While New York City was sweltering and boarding up windows for an impending hurricane, Tom, the pooches and I were enjoying a luxurious ride along the Oregon coastline. After a visit to the Sea Lion Caves, we were on the hunt for some West Coast seafood.
Completely by accident (isn’t that the way to discover all of the best restaurants?) we came across the International C-Food Market in Florence, Oregon. We were immediately lured in by samples of their creamy clam chowder and signs assuring us that they were pet friendly. Pet friendly, indeed! Their beautiful patio overlooking the water was filled with dogs and their owners enjoying a late afternoon lunch.
I decided to brave the drink menu and attempt a Bloody Mary. Not very original, but it’s a drink I really want to like and just...can’t. But, the pearl onions and olives just called to me. This was possibly the best Bloody Mary I’ve ever had. Just spicy enough and not too thick. I still could only finish about half of it.
Of course, after our little sample of clam chowder, we had to go for the bowl. Bacony, clammy chowdery goodness! Every bite was packed full of clams and this soup was not drowning in large, under-cooked potatoes as so many are. This chowder was fresh and all of the flavors came through in every bite. Luckily for me, Tom doesn't love to share soup. So after a bite or two, it was all mine!
Next up was the pan fried razor clams. Neither of us have ever tried razor clams, and it was quite a surprise. I was expecting deep fried, which always kills all of the flavor. This dish was carefully and lightly fried in butter and lemon. The flavor of the locally caught clams was rich and delicate all at the same time. I might have given Tom a bite or two and then forgotten to offer him more. Whatever. There were definitely not enough of these on the plate.
Finally, we opted for a seafood medley, which included crab legs, scallops, octopus, muscles and some kind of flaky white fish. Skip the rice and overcooked veggies that come with it. This was probably my least favorite part of the meal, although the scallops were cooked perfectly. Very tender and not rubbery at all, which is often a problem. The sauce was good, but not very memorable.
International C Food Market is a trans-fat free restaurant and you can read all about the evils of hydrogenated oil on their menu. The fish are all caught locally in Florence, Oregon.
The meal would definitely not fall in the “cheap eats” category, but considering Oregon is sales tax free, we were pleasantly surprised. Worth a stop if you are in town. The dogs loved it, too! Tell 'em Breezy & Morgen sent you! http://www.icmrestaurant.com/
1498 Bay St.
"Old Town Florence," Oregon 97439
(541) 997 9646