hobbling across the bottom of the pool? It’s likely a hermit crab carrying its home on its back.

Anemones with colors from pale green to rose red to call the tide pools home. While it’s generally not a good idea to handle the marine life in the pools, it’s okay to touch the circle of tentacles on the anemones, as long as you’re careful. They attach gently to your finger with a feeling a bit like glue. Just make sure you don’t touch the center of the anemone, which isn’t good for the creature.

The more you look, the more life you’ll find. 

In fact, it’s easy to get so immersed in the world of low tide that you run the risk of losing track of safety. You’ll also want to make sure to give yourself plenty of time if you go exploring at low tide. Start as the tide is receding, and head back as it starts to rise.

Observe these principles for a trouble-free day: Never turn your back on the ocean. Observe the water near where you plan to explore and make sure “sneaker waves” aren’t entering the area. Choose calm days when the surf is low, and stay well back from waves and breaking water. If you have any doubts about the surf, don’t go out.

Be careful not to lose your footing on the cobbles and slippery sea life. Rocks are generally more slick than sand, even if they don’t look that way. Rubber boots with soft, pliable soles are a great idea.

Travel Newport Magazine

2019 Edition