Rome Station, Oregon, is a typical "Oregon roadhouse," offering gas, diesel, a restauant, RV park, a few cabins, and a small convienience store. The restaurant is located about 35 miles west of Jordan Valley, and is truly an oasis in Oregon's "outback" country.
As with all of reviews that I publish, I have no affiliation with the restaurant reviewed, and there is no monetary gain on my part, as I am simply a person who likes to eat, and I love to write-up, and publish my dining experiences.
Photo: Rome Station, located a half hour west of Jordan Valley, Oregon, offers a cafe/restaurant, gas, a RV park, a small convenience store and a few cabins. The restaurant is open from 07:00 in the morning until 20:00 at night.
Photo: I stayed two nights in the RV park, which actually allows tent camping, which is unique to many RV parks. I received permission from the owner to enjoy a fire, in my little Weber grill, as an above-ground fire pit.
The RV park offers few amenities, and is quite spartan, but if your tent camping, you can't beat the price of $5.00 a night.
Photo: As you enter the restaurant, you'll notice the small counter with five stools. There are a few tables in the dining area, but the restaurant is compact, to say the least, but comfortable. The "store" is located to the right which offers basic supplies, along with ice, soft drinks, and most important in the high desert, a great selection of beer.
If you're camping in the RV park, or renting one of the cabins, you make your arrangements at the counter, as this is where all transactions take place.
Photo: The small convenience store, in the works of one of the staff members, sells "a little bit of everything," and that includes snacks, basic camping supplies, some automotive items, a small selection of canned food, and much more. The cooler is stocked with soft drinks, milk, cheese, meat, and most importantly... beer.
Photo: The breakfast menu is basic, and to the point, and offers a great selection for every taste. During my previous visit, I enjoyed "Rancher's Basque Chorizo..." read down to revisit.
Photo: Second page of the menu... Considering the fact that Rome Station is a long way from ANYWHERE, and has a monopoly on a vast area of southeastern Oregon, the menu prices are very reasonable and the service and quality is about what you'd expect at an isolated high desert roadhouse.
Photo: On this Friday evening, about 5 o'clock, July 09, 2010, I saw the white board displaying tonight's "special" of a "Pepper Jack Cheeseburger" with sides for $8.00, and I was "hooked," and didn't even consult the menu.
Photo: I'm sitting at the counter and enjoying the company of other diners. The chef/server was taking a phone order, as orders by phone seemed to be very popular.
The chef/server wasn't particularly friendly, and didn't seem to appreciate my photos. I wish I'd known before I had placed my order, as my cooking at my camp would have been friendlier and more inviting.
Photo: From the "Specials" listed on the whiteboard, as I entered the restaurant, I ordered the "Pepper Jack Cheese Burger with fries as my choice of side dish. At $8.00, this works really well, and in Oregon, you don't have sales tax, so you are actually charged a fair price for your meal. The cheeseburger comes with choice of sides as fries, macaroni salad or tots; I chose fries.
The meat patty was good-sized, probably about a half pound or so. I didn't specify how my meat was to be cook, as most restaurants "default" to medium. I wasn't happy when my burger arrived with the meat cooked very well done, which is not the way I prefer my meat, as in my opinion, it removes much of the goodness from the taste. To each his/her own, and perhaps it was my fault for not requesting to the chef/order taker, as I placed my order, that I prefer my beef patty cooked to medium. If the meat was seasoned, I couldn't tell, as the too-much-time-cooking cancelled out any seasoning. But... I must say the pepper jack cheese was melted perfectly, and helped to make up for the dry beef patty.
I wasn't really happy about the sesame seed bun either, as it seemed to be a day old, and was very much on the dry side. Rome Station is a long way from anywhere, so I assume they have "transport issues" and I suppose those sort of issue happen when it comes to hamburger buns and other perishable goods.
The lettuce, tomato slices, onion slices and pickle were amazingly fresh, juicy, and added ZEST to an otherwise dry cheeseburger. A shot or two of mustard helped this burger "climb up the ladder" a notch or two.
As the side of my choice I ordered fries, and my burger included a mountain of fries, deep fried to a golden brown on the outside, tender and chewy inside. However, the chef seemed to like salt, as these fries were SALTY... way to salty for my taste! Please! ... leave out the salt and let me "pour it on" as I please!
The cheeseburger was "average" at best, the fries were way on the salty side, and the service was impersonal and not particularilly friendly.
Photo: My "Pepper Jack Cheeseburger" showing the delicious melted cheese, the fresh onion, tomato, pickle and lettuce, along with the salty fries.
Photo: Meet Christine, my chef, who delivered my breakfast to my, at the counter, with a shy smile. Christine was a busy lady, as she was running the restaurant by herself, and was not only the chef, but the server. At 8 o'clock on this Friday morning, July 08, 2021, the small dining room was about half full of hungry diners, which kept her very busy. Rome Station is a long way from ANYWHERE!
I did not have a problem that it took 20 minutes or so for my breakfast to arrive, as she was BUSY!!
Photo: Thanks, Christine, for taking my photo, as I prepare to enjoy my "Two eggs and... Everything but the meat" breakfast.
Photo: From the "Breakfast" section of the menu, I ordered "Two eggs and... Everything but the meat." That made for two eggs, hash brown potatoes, along with an order of sourdough toast. Two slices of orange were used as garnish.
I ordered my eggs fried over easy, and they arrived on my plate, pretty much as ordered, except one of them was a tad on the hard side. The hash brown potatoes were crispy golden on the outside, but a bit on the "soggy" side, but had a nice taste to them. Unlike the fries that came with my cheeseburger in my evening meal, the hash brown potatoes weren't excessively salty. The orange slices added a nice presentation, and a bit of "tang" to my breakfast. The sourdough toast was, well... toast, and it rounded out my breakfast.
What has happened to Rome Station since my last visit, back in June, 2017? During my past visit, I enjoyed amazing food, along with friendly service, but I can't say the same about this visit. My breakfast was alright, the service was alright, especially considering the chef/server was running a "one woman" show. But the cheeseburger and salty fries I "enjoyed" tonight were "average," at best, and the service was slow and impersonal. "Hit or mess..." for certain, depending who's running the restaurant.
I truly believe in my future travels to the "Oregon Outback," I'll simply drive past Rome Station and enjoy better food, and friendlier company...
Back on June 21, 2017, I enjoyed an amazing breakfast at Rome Station...
Photo: Rome Station, 30 miles east of Jordan Valley Oregon has it all, including a cafe, convenience store, cabins, gas pumps, and an RV park. That's great, but I came for breakfast! It's 9 o'clock in the morning on Wednesday, June 21, 2017.
Photo: The sign advertises all the services that Rome Station has to offer. In many ways, it's a typical eastern Oregon, but in many ways it isn't, as this little roadhouse is as friendly as it gets.
Photo: As you walk in the cafe, you'll notice the small counter, and the few tables that make up the dining room of the restaurant. The small convenience store is located behind the gentleman in the red. By the way, the gentleman in the photo is the chef, and he definitely knows his trade, as he prepared an awesome breakfast.
Photo: Another full view of the five-stool counter. Rome Station has a Jordan Valley address, but it's located 30 miles west of the town, many miles away from anything. Jordan Valley is a very hostile place, so when you're in the area, drive right through town, and drive the half hour to Rome Station. Jordan Valley is a noted speed trap, and the only restaurant in town is operated by a woman who should have retired 30 years ago.
Photo: The breakfast menu has everything a breakfast lover in eastern Oregon could dream of. All options looked good, but the "Rancher" caught my eye, and I never faltered. Is this really 2017? ... the prices look more like 1997... and are way beyond reasonable!
Photo: Meet Shawna, my super-friendly hostess, as she pours me another cup of wonderful coffee. During the course of my breakfast, I had quite a conversation with this amazingly-friendly person. I learned she's a native Californian - I had to 'fess up my California roots to her - and has two daughter, both of whom live in California. She and her husband purchased Rome Station 9 years ago, and have been enjoying the good life ever since.
Photo: Eastern Oregon is cattle country, it's politically conservative, and has little in common with the major population centers to the west. Fox News was playing on the television - I was surprised high def television existed in this part of Oregon - and the president is posting his latest "tweet." Note the signs... Oregon is an open-carry state, and in eastern Oregon, many people openly carry firearms, as its perfectly legal.
Photo: My friendly server, Shawna, brings my "Rancher's" breakfast to me with a smile. We enjoyed lots of pleasant conversation, and she was very open to me taking photos, and asking lots of questions. Thanks!!!
Photo: I'm in the mood to enjoy a great breakfast, and I smile for the camera.
Photo: How would I pass up a "Rancher's" breakfast, as it has everything that I absolutely crave in a breakfast? Two perfectly cooked eggs, over easy, hash browns, biscuit and gravy, along with Basque chorizo. Eastern Oregon is cattle country, and Basque chorizo is an immensely popular breakfast option in this part of the world. Note how the chorizo shines! Not the mention the beautiful presentation of this breakfast. This breakfast is a barometer for all breakfasts that are to follow in my life, and I can't think of words to describe how amazingly delicious this breakfast was! At $8.25, it was an absolute steal. Due to the amazing quality of the breakfast, and the wonderful company I enjoyed with my hostess Shawna, I left a $5.00 tip. In retrospect, I probably should have left $10.00, as the meal, and the breakfast experience was priceless...
I must admit that during the past week or so that I've spent in rural Nevada and eastern Oregon that I've become quite a fan of Basque-style chorizo sausage.
I could use up nearly every absolute superlative to describe my visit to Rome Station. Shawna was a joy and a pleasure to chit-chat with, the food was amazing, especially the Basque chorizo, and the atmosphere was pure eastern Oregon roadhouse hospitality.
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