What’s the Word?In Washington County, Oregon

Archive for the ‘Food & Drink’ Category

The Four Questions

Posted on: April 11th, 2014 by Jackie Luskey No Comments
Celebrate Hillsboro's tall trees, as well as Jewish roots, during a spring vacation.

Celebrate Hillsboro’s tall trees, as well as Jewish roots, during a spring vacation.

Chag Sameach! In Hebrew, this means happy holidays or joyous festival, which is appropriate with Passover just around the corner. For many, travel plans and Passover celebrations end up overlapping each other in the busy springtime. Whether you’re planning how to observe Passover while vacationing or just wanting to learn more about a new culture, Oregon’s Washington County has fun and unexpected ways to pay tribute to the holiday.

A traditional Passover Seder includes the asking of the four questions; however, we’ve taken some liberties and are asking—and answering!—four Passover-related questions of our own.

1. Where can I observe Shabbat Chol HaMoed?
The community-oriented Hillsboro Chabad welcomes visitors to its Shabbat services every Saturday at 9:30 a.m., followed by a traditional Shabbat Kiddush. April 19 is Shabbat Chol HaMoed, a special Shabbat during Passover, with Kosher for Passover noshing included.

2. Where can I find matzo ball soup that is almost as good as my mother’s recipe?
Being away from home during a holiday can be hard, but you shouldn’t have to miss out on its defining food. Enter the matzo ball soup at Rose’s Restaurant and Bakery. Some say this Jewish-style deli restaurant has the best matzo ball soup in Oregon.

3. What do people do with all that left over Matzah?
After Passover’s four cups of wine, you may be ready for some post-holiday hops. Though it’s not kosher for Passover, Matzah-flavored beer? You bet! While it’s not kosher for Pesach, Ambacht Brewing celebrates the end of Passover each year by brewing a batch of its famous Matzobraü. The tasty beer is made with over 50 pounds of leftover Matzah!

4. How else can I celebrate Jewish Culture during Passover?
Dance! People from all backgrounds come together Israeli Folk Dancing at Café Shalom (April 15 from 7-10 p.m. at 7045 SW Taylors Ferry Road, Portland). Learn traditional choreography to the tunes of classic Israeli music.

Happy Passover and happy spring!

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Earth Mama Musings

Posted on: April 9th, 2014 by Jackie Luskey No Comments
Environmentally-conscious mothers love exploring the eco-chic findings of Oregon's Washington County, including a locavore Mother's Day brunch at Garden Vineyards.

Environmentally-conscious mothers love exploring the eco-chic findings of Oregon’s Washington County, including a locavore Mother’s Day brunch at Garden Vineyards.

Do you consider yourself an earthy mama or a flower child at heart? With Earth Day around the corner, and Mother’s Day just a few weeks after that, we’ve created a go-to list for eco-minded, travel-loving mamas.

Powell’s Books at Cedar Hills Crossing is on our wavelength, welcoming Alicia Silverstone to talk about her new book “The Kind Mama” (April 23 at 7 p.m. with free admission). After ogling at the impressive selection of eco-living and parenting books, get cozy for a not-so-clueless talk. Alicia will discuss how to pave a confident and empowered journey into motherhood, from fertility planning to the first few months with baby.

Whether you’re exploring after the reading or visiting during another time, Bridgeport Village has a surprising number of Kind Mama approved destinations. First, start at one of Alicia Silverstone’s favorite vegan restaurants, Native Foods Café. The entire menu is 100% plant-based, though meat-eaters may be fooled by the Italian meatball sub with house made tempeh and seitan.

With a belly fueled with nutritional foods, head to the locally-made Ellington Handbags store. Here, bags are environmentally-friendly, cute, and can fit all the supplies that a busy mom needs at her disposal. Vegans love the fashionable durability of the Washed Nylon Twill bags. Those that buy leather with a conscious will be thrilled to find ECO Leather handbags made from an award-winning and environmentally responsible tannery.

The last stop at Bridgeport Village is a relaxing one, indulging in a treatment at the Coldwater Creek Spa. Treat yourself to a massage or body treatment that uses all organic products.

For a full-out Kind Mama getaway, hit up the Sustainable Wine Trail because being green doesn’t mean you have to give up your favorite reds. The trail includes wineries that use biodynamic farming, like Montinore Estate and Cooper Mountain Vineyard.

P.S. Whether your mama is eco-chic or urban-fab, treat her to a great Mother’s Day. Why wait until the last minute to make plans? We have a round-up of delicious Mother’s Day brunches—make a reservation for right now!

Revolutionary Craft Beer

Posted on: April 2nd, 2014 by Jackie Luskey No Comments
Ambacht Brewing is one example of a passion for home brewing evolving into a much-loved Oregon craft beer producer.

Ambacht Brewing is one example of a passion for home brewing evolving into a much-loved Oregon craft beer producer.

Oregon craft beer is more than just good lager. Craft beer honors tradition, creativity, and community. These values—and the beers they create—have sparked a new generation of beer lovers who think beyond national brands.

Powell’s Books at Cedar Hills Crossing will host Steve Hindy, whose book  The Craft Beer Revolution  discusses the craft beer movement (April 9 at 7 p.m.; free admission). Learn how home brewers and microbrewers are changing the beer game before embarking on a brewery crawl.

Art Larrance’s Raccoon Lodge & Brew Pub (7424 SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Hwy.; open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.) is owned by a pioneer in the Oregon craft beer movement. Art Larrance founded the ever-popular Oregon Brewers Festival, now in its 27th year. At the lodge, get a flight of Cascade Brewing’s quintessential sour beers.

Vertigo Brewing is a charming “nano-brewery,” operating with just a seven-barrel system (21420 NW Nicholas Ct., Hillsboro; open Wednesday-Saturday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.). The small operation allows for imaginative “one-off” specialty brews. Favorites, like the Arctic Blast Vanilla Porter, tend to stick around.

Brother-in-laws Brandy Grobart and Tom Kramer bonded over home brewing experiments, which organically grew into Ambacht Brewery’s unique, Belgian-inspired ales (1060 NE 25th Ave., Ste. B, Hillsboro, open Tuesday to Friday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.). Using local ingredients, Brandy and Tom create surprising—and tasty!—ales.

Feeling inspired? Get your own home brew kit at Brew Brothers, whose adjacent Three Mugs Brewing Co. reiterates the impressive array of beer offerings in Oregon’s Washington County (2020 NW Alocleck Drive, Hillsboro; open Tuesday-Friday 2 p.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday noon to 8 p.m. and Sunday noon to 6 p.m.)

More hoppy goodness is on the way with Forest Grove’s first-ever brewery, Waltz Brewing (1900 A Street, Forest Grove). As Waltz Brewing’s is located in the same area as Oregon’s rich pioneer history, its beers will surely embody the pioneer spirit with a cabin-styled tasting room and retro record store.

Even our hotels love our beer community. Take advantage of a beer and wine package with the McMenamins Grand Lodge!

Ask a Local: Steve Vuylsteke

Posted on: March 31st, 2014 by Jackie Luskey No Comments
Steve Vuylsteke knows good saké—and the best of Oregon’s Washington County!

Steve Vuylsteke knows good saké—and the best of Oregon’s Washington County!

When it comes to vacation planning, nothing is more valuable than the local scoop. So, we turned to Steve Vuylsteke, President and CEO of SakéOne. Steve leads the only saké brewery in Oregon, utilizing the area’s high water quality to make premium sake. As a 55-year local of Oregon’s Washington County, he has the ultimate tips.

What makes SakéOne so special?
It’s America’s original craft saké brewery – the first one dedicated to making exclusively premium chilled saké.

What’s your favorite cocktail to make with SakéOne saké?
It’s simple to make and enjoy – g Lime, which is made of our g Joy saké on the rocks with a slice of lime. Refreshingly tasty!

At SakéOne, what do you love most about interacting with visitors?
Enlightening visitors as to what saké really is– saké is not rice wine and it is not distilled. Saké is saké: made like beer, drinks like wine!

Other than a visit to SakéOne, what’s one can’t-miss attraction for visitors to the area?  
I’m a golfer so either the Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club or Forest Hills Golf Course.

What’s a favorite “hidden gem” of the area?
The Cruise Inn Country Diner has all organic and natural ingredients– I love the ’57 Chevy BelAir Burger!

Where do you go when you want some seriously good grub? What’s the standout dish?
Nona Emilia’s Italian restaurant and the standout clam linguine dish.

What should every visitor to Oregon’s Washington County take home as a souvenir?
Momokawa, Moonstone or G saké from SakéOne!

Describe Oregon’s Washington County in 5 words or less.
Love living and working here!

Previous Ask a Local Posts:
Bag&Baggage’s Scott Palmer
Vine Gogh’s Jenny Schildan

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Wind Up to the Wine Trail Weekend

Posted on: March 19th, 2014 by Jackie Luskey No Comments
Experience the most of Oregon wine in one Pinot-centric weekend on the Northern Willamette Wine Trail.

Experience the most of Oregon wine in one Pinot-centric weekend on the Northern Willamette Wine Trail.

When we wake up to clear blue skies on a weekend morning, it’s hard to resist the urge to hop in the car and seize the day—and amicable weather. We love visiting wineries rain-or-shine, however, spring days give steam to our wine tasting game. With the North Willamette Wine Trail Weekend April 12-13, 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 wines from 22 wineries at 19 locations in two jam-packed days. What’s more, the Wine Trail weekend is actually about so much more than wine. It’s truly about our community in motion of those who make, from making wine to making art to making the food that fuels our bodies and minds. With this in mind, the Wine Trail pairs each winery with a thoughtful and unique activity.

One such pairing is the Abbey Creek Vineyard partnering with the Portland-based artist, Sean Kalley. While visiting the Abbey Creek tasting room, sip carefully cultivated wine while creating one-of-a-kind art. Kalley works with a variety of mediums—such as charcoal and pastels—using upcycled materials to frame his work. His art is arresting, yet approachable, dark, yet playful. This combination makes for a meaningful and fun dose of culture.

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 pm April 12. 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 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; ticket includes glass, activities, wine tastings, and light food pairings.
  • $10 for a designated driver ticket includes snacks and a reusable tote bag.

P.S. Use the promotion code “NWVPartner” for $5 off a full-weekend ticket!

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Pi Day in the Pi-cific Northwest

Posted on: March 14th, 2014 by Jackie Luskey No Comments
For Pi Day, take a 3.14 mile hike through Oregon's Washington County.

For Pi Day, take a 3.14 mile hike through Oregon’s Washington County.

It’s everyone’s favorite nerd holiday: Pi Day! Oregon’s Washington County is part of the Pacific Northwest’s high-tech country. The engineering powerhouses and innovative start-ups throughout our region have rightly earned our nickname of “Silicon Forrest.” With so many smarties calling here home—and visiting on business and pleasure—the day of 3.14 is a pretty big deal. See below, for some fun ways to celebrate.

Who knew math would give us an excuse to eat pie? That’s just what we’re going to do at Banning’s Restaurant and Pie House (11477 SW Pacific Highway, Tigard). The family run 24-hour diner makes homemade pies around the clock. Each of the diner’s 20 pies and cakes are made from scratch, seven days a week. From cream pies to fruit pies to chocolate pies, it’s hard to stick to just one kind. So, go ahead—have 3.14 slices.

If you think a pocket protector is geek-chic, then you’re going to love the VintageTek Museum (4620 SW Beaverton Hillsdale Hwy., Portland; open Fridays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.). The museum is dedicated to preserving vintage memorabilia from Tektronix, the local electronics company founded in 1945 that helped launch the development of today’s thriving “Silicon Forest.” Curious what an Oscilloscope looks like in person? Here’s your chance.

Are you ready for a Pi Day activity? The Cooper Mountain Nature Park has 3 ½ miles of trails (18892 SW Kemmer Road, Beaverton; open dawn to dusk). Now, we know that’s not 3.14 miles, but a little navigating could create a hike-length honoring the mighty Pi. With views of the Chehalem Mountains in front of you, wander through white oak, madrone woodlands, and a conifer forest.

Just like the mathematical constant of Pi, there are infinite ways to explore Oregon’s Washington County.

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A Colorful Welcome to Spring

Posted on: March 7th, 2014 by Jackie Luskey 1 Comment
Celebrate spring with Oregon festivals as colorful as the flowers to come.

Celebrate spring with Oregon festivals as colorful as the flowers to come.

Spring is coming. And on March 22, rain or shine, we are celebrating the first Saturday after the vernal equinox. Set the tone for a joyous spring with a kaleidoscope weekend in Oregon’s Washington County.   

The first days of spring feel awfully like the last days of winter. Jump start spring fever with Dapper & Wise caffeine from Insomnia Coffee Company (7 a.m. to 10 p.m.). The Aztec Mocha Yum or Tahitian Vanilla latte will put an extra pep in your step.

Appropriately caffeinated, officially usher in spring at the Rang Barse Holi Festival of Colors (Washington County Fair Complex, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., $10-$25). Enter a rainbow world of food, music and dancing. Entrance includes bags of organic, colored cornstarch. How will you use it? Imagine a water fight, but with polychromatic flours instead. With vibrant hues literally being thrown all over, you’ll have a “spring is here” smile.

Caked in neon pink and electric blue, you’ll feel downright celestial entering the neighboring event, Sister Spirit’s 2014 Pagan Faire (Washington County Fair Complex, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., $7 admission). With belly dancers and nature-inspired outfits, your happy attire will fit right in. Explore goddess-inspired art and entertainment, channeling the gatekeepers of spring.

After a shower, head to the Rocks and Minerals of the Pacific NW to ogle at the amazing spectrum of nature’s colors (Walters Cultural Arts Center, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., free admission). The Rice NW Museum of Rocks and Minerals shares its collection of gems, meteorites, and crystals—ranging from earthy tones to radiant shades.

A colorful day calls for a colorful dinner at Syun Izakaya (noon to 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.). Savor Japanese favorites, from tender pink sushi to miso-marinated cucumbers.

Celebrate spring into the night with the OMSI Star Party: Vernal Equinox Celebration (L.L. Stub Stewart State Park, 7:30 p.m., free admission, $5 parking). Telescopes unveil the green, blue-violet, and red tinges of the Orion Nebula.

With such a fun start to spring, we’re ready to say buh-bye to a truly wonderful winter.

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A Vacation Can Be the Best Medicine

Posted on: March 5th, 2014 by Jackie Luskey No Comments
The smoky-sweet Jing City tea tastes best when sipped inside the happy and multi-colored Hippocra Teas.

The smoky-sweet Jing City tonic tastes best when sipped inside the happy and multi-colored Hippocra Teas.

How do you feel returning from a vacation? Taking time to travel, honor passions, and relax is part of taking care of yourself. Bolster your health while visiting with alternative and holistic care. Here, you’ll find a natural bridge between mindful health and vacation fun.

Hippocrates once said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be that food.” Living up to its name, Hippocra Teas combines ancient wisdom with modern science to create medicine of the future (open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily).  The shop—decorated like the inside of I Dream of Jeannie’s bottle—offers healing teas, tonics, and elixirs like the whip cream topped Jing City tonic. It’s a blend of sacred Chinese medicines that recharges our strength and ancestral life-force.

Pamper yourself from your head to your toes at the BioFoot Reflexology & Massage Center (open daily 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.). Tuina is a restorative acupressure massage created in China over 2,000 years ago, to relieve tension, aid in blood circulation, and flush toxins out of the body.

From meditation to dancing, the RoseSprings Center for the Healing Arts offers the full gambit of holistic care. Check Rosesprings’ calendar for a sacred stone class. Here, seasoned healers illuminate the energies behind different stones and crystals. Learn how to utilize these sacred stones in your own life so as to welcome positive love into your life.

After the sacred stones class, start building your own new-age rock collection. Luckily, crystal and mineral shows roll through Oregon’s Washington County quite often, including the upcoming Gem Faire (April 11-13, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Washington County Fair Complex, $7 admission). Find crystals, minerals, and gems from around the world for your daily, healing practices.

Learn about paganism at the Sister Spirit’s 2014 Pagan Faire (March 22, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the Washington County Fair Complex, $7 admission). Vendors, artists, and musicians celebrate the Spring Equinox, culminating with the annual Spring Ritual. The ritual evokes the spirit of Diana, goddess of the hunt.

Vacation with us and take home tools holistic health as your souvenir!

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Itinerary: Go Irish

Posted on: March 3rd, 2014 by Jackie Luskey No Comments
Chase a rainbow on The Reserve's course during the Luckython race.

Chase a rainbow on The Reserve’s course during the Luckython race.

And just like that, we’re ushered out of the month of love and into the month of luck. Here in Oregon’s Washington County, we never turn down an excuse to celebrate. Saint Patrick’s Day is no exception. Party like a leprechaun with our St. Patrick’s Day weekend itinerary.

Saturday, March 15
In other countries, the holiday is called “The Feast of Saint Patrick,” and a feast it will be with help from the Beaverton Winter Market and its accompanying St. Patrick’s Day Celebration  (12-1:30 p.m.). The closest you’ll come to a four-leaf clover will probably be in cookie form, but luscious green vegetables will be bursting from the stalls as the market transitions out of its winter harvest and into its spring one. Additionally, get into the Irish spirit with live Irish music and dance.

After filling up on super foods, chase after a pot of gold at one of Luckython’s series of runs: 5K, 10K, 15K, 15K team relay, 5K “Headlamp” nighttime run/walk at The Reserve Vineyards and Golf Club. The 7:30 p.m. Headlamp event is complete with green glow-in-the-dark accoutrement. Do an Irish-style reverse carbo-load with a post-run baked potato bar.

Sunday, March 16
Vacations are an excuse to go all out brunch-wise. Reedville Cafe offers a special Irish menu, including the O’Brian Scramble, mixing the classic corned beef with feta cheese.

With sustenance from breakfast, head to 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.

Of course, a St. Patrick’s Day weekend wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the pub. The Thirsty Lion’s St. Patrick’s Festivals at its Tigard or Hillsboro locations include Irish-themed cocktails and live music.

Monday, March 17
Taking a long weekend in the name of St. Nick? So are the McMenamins Grand Lodge and McMenamins Cornelius Pass Roadhouse with live bagpipers and locally brewed Irish-style Stout.

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Ask a Local: Bag&Baggage Productions’ Scott Palmer

Posted on: February 24th, 2014 by Jackie Luskey No Comments

When it comes to vacation planning, nothing is more valuable than the local scoop. So, we turned to, Scott Palmer, Artistic Director of Bag&Baggage Productions. Scott leads the top notch professional theater company through classics-with-a-twist like the upcoming adaptation of King Lear at the Venetian Theatre, Lear. As a 36-year local of Oregon’s Washington County, he has the ultimate tips.

Scott Palmer of Bag&Baggage knows what's up in Oregon's Washington County

Scott Palmer of Bag&Baggage knows what’s up in Oregon’s Washington County

 

What makes Bag&Baggage so special?
It’s not only a theatre company, but part of the fabric of the community. We play a crucial role in the creative and cultural life of this community, providing high quality, innovative and provocative live theatre. We attract visitors from all across the state—and nation—with our our unique takes on classic drama…This ain’t your momma’s suburban theatre company.

What do you love most about interacting with visitors?
Visitors often tell me how surprised and thrilled they are to find such quality, innovative theatre in “sleepy little Hillsboro!” It always cracks me up! I know (as does everyone else who makes Hillsboro home) that Hillsboro hasn’t been “sleepy” for a long, long time.

What’s one can’t-miss attraction for visitors?
Wine, wine, wine. Washington County boasts some of the most incredible, delectable, and inspiring wines in the universe. Did I mention the wine?

Describe a perfect day in Washington County.
Grab a cup of coffee at Insomnia Coffee Company to take on a morning walk through Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve with gorgeous wildlife. Hop in the car and drive to Forest Grove for lunch at 1910 Main before wine tasting along Highway 47 (making sure to hit up Montinore Estate). Return to Hillsboro for the best sushi on this side of Japan at Syun Izakaya. Finish with dessert and a cocktail at the stunning Venetian Theatre!

What’s a “hidden gem” of the area?
The Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals has one of the world’s largest collections of crystals and is in an amazing home listed on the National Registry of Historic Places.

Where do you go when you want some seriously good grub?
My all-time favorite is Amelia’s Mexican Restaurant. The best thing on the menu is the Cazuela De Bistecisa—the thinly cut steak, chorizo, grilled cactus, onions, and jalapenos are so. freaking. good.

What should visitors take home as a souvenir?
A Hillsboro Hops baseball cap.

Describe Oregon’s Washington County in 5 words or less.
Authentic. Inspiring. Ambitious. Surprising.

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