Well, this is not going to shock anyone who knows me (even casually)....My favorite local business is
I started working with Jim and Donna White when they bought the place over 8 years ago. They've since added a second loaction (Sam's on Franklin). Sam's is Eugene's version of "Cheers". Safe, clean, great food, great drinks and the staff is family! No one is a stranger at Sam's.
if you are a sports fan, this is your bar! The Fantasy Football league is a hoot (I play every year) and there are TV screens EVERYWHERE (including a flat panel in each booth). You will not miss a single play at Sam's. The patio out back is always warm and has more TVs! Do you like an occasional cigar like I do? Cigar club meets out back on the last Wednesday of every month...
Chris, Vinnie, Terry and Lola are magicians in the kitchen with amazing daily specials (definitely not "bar food"). On Fridays you can smell the smoked Prime Rib from the parking lot...
But the real reason Sam's is my favorite local business is because a year and a half ago I went through an extremely challenging time. I consider myself a super strong woman, but this brought me to my knees...Just didn't see it coming. The gang at Sam's had my back (they still do). I call them "my band of brothers and sisters". Jim, Sherri, Andrea, Terry, Adam(s), Brian, Bird, Jeff, Kathy, Jodi & Patrick, Cliff, Susan, Vinnie, Milligan....the list goes on and on...I just can't say enough about Sam's Place - if you haven't popped in yet,make it a point to do so. You will feel the love and you will becoome part of Sam's family too!
This topic for me was a hard one. In Eugene and the surrounding areas, there are SO many fabulous businesses. From BRING recycling, to Bi-mart, to Sam's Place, Cafe 440, Aqua Serene, Ixtapa, Cup of Joe, Our Daily Bread, Sweet Life, The Farm Store, Coastal, -the list goes on and on. How can I pick just one?!
But since I have to pick, I'd have to say that right now the local business my family frequents the most (or that my kids beg me to go) is Ixtapa Mexican restuarant in Veneta. It makes us all happy, the drinks are cold, their food is huge and delicious and my kids, both love to eat there. Thats a huge win in my book!
In addition to being a favorite spot for a family dinner, this is also my "go to" spot for lunch with my girlfriends. Whether in the restaurant with a little munchkin in tow, or just for drinks at the bar with the girls- its just works.
Patron Margarita on the rocks with salt for me, please!
Their menu items are a lot of the standard mexican fare (but better, of course). Their salsa is so popular you can buy it by the container! When you go, make sure to check out the insert in their menu with their restaurant specials on it; THAT is where the amazing food is at! I almost always get Tacos Al Carbon when we go for dinner. Its huge- but I always have to eat all of it because it's just SO good!
Aside from the food, the staff is what makes this place so great. They know their community, they support their community and they make their customers feel right at home. Remembering what frequent customers like to order, cracking jokes and making the kids smile. Its so cute when the waiter calls my son 10 year old son "Boss". It always gets a crooked, silly smile of out of him and that just makes the experience that much better.
It's really a great place to hang out and have a great meal and I'm happy it's a part of my little community.