Last week we had a wonderful (if far too brief) vacation in McMinnville Oregon. Below are reports on the restaurants we tried, all right on, or a few steps off, the main street of the old town.
Some other things to note:
McMinnville Farmers' Market, Thursdays from 1:30 to 6pm. This is a great farmers' market for a smallish town. In addition to an array of fresh produce (beautiful sweet strawberries abound), cottage industry vendors sell jams, pickles, cheeses, nuts, cider, coffee, teas, local grass-fed beef, flowers, etc, etc. I'd say if you're staying in a place with a kitchen, the farmers' market is a must. If you're not cooking, there are still a lot of treats to bring home, and some hot food stands for lunching. We bought a steak from the McK Ranch stand, squashes, and Walla Walla onions from the produce vendors, all of which went onto the charcoal grill at our cabin for a great easy dinner.
Red Fox Bakery downtown McMinnville has great looking bakery items. We only tried their multi grain bread and a coconut macaroon, both were outstanding.
Red Hills Market in Dundee has a deli and a nice assortment of gourmet items. We bought Oregon olive oil, olives, some sausages, and a few other goodies. Mr. Nightshade picked up some Bad Henry IPA, a newfound favorite.
We stopped in the Golden Valley Brewpub for a drink and a lively conversation with the charming bartender. As it turned out, he was originally from our hometown. Nice brewpub atmosphere with a big old-style wooden bar. The bartender captured our attention preparing a beer sampler tray, 10 small glasses of draft beers slipped into holes in a curved wood board. We didn't eat anything here, but the menu shows a nice variety of pub food. Full bar also.
The Brigittine Monks support themselves by making chocolates. You can buy their chocolates at some local stores (with a slight markup) but it's a nice drive out to the monastery in Amity. You can sample a few varieties of fudge while there. We bought several packages of assorted truffles to bring back as gifts. Plus one for ourselves, because we can't give untested gifts!
On the way back home from the monastery we stopped at Amity Winery. It's a small winery on the top of a hill with lovely views. We really enjoyed our tasting here and bought several bottles of wine. The only other winery we visited was Sokol Blosser, because we happened to meet someone who worked for the winery. They have an attractive tasting room right off the main highway. We also bought several bottles here. We are not wine experts by any means, but we really appreciated some of Oregon's lovely pinots: noir, blanc, and gris.
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