The Local Lunch Gals


–Julia Crowley, EDN

Beautiful Eugene, Oregon

Two of my good friends and I meet each week for lunch at various restaurants in and around Eugene. The three of us are life long friends who enjoy spending time together while out on the town, and we love good food, good wine and good conversation.

Each week, we step away from our busy lives in search of a restaurant where we can sit back, relax and enjoy a few hours of girl time, and we call ourselves the Local Lunch Gals.

Maria Curtis was born in California, but has lived most of her life in Eugene, and graduated from Sheldon High School in 1988. She is a loving, caring, generous person who has found the perfect job as a full time pre-school teacher. She is married with two children in addition to previously being a guardian of two other kids. Her daughter is in college at OSU and her son attends a local high school. When it comes to food, Maria is the picky one of the three of us, but this is mainly due to her certain food sensitivities. She absolutely can’t eat cheese or dairy products, so finding something satisfying can sometimes be a challenge. She overcomes that challenge by making special requests or deleting certain ingredients from dishes on the menu; therefore, we like to call her the Menu Modifier. Maria thinks a diverse menu with a flexible chef is incredibly important and these two factors are ultimately what will make or break a dining experience for her. Maria doesn’t have a favorite food because she loves just about everything, as long as it fits into her diet restrictions. Maria loves Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Jennifer Rosales is a Eugene native, and she graduated from Sheldon High School in 1989 and is also UofO alumni. She is the spicy one of the group and is definitely the most outspoken. She’s outgoing, a ton of fun and lives in the moment. She and her husband own and operate a busy restaurant and catering company, but she somehow always manages to find time for Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts with her two kids. Because Jennifer owns a successful restaurant, she feels service and food quality are of the utmost importance. She loves all types of food from Mexican to Thai, and she prefers light, crisp white wines. Jennifer almost always orders an Oregon Pinot Gris.


I was born in Virginia into a military family that moved all over the world before making way to Eugene from Egypt in 1987. Maria and Jennifer were some of the first people I met at Sheldon High School, where I graduated in 1988. I’m a wine writer, a food and wine editor and a true wine enthusiast. I’m married with two boys, and when I’m not writing, I’m at soccer practice and baseball games. There are two things that are most important to me when dining out: the atmosphere and the wine list. And because Eugene is located in the heart of the Willamette Valley, I expect local restaurants to support our local wineries. I love seafood and enjoy Sauvignon Blanc best when eating shrimp or scallops, but you’ll usually find me with a glass of Oregon Pinot Noir alongside salmon or a salad.

Through the eyes of a teacher, restaurant owner and wine enthusiast, join us to discover Eugene’s food and wine scene. We’ve set up a facebook page, where we’ll share where we’re headed for lunch, what we’re drinking and eating, and even what we’re talking about. You can also follow us on twitter: We love Pinterest!

Your comments and feedback on the places we visit are welcome, and we look forward to hearing about your experiences too.


Julia has been in the wine industry for nearly 20 years. First through creating European wine tours, then opening her own wine bar, Julia loves writing about food & wine on her website,

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