EATER PDX — Where to find moules frites, banh mi, biryani, and burgers in the hilly home of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. For nearly eight months out of every year, the arty community of Ashland Oregon, nestled into the leafy hills just above the California border, revolves around the Oregon Shakespeare Festival — a season of theater that runs from February to October and draws 400,000 visitors annually to a town of fewer than 22,000 residents. During this time, all rhythms of life — including where and when to eat — necessarily sync with curtain calls and theater locations. But there’s plenty here to keep palates entertained the rest of the year, too, with izakayas, taco shops, raw vegan havens, and farm-to-table palaces spread throughout the town. Here, then, are the essential places to eat and drink in Ashland, Oregon, the theatrical gateway to the Pacific Northwest.
MÄS is the passion project for chef Josh Dorcak, who, when he isn’t flaunting his chops at the new brick-and-mortar incarnation of his adored pop-up, is busy winning the Ashland Culinary Festival’s Chef’s Showdown or Iron Chef Oregon. His multicourse tasting menus tease, challenge, and entertain with dishes like aged duck breast with acorn miso and maple blossoms and Fat Bastard oysters from Washington State poached in a fermented koji water.