Hanging out with colleagues while on the road is a rare treat. Especially, when they are locals in an area that is less renowned for gastronomic delights, such as Grants Pass.
As my co-worker Matt and I were making our way north through the Rogue Valley for site visits, we had the fortune of meeting up with our friend and colleague, Kyle, who introduced to us to the Laughing Clam, a place with a healthy number of taps, and then directed us to the Circle J Cafe, with its gypsy vibe, both situated on G Street in downtown.
The Laughing Clam racheted up its curb appeal by having a strategically placed shaggy dog lounging outside under the glow of microbrew neons. The promise of cute dogs plus good beer is irresistible.
The Laughing Clam lived up to its promise: a wide selection of micro-brews, especially from Southern Oregon, were offered. A young, convivial atmosphere dominated. It felt similar to some of the bars in Corvallis that cater to earth sciences grad students (yes, I mean, Squirrels). But, instead of discussing their dissertations on how ecological responses to the eruption of Mt St Helens have completely debunked the theory of primary succession as it was once hypothesized, folks at the Laughing Clam are just winding down from work.
The Circle J Cafe boasts the most remarkable collection of vintage and faux vintage figurine lamps I have ever seen in public (scroll to bottom). There were porcelein genies, fortune tellers, and stalking panthers to name a few. The food is a predictable. But, the line-up of sandwiches, pizza and salads is pretty solid. After a number of pre-dinner stouts, Matt and I both opted for salads. My caeser salad was most notable for its epic size and generous use of garlic. Matt thought his spinach salad was huge, but it turned out that the spinach leaves were quite fluffy, so it ended up being a more manageable size.
Overall, I must say that G Street is my new favorite place in the Rogue Valley. I will be returning to both the Laughing Clam and J Cafe. There will never be another embarrassing Applebee’s moment again in this town (more on that later).