Thursday, September 21, 2017

Where to Eat in the Willamette Valley

My prior post on The Painted Lady is my top choice for a high end multi-course menu with wine pairings in the Willamette Valley. It was unquestionably our favorite dining experience during our stay. However, most of our meals were a bit more casual. I'm listing some of our favorite spots here along with another option for a more extravagant night out.

For breakfast, lunch or dinner -
Babica Hen Café - There are two locations of this restaurant, we went to the one in Dundee which is open everyday for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We had a late breakfast here on the last day of our trip before driving back to Portland. I ordered the Shredded Chicken Tostada which came with two crispy tostadas topped with tinga chicken, two fried eggs, avocado, black beans, pico de gallo, salsa roja, lettuce, sour cream and cotija cheese. This was one of the larger options on the menu, it was hearty and very flavorful. I paired it with a spicy Bloody Mary which had a definite face-flushing heat, be forewarned. My husband opted for the more basic Hen
House Breakfast with coffee, simple yet well-prepared. The post-breakfast menu looked crowd friendly while the nice by-the-glass selections of local wine will ensure our return on our next trip.

For lunch or dinner -
The Dundee Bistro serves up locally sourced produce and meats in the form of freshly prepared salads, pastas and pizzas along with a few main course options that make it a solid dinner pick as well. They have a large wine list with a good range of prices affording most guests the opportunity to enjoy a bottle along with their meal. We stopped in here  for a late lunch on our first day after driving in from the airport. We wanted to eat light so we shared a salad and a pizza with pepperoni and broccolini along with a glass of Ponzi Pinot Blanc and Pinot Noir. We had good service, the salad was fresh and the pizza was crisp, gooey and delicious. It is open from 11:30am to 9:00pm daily and the menu makes it easy to just get a quick snack or build yourself a multi-course meal.

For breakfast, lunch, dinner and picnics -
Red Hills Market - We went here one morning right as they were opening at 7:00am. The Red Hills Market has fresh baked pastries and breads along with sandwiches and other quick serve items, like the quiche of the day, dished out in a country store setting. We went for a quick grab and go type breakfast but my husband decided to go a bit bigger and get the breakfast sandwich. I chose the vegetable quiche so we sat down inside and enjoyed it there. The seated area in the restaurant is on the cozy side, its not a place I would try to bring a large group. We did enjoy our meal and we also enjoyed looking over the gift shop. They also sell a gourmet picnic lunch box, pictured here, which we would enjoy later on in our trip as part of our helicopter tour experience.
Stay tuned, I will be posting on that soon.

Honorable mention for a Willamette multi-course dinner with a wine pairing option goes to Joel Palmer House. Also served up in a white table cloth setting in a older house turned restaurant, the menu here is centered on the local mushrooms and truffles and gives diners both a 3 or 5 course option.


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