Rudy’s at Salem Golf Club

| September 10, 2010 | 6 Comments

Great location, historic building, a warm and masculine atmosphere, outstanding views and great food! Rudy’s has set high standards for food in Salem and has consistently lived up to them since 1998. 

Vic and I discovered Rudy’s soon after moving here in 2002 and have enjoyed dining there regularly. Located just off River Road South and minutes from downtown, Rudy’s is an oasis amidst a country-like setting along the Willamette River in South Salem. As you leave your car in the parking lot, prepare yourself for a visual feast that lasts until you leave. 

Rudy's Golf Course Restaurant


When making reservations, I always request a window table to gaze out at the beautiful grounds at Tee #1. As you can see through the window, there’s a covered veranda where you can dine al fresco. It’s so idyllic, you can sit there sipping an ice-cold mint julep while pretending you’re on your own “Jawjuh” plantation, listening  to any colorful language as golfers tee off.  

View from a windowside table


Rudy’s serves three meals a day, seven days a week. How’s that for having a dependable place to begin, take a midday break, or end your day? The breakfast menu offers items for a quick start-the-day snack or more interesting entrées to linger over, such as Crab Cake Benedict, Steak and Eggs and various combinations of traditional breakfasts with eggs, breakfast meats, pancakes and, of course, omelets. If you’re lingering over breakfast and wish to alter your attitude, too, there’s a very capable Bloody Mary prepared with Rudy’s “secret ingredients.” W ith the exception of the Steak and Eggs and Crab Cake Benedict, all items are under $10. 

The lunch menu opens with burgers, sandwiches, soups and salads, as well as a few of the dinner entrées offered in smaller portions at smaller prices. “Clubhouse Favorites” includes Rudy’s specialty sandwiches and entrées. The names sometimes follow a golf theme, but just enough to not be excessive. I can honestly say that I have enjoyed every single meal I have eaten at Rudy’s and would not hesitate to order anything on the menu. Like many, I have my favorites and return to them regularly. For lunch I have eaten the Greg Norman’s Tuna “Sandwedge,” French Dip, and the Halibut Fish and Chips. If you want something slightly elegant, try the Prime Rib Sliders served on bite-sized buns with horseradish sauce and au jus for just $10.95. You can count on any burger’s featuring fresh ground beef—just another attention to detail at Rudy’s. 

Anticipating dinner at Rudy’s always keeps me in a good mood. Steaks are serious here. They hand-cut them in the kitchen daily. As a matter of fact, everything from their kitchen is made there with the exception of the glorious Cascade Bakery breads. What may look ordinary on the menu will certainly not taste ordinary when it gets to your mouth. The owners and staff obviously care deeply about their food and drinks. Drinks? A restaurant of this caliber will always have a top-notch bartender willing to make your cocktail to order. Mixologist Mark Stone has been pleasing his customers at Rudy’s for a long time now. 

Because entrée portions are generous, we seldom order an appetizer, but tonight we put on the dog and enjoyed their fried calamari with chipotle aioli, $9.95. Still my favorite calamari in Salem. 

Rudy's Fried Calamari with Chipotle Aioli


We rarely prepare beef at home so dinner here will often be one of their cuts. Occasionally they will offer razor clams as a special and when they do, I partake. Besides beef, the two things I enjoy most are the Halibut Parmesan and Chicken Marsala. On this visit, we were having one of our first fall-like evenings with a chill in the air, so it seemed perfectly natural to order some comfort food in the form of Chicken Marsala, $18.95. Vic took the red meat route and enjoyed the New York Strip Steak at $26.95. Rudy’s plates are filled generously, and frequently your evening meal will be enough for tomorrow’s lunch, too. All entrées include a choice of a soup, house salad, or Caesar salad, and fresh, hot bread. A starch is your choice of a baked potato, roasted red potatoes, chef’s mashed potatoes or a rice pilaf. 

Rudy's Chicken Marsala


Ordering for Vic’s mom, Pranee, takes some imagination. Her love of good food is great, but her appetite is much smaller and she can’t finish normal restaurant servings. By choosing from the appetizers and a soup or salad, she usually comes up with a combo to enjoy. Tonight it was the appetizer portion of their Dungeness Crab Cakes which are served on top of a stellar roasted red pepper cream sauce.

No restaurant would be top-quality without great service. Here again, Rudy insists on the best. One of my favorites is Amber, who tirelessly serves food all day long. She practices her craft with an effortless, cheerful attitude. 

Rudy’s is located at: 

2025 Golf Course Road South, Salem, Oregon
Phone: 503-399-0449
Open 7 days a week beginning at 7:00 AM 

Bon appétit 

— Charles


Category: Restaurants

About the Author (Author Profile)

Music, food and photography are at the center of Charles’ life. He performed with the Dallas Symphony, Dallas Opera and was assistant principal bassoonist with the Fort Worth Symphony for more than 20 years. When Charles and Victor moved to Baltimore, Charles created Lone Star Personal Chef and Catering Service and taught cooking classes at Williams-Sonoma. Now in Salem, Charles is a Realtor with Coldwell Banker Mountain West Real Estate, taught cooking classes for children at the A.C. Gilbert Discovery Village, and owns and operates Charles Price Photography. Charles and Vic enjoy entertaining and frequently host dinners as fundraisers for local non-profits and charities

Comments (6)

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  1. I like Rudy’s too. I also haven’t had a bad experience there and have tried several yummy things. I like their crab cakes as well. I think it is kind of overlooked sometimes since it isn’t downtown, but I like eating there.

  2. Charles says:

    Melina, It wouldn’t be the same at any other location. The setting is magic!

  3. Marlene says:


    If I ever get to come to Salem again, I would like to eat once at Rudy’s, possibly breakfast as I do so like crab cakes. You make it sound as good as your cooking.

  4. Mel Wagner says:

    I agree that Rudy’s is a great place to eat. I love going in the summertime, so that I can sit outside to enjoy my meal. I second that the crab cakes, french dips and steak are the best!

  5. Ginny Renaud says:

    Oh Rudy’s….you make me homesick. Love those sliders. Nobody makes them better.


  6. Rudy’s is our favorite restaurant in Salem. We’ve been going there for 15 years - before it was “Rudy’s”. The setting is indeed idyllic - and the food is divine. We always order a baseball cut sirloin, as does our son. It our favorite and it is fantastic. One of the best cuts of beef I’ve ever eaten - and I’ve eaten some pretty impressive steaks in my time. Rudy’s has the perfect food, drink and staff - not to mention the setting.

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