Why Oregon?

This was the question most folks asked me when I told them I was going there on vacation.  I admit…it’s not the first place you’d think of when you’re out here on the east coast.

My friend Ashby said she always wanted to go, and asked me if I wanted to go with her.  I said, “Oregon?  I’ve never been there.  Never really thought about going there.  Sure!  Why not?”  We spent months planning, marking our route from Portland down the coast and over to Crater Lake National Park.

And that’s exactly what we did.  Along with a lot of eating some really, really good food along the way.  On our last day, while driving from Crater Lake to Portland, Ashby and I rated our fave dining experiences.

Best eggs ever

Seriously.  THE best poached eggs I’ve ever eaten, found at Multnomah Falls Lodge.  Beautifully cooked yolk, not runny, just set.  I had the Eggs Florentine; Ashby had the Eggs Benedict.  With a side of Bloody Mary.

Fried gorgonzola

I’m from the south, and the clChiantiiche holds true.  I love fried food.  I could also eat an entire slab of gorgonzola.  We had one night in Portland, and tried this little Italian place called Mama Mia Trattoria.  As soon as I saw “fried gorgonzola” as an ingredient in their Insalata di Rucola, I was hooked.  It was exquisite – the perfect combination of crispy coating with melted cheese and a salty note that balanced the sweet apple and arugula salad.  I danced in my seat.

The service was also fantastic, as was a smooth Chianti.

Doooooooonuuuuuuts (drool)

Homer Simpson would be in hVoodoo Doughnutog heaven at Voodoo Doughnut.  We got a dozen.  And ate every one.  My favorite…Raspberry Romeo’s doughnut (the filling was freshly made, tart and delicious).  Most unexpected…the Mexican Hot Chocolate doughnut (sweet at first, then it got hot!).

Best (and biggest) steamed oysters

Steamed oysters at Mo'sThis jolly fellow we met when we were shipping our newly purchased wine back to NC recommended Mo’s Seafood – their claim to fame is their clam chowder.  The standout for us, though, were the giant steamed oysters.  Served with lemon and melted butter, these oysters went down so smooth.  Did I mention they were HUGE?  So huge, they were served in a 9×13 baking dish.

Extraordinary view

We were pleasantly surprised at HOW GOOD our meal was at the Best Western Pier Point Inn in Florence, Oregon.  The Bay View Bistro is appropriately named and serves a wonderfully spicy and chock-full cioppino.  And the view…whoa.  Go just for the view.  And the cioppino.

Clam chowder at high altitude

Ashby’s vote for the best clam chowder on our trip… at Crater Lake Lodge.  Our last night of the trip, we decided to splurge.  Fresh halibut, buttery and creamy mashed potatoes.  Oh, and I had a blueberry bread pudding for dessert.  What an ending!

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