On the road again…
I love a good road trip. As a kid growing up, I spent a lot of time in the car heading to see relatives across the country. I always got a kick out of the games we’d play along the way (think “I Spy” and counting red cars), but my favorite part about road trips, even to this day, are the food stops along the way.
As we embarked on our first summer vacation with Jacob, our now 7 month old bundle-of-joy, we chose to drive to Seattle by way of Bend and Portland to see friends for the July 4th holiday. I know what you’re thinking: that’s a long time in the car with a baby! Actually, he did quite well! The only thing he didn’t allow us time for was meandering through small towns in search of refreshing libations and interesting road fare. Instead, we were roadies on a mission!
First Stop: Bend, Oregon. In the quaint town of Bend, we refreshed our spirits with local brew and appetizers at McMenamins, set in what was once an old Catholic schoolhouse. McMenamins are hotels and restaurants, all unique in their architecture, scattered throughout the Northwest. In Bend, the restaurant is adjacent to the hotel, where old classrooms are now the lodging rooms. Complete with a pub, bakery, movie theater and Turkish bath house, this place has it all. We drank a very light and refreshingly fruity, Ruby raspberry ale, and enjoyed the Hummus Plate and Baked Wedge o ’Brie, which was fried with an apple and hazelnut crust! Yes, it was as good as it sounds!
Next Stop: Portland. By sheer happenstance, we ate at both Jake’s and McCormick & Schmick’s while visiting Portland (M&S is an FH client). At Jake’s, we moseyed up to the sidewalk seating for Happy Hour and ordered cheeseburgers, fries and beer, for the perfect welcome meal to Portland! The following day, we strolled along the waterfront and literally stumbled upon McCormick & Schmick’s and decided to stay for dinner and a beautiful view of the water. I had a delectable parmesan encrusted Halibut, and Lance ordered scallops with stir-fry over rice; both dishes were cooked perfectly and paired well with Northwest Region wines.
Destination: Seattle. Our friends welcomed us with a very detailed menu of wonderful home-cooked meals – including ‘halibut and chips’ and bison chili – all gluten and dairy free recipes! (I must say I was pleasantly surprised by the gluten, dairy free foods; not only did they taste good, in some cases they tasted better!) On the one occasion we ate out, it was during a day trip to Snoqualmie, where we had lunch at the Salish Lodge overlooking the roaring Snoqualmie Falls. We were banished to the Attic Lounge due to all our gear and three kids in tow, but the upstairs restaurant offered stellar views of the falls. The fare was perfect for our parched palettes – I ordered the fire roasted chicken sandwich with cherry pepper aioli, crisp pancetta, fontina cheese, and fried sweet onions on house made sea salt focaccia bread.
Now, I’m sure you’re wondering about the ride home, and I must confess that we ate Burger King, pizza and hotel breakfast. After all, we were once again roadies on a mission, logging 1,700 miles of fond memories and many culinary delights!
700 NW Bond Street
Bend, OR 97701
401 SW 12th Ave.
Portland, OR 97205
6501 Railroad Ave.
Snoqualmie, WA 98065