What’s the Word?In Washington County, Oregon

Frozen Food Month

Posted on: March 23rd, 2015 by Jackie Luskey No Comments
Frozen Food Month, Chamoyada from Beaverton's Ome Calle

For Frozen Food Month, try a spicy-sweet Chamoyada from Beaverton’s Ome Calle.

Get ready for a brain freeze because it’s National Frozen Food Month! Whether it’s ice cold or perfectly slushy, the Tualatin Valley’s frozen food game is on point. The Greater Portland region ranks as the 10th top-consumers of ice cream (businessinsider.com). That stat alludes to even more frosty treats that Oregonians—and visitors!—eat here year-round. Start licking your lips for these cold confections:

Snowy Shaved Ice: Momo’s Hawaiian Shave Ice (2020 NW Alocleck Drive, Hillsboro)
Move over snow cone! The real deal shave ice is in town and you cannot compete. The superiority of shaved ice comes from the special equipment that finely shaves a solid block of ice into a snow-like fluffy dream. Because of its consistency, the “snow” absorbs flavored syrup fully and perfectly. At Momo’s, we go for the Tigers blood variety (don’t worry, it’s just strawberry coconut!) with a “snow cap” of sweetened condensed milk drizzled on top

Pretty Popsicles: Ome Calle (12795 SW Canyon Road, Beaverton and 19503 SW Boones Ferry Road, Tualatin)
Ome Calli is the purveyor of all things Mexican frozen treats. From ice cream to popsicles to the famous Chamoyadas, which is a spicy-sweet frozen fruit slush (think plum and apricot chamoy flavor with mango). The refreshing drink is topped with pickled fruit, Mexican gummy candies, and chili powder. As if that’s not a powerhouse dessert all on its own, the mega-drink is finished with a popsicle of your choosing dunked into the center of your cup. Voila!—frozen upon frozen goodness! For a more refreshing—and less sinful—dessert, get a popsicle on its own in a surprising flavor like hemp or cucumber.

Grand Gelato: Strada (10124 SW Washington Square Road, Tigard)
Of course when it comes to frozen treats, we cannot forget about gelato. Enter, the restaurant Strada. The concept? Street food of Italy. A no brainer? The salted caramel gelato. Afterward, hunt for Italian-inspired fashion at the nearby Washington Square.

Moo-rific Milkshakes: Smith Berry Barn (24500 SW Scholls Ferry Rd, Hillsboro)
Since this frozen treat comes out of a straw, beware of the brain freeze! Still, the milkshakes at Smith Berry Barn cannot be beat. Try a caffe umbria espresso milkshakes for a milky buzz. Come berry season, lookout for more fruit-packed options made from farm-fresh berries.

International Day of Happiness

Posted on: March 20th, 2015 by Jackie Luskey No Comments
Celebrate the International Day of Happiness on the Vineyard and Valley Scenic Tour Route.

Celebrate the International Day of Happiness on the Vineyard and Valley Scenic Tour Route.

What makes you happy? For the International Day of Happiness, now is as good a time as ever to ponder that question and make plans to do more of what makes you happy. Of course, we wish you many endorphin-producing days while visiting the Tualatin Valley. Whatever makes you happy, find it with us.

Meaningful Experiences with People You Love
Add to your memory bank with loved ones via new thrills in the Tualatin Valley. Hold hands—giving each other courage—to zip across the treetops at Pumpkin Ridge Zip Tour or Tree to Tree Adventure Park. For an all-eyes-on-you endeavor, check out the Venomous Reptile Museum. You and your favorite traveling companion will feel more on display than the actual reptiles—an exhilarating experience you surely won’t forget!

Excite the Senses
What’s that amazing smell? This tastes delicious! The air feels so good. Oh yes—the Tualatin Valley is a delight for all five senses. Take a drive on the Vineyard and Valley Scenic Tour Route for tastes, smells, sights and sounds from our vineyards, farms and restaurants.

The Mind-Body Connection
A happy body leads the way for a happy mind. Take care of yourself inside and out, even when on a trip! Exercise is never a chore on the Tualatin Valley Scenic Bikeway. Cyclists pedal thru lush farmland, quaint downtowns and intriguing nature areas. Beginner cyclists (and walkers) may prefer the more mellow section of the bikeway, found on the Banks-Vernonia State Trail.

A Good Night’s Sleep
Get rest and get happy—it’s that simple sometimes. A good dose of the dream state can help individuals find happiness in waking life. For downright delectable sleep, book a room at one of the Tualatin Valley’s premier accommodations.  

Wishing you lots of happy!

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Celebrating Agriculture in the Tualatin Valley

Posted on: March 18th, 2015 by Jackie Luskey No Comments
Celebrate agriculture in the Tualatin Valley!

Celebrate agriculture in the Tualatin Valley!

Happy National Agriculture Week! In the locavore-minded community of the Tualatin Valley, our farmers, chefs and food servers are supremely tied to the land, the food our area produces, and the farm-to-table experience that food provides for locals and visitors alike. We’d tell you to make a point to explore the agricultural wonders of the Tualatin Valley during your visit, but the truth is that we don’t have to—our farming and food culture is an organic (pun intended) part of any person’s stay.

Chew on this: the Beaverton Farmers Market is the largest all-agricultural market in the state of Oregon. Throughout the seasons, you can ogle at onions, gawk at gourds, chomp on chives and ruminate on raspberries. The final dates of the winter market are March 21, April 4 and April 18. The weekly summer market begins May 2. As each market runs Saturdays (through November) from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., you can partake in some brunch and lunch from the local farm and food artisan offerings. For those traveling from far away, there are plenty of locally made goods that won’t spoil on your journey home. Head to the Unger Farms booth for jams that keep the juicy punch of their berries intact. Our markets reach beyond just Beaverton. In the summer, you can find a farmers’ market in one of our towns or cities almost any day of the week!

In addition to markets, take a drive on the Vineyard and Valley Scenic Tour Route for a self-guided tour of the Tualatin Valley’s agricultural bounty. The tour route includes roadside crop signs, summer u-pick farms, charming taverns and classic general stores. Come July, the route’s road will be fragrant with the scent of not only fruits and vegetables, but herbs as well. Cruise into lavender farms for purple picture-ops and aromatic souvenirs.

Of course, the wineries of the northern Willamette Valley fit into our agricultural story, too. For a new take on wine tasting, plan a day traveling the sustainable wine trail. Not only do all of our winemakers make outstanding varietals, but many do so by organic and biodynamic standards—no small feat!

We hope you enjoy the bounty of the Tualatin Valley as much as our farms and markets enjoy growing and sharing it.

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Quilt Barn Trail

Posted on: March 16th, 2015 by Jackie Luskey No Comments
The newly installed Quilt Barn Trail panel at Gates Century Farm.

The newly installed Quilt Barn Trail panel at Gates Century Farm.

Do you have a beloved quilt on your bed, in a family chest, or maybe draped over your couch (begging for a cozy reading session)? For many, quilts are part of the very fiber of our homes. Now, the nostalgia and heritage of quilts makes its way to the Tualatin Valley with the introduction of the first two panels of our very own Quilt Barn Trail.

The Quilt Barn Trail will be composed of large, hand-painted wood blocks that have been hand-painted in traditional quilt patterns that hold some significance to the area or farm where it is located. The first two panels were erected at Simpson Century Farm (31535 SW Simpson Road, Cornelius) and Gates Century Farm (32720 NW Hornecker Road, Hillsboro), which are both long-standing Oregon farms in the area. For a glimpse into the installation process of these two initial panels, watch this video from the Oregonian:

In honor of National Craft Month, as well as Saturday being National Quilting Day, we encourage you to pay a visit to the inaugural panels of the Quilt Barn Trail before cruising through the rest of the stunning Vineyard and Valley Scenic Tour Route. And if a joy ride isn’t in the cards for you this weekend, then never fear!—the Quilt Barn Trail will continue growing in the coming months. Check back on our Quilt Barn Trail Page to get information on the latest panels as they are installed. Within the next six years, expect to see up to 60 quilt panels added to the trail! As you drive from one to the next, imagine each unique panel sewn together as one quilt, representing the rich and diverse heritage of the Tualatin Valley.

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National Craft Month

Posted on: March 13th, 2015 by Jackie Luskey No Comments
The Oregon College of Art and Craft is a wonderful place to visit for National Craft Month.

The Oregon College of Art and Craft is a wonderful place to visit for National Craft Month.

You won’t find idle hands in the Tualatin Valley. We’re too busy making Oregon goods to be twiddling our thumbs. Our local goods reach beyond farm-to-table food and brews. For National Craft Month, we’re celebrating the crafters of the Tualatin Valley. Choose your craft hobby below!

If you want the softest of soft accessories, touch no further than alpaca yarn from EasyGo Farm. The farm’s alpaca herd provides a lush array of yarn options in the farm store. Plan your next craft attack with this DIY Lace Alpaca Shawl pattern.

Another must-see knitting spot is Nitro Knitting. Purchase yarn made by local dyers non-profit co-ops. Want to knit at the shop? Use the free Wi-Fi to surf for new patterns while sipping on a complimentary cup of tea or coffee.

The newly erected Quilt Barn Trail melds quilters and agricultural heritage together. This multi-year project consists of large, hand-painted blocks with quilt patterns, which are mounted on buildings throughout the rural areas of the valley. So, far there are two panels with more on the way!

For your own quilting plans, stop by the Quilter’s Corner Store for all of the supplies and expert advice you need.

Whimzee’s Scrapbook Studio includes a Kids’ Craft Mornings with Delaney. Delaney happens to be a kid herself and she loves coming up with easy projects for her peers like paper pumpkins and personalized canvas bags. Each workshop is $10 per child and parent pair. Call ahead for details: (503) 259-9130.

Support Local Crafters
The Tualatin Valley loves crafting so much that we have a whole school devoted to it! Enter, Oregon College of Art and Craft (OCAC). The school’s Hoffman Gallery and store showcases student and alumni bookmaking, ceramics, mixed media, fibers and wood pieces. After viewing and purchasing the stunning crafts, have lunch alongside the crafters and artists at nobleoni Cafe.

More craft goodness can be found at the Every Husband’s Nightmare Bazaar (April 20-25 at the Washington County Fair Complex; free admission). Find pillows made from salvaged fabric, upcycled furniture and so much more.

And just for fun, don’t forget about Oregon craft beer!

April’s North Willamette Wine Trail Weekend

Posted on: March 11th, 2015 by Jackie Luskey No Comments
Enjoy wine from the glass (and straight from the barrel!) during the North Willamette Wine Trail Weekend.

Enjoy wine from the glass (and straight from the barrel!) during the North Willamette Wine Trail Weekend.

Forget spring cleaning—let’s jump into spring drinking! While we love visiting wineries rain-or-shine, spring days give steam to our wine tasting game. With the North Willamette Wine Trail Weekend April 11-12, the wineries of Oregon’s Washington County are daring us to a marathon wine weekend.  

From the North Willamette Vintners, the Wine Trail invites wine lovers to experience over a dozen wineries over two jam-packed days. What’s more, the Wine Trail weekend is actually about so much more than wine. It’s truly about our culinary community, from Oregon wine to cheese to other creative noshes. With this in mind, the Wine Trail pairs each winery with a thoughtful and unique food pairings.

One such pairing is the Apolloni Vineyards sharing some favorite Pinot Grigio, Rosé and Mélange Noir wines alongside tastes from Laurine Apolloni’s cooking demo with seasonal herbs. Additionally, Blizzard Wines defies its namesake by serving wood fired pizza from Maiale di Volo alongside its local wine blends.

Tickets can be purchased here, where you’ll be asked to identify your starting winery. A wine kit—including a glass, map, and brochure of each winery and its accompanying activity—will be waiting for you at that winery on April 11. Lunch options will also be available for purchase at many of the wineries.

Here’s the skinny on tickets:

  • $45 per person includes the two-day Wine Trail weekend with activities, wine tastings, food pairings, and wine glass.
  • $30 per person for Sunday-only ticket from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; ticket includes glass, activities, wine tastings, and light food pairings.
  • $10 for a designated driver ticket

Turn the Wine Trail into a full-blown weekend getaway by booking a room at one of the awesome hotels partnering with the North Willamette Vintners:

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Barbershop Ballad Town Itinerary

Posted on: March 9th, 2015 by Jackie Luskey No Comments

Sound the harmonica—the 69th Annual All Northwest Barbershop Ballad Contest  is coming to Forest Grove March 20-21! Spend a melodic getaway weekend in the Tualatin Valley to find out exactly why Forest Grove is known as Ballad Town USA. With tickets between $20 and $22, you can see two days of top-notch singers for a song. See below for a weekend itinerary for you’re a capella themed weekend.

Friday, March 20 at 5 p.m.
Before jumping into action, check into your room. There are plenty of great lodging options that are close to the singing main event. Perform a quick change into some festive gear while tonight’s vocalists warm up. Here are some especially nearby hotel offerings:

Friday, March 20 at 7 p.m.
In addition to the competitive rounds of singing, the comedic quartet group, Snafu, will also perform giggle-worthy tunes.

Friday, March 20 at 9 p.m.
After tonight’s show, discuss your favorite quartet groups over a pint of beer at the King’s Head Pub. While nibbling on house-made Scotch egg or English pasty, you might be inspired to hum some English pub songs.  

Saturday, March 20 at 10 a.m.
Start your day off in the All-American way. Maggie’s Buns serves up classic breakfast plates, including gigantic cinnamon buns. Bonus: The cozy brunch spot is the perfect starting location for an early afternoon wine tasting session. Head to Apolloni Vineyards and David Hill Vineyard & Winery next.

Saturday, March 20 at 1:00 p.m.
Before heading to the 2 p.m. round of the Barbershop Ballad Contest, pay a visit to the world’s tallest barber pole. In 1973, locals to crafted and installed a 70-foot tall barber pole, which still holds the title as the world’s tallest one today.

Saturday, March 20 at 5:00 p.m.
Fuel up before the intense final round of the contest at 7 p.m. with a soul-satisfying meal at 1910 Main. Using local ingredients, this favorite spot updates American classics with a modern, upscale twist.

Sunday, March 21
Before heading home, play a game of disc-golf at McMenamins Grand Lodge. If you work up enough of a sweat, then you’ll be able to justify a sweet treat from Sugar Mommas’ Bake Shop (pssst…get the red velvet cupcake!).

Celebrate Irish Culture in the Tualatin Valley

Posted on: March 6th, 2015 by Jackie Luskey No Comments
Finnegan, the bar dog at Three Mugs Brewing, is an Irishman (err, Irishdog) at heart.

Finnegan, the bar dog at Three Mugs Brewing, is an Irishman (err, Irishdog) at heart.

The saying goes “If you’re lucky enough to be Irish, then you’re lucky enough.” Whether or not your lineage can be traced back to the Emerald Isle, double your luck—Irish style—in the Tualatin Valley. The greater Portland region holds strong ties to Ireland as many Irish families escaping famine immigrated to America and eventually traversed the Oregon Trail. The late 1800s marked the Irish community as the largest foreign-born community in the Portland region.* Celebrate Irish culture year-round with these local haunts.

For an Irish Jig
The Winds of Donegal Ceili teaches a new Irish dance every Friday, October through May. The drop-in class welcomes beginners and is open to all, ages 8 and older. Admission is $5, which is a steal considering the class includes live Irish music.

For Irish Flare in a Nano-Brewery
Three Mugs Brewing Co. brews seriously good beer in an unpretentious, quirkily-Irish taproom. The husband, wife and son team has lived all over the world, but remembers to pay tribute to their Irish roots with patriotic posters and a bar dog named Finnegan. The Fiery Wench Imperial Red gives a playful nod in name, color and taste to the family’s Irish heritage.

For the Sports-Crazed Irishman

J.B. O’Brien’s Irish Pub revels in its Irish roots. Pairing Irish pub fare with American pro sports is a long-loved bar standard that JB O’Brien’s does just right.

For Chasing the Rainbow
Henry Hagg Lake—it’s one of the best places to catch a rainbow. If the multi-colored arch doesn’t peek through the clouds, then fish for rainbow trout instead. We cannot promise a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow or fishing line, but the golden-hour sunsets shimmering off the lake is just as good.

For St. Patrick’s Day Events
With Friday the 13th and St. Patrick’s Day falling within a week’s span of each other, there’s no better time to take a fortuitous foray into Oregon’s Washington County. If you’re lucky enough to visit in the coming weeks, then be sure to check out the many St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.

*Irish in Oregon history via www.oregonirish.org

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Activities That Take Advantage of Daylight Savings

Posted on: March 4th, 2015 by Jackie Luskey No Comments
    Warm spring light trickles through the leaves of the Tree-2-Tree Adventure Park after daylight saving time.

Warm spring light trickles through the leaves of the Tree-2-Tree Adventure Park after daylight saving time.

Are you ready to spring forward? Daylight saving time is—especially at first—a double edge sword. Waking up in the dark hours is a bit rough at first, but the payoff comes in late pink sunsets that inspire evening walks, firing up the grill, or kick-starting a weekend getaway. All this talk of daylight saving time has got us thinking about the power of light in general, as well as all of the ways to (unconventionally) enjoy it.

Tree-to-Tree Adventure Park
2975 SW Nelson Road, Gaston | March 15 to November | Pricing varies
Romantic daredevils can sign up for the swoon-worthy  Zip, Sip and Savor Tours. The evening includes a zip adventure, wine tasting, hors d’oeuvres, and a surprise gift. The real prize is feeling the warm, fading light on your skin as it trickles through the high-in-the-sky leaves. Get dates and reserve your spot today by calling 503-357-0109.

For even more zippity fun, take a look at Pumpkin Ridge Zip Tour.

Glowing Greens Mini-Golf
3855 SW Murray Boulevard, Beaverton | $10 for 18 holes
Even though daylight saving is in full effect, we still have many a rainy day ahead. Luckily we can still revel in the phosphorescent with the brand new Glowing Greens black light indoor miniature golf course. The alien invasion themed course includes the likes of Larry the alien. Strike the ball through his neon pink manicure!

Pendulum Aerial Arts Presents Reinvention
French American International School | April 24-25 | $15-$20
The dancers of Pendulum Aerial Arts play with the balance between darkness and light in this captivating performance. The narrative showcases the power of “entering into the light” and embracing the many colors of the human spirit.

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Theater in the Tualatin Valley

Posted on: March 2nd, 2015 by Jackie Luskey No Comments

Among Tualatin Valley locals, “break a leg” is a common catch phrase due to the seemingly constant onslaught of opening night musicals, plays, concerts and reviews. From light-hearted fun to tear-jerker performances, we’re highlighting some shows that we’re especially excited to see.

The Six Gentlepersons of Verona
March 5-22 | The Venetian Theatre | $20 to $36
Bag&Baggage Productions live up to its tagline: Real. Provocative. Theatre. The re-imagined production of Shakespeare’s first comedy is performed by an all-female cast…except for the one lone male canine. The pug-mix brings silly charm and “puppy love” into the theater. (More about Bag&Baggage Productions)

The Spitfire Grill
March 6-15 | Theatre in the Grove | $12 to $14
Chefs and foodies will fall for this sweet musical. As a restaurant owner prepares to pass the reins to her small town’s only eatery, she decides to gift her business to whoever writes the best essay on why they want the Spitfire Grill. What would you write? (More about Theatre in the Grove)

69th Annual All-Northwest Barbershop Ballad Contest
March 20-21 | Forest Grove High School | $20 to $22
The harmonicas are setting the tone and sharply dressed A Capella groups are warming their pipes for this annual competition. This year’s headlining troupe, “Tone Deaf,” promises to defy its name with sweet and fun melodies.

April 16-May 24 | Broadway Rose New Stage | $20 to $42
Oh, we know you know the word. As one of the world’s most popular musicals, Broadway Rose will infuse new magic into these show tune standards. Are you a Sandy or a Rizzo? Either way, get ready to hum along. (More about Broadway Rose)

The Full Monty
April 17-May 3 | Theatre in the Grove | $12 to $14
This one is for mature audiences only as the pop-rock musical pushes boundaries to the edge with a wink and a nudge. Though the jokes may be racy, this musical has a strongly beating heart. (More about Theatre in the Grove)

When visiting the Tualatin Valley, get the inside scoop on the area from Bag&Baggage’s Artistic Director, Scott Palmer. Plus, find even more theater events here.

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