Friday, August 13, 2010

Crossings at The Riverhouse - Bend, Oregon

3075 N Highway 97
Happy Hour: 4 - 6 PM

We checked in at The Riverhouse for our conference on Tuesday afternoon. The Riverhouse has over two hundred rooms, two pools (one indoor and one outdoor), two hot tubs, a workout center, a golf course, and an award-winning restaurant. It has a lot to offer. And the Deschutes River runs through the buildings, providing an excellent view for many rooms and anyone who stops in at Crossings--the restaurant voted to have the best steak in all of central Oregon.

Crossings offers half-price appetizers in the bar every afternoon between four and six. If you are staying in the hotel, you'll also get a welcome drink coupon worth up to $4.50. With both of these great deals, I was able to enjoy a quick snack and a cocktail for just ten dollars.

I always like to get recommendations about food and drinks and will commonly ask the servers what they like most. Our server suggested the strawberry lemon drop from the drink menu as it is made with fresh strawberries and would be quite refreshing on a warm summer afternoon. It was refreshing but didn't have a strong enough strawberry flavor to call it anything more than a red lemon drop. In fact, the lemon flavor wasn't quite strong enough for my liking either. And when a second was ordered by someone at the table, hers didn't come with the same sugar-rimmed glass. It was a bit disappointing, to tell the truth.

The food items were also a bit disappointing, especially for me as a vegetarian. If I was a seafood lover, I would have been set. They have an artichoke crab dip that seemed a bit appealing and crab cakes, too. I was limited to just three items and all of them were very fried! I suppose I could have had the nachos (without the option of chicken or beef) but those, too, are fried. I can do fried food...but I prefer to have other options as well. I did order what seemed to be the fanciest sounding item on the menu. Anything with truffle oil is supposed to be fancy, right?

We were planning to head back for the catered barbecue and didn't need to fill up at happy hour...but I honestly wouldn't have finished what I ordered either way. The Truffle Chips might sound fancy, but they were anything but. Potato chips smothered with cheese and drizzled with truffle oil (as fancy as it sounds) aren't really that appealing to a health-conscious person. And the chips were not all as crispy as I would have liked them to be.

I was pleased with the sweet potato fries ordered by someone else at the table. They are a typical item at many locations in Portland but--if you've been reading--aren't always done that well. These ones were pretty tasty. I would order them again. And they were less than three dollars, making them a great deal.

Although the food and drinks weren't that impressive, the service at Crossings was pretty exceptional. They have quite a few servers (both inside and out) during happy hour, making it easy to place orders, etc. despite how many people are in the bar.

I would hope that the food (especially the steak, as it's award-winning) in the regular part of the Crossings restaurant is far better than what I tasted today. I did enjoy the breakfast buffet (free with your stay) this morning. It's way better than the usual continental breakfast available at hotels. And the catered lunches at the adjoining conference area have been pretty remarkable. It's the food in the bar that needs a little work.

Food: Nearly Meets
Drinks: Nearly Meets
Service: Meets
Ambiance: Meets (it's on the river)
Value: Meets

Crossings At The Riverhouse

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