Oregon sure has it’s share of great places to eat and the number of opportunities for another new craft beer is staggering. We wanted to try out Full Sail Brewing and the pizza at Double Mountain Brew Pub in Hood River. The pizza was as good as it gets but the beer was a bit lacking. So on to Full Sail where they have a great view of the Columbia River Gorge but the brew was just okay. We knew we had an ace in the hole at Everybody’s Brewing across the river in White Salmon but we weren’t ready to play that card yet so we decided to take the scenic drive on the Hood River County Fruit Loop. There are tons of orchards, vineyards and farms here in the largest pear-growing region in the country, all in the shadow of the incredibly scenic Mount Hood. We stopped at one fruit stand and bought some peaches that Karen turned into a most-wonderful cobbler yesterday! Another discovery we made on this drive is the existence of another snow-capped mountain – Mount Adams. Ah-ha, that’s why it’s called Double Mountain. As many times as we’ve driven through the Gorge we never saw Mount Adams because it’s obscured from the interstate.
We must be getting just a little homesick because the next day we took a big risk and went to Podnah’s Pit Barbecue in Portland. To add to the risk we ordered chips and salsa to start. We figured out what took so long once they arrived – they cook the chips to order! The salsa isn’t exactly what we get at home but it was very good and we could have eaten a lot more of it if not for the brisket, ribs and hot links still to come! Neither of us cared much for the sausage and think they could use some help with their sauce but the brisket and ribs were smokey and delicious and didn’t need any ol’ sauce!
Laurelwood Public House & Brewery could easily qualify for favorite pub status if we stayed here long enough to run out of new places to try. It was hard to choose among the four samples we had; the red, brown, porter and stout. Not only that, but their happy hour menu had fish tacos in corn tortillas – nobody outside of Texas does that (it seems) and that’s the only way we want them! We shared one order of two tacos since this place is right next to Der Rheinlander where we wanted another shot at the wiener schnitzel that we enjoyed there last year. The schnitzel was good but the experience would have been better if our waiter was as attentive as he was enthusiastic.
One of the many cookbooks in Karen’s collection is this one, Mother’s Best: Comfort Food That Takes You Home Again. The author’s restaurant is Mother’s Bistro in downtown Portland so we had to go there. We got off to a great start with a parking space right in front of their door. Then things improved when the ladies seated next to us recommended the cream of corn soup. Wow, that was good! Karen ordered the chicken and dumplings because she knows that recipe is in her book and I ordered the macaroni and cheese du jour – proscuitto, roasted garlic and parmesan. Mine was good but Karen’s was better. Since she has the recipe she’s going to have to make it at home!