Pacific Northwest

Posted on: Monday, April 4, 2016

For our 30th birthday, we celebrated with an epic excursion to the Pacific Northwest. Our first time out there, we were instantly overcome by the vast landscapes, breathtaking coastlines, friendly, interesting people and topnotch foodie finds. Below are just a few of the highlights from our Twin Tastes adventure!
After arriving late in Portland, we were greeted by our best friend, Kimmy, who recently moved out there. Hazy from the flight, we sipped on local ciders and caught up before dozing off for the night. The next morning, we hiked Bridal Veil Falls. We were enchanted by the cascading green moss, towering pine trees and powerful waterfalls. Afterwards, we made our way to Breakside Brewery where we tried some unique beers and bar bites. We sampled the Fortunella (Witbier Kumquat, chamomile, banana, light acidity) and Pilsner (German Pilsner Grass, herbal, spicy, bready, crisp), and nibbled on Bavarian Pretzels with biergarten cheese spread, gherkins, apples, onions, and stout mustard as well as Buffalo Chicken Nachos covered in a variety of cheeses, jalapenos, grilled chicken, Buffalo IPA wing sauce, and assorted veggies.
For an afternoon jolt, Kimmy suggested Coffee Soda Sparklers at Red E Cafe. Minds blown.
For our tri-Pisces birthday dinner that evening, we had a cozy table in the relaxed, slightly nautical and classy farm-to-table spot, Radar. Kara sipped a Mary-Rose (vodka, Lillet, lemon, rosemary, egg white), Kimmy sipped a Writer’s Block (tequila, grapefruit, Vermouth, maple, vanilla, Mezcal), and Marni sipped a Radar Standard (gin, housemade tonic, lime).
We split a mix of lovely small plates: Fried Chickpeas; Pork Shoulder on a Grit Cake with Chili Puree; Brussels sprouts with Bacon, Mustard Seed; Smoked Bluefish Pate with House Pickled Vegetables, Crackers; Cassoulet of Brisket, Pork, Shallot, Thyme, Tomato, Anasazi Beans, Torn Bread; Potato Gnocchi with Chevre; Chioggia and Golden Beets, Hazelnuts, Roasted Fennel, Tarragon Oil.
To end a delightful evening we enjoyed homemade Mole Ice Cream with three spoons and a candle on top.
The next morning with Stumptown Coffees in hand, we drove an hour and a half west to the Pacific coast. We were in awe of Cannon Beach and the mammoth haystacks off shore.
On our drive back through the dense forests, meandering from rain to sun and back to rain, we stopped for lunch at the cute and casual Pacific Pie Company famous for its Australian savory and sweet pies. We each ordered iced teas and split the Roast Lamb Pie (SuDan Farm lamb braised in a Shiraz red wine sauce with roasted potatoes, yams, carrots and onions) and Arugula and Roasted Squash Salad (7 Organic arugula topped with molasses roasted butternut squash, feta, candied walnuts, currants, and balsamic vinaigrette).
At night, we met one of our best college buddies, Thomas at Clyde Common, Ace Hotel. Over Heater Allen Pilsner’s (McMinnville, OR), we split a feast platter of beef short ribs, salsa rojo, radishes, and pupusas.
Saying goodbye to Oregon the next morning, we drove north passing a view of Mount Saint Helens on our way to Snoqualmie, Washington.
We strolled through the quiet and quiet historic town passing by the Northwest Railway Museum, unique shops and restaurants. We popped into The Bindlestick Coffee and Beer House for lunch. We split a Turkey, Swiss, Maple Panini and Smoked Salmon with Pita Triangles, Hummus and Tapenade while listening to Mumford and Sons, surrounded by folk art and small town charm.
Next, we drove up the road to Salish Lodge and Spa, once a historic hikers’ lodge famous for its country breakfasts of pancakes and steel oats, and now a luxury spa overlooking the Snoqualmie Falls. After an incredibly relaxing afternoon spa treatment in the lodge’s mineral baths followed by honey oatmeal scrubs, we enjoyed a glass of wine in front of our fire place.
We enjoyed a casual dinner upstairs in the The Attic where the majority of ingredients were local or onsite. We sipped Pike Hive Five Salish Lodge & Spa Hopped Honey Ale (an unfiltered ale brewed with honey from their own hives, light in body and color, slightly floral and spicy) and a Dale Cooper (Batch 206 Counter Gin, clove and cardamom infused Salish Honey, Salish Lodge & Spa Dry Honey Cider, lemon twist), and shared a Baby Green Salad with Salish Honey Ale Spread, Washington apples, aged cheddar, and Salish Honey Vinaigrette, and a Roasted Wild Mushroom Pizza with herbed crème fraîche, parmesan, mozzarella, arugula, and a Balsamic reduction.
The next morning, we drove about thirty minutes to Seattle and arrived at the Edgewater Hotel, located on the water and within walking distance from the Chihuly Garden and Glass, the Space Needle and Pike’s Place Market.
We were on an instant high at Chihuly Garden and Glass.
Next at Pike’s Place Market, we bopped around from Pike Place Fish Market to Pike Place Chukar Cherries, to a smoked salmon jerky stand to flower displays.
We enjoyed award winning chowder at the Chowder Company which was perfect on a rainy afternoon.
For Happy Hour, we headed up to vibrant and trendy Capitol Hill to try out Taylor Shellfish Farm. We sipped glasses of Cedergreen Cellars Sauvignon Blanc (WA 2013) and slurped a half dozen west coast oysters: Olympia, Shigoku, Virginica. 
We concluded our birthday trip a few steps away with a fun, eclectic and flavorful dinner at Stateside. We each ordered The Coconut (rum, lime leaf and galangal added to a freshly cracked coconut and shared Crispy Duck Fresh Rolls (duck rolls wrapped in fresh herbs and rice paper), Green Papaya Salad (long beans, tomatoes, lime, chili, dried shrimp and beef jerky), Cha Ca Long Vong (black cod marinated in turmeric and galangal, rice vermicelli, fresh cill, cilantro, mint, and peanuts), and Creme Fraiche Cheesecake on Shortbread Crust with Lychee Snow.
We had such a blast and look forward to making another trip back soon!


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