The Blue Heron Bistro 100 Commercial Avenue, Coos Bay. BlueHeronBistro.com.
Yes, it’s not exactly in Eugene or Springfield. But Coos Bay’s excellent Blue Heron Bistro can satisfy that sudden overpowering desire for wiener schnitzel, sauerbraten or even Hungarian goulash that always seems to come over me when I visit the coast on a blustery day. Founded in 1976 and run for four decades by Wim de Vriend, a conservative Dutchman, the restaurant lost a lot of local business after he turned a garden hose on feminists picketing outside in 1993. Into the breach stepped Adam Palmer, the Bistro’s longtime chef, who bought the business in 2015 and now runs it with basically the same menu — with the addition of Nashville barbecue — and with much better service, which tended to be on the slow side. Prices are moderate to high for the southern coast, with entrees running $25 to $35, and that’s before you add in a great selection of German beers and ales.