written by Julie Lee | photos courtesy of Hamley Steakhouse
Since 1910, people have faithfully amassed in Eastern Oregon each September to “LET’ER BUCK” at the Pendleton Round-Up. To celebrate this rowdy tradition, I’ve rounded up some favorite restaurants in Pendleton to fill the tank before a long day at the rodeo.
In case you forget your cowboy boots or have hat envy and want a shiny new one, you can shop for some new garb, then power down one of the finest steaks in Oregon—all in one spot. Hamley SteakHouse is unique, in a good way. Located next door to Hamley’s Western store in the heart of downtown Pendleton, this is foodie-centric dining in an old west setting, perfect for a celebratory night out, family dinner, or pre-Round-Up feast. While you can’t go wrong in ordering anything from the menu, the prodigious rib-eye is a top recommendation. To start the night right, Hamley Saloon pours house-made whiskey by the barrel and, for more casual dining or to cure the hangover, the Hamley Café serves up a stellar breakfast and lunch.
8 SE Court Ave.| hamleysteakhouse.com
Prodigal Son Brewery and Pub
There are some stop-worthy breweries a-brewing in Eastern Oregon, and Prodigal Son Brewery & Pub is one of them. Pendleton’s very first craft brewery is a trendsetter, and the IPA here is a top ten, served with red hot buffalo-style chicken wings or some ale-battered fish & chips. The Reuben here should be noted as well, with house-made corned beef and fermented sauerkraut.
230 SE Court Ave. | prodigalsonbrewery.com
Located inside the Wildhorse Resort & Casino, which has your typical casino style buffets and cafés, is a fine dining spot worth walking through the slot machine noise for. Plateau is true upscale dining with a fabulous Oregon-heavy wine selection and locally fetched fare like foraged mushrooms on the burger, Columbia River King salmon and Pendleton Whisky steak.
46510 Wildhorse Blvd. | wildhorseresort.com
Virgil’s at Cimmiyotti’s
Cimmiyotti’s is one of the grandfathers of fine restaurants in Pendleton, serving mouth-watering steaks and pasta since 1959. Paul Cimmiyotti sold the restaurant in 1994, and it passed through a list of owners unable to keep the same ambience, service and attention to food that the Cimmiyotti’s had done for decades. The restaurant sadly closed in 2005. Enter Jennifer Keeton, who re-opened it in 2009 after months of renovating it to its regal splendor, adding “Virgil” to the name in honor of her father. Everything is good here, from land and sea. Favorites are the Dungeness crab cakes, sea diver scallop linguini, and the filet mignon with a Pendleton Whisky demi-glacé.
137 S. Main St. | virgilsatcimmiyottis.com
Sundown Bar & Grill
What’s a round-up without some great Q? Chef Rob’s smoked brisket, ribs and beef sausages at Sundown Grill & Bar-B-Q are on the money, and this is the place in town for a signature craft cocktail to pair it with. Located in an old home, this is the stop for a lovely mid-day lunch or a lingering dinner out.
233 SE 4th St. Pendleton | facebook.com/SundownGrillandBarBQ