Marigold's and JDUB's
Like the cheery little flower that shares its name, Marigold's has a simple, slightly old-fashioned charm.
Members of Roseburg's Waldron family, who have operated the Tom Tom restaurant there for decades, opened the Medford restaurant and adjacent JDUB's lounge at 1253 N. Riverside Ave.
A coat of buttery yellow paint on the walls and muted blue on some of the woodwork has spruced up the space that spent decades as a Mexican restaurant. Quaint country chickens, sheer curtains and floral displays have joined tropical parrots that still accent the booth upholstery. My husband and I met there for a weekday lunch and had our choice of booths.
As we settled in to peruse the menu, the waiter approached with updates.
When he said turkey sandwiches weren't available because the turkey was still in the oven, my estimation of the sandwiches soared. Fresh roasted meat instead of mass-produced deli fare is a welcome lunchtime addition.
He also said the cornbread was still baking and the kitchen crew was mixing a fresh batch of coleslaw. Of course, these signs of freshness mean diners might not be able to order the thing that suddenly sounds most scrumptious.
Still, Marigold's menu has lots of options. Breakfast is served all day with an array of bacon and eggs, omelets, scrambles, pancakes, waffles and several varieties of French toast. Although I was tempted by the cinnamon roll French toast, served with two eggs and a choice of bacon or sausage for $9.25, a sandwich seemed a better option for a late lunch.
My husband immediately zeroed in on the meatloaf sandwich for $7.99, correctly calculating that Marigold's is the kind of place to enjoy homey classics. I selected a chicken and Brie sandwich for $10.99 that came with my choice of soup, green salad, French fries, sweet potato fries, cottage cheese or coleslaw,. I chose a creamy tomato basil bisque.
The soup was thick and rich, studded with tiny bits of tomato, onion and celery for flavor. The sandwich filling was sumptuous with cubes of grilled chicken and barely melting Brie accented with caramelized onion and all bathed in a garlicky mayonnaise. A sturdy bread is needed to support such ingredients and my sandwich was built on a very crusty baguette. Any crunchier and it would have been challenging to eat.
My husband's meatloaf was moist and flavorful, layered atop a soft sourdough slice and slathered in glistening gravy that he deemed slightly bland. However, he praised the mashed potatoes, which included a sprinkling of parsley and just enough lumpiness to prove their authentic provenance in the earth, not a food service lab.
Marigold's lunch menu, which starts being served at 11 a.m., features soup, salads, wraps and burgers. For dinner, which starts at 4 p.m., even more choices, including steak, seafood and pasta, become available. A bar menu is planned for JDUB's.
Marigold's is a fine fit for Medford.
— Anita Burke