Welcome, Neighbor! Blue Eyes Burgers and Fries Owners Bring ‘Neighbor Rotisserie’ to Former Kebaba

As most of you know, the rumor mill has been, well, milling, over the new chicken spot set to take over the former Kebaba. Now, the wait is over, and we can confidently reveal that Neighbor Rotisserie is the new resident of 1004 Newport Avenue.

First, to iron out a few details. Neighbor Rotisserie is the brainchild of owners Jay Junkin and Parker Vaughan, a dynamic restauranteur duo.

You may know them as the former owners of Jackson’s Corner, who infamously sold the eatery Darling earlier this year. They’re also responsible for the 50’s diner-inspired smash burger joint Blue Eyes Burgers & Fries.

If there’s one thing these restauranteurs are known for, it’s their dedication to the local food movement. Jackson’s Corner is notably a staple on the High Desert Food Trail, while Blue Eyes features beef from local rancher Pitch Fork T—partner to Rainshadow Organics.

At Neighbor Rotisserie, you’ll notice a few friendly faces on the menu. M’s Bakery provides the Ciabatta on which the chicken sandwich is nestled, and craft brewers Boss Rambler and Sunriver Brewing dominate the taps.

Upon arrival, there’s a sense of Bend nostalgia—that cozy, homey feeling of walking into a Westside bungalow-turned-restaurant as familiar faces of friends and acquaintances alike are seated throughout the intimate space.

Its vintage take on 1950s modern decor and branding is quite reminiscent of sibling restaurant Blue Eyes, with its bright and vibrant dining space.

The Chicken

Throughout the menu, you’ll find Middle Eastern spices and influences, like Tahini Ranch dressing, za’atar seasoning, and tabbouleh. If there’s one thing Vaughan, co-owner and head chef, has perfected, it’s the art of curating a simple yet flawlessly executed menu. And, as their name suggests, it’s (mostly) all about the chicken.

It’s impossible not to notice the large French spit-roast rotisserie at the forefront of the kitchen. To some, it may look like nothing more than an ordinary rotisserie oven. To others, it’s a signal that the half-chicken plate that graces the top of the menu is about to be the juiciest, most flavorful rotisserie chicken to come out of a commercial kitchen.

Plates

Let’s start with the classics: the rotisserie plate. With the option to choose a half or full rotisserie chicken, this plate is ideal for sharing. Simply seasoned with smoked paprika and lemon, this juicy chicken requires almost no additional dressings.

Still, the charred lemon wedge squeezed over half a rotisserie chicken adds a bit of acidity layered with the smoky yet sweet flavors developed from its slow rotational roasting.

Half-chicken plate with crispy schmaltz potatoes and piparras.

Each plate arrives with a side of crispy schmaltz potatoes, piparras (mildly spicy, pickled peppers), and a choice of sauces, including chili vinegar, tahini ranch, and za’atar zhoug. The potatoes, smashed and crisped with rendered chicken fat, offer an umami starch side while the sweet acidity of the piparras cuts through to balance each bite.

Sandwiches

Before you allow your mind to create the vision of a sliced-bread-sized sandwich, take pause. M’s Bakery Ciabatta is no small sandwich loaf, and the sandwich fillings are no exception.

After being sliced and grilled, this homegrown bread is painted with harissa mayo and layered with shredded rotisserie chicken, ribbons of pickled carrots, cucumbers, and onion, and fresh cilantro and mint. It’s a rotisserie spin on a bahn mi, if you will.

Chicken sandwich with harissa mayo.

Salads

Take almost all of the ingredients from the chicken sandwich and toss them with local lettuces and you’ve got—the appropriately named—local lettuces salad. A bed of mixed leaf lettuces come with the staples: pickled onion, cucumber, and carrots, and sprinkled with herbs.

Add some ricotta insalata and Tahini ranch dressing, and you’ve got a recipe for a forkable (yes, that’s a real word) salad. Of course, I opted for the chicken rotisserie. But you can add your choice of cauliflower or porchetta rotisserie.

Local Lettuces salad with rotisserie chicken.

The Rest

I’m only going to casually mention the “not chicken” offerings because the star of this show is really the bird. Still, it’s important to note that all dishes can be made with two other rotisserie options: cauliflower and porchetta. Half or whole servings of each main can be subbed for plates, sandwiches, and add-ons to the salads.

Sides

Here’s where it gets really fun. Side plates are great for starters, share plates, or simply to zhuzh up the main course. Of course, the crispy schmaltz potatoes, with their garlic, rosemary, and lemon aioli, stand out as a staple side plate. Still, there are some seriously noteworthy plates that can’t go unmentioned.

Smoked and fried wings.

The smoked and fried wings pack enough smoke and heat to cure seasonal depression. Tossed in ‘neighbor hot spice,’ these wings are sweet, smoky, and spicy, checking all the boxes of alliterations one might want in a wing. Dip or smother them in tahini ranch to cool your mouth in between finger licks.

Pickled deviled eggs with horseradish, chives, and gribenes.

I’m going to call it now—the pickled deviled eggs are about to be all over your social media feed. Why? Because they are beautiful. They’re vibrant and aesthetically pleasing, tempting patrons with an Instagram-worthy opportunity to share their ‘food porn.’

Bright magenta-stained eggs replaced standard egg whites with a horseradish-blended yolk that contrasts visually and tastily.

Beets over charred scallion crema with za’atar zhoug and dukkah.

Beet lovers, there’s something for you, too. Now, it may be true that beets have no taste, instead taking on the flavor and textures in which they’re dressed. If that’s the case, bring on all the charred scallion crema, za’atar zhough, and crunchy dukkah for a plate that hits all the high notes and textures.

Cocktails & Mocktails

Gone are the days of boring non-alcoholic options. Skip the Shirley Temple and go for a real mocktail with non-alcoholic spirits and tonics. Two of Neighbor Rostisserie’s cocktails come in a N/A iteration that any drink aficionado can appreciate.

Carajillo cocktail, available as non-alcoholic.

The non-alcoholic Carajillo replaces tequila with Ritual N/A tequila and Seedlip Grove tonic. Its traditional sibling libation is served with Reposado Tequila and Licor 43; both are mixed with cold brew over a large ice cube and orange garnish.

Warm days on the patio will surely become a watering hole for sipping on Paloma Royales, Mojito Spritzes, and Neighbor Old Fashioned. Negroni Bianco can be served a la liquor or sans spirits with Ritual N/A Tequila and Roots Divino Bianco.

Paloma Royale cocktail.

Visit Neighbor Rotisserie in Bend

Now, it’s your turn to partake in the ‘Neighbor’-ly experience. Beginning May 29, 2024, Neighbor Rotisserie will be firing up rotisserie chicken every Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. til 9 p.m. When you’re not grubbing on chicken plates, you can visit their sibling restaurant, Blue Eyes Burger and Fries, for a classic smash burger and the same warm hospitality you’ll find from its restaurant family.

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About Eat Drink Bend

Nancy Patterson of Eat Drink Bend takes a picture of beer on a table outside in Bend, Oregon.
quote

I wanted to share more than where to eat, but what to eat. And not just what, but why? From where is the food resourced? Should it be paired with a beer, or a cocktail—and what kind? But most importantly, share the faces and tell the stories behind the people who make it all happen, showing support for small business in and around Bend.

– Nancy Patterson, Founder