Bethlyn’s Global Cuisine

Food () Eclectic and flavorful dishes made with vegetarian diets in mind

Service () Somewhat inexperienced, but staff is friendly and aims to please

Atmosphere () Lovely street-side patio draws diners to this former coffee shop

More Info

Location: 1075 NW Newport Ave., Bend

Hours: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday to Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday

Cuisine: International and vegetarian

Price range: Appetizers $7 and $8, salads $6 to $15, sandwiches $10 to $15, bowls $12 to $16

Credit cards: American Express, Discover, Master Card, Visa

Kids’ menu: Choices priced $2 to $7

Vegetarian and gluten-free menu: Pretty much anything is available in either form

Alcoholic beverages: Fully licensed

Outdoor seating: Seasonal patio

Reservations: Appreciated for large parties

Contact: bethlynsglobalfusion.com, 541-617-0513

C hef Bethlyn Rider’s considerable talents have been talked about in Bend’s intimate culinary community since she arrived on the scene seven years ago.

From Common Table to the Broken Top Bottle Shop, from her mobile kitchen to her first self-owned brick-and-mortar in the Makers District, Rider has earned a strong local following for what she describes as “global fusion cuisine.”

But it has only been in the last six months, since moving into a larger space on Newport Avenue with a full chef’s kitchen, that the graduate of the Culinary Institute of America has had an opportunity to shine.

As I once noted, Rider’s deft touch in blending seemingly disparate ingredients — and her particular attention to vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free diets — has made her dishes favorites of diners who relish healthy foods of mixed ethnic origins.

Take a gander through the menu of Bethlyn’s Global Fusion Restaurant, opposite the Newport Avenue Market at Northwest 11th Street, and you’ll see dishes labeled as Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese and Indian, as well as French, Tuscan, Cuban, Moroccan, eastern Mediterranean and even New Mexican.

On Mondays, Rider offers an experimental international menu. She’s offered Thai, Greek and Korean in recent weeks; June 19 will be Japanese.

Meals are served in an atmosphere as eclectic as the cuisine. Tables tall and short are staggered through a space that was formerly home to a popular coffee shop. A long counter, its face artfully adorned with machinery and factory parts, looks through a wall of windows on a street-side patio whose half-dozen tables quickly fill on sunny summer days.

Global inspiration

On each of two recent visits, my dining companion and I began our meals with a pair of shared appetizers. A bowl of roasted Indian chickpeas ($3.50), seasoned with South Asian spices, were a crispy snack to start. Fried cauliflower ($7) was tossed in buffalo sauce — mildly spicy, but not too vinegary — and finished with bleu-cheese dressing.

Our favorite app was a dish of four meatballs ($8), a savory grass-fed beef and pork blend slowly stewed and served in a Thai coconut-curry sauce. Also delicious was a lettuce-wrap plate ($8), although it was hard to pick up with fingers. From a selection of proteins, we chose chopped organic chicken to wrap in romaine leaves with rice noodles, peanuts and green onions in a cilantro cream sauce — and ate it with a fork.

Most menu items are prepared vegan and/or gluten-free. Diners may opt for pork, salmon or chicken to accompany, or seasoned organic tofu if they want to keep the plate vegetarian.

Another option was available with the only sandwich we tried. The gyro sandwich ($15), served open-face, featured lamb, seared with Moroccan spices, spinach and onions. Presented on grilled Indian naan bread, similar to pita, it was topped with Kalamata olives, grape tomatoes and crumbled feta cheese, and finished with a lemon-basil cream.

More choices

Perhaps the best-selling items here are the bowls. The Santa Fe black bean bowl ($12) is served with fried plantains and avocados, seemingly more Cuban than New Mexican! Along with beans and rice, it is topped with jack cheese, roasted tomato salsa and basil pepper cream.

The Thai coconut curry noodle bowl (also $12) includes rice noodles, bean sprouts and other vegetables, along with crushed peanuts and cilantro.

Its highlight, besides its curry sauce is the addition of fried, julienned yams.

Not exactly a bowl, but categorized as such on the menu, is the crispy Tuscan eggplant stack ($14). It is perhaps our favorite dish on the entire menu. Several tender slices of eggplant are layered with seared spinach, zucchini roasted peppers and fresh mozzarella cheese, drizzled with basil pesto and cloaked with house-made marinara sauce. A melt of Parmesan cheese rides on top. It was good with pulled pork.

An entree special drew my companion’s interest one evening. Marinated wild salmon ($18), sauteed in a coconut-and-passion fruit red-curry sauce, was delicious. Served with jasmine rice and fresh Fields Farm arugula in a ginger dressing, it was sprinkled with sesame seeds.

Unfortunately, accompanying crab rolls were disappointing. The crab, blended with finely diced pineapple, wrapped in heavy dough and deep-fried, had a flavor that I would avoid in future.

A small house salad ($6) was excellent with a house-made sherry-agave vinaigrette dressing. For a future visit, I have my eye on the Japanese nori-spinach salad ($10 small or $15 large): It includes fresh avocado, rice, carrots, cucumbers, nori (seaweed), tobiko (flying-fish roe), ginger teriyaki and spicy wasabi sauce, along with a choice of protein glazed in hoisin sauce.

— John Gottberg Anderson can be reached at janderson@bendbulletin.com.

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