Hangin' in the half shell at BrickhouseTastefully appointed in brick, dark wood and oversized oils, Redmond's Brickhouse Steak and Raw Bar is located downtown on historic Sixth Street and has the urban-meets-rustic aesthetic that is perennially popular in Bend restaurants.
On my first trip, I sampled just the happy hour menu as I heard it featured one-dollar raw oysters on the half shell. Show me a cheap oyster and I'll show you a happy diner. Oftentimes when oysters are offered for discount prices there is no choice as to which type you will get and the less expensive oysters are usually served. I was expecting something generic like the ubiquitous Blue Points.
I promptly ordered half a dozen oysters and, to my glee, six tiny Kunomotos arrived surrounding a dish of mignonette granita. I slurped up the buttery, briny little delicacies and immediately asked for another six. After all, when was I ever going to get a dozen Kunomotos for $12 again? I asked the server if serving Kunomotos for happy hour was the norm. She said no, that they would probably be serving something different by next week.
Two weeks later, I find myself again at the Brickhouse ordering the happy hour oysters and this time I had a choice: Fanny Bays, Gigamotos, Quilcenes or Malpeques. Even though there were no Kunomotos, it was still an impressive lineup considering the miniscule price.
This time, I ventured beyond the oysters and was pleasantly surprised by all the food I sampled. The steamed mussels were reminiscent of the famous mussel dish at the late Royal Thai, big in lemon grass and red curry. The steak tips were luscious and a great sampling of the amazing beef this steakhouse offers. The potato skins will take you back to the 1980s, only this time it's real bacon and sharp cheddar cheese. The zucchini tempera was a cross between the true Japanese version and the beloved pub version that's so popular in this country.
The menu offers many traditional dishes from seafood and chicken to pastas and salads. Because the restaurant possesses the word "steak" in its name, I felt compelled to order a steak. I got my favorite: the filet mignon, rare.
As any local knows, ordering good steak in Central Oregon is not difficult. This is cow country, after all, and meat and potatoes are king. But finding meat that melts in your mouth, is full flavored and tender enough to cut with a butter knife is another story. Served with a creamy sweet potato and crispy sautéed veggies, that steak was the best I've had in some time.
Although dessert didn't seem possible by the end of the meal, I had to try the fresh, house-made berry shortcake. Real shortcake (NOT angel food cake), juicy berries and vanilla ice cream topped off a wonderful meal - right smack dab in the middle of little ol' Redmond.
Brickhouse Steak & Raw Bar - $$-$$$
412 SW Sixth St, Redmond, 526-1782