Un-Burgers and Non-Pizzas
TarnTip Thai Cuisine
Right next to the buzz of the OSU campus, this restaurant serves up authentic Thai dishes. Go for the Tom Kah Gai Soup (vegetarians be sure to opt for tofu) and the Paht Thai. Their curry dishes also pack plenty of flavor. Portion sizes are generous for the price. Be sure to bring cash, though—the restaurant doesn’t accept credit cards.
If you find yourself near the Timberhill Shopping Center with a hankering for Chinese eats, your best bet is to place an order at Queen’s Chopstick. Tried and true entrees like lo mein and an array of stir-fry options are available on the dinner menu. The fried rice isn’t too bad, either, and it’s on the cheaper side as far as price goes. The restaurant stays open until 11 p.m., Thursday through Saturday.
Evergreen Indian Restaurant
This is a tasty choice for lunch even if you’re not a vegetarian, but if you are, you’ve got some really delicious lentils, saag, and pakora waiting to blow your mouth up. This is one of the best restaurants in town, especially for the price. Here’s The Advocate’s secret: get the lunch buffet to go. You can fill your container to the brim and have what scientists would call a veritable crap-load of lunch, all for no more than a fast food meal would have cost. Your move, Nirvana.
Nirvana Indian Restaurant
If you’re looking for authentic Punjabi Indian food, you won’t be disappointed with anything at this North Corvallis eatery. Their tandoori chicken is rich and flavorful, and their naan is addictive. If you’re new to Indian cuisine and aren’t sure what to order, their all-you-can-eat buffet is an ideal way to sample a little bit of everything that they’re known for. Don’t forget to get a masala tea (chai) to go with your meal. Anyhow, their convenient for North Corvallis, so there’s that.
If you’re looking for a little Asian fusion and culture spice in your life, Koriander may be your place. Racked with countless noodle, hot plates, and meat dishes it also offers Italian gelato to cool down that palate after your delectable feast. Dinner can be a little spendy, so go earlier to save some money and still get a good meal. The bulgogi beef entrée was reasonably priced, absolutely delicious, and filled the fridge with leftovers.
Craving food from the Middle East or perhaps Turkish coffee? Head over to D’el Jebal and satisfy those cravings for falafel, shawarma, or my personal favorite, the Sinbad Sandwich! And for the record, if it’s bad I don’t want to be good. It comes with the signature “Sinbad” sauce which consists of garlic and other mysterious goodness. Complete with fries and a soda, then you’re ready to take on the world. Five stars in my book.
Do you love dining in off-the-wall places? Is a kitschy atmosphere your thing? Then you better get over to The Woodsman, located in Philomath, where you can enjoy ridiculously delicious Thai food in a logger atmosphere—which shouldn’t work, but it does. Antique chainsaws and industrial tools grace the walls and the portion sizes are generous. Heck, you can even order a burger big enough to fill a lumberjack. And no, you didn’t just accidentally step into the local VFW.
This cafe’s unpretentious or downright weird decor is fun, the food is seriously good, and the staff genuinely loves serving guests. The magic choices on the menu are their beautifully plated foods: mildly spiced rice with fava beans and salad, topped with your choice of protein. Below the plates are solid gyro choices. Hints: They customize foods however you would like, which makes for a better salad, and their selection of baklava is huge.
This restaurant offers a variety of Asian flavors, and most entrees are $10 or less. This is one of the few places you’ll be able to find good pho (pronounced “fuh”) in the Corvallis area. Traditionally made with beef broth, this Vietnamese noodle dish is great on a chilly spring evening. Another win for Kimhoa’s: the restaurant serves up vegetarian and vegan-friendly pho. The salad rolls make for a tasty, inexpensive side dish.
China Blue Restaurant
Offering by far the best Chinese cuisine in town, China Blue dishes up all the favorite Americanized flavors en masse. Seriously, once I ordered the ever-delicious “Special Chow Fun” and the noodles kept endlessly springing from my take-out container—the Mary Poppins of noodlery. Plus, to make up for being behind on our order last winter, they gifted us an entire bag of fortune cookies. Consider yourselves forgiven, China Blue. I’ve been fortune-rich since Christmas (when we ordered).
If you’re near campus and have a wicked hankering for some Thai cuisine, try out Thai Chili. The food is well-priced and pretty darn authentic. The spot often fills up around lunchtime, but the service is fast and often friendly. If you’re feeling adventurous or like you need a companion beverage for your Pad Thai or your spicy stir fry, try the bubble tea or Thai iced tea. There are many flavors to choose from.
Which Sandwich, Where…
If you’re looking for a great sandwich in a relaxing environment, Francesco’s on 2nd Street is the place for you. Not only do they have great coffee and gelato, but they also have a full sandwich menu including my favorite, combining pesto and turkey. All of their sandwiches are made fresh, with cold and hot options.
New Morning Bakery
Not being a sandwich place, what’s this eatery doing here? First, their top-rate panini comes in two or three iterations a day, but beyond that, their eclectic menu means main course options for whoever you find yourself with, plus sides for yourself. Our crew especially likes their soups as a side.
Natalia and Cristoforo’s
I’ve never actually been to Italy, but why bother if you can pick up a hoagie from Natalia and Cristoforo’s. All sandwiches are crafted with a variety of Italian meats and cheeses, topped with vegetables of your choice and, for a little extra, served on a baguette or ciabatta roll—trust me, it’s worth it. Feeling particularly hungry? Go for the Bober, a muffuletta sandwich piled high with all the salami, cappicola, and provolone cheese you could possibly desire.
Baguette Vietnamese Sandwiches
It’s fair to say the only good thing that came from the French colonization of Vietnam was the banh mi sandwich like the ones you can find at Baguette Vietnamese Sandwiches on 3rd Street. These delicious sandwiches are served on a toasty baguette with pickled carrots, cucumber, cilantro, and your choice of protein. It wouldn’t be a proper banh mi, however, without sauces—mayo, soy sauce, and garlic pepper sauce in this case. Your best bet is the beef lemongrass or curry beef, but quite frankly, anything they put on those baguettes is freaking delicious.