Food


Goodbye Ocean – Hello Portland

Memories & Traffic

Cannon Beach Waves

 

The morning dawned clear and blue; tide and waves were higher than the last two days. Tough to say goodbye to a favorite site along the Oregon Coast, I want more time here but it’s unfortunately time to head homeward.

 

Pho Van SignWe had family living in Portland for four years and chalked up numerous trips. Highest on the list of places we want to revisit is Bob’s favorite restaurant for Vietnamese noodle bowls – Pho Van on 82nd SE. Yes, we’re on the eating trail again. Two #51s and a pot of Jasmine tea for lunch.

 

Each vermicelli noodle bowl is topped with shredded lettuce, bean sprouts, cucumbers, onions, pickled carrots and daikon and peanuts. Our favorite adds skewers of pork marinated in honey and lemongrass, grilled over an open flame and crispy spring rolls filled with minced pork and shrimp. Served with Muoc Mam.

 

Noodle Bowl

 

It’s been five years since we visited Portland, it’s gotten nothing but larger, busier and traffic nearly impossible. With clear skies and temps in the 80s everyone is out and about. Lanes of traffic backed up for blocks at traffic lights, Interstates creeping and drivers impatient. I already miss the relaxation found along the coast – goodbye ocean, hello Portland.

Muffins, Cheese and Ice Cream

 

It seems more and more of my daily reports center on food. Don’t bother counting calories for today – it’s way over the top. You might gain weight just reading about our day.

 

We started with breakfast at Pig ‘n Pancake in Cannon Beach. Bob was reasonably wise with granola, yogurt and fresh fruit. I, on the other hand went right for their Swedish pancakes which are the best excuse for scoops of whipped butter and lingonberry preserves.

 

Cannon Beach Sweetness

 

The next stop was the Cannon Beach Bakery to stock up for bedtime sweet treat and tomorrows breakfast – love their Sailor Jack and poppy seed muffins. The piece de resistance was an apple fritter with caramel glaze. Bob loves fritters, I love caramel anything. Disclaimer: The last time we were in Cannon Beach the bakery was closed, I’m making up for lost opportunities.

 

We actually waited 4½ hours before eating again. This time we were at the Tillamook Cheese Company. They have the best ever grilled cheese sandwich. The Centennial is a combination of sharp cheddar and Vintage White medium cheddar grilled on thick slices of sourdough bread. The sandwich comes with a dill pickle slice and choice of fries, tater tots, salad or soup. We both opted for the soup of the day – chili.

 

Tillamook Grilled Cheese

 

Tillamook Huckleberr ICAfter shopping – for cheese curds and some of the Vintage White medium cheddar we entered the ice cream line. Huckleberry for Bob, Caramel Toffee Crunch for Nancy. We did restrict ourselves to single dips but good sized dips they were.

 

Tillamook Caramel Toffee CrunchA half mile down the road stands the Blue Heron French Cheese Company. Not wanting to go home empty handed we purchased a small wheel of the traditional brie and a wedge of the herb brie. (You got a dollar off it you purchased two – such a deal.) Three bottles of Riverhouse salad dressings also found their way into our bag.

 

Blue Heron Brie

 

Back in Cannon Beach we stopped at the market to pick up milk and chocolate milk to wash down the sweet treats later this evening. Need I say we won’t be going to dinner tonight? Over the top I know but an opportunity that doesn’t happen often. Not counting, just enjoying.

Captain Bob’s Chowder

Long Beach, Washington

 

Chowder BannerAfter exploring Washington’s Long Beach Peninsula it was mid-afternoon and I waited something to eat but not an big lunch. Bob’s always up for a bowl of clam chowder. A check with Yelp showed positive reviews for Captain Bob’s Chowder in Long Beach; exactly the kind of place I wanted. Captain Bob behind the counter, four high top tables and knowledge of how to prepare seafood.

 

Bob went for a bowl of the chowder which he graded as a B+; he’s a tough grader, I don’t know whose chowder he’d grade as an A. He reports the chowder was full of clams and served with a bag of oyster crackers and a bread stick.

 

Crab RollI wasn’t in the mood for soup so ordered a crab roll – a fresh toasted roll with a crisp leaf of romaine and a generous serving of crab. This earned an A+. I will think about this crab roll for a long, long time. It was perfect. When I commented on the roll Captain Bob said his wife makes them. He toasts the roll in a skillet immediately before serving. Our tab including soft drinks was under $20.

 

Captain BobWe were the only customers at that point in the afternoon and enjoyed visiting with Captain Bob while we chowed down. He told us that he has two chowders/soups every day. Always clam chowder and the other varies – corn, salmon, scallop – a big seller. He even does a corn beef and cabbage for St. Patrick’s Day. The daily offerings can be found on their Facebook page. He reports that lobster chowder is very popular but lobster rolls aren’t, surprising because how popular lobster rolls are on the East Coast. Fish and chips are on the menu but not our choice today.

 

Don’t know when I’ll be back on the Long Beach Peninsula but know I’ll look for Captain Bob’s when I return. Meanwhile, I’ll dream of the crab roll.

 

Captain Bob Fisherman

Day in Vancouver

 

Vancouver Skyline

Although the day started with clouds and rain, we’re in Vancouver, get out and participate. This is a city of walkers and outdoor activities, a little rain is barely noticed. After a drive through Stanley Park and along English Bay we spent several hours at the University of British Columbia’s Museum of Anthropogy – a treasure trove of art and artifacts of First Nation peoples.

 

UBSMA - Mask

Bob is especially interested in the carvings of totems, house boards, masks, boxes, canoes. Timing was just right for me to join one of the free tour groups while Bob took detailed photos. Although we’ve been interested in Northwest Coast art and culture for decades I learned a great deal from the knowledgable, energetic guide.

 

UBCMA - Carvings

 

We needed a respite after museum time and headed back to Stanley Park for a mid-afternoon lunch at The Fish House restaurant. The calm ambience and seafood was greatly appreciated. We noted that in addition to lunch and dinner the restaurant serves afternoon tea as well.

 

Fish House Interior

 

The rest of the afternoon was spent at sites in the park – totem poles, lighthouse, dense forests and walks along the sea wall.

 

Stanley Park Lighthouse Walk in Stanley Park

 

Throughout the day we were encouraged by sun breaks and patches of blue skies. We even found the clouds photographic.

 

Afternoon Skies Over Vancouver

Everything’s Coming Up Pumpkins

Parsons - Tractor & Pumpkins

While traveling the Crowsnest Highway between the Okanagan Valley and Vancouver today I had to make a u-turn and backtrack to Parsons Farm Market in Keremeos, British Columbia. The area is known as the farm stand capital of BC and we had passed numerous stands but Parsons demanded a closer look. Established in 1908 and one of the first family operations to open a farm market Parsons is now overseen by the fourth generation.

 

Parsons - Apples

 

A collection of antique tractors stand adorned with a fall harvest of pumpkins, squashes and gourds. Large bins hold a rich harvest of tomatoes and apples. A mobile juicing unit is at Parsons today quickly turning shovelfuls of apples into juice. While the decorations are eye-catching the produce is very appealing, if we weren’t on the road for a couple of more weeks I’d be loading up on all sorts of fruits and veggies.

 

 

Parsons - Apple Juicing

I share a slideshow of some of my favorite pictures from our brief stop in Keremeos. Please take a couple of minutes and enjoy scenes of autumn that will surely put a smile on your face.

 

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A Day of Orchards and Vineyards

Purple Grapes

With Penticton, British Columbia as home base we explored a small portion of the Okanagan Valley today. Acres upon acres of fruit trees and tidy rows of grape vines stretch across the landscape. Large red and golden apples await pickers and wine grapes swell with juice. Such a great location for a relaxed day of wandering back roads, tastings and photos – even if there were clouds and afternoon showers.

 

The Bench

Our day started at The Bench, a charming little artisan cafe and market a short walking distance from our lodging. A steady stream of locals stopped for morning coffee and conversation. We ordered “Eggers” (much like an egg McMuffin – only better) with a Dijon Mayo spread. Bob selected one with smoked salmon and capers, I chose bacon. We shared  a raspberry-nectarine scone made with fresh fruit. Yum, good start to the day.

 

Summerville Farmers MarketWe headed north along the west side of Okanagan Lake making a stop at the local farmers market in Summerland to purchase fresh pears and plums for an afternoon snack with cheese and crackers.

 

A helpful lady at the local visitor center steered us to Summerland Sweets and Sleeping Giant Winery a few miles outside of town. All over Western Canada gift shops and stores sell the jams, syrups and jellies (candies) made here at Summerland Sweets. A first for us was the syrup tasting station. With more than 20 syrups to choose from being able to taste before selection is a real bonus. I liked the Maplapple, Bob’s favorite was the Black Currant, we both agreed the pear was outstanding. Since this is a road trip we’re taking home quite a selection.

 

Summerland Sweets Syrups

 

Sleeping Giant WinesThe adjacent Sleeping Giant winery produces fruit wines, everything but grapes. From the long list we select five to try. Many are sweeter than normal table wines but some like the pear are dry and crisp. Peach is one of their top sellers and certainly gives off the distinctive peachy aroma. I note that a number of customers come in to purchase, knowing exactly what they’re after, obviously very familiar with the selection. To cap our tasting we try the seasonal pumpkin wine with the spicy flavors of clove, nutmeg and cinnamon. Our Thanksgiving guests will be greeted with mulled pumpkin wine this year.

 

Dirty Laundry EntranceThere are so many wineries in the region it’s hard to know which ones to select. On our first visit to the valley I chose by the more interesting names – Blasted Church, Black Widow, Laughing Stock, Therapy, Forbidden Fruit. How can one not wonder about a winery named Dirty Laundry? I remember taking home their Gewürztraminer. They’ve added a new tasting room and patio since our last visit. After tasting three different Gewuztraminers I select two for purchase. One of the wines won a North American award this year but at this point in the tastings I don’t remember the details. Tasters also hear the local legion of the Dirty Laundry name.

 

We spent the rest of the afternoon visiting a farm stand and driving up the east side of the lake to the village of Naramata. I don’t think one can go a mile without a sign directing you to a winery, artist studio or an artisan cheese maker. I need a week to explore this section of the Okanagan.

 

Black Widow Winery Okanagan Gourds

 

Apples 3 Rows of Vines

Huckleberries and More Huckleberries

Huckleberry Patch - Sign 2

 

Huckleberry Patch Sign

Bob loves seeing that little bear lazing in a huckleberry patch – the logo for a company called the Huckleberry Patch, specializing in that little berry you mustn’t ever call a blueberry.

Huckleberries, designated the state fruit of Idaho, are found in Montana, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. The Huckleberry Patch turns them into everything sweet and tasty.

 

We’ve patronized the store in St. Regis, Montana many times when traveling I-90. Today we found ourselves at the company’s motherland in Hungry Horse, Montana located a few miles west of Glacier National Park.

 

Huckleberries are often described as a small blueberry but locals are adamant they should not be called blueberries. We are told they can not be cultivated, that they only grow in the wild. Residents are very territorial about their “secret” patches. In fact this year one Montana man felt someone was intruding into his territory and shots were fired. No one was injured but it gives new perspective to an afternoon of berry picking. The other risk is that bears are quite fond the the small dark purple pearls.

 

Huckleberry Patch - Candy
Huckleberry Patch - Jars

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Would you like your huckleberries in the form of syrup, honey, jam, preserves, jelly, vinaigrette, pie filling, barbecue sauce, or daiquiri mix. And, then there are the candies – huckleberry caramels, jelly beans, licorice, taffy, gummy bears, swirls or chocolate covered. Or, how about fudge – huckleberry, huckleberry walnut, or huckleberry chocolate?

 

Huckleberry Patch - Fudge

 

Huckleberry ChocolatesDon’t overlook the huckleberry truffles in milk or dark chocolate. Decadent, but oh, so good. What a great gift they would be for a special someone back home.

 

Skipping right pass the soups, salads and sandwiches we made lunch on a slice of warm huckleberry pie a la mode, the ice cream choice being huckleberry – of course. One can even order an entire pie over the Internet it you need a fix once you’re home.

 

Huckleberry Patch - Pie

When traveling in the Northwest be sure to try huckleberries in some form. Bob was sure today that he was in Huckleberry Heaven – as happy as that little bear in the logo.

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