Adam and I drove into Seaside with a mission: to surf and sample the fried arts at Beach Bites.
We'd stopped here on our way to Portland. Just 90 miles away, it was close enough to spend a relaxing day here with plenty of time to make a triumphant entry into Portland that night.
There’s a mystique that pulsates through this town – like a resort that time forgot. Its shops and amusement centers reminded me of English seaside towns like Lowesoft or Great Yarmouth, where people would drive to enjoy an afternoon or weekend by the sea.
What really captured my eye was the taffy. The Oregon coast is famous for it, and there was an abundance of shops in Seaside selling the confection. But today taffy was of no concern to me – it was all about deep-fried monstrosities.
We arrived at Seaside midmorning. I wanted to check the surf. I’d brought my surfboard, not wanting to waste an opportunity.
We drove to the north end of town and parked by the cove. There was a swell, but it didn’t look great. We walked up to the point. Sitting on boulders, we looked for something surfable, but everything was breaking too close to the rocks. We sat for an hour waiting for the right wave that would compel me to suit up. But no such luck, so we went to Beach Bites to get fried.
At Beach Bites, I ordered the triple combo for less than $7. I opted for fried Oreos, fried cookie dough and a fried Snickers bar. It was a cardiologist’s dream: The Oreos were sublime, with a cake moistness that was unlocked by their hot oil bath. The Snickers bar was a melted gooey mess, but the fried cookie dough left a lot to be desired, tasting rather mealy. I had Adam me help in this endeavor. It was too much lipid for one heart to handle.
After finishing this nibble, we decided to go up the street to a bar by the bridge and have a drink. I sat at the bar and ordered a Hamm’s. I looked out the window to the river.
“So they’re crabbing out there?” Adam asked the bartender.
“Yeah,” he replied.
A couple kids were on the bridge with their nets.
“So what kind of crabs do they catch, Red Rock?” I asked.
“Dungeness?” the bartender replied.
Adam broke into a conversation on how when he was in high school his family use to come down to the Oregon coast to go crabbing. We both finished our beers and left. He didn’t want to stick around too much longer and said he was hungry, so we decided to check out a seafood fry shack called The Bell Buoy.
He ordered the fried oysters and the fried razor clams. I was excited about the razor clams. Adam said it was one of his favorite shellfish to eat. When I moved up to Washington, he would rave about going clamming and digging up razor clams.
We got two baskets filled with coleslaw, shellfish and fries. I tried one of the clam halves – it was meaty, chewy and good. Adam had a contented look on his face as we left the restaurant for Portland.
It had been a good detour.