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Portland, Oregon food blog with many years worth of recipes, restaurant features, and food photos.

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Three Days in Montana: Roadtripping, Eating, and Drinking in Big Sky Country

Three Days in Montana

I think if I had to live somewhere other than Oregon, I could maybe live in Montana. Maybe. And while I would miss the ocean and the desert of my adopted home state, I would cherish the big blue skies and the quirky mountain towns of the Treasure State.

During a roadtrip to our eventual destination of Fargo, North Dakota we spent a few days in Big Sky Country—it’s an incredibly long state to drive through. Missoula in the western region is almost 350 miles from Billings in the east and once you hit Billings, you still have another 247 miles until you finally come to the North Dakota border.

Watch out for rattlesnakes

If you do find yourself roadtripping along interstates 90 and 94, there are a number of Montana communities that are definitely worth your time, here are a few of them.

Three Forks, Montana

This small town between Butte and Bozeman offers a few things—the historic Sacajawea Hotel, where you’ll be offered a glass of bubbly when you check in. There’s a summer farmers market in Three Forks and a quaint main street for strolling after a bison burger (complete with fire roasted . . . → Read More: Three Days in Montana: Roadtripping, Eating, and Drinking in Big Sky Country

A Weekend in Astoria Featuring Tasty Food, Oregon State Parks, and the Voodoo Room

Astoria, Oregon

Recently, I spent a whole weekend in Astoria, Oregon taking in the sites, eating the food, and just generally enjoying this quirky northern Oregon Coast town. We stayed at the Commodore Hotel, ate and drank at Buoy Beer and the Blue Scorcher Bakery, wandered Fort Stevens State Park, and spent a couple of nights at the Voodoo Room.

An excellent weekend trip, even if the weather didn’t cooperate until the day we left.

Commodore Hotel
The rooms here have private and shared bathrooms. We had a deluxe cabin (private bathroom). Pros: Great location, cozy lobby downstairs. Modern, Scandinavian aesthetic. Cons: lacking in amenities for the price — at least for the “deluxe” rooms (no in-room coffeemaker or refrigerator, no towel hooks in the bathroom).
258 14th Street
Astoria, OR 97103

Buoy Beer
No. 1 Eighth (8th) Street
Astoria, OR 97103
Awesome beer and food. Great waterfront location!

Blue Scorcher Bakery & Cafe
1493 Duane Street
Astoria, Oregon 97103
This is always a good breakfast or lunch choice.

Fort Stevens State Park
West of Astoria, off Highway 101. Both Pacific Ocean and Columbia River beaches.

The Voodoo Room
This is always a good drinking choice. Sometimes there is live music — we saw Daric Moore the first night and the . . . → Read More: A Weekend in Astoria Featuring Tasty Food, Oregon State Parks, and the Voodoo Room

Central Oregon Travel: Bend & Crater Lake National Park

Central Oregon Travel: Bend & Crater Lake National Park

As I sometimes do, I’m posting about a trip taken months ago. In this case, Bend, Oregon and Crater Lake National Park from last October September…okay, wow — it was late August. The trip was certainly memorable and I took a lot of nice photos, so I’m not quite sure why I forgot to post about it. Glad I’m getting it up now, though!

We’ve been to Bend and Oregon’s high desert a couple of times previously, but it has been a few years since our last visit (and we’d never been to Crater Lake before). For the trip planning, deciding where to stay was half of the fun – as always.

Bend Vacation Rental
We took a chance on the one bedroom cottage (right next door to the property at the link above) and ended up being very pleasantly surprised. The bathroom was amazingly spacious, with tons of shelves for toiletries and the whole place was designed with an artistic, world traveler-esque flair. All of this, plus a full kitchen and location right next door to Boneyard Brewery and within an easy walk to downtown Bend.

Crater Lake . . . → Read More: Central Oregon Travel: Bend & Crater Lake National Park

Oregon Roadtrip: The Balch Hotel and Maryhill Museum of Art

The Balch Hotel, Durfur, Oregon

Balch Hotel
40 S. Heimrich Street
Dufur, Oregon 97021

In late October we found ourselves in Dufur, Oregon for the monthly Supper Club at the Historic Balch Hotel. This wasn’t unexpected or anything – I had planned it and we’d even been to a couple of these dinners before, but it had been a few years since we had gone back. I’m not sure why, as I am totally in love with this hotel and all of our Supper Club experiences have been very, very tasty. I think we just forgot about it. Or we were just lazy. Or maybe a bit of both?

We even got to stay in my favorite room (number 9 – it has brown walls). And the weather when we went was just perfect! A crisp chill in the air, blue skies, brightly colored leaves, and lots of sun. Dinner was cassoulet, which was delicious and even inspired me to attempt my own version of cassoulet at home a couple of weeks ago (it was quite good).

The full, three course dinner at this event was prepared by Jamie Snell of The Lamb’s Table catering in Portland.

I. Watercress, butterleaf . . . → Read More: Oregon Roadtrip: The Balch Hotel and Maryhill Museum of Art

Dining Out in Seattle: Ethan Stowell’s Tavolàta

Dinner Out: Tavolàta in Seattle

Tavolàta
2323 Second Avenue
Seattle, WA 98121

Bon Appétit magazine says, “(Ethan) Stowell serves chic, unadorned Italian food in a narrow modern space whose centerpiece is a huge communal table.”

I say, “Mmmmmm. Pork belly.”

Way back in September, while I was up north for the International Food Bloggers Conference, jwa came up Saturday night to hang out, go out to dinner, and drive home with me the next day. We (or rather I) decided on Tavolàta for our meal which was just a short walk from downtown and sounded like we would both enjoy its focus – pasta, pasta, pasta. And really, I can’t even remember the last time we specifically went out for pasta in Portland (this should corrected soon).

Our choices for the evening consisted of Castelvetrano Olives with Citrus, Mint, Chili; Pork Belly with Manila Clam, Tomato, Salsa Verde; Burrata with Arugula, Cucumber and Heirloom Tomato Salad; Tagliatelle with Dungeness Crab, Fennel, Chili; and Beef Shortribs with Celeriac, Balsamic, Baby Carrot. And for dessert – a Brownie with brown butter ice cream and a trio of sorbets.

This also marked the beginning of our new restaurant ordering strategy – getting a number of . . . → Read More: Dining Out in Seattle: Ethan Stowell’s Tavolàta