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“Love Kendra's.”

Kendra's River Inn Food & Lodging
Ranked #5 of 15 Restaurants in Nehalem
Restaurant details
Reviewed 6 April 2018

I love going to Kendra's always top notch service fabulous food and great wine. I almost always have the Salmon. Love it The people I meet there seem to always be the kind of people I want to meet.

Thank Rayshack
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (27)
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5 - 9 of 27 reviews

Reviewed 29 March 2018

The food was decent and not what I would consider over priced for the area...but the place has an overall desperate quality and atmosphere like they are getting ready to shut their doors. There's even a kind of musty/moldy smell when you first come in...I know its the Pacific Northwest and Mold seems to be the unofficial state flower buit it makes patrons feel like they're eating in a basement. The service is great...seriously, our waitress was adorable, attentive and did a great job.

Thank mermaidtears2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 March 2018

Highly disappointing. Food and atmosphere was average - 3 stars - at best. Service was poor, especially as the server (who comes with a large dose of attitude) was the owner's daughter. I will not be back. Here's why.

This was my third visit to this location, each time with a different owner. In 2011 this was the Nehalem River Inn, the restaurant was fantastic and had a national reputation, with listings in Fodors and Frommers travel guides. In 2014, it was turned over to a young woman who had been a server in the restaurant for the previous owners. It was still excellent. Now, it's a sad and poor shadow of what it once was.

Before going to the restaurant in the evening, I had stopped by earlier (around 5:15) to see what their hours were and what the availability would be later that evening. Since it was Saturday, I asked about their expected crowd. Without checking her reservation book, a young woman (who ended up being the server) replied "we never know how many people will be here". Well duh. As it turned out, there was almost no one there when I arrived around 7:15.

The inside itself had a peculiar smell when I first went in - a kind of musty, dingy odor. The floors, walls, and general furnishings also looked dingy and they definitely need refreshing. But all that's merely prelude to the tragedy to come.

I ordered the NY steak, which I'd had on the two previous occasions. When asked how I wanted the steak I said medium, and then asked if a medium was really a medium or more like a medium-rare. The server confidently stated a medium was a medium. This turned out to be quite inaccurate.

Second, I said I would like to have no added salt. Again the server was confident in replying they only use "seasonings" and that the cook would add no salt. That was also quite inaccurate.

All that I describe should be understood in the context of price. The steak was $28.95 and the glass of red wine I ordered was $9 so this was almost a $40 meal, not including any appetizer, any dessert, or tip.

The salad was good. It had a variety of vegetables, some fruits, like Mandarin orange slices, and it was large. So far, so good. The bread was undistinguished white bread. Nothing special. No home-baked sense or quality baked good taste.

The meal comes out and with the steak is asparagus and rice pilaf. The rice pilaf tasted exactly like that you would make at home from a box you'd get in the store and they always contain salt. It was quite salty. The asparagus, somewhat overcooked, was also salty. Both were apparently well coated in their seasoning, which the server said was lemon pepper. Well, look up lemon pepper on the web (I just did). Almost all the commercial preparations include salt as a major ingredient so this is probably where the salty taste came from.

When I cut into the steak, the first piece was, at best, medium-rare and some areas were virtually rare. So much for medium. The steak was also somewhat salty, but of course that was the lemon pepper.

The server came by to ask how things were and I said the rice and asparagus seemed salty. She now vigorously insisted they used no salt, only lemon pepper, which she repeated several times. It's too bad she didn't know that the lemon pepper seasoning probably had a good amount of salt.

Her response to the salt situation was a flat "don't eat it if you don't want to". That was it. No offer to bring out a new order of rice and asparagus without any seasoning. Very poor service.

When I pointed out that the steak seemed less done than I had expected, she said she could take it back and the cook (who I'm pretty sure was her mother, Kendra) could put it in the oven and cook it further. She then said they under cook the steaks because if you overcook them you can't fix things. Good logic but a contradiction of what she initially said. Poor service.

I ate the steak as it was and it tasted fine. The asparagus and rice pilaf were both a bit below average and all was too salty. (My concern comes from my condition of high blood pressure so I try to limit salt as best I can.)

When I received the bill, the server had overcharged me. It was only a dollar, but apparently she doesn't know the prices well. I might also mention that nowhere on the menu did it indicate that this restaurant uses locally sourced produce or meat. That's too bad.

After this poor experience, the next day I happened to be speaking to a "local" who's been to this restaurant a number of times. That local said the food has generally been good, but the owner's daughter has an attitude and often provides bad service. Tell me about it.

My advice to travelers through the Nehalem/Wheeler area is to avoid this restaurant. Between Wheeler (Rising Star Cafe and the soon to open Salmonberry Saloon) and Cannon Beach nearby, there are many better options.

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Thank Yaakovm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 January 2018

The oysters were grilled and I would have preferred pan fried. The cordon blue sauce was too sweet. The portions are generous, especially the salad with many good ingredients. Prices seemed a little high and the wine list was very limited. Might dry it for lunch sometime as some of their burgers looked interesting.

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Thank wgb26295
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 August 2017

We stayed at Kendra's River Inn and enjoyed two dinners and two breakfasts there. When we made our room reservation, we informed Kendra of my gluten allergy, and she made sure there were breakfast options. And they were excellent. She made an egg bake one morning and an oatmeal bake the next. And their regular menu has lots of GF choices. We enjoyed the homey atmosphere, good company, great conversation, and personal service.

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Thank Cindy D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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