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Columbia Gorge: Cascade Locks, Stevenson, Hood River, The Dalles


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#1 octrvlr

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Posted 03 June 2005 - 04:32 PM

Hi Kids!

Yet another guest in town and thought we'd cruise up the Gorge and check out the Hood River Saturday Market. The Hapa Howlie Boys are playing! Does anyone have tips on where to eat/drink? Thanks!

#2 vj

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Posted 04 June 2005 - 03:05 PM

How coincidental! I'm in HR today and I need to carbo-load. I'd love any suggestions.

Meanwhile. I like the Oak Street Brasserie -- decent food, decent price, and for higher end stuff, the same folks own a giant castle type thingee on the west side of town called Stonehedge Gardens. We went there off-season and ate off their $10 menu, and wow, really incredible. (that said, it's not off season anymore--let the gauging begin!) The two restaurants share a URL: http://www.hoodriverrestaurants.com/.
Oh, and Oak Street is tiny, so get reservations if you want to dine during prime time.

6th Street Bistro is also good. Like everything in HR, very casual.

#3 syrahgirl

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Posted 06 June 2005 - 12:12 PM

We really liked the restaurant at the Columbia River Gorge Hotel. They have amazing Farm Country breakfasts that include oatmeal, trout, pancakes, etc. www.columbiagorgehotel.com We're considering driving out to the Gorge ourselves soon and I love the previous suggestions. :D

#4 vj

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Posted 07 June 2005 - 05:34 AM

So, we had a couple good meals in HR this time. Because I marathoned (and was lazy), we ate a lot of motel meals as well.

Went to North Oak Brasserie (that's the real name). Yum. So small and a smidge claustrophobic, but good eating. We started with roasted garlic potato tacos (totally totally yummy), had a decent caesar with anchovies, and then I had gnocci in a mushroom-bacon-cream sauce, and Joe had cannelloni in a tomato-cream-pepper sauce. I loved both of our entries, though I would eat Joe's sauce with a spoon gladly. Then I had the pot de creme, which was so very good and subtle that it just about killed me. Good thing I did the marathon the next day!

The other place worth mentioning was Panzanella Bakery & Deli (102 5th at Cascade). They have a deli case with meats from Viande, and they have sandwiches, slices of pizza, and stromboli. We had a sandwich made with good meat and nice ciabatta, and a stromboli -- really nice.

And. Full Sail brewery has expanded their menu, so if you're looking for a cheap snack, it's a good option. Bison burgers, mac-n-cheese, brats... We didn't eat there this time, but if we had known that they had expanded their menu, we probably would have.

#5 Amanda

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Posted 07 June 2005 - 06:19 AM

Just East down the Hwy from Hood River is a little town called Mosier. It's only about 10 minutes or less away. There is an excellent little place that is called, I believe, the Wildflower Cafe. Go there if you can.

We had an excellent lunch there last summer. My mate had an awesome turkey sandwich on what he thought was some incredible bread. There was something really special about that sandwich. It had a very unique and pleasant taste to it. I had a hot vegetarian sandwich of some sort that was excellent. The youngest grandkid had macaroni and cheese that was rich and creamy that he couldn't stop raving about. Everything we ate was terrific and everything we saw everyone else eat looked terrific. Give it a shot if you just want to go out of town a ways.

Best regards,

Amanda

#6 Jasmine_xoxo

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Posted 11 June 2005 - 02:18 PM

My recommendation is go to the first exit of HR as you are heading east from PDX...turn off and head past the giant Walmart....keep going....past Rite Aid on your right...

STOP! Look. On your right is a non-descript porta trailer type thing that sells Mexican Food.

They've been there for years....when I lived there....

I DRIVE THERE FROM PDX to have one of their burritos every once in awhile.

Yummy goodness.........I miss them! :D

#7 ExtraMSG

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Posted 11 June 2005 - 02:36 PM

I think that's El Rinconcito. It's usually where I stop if I'm in Hood River (though I think there's better in Portland). Their family opened another in The Dalles called Mi Pueblito that I think is better. On Fridays and Saturdays the one in The Dalles does specials.

The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

Nick Zukin, Mi Mero Mole

Co-Author, Artisan Jewish Deli at Home

Formerly, Kenny & Zuke's


#8 octrvlr

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Posted 12 June 2005 - 09:01 PM

Thanks for the input everybody! We ended up being fed a large, late breakfast so didn't dine in HR so no report. However, we checked out their very small Saturday market and it was rather sad. A very surly woman selling some rather pathetic Hood strawberries for $1.75 a pint (seemed expensive to me but I had to try them, having read so much about them, unfortunately only about one in 10 was really sweet, very diappointing as I'd raved to my SF friend about Oregon berries being the best) and one lovely couple selling their "Argentinian style beef", less fat, free range or beef equivalent. One stand had some gorgeous flowers, reasonably priced and I got some really cool earrings. They did have a food trailer but it smelled awful, like deep fat fried everything. Can't really recommend making a special trip.

#9 tomatogirl

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Posted 31 July 2005 - 10:19 AM

just had dinner at a new restaurant in hood river, named Celilo's.
its a new building on the corner of 1st and oak, gorgeous- all green with beautiful wood and iron work. Think trees and elves... the building is a LEEDS certified eco-friendly structure. the interior features huge beams of Doug Fir- salvaged Log Booms that had been sitting in the columbia river over 60 years.

the food was top notch all local ingredents and organic. we had the halibut with gnocci and rack of lamb with braised shoulder, both great, started with house cured trout and roasted beet and arugula salad, yum!!

the wine list features NW's best- I had an awesome red blend from Fidelitas of Walla Walla. Some killer Pinot Noir too- Ken Wright, Penner-Ash, Beux Frere, Sineanne.

Beautiful food, wine in a great place with a healthy perspective towards life.

#10 chefken

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Posted 29 December 2005 - 11:24 AM

Hi Folks,

Back from a 4 day skiing trip with the family, during which we stayed in Hood River and made day trips up to Meadows for my kids' first skiing experiences. Alas, Graham tumbled and tore a ligament in his elbow...Ouch!
But he should be back with me for LOW's return this coming Tuesday and we look forward to seeing many of you in the New Year. And on regular nights, more Fried Chicken dinners (our last nigh open we served 18 of them out of 48 diners!), and the return of our short ribs, duck confit, cassoulets, and other cold weather delights.
Just an overview of our dining experiences in Hood River during our stay. Not much to repirt hers - a lousy breakfast at Bette's, mediocre pizza at Andrew's - Hood River is not the food capital of Oregon!
However, we did find a terrific Taqueria/Mexican restaurant that I'd highly recommend, called Hood River Taqueria, on 12th. Great tacos - tried 6 varieties, all good - terrific guacamole and chips, pretty good chili relenno, great seafood tostada. Nice service and welcomming atmosphere - family run and bustling. And the 4 of us were ravenous and ordered a ton and got out for 30 bucks. Spent that much on chili fries and burgers at the lodge at Meadows - bring your own food if you go.
Have a great New Year's and I hope to see you all soon.

#11 Amanda

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Posted 29 December 2005 - 12:26 PM

Dang!

Wish I could have spared you the agony. Hood River is pretty dead as far as good food goes, you are certainly right about that. However, last year, we were lucky to be recommended to head 5 miles East to a little town called Mosier and to the Wildflower Cafe for lunch. It was wonderful!

I had a grilled vegetarian sandwich of some sort, my man had a turkey sandwich and the grandkid we had with us had the mac 'n cheese. All were delicious beyond expectation. I don't know what they did with that turkey sandwich, the bread, the sauce or what, but it was one of the best I've had a bite of.

Next time give that place a try and see what you think. Hopefully, it is still under the same ownership and quality as when we went.

Best regards,

Amanda

#12 foodjunkie

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Posted 29 December 2005 - 04:54 PM

That's too bad that neither of you have had the best experience in Hood River. While the restaurant offerings aren't up to par with what we have here in "the big city" :wink:, I've had a number of very good meals there. FWIW, I've had memorable meals at the Three Rivers Grill and Brian's Pourhouse, there always something good on tap at the Full Sail tasting Room & Brew Pub (skip the food though) and Mike's serves up some very tasty ice cream in the spring & summer.
A complete lack of caution is perhaps one of the true signs of a real gourmet: he has no need for it, being filled as he is with a God-given and intelligently self-cultivated sense of gastronomical freedom.

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#13 ExtraMSG

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Posted 29 December 2005 - 05:19 PM

I don't think Wildflower is very good for dinner, however. No better than a chain. Better for breakfast and lunch.

Hood River Taqueria is decent, kind of a combo between a Mexican-American restaurant and a taqueria. I prefer El Rinconsito, I believe it is called, which is in a trailer and used to be a taco truck.

For lunch or early dinner, there's a Thai truck/cart called Lampoei. Pretty good stuff. It's on the extreme east side of town, I believe in the Windance parking lot.

The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

Nick Zukin, Mi Mero Mole

Co-Author, Artisan Jewish Deli at Home

Formerly, Kenny & Zuke's


#14 chefken

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Posted 29 December 2005 - 07:58 PM

Yeah, Nick, those sound great, but unfortunately sometimes you just need to have a table with a roof over it, especially with kids and in the rain and cold. But the food sounds great.

Never ate at Wildflower for dinner, only twice for lunch and it was pretty good, and a nice space. It's actually up for sale - I know the owners and they contacted me because I had told them once that theirs would be a nice place to take over 5 or 10 years down the road if I get an itch to move to the country. Alas, they wanted to sell much too fast for me. A nice place, though and nice people. Graham flipped for their brownie sundae!

#15 ExtraMSG

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Posted 29 December 2005 - 10:18 PM

At least the taqueria you went to has a good selection of Jarritos. Una cuchara de azucar hace la medicina bajar.

The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

Nick Zukin, Mi Mero Mole

Co-Author, Artisan Jewish Deli at Home

Formerly, Kenny & Zuke's


#16 KiteSurfer

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Posted 30 December 2005 - 11:43 AM

There was just a Willamete Weekly story raving on the culinary scene of Hood River, unfortunately you missed every restaurant listed in the article (6th Street Bistro, Brian's Pourhouse, 3 Rivers Grill, Abrutzzo and my favorite- Celilo Bar and Restaurant)

Celilo is housed in a brand new "green" building downtown Hood River and is an unbelievable restaurant on par with Wildwood and Higgins.

I've been fortunate to work with some of the greatest Chefs (Corey Schreiber/Wildwood, Clair Archibald/Cafe Azul) and chef owner Ben Stenn is the real deal defining the Gorge utilizing local farmers and ranchers. All with an emphasis on sustainable organic practices.

If you are looking for a small town getaway with big city culinary abilities and a unbelieable artisan interior crafted by local artists- look no further.

There is a winter winemakers schedule all winter long that includes Lynn Penner Ash, Andrew Rich, Cristom and Charlie Hoppes from Fidelitas.

See the menu here>>http://www.celilorestaurant.com/

#17 ExtraMSG

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Posted 30 December 2005 - 01:50 PM

Welcome to the site, KiteSurfer. (I'm in HR's "bridge and tunnel" town of The Dalles right now.)

The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

Nick Zukin, Mi Mero Mole

Co-Author, Artisan Jewish Deli at Home

Formerly, Kenny & Zuke's


#18 chefken

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Posted 30 December 2005 - 08:14 PM

Sounds good, Kitesurfer. Corey and Claire are both friends, and I have great respect for their abilities. To be honest, though, when I go to a small town, I really tend to look for small town sensibilities...more little mom and pop cafes with good local home cooking, and not a tryout for the big city (I don't mean offence by this, just how I prefer to eat). I tend to like my sophistication level geared to the environment I'm in.

#19 ExtraMSG

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Posted 30 December 2005 - 08:26 PM

Then you should go to The Dalles, or better yet, Dufur. Hood River isn't a small town, it's a tourist town.

The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

Nick Zukin, Mi Mero Mole

Co-Author, Artisan Jewish Deli at Home

Formerly, Kenny & Zuke's


#20 KiteSurfer

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Posted 31 December 2005 - 11:35 AM

Welcome to the site, KiteSurfer.  (I'm in HR's "bridge and tunnel" town of The Dalles right now.)


Thanks ExtraMSG. I've been lurking on this site for a long time. It's one of my favorties.

To be honest, though, when I go to a small town, I really tend to look for small town sensibilities...more little mom and pop cafes with good local home cooking, and not a tryout for the big city...  I tend to like my sophistication level geared to the environment I'm in.


A great reccomendation for you then next time your are in Dundee is to pass on Tina's and go straight for Johns Family Restaurant. Or if in Napa pass on The French Laundry and get get a burger at A&W.

There is a reason people live and cook in the country and it certainly is not to "tryout for the big city."

With your attitute chefken I am surprised you would ever even think to enjoy wine knowing it comes from the most unsophisticated of small places.