23 YEARS AND COUNTING FOR THE WILD GOOSE
Where has time gone? It just seems like yesterday that the Wild Goose opened at 2365 Ashland Street. Now here they are celebrating their 23rd year in Ashland. Both Dal and Renee Carver spent their formative years in Ashland, then moved away in the 80s before deciding to return in 1998 to open the Goose. Before that, they owned a service company in the Portland area that specialized in home theater and sound systems.
“Renee has a lot of experience cooking in fine dining restaurants and graduated from Horst Mager Culinary Institute in Portland,” Dal said. “My background in food was limited to bussing tables, washing dishes, and flipping burgers at Big Al’s Campus Drive-in, but my experience as a working musician has often come to bear in presenting music and understanding service. I think our biggest motivation in starting the Goose was a chance to move back to Ashland from Portland. We both have a soft spot in our heart for this town.”
Renee agreed. “I had the great good luck at a very early age to work in a bunch of amazing local restaurants, like Omar’s, Chata, the Mark Antony, and Ashland Bakery Café,” she said. “I learned a lot from the people I worked with and made many great friends.”
The Wild Goose specializes in unpretentious American food that’s well prepared from fresh ingredients, serving the gamut of traditional diner fare, but well made. All of their soups, sauces and salad dressings are made from scratch in house, and they have an in-house baker who makes pies, cakes, cobblers, cinnamon rolls, and cookies. Renee says, “The Goose has a lot of cooks who really care about food.”
“We’re in the process right now of returning to live music after the pandemic restrictions and should be able to get something going in May if not sooner,” Dal said. “We also have a one-hole golf course in the bar which should return to use soon. And, of course, there are plenty of lottery games and a back room with two pool tables that are very popular.”
The kitchen is still the focus at the Wild Goose. “We are very lucky with our kitchen and wait staff, most of whom have worked here for years,” Renee said. “During the pandemic and subsequent labor shortages, we kept our staff and even got back some returning ‘legacy’ employees who had worked for us earlier and wanted to come back. I’m very proud of our staff.”
The Goose has added online ordering, which you can use for delivery, pickup, or even dining in.
“If you go to wildgoosecafe.com, you’ll get the exact menu online,” Dal said. “The online interface uses delivery services but ordering through our website works best. We’re open for breakfast, lunch and dinner from 7am to 8pm. The full-service bar is open from 7am to 11pm.”
For more info, the phone number at the Wild Goose is 541-488-4103. You can also see them at WildGooseCafe.com and on Facebook.