What’s the Word?In Washington County, Oregon

Archive for the ‘Restaurants’ 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!

Find places to stay. | Create a personalized itinerary. | Find places to eat. | View the digital visitor guide.

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!

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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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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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.

Find places to stay. | Create a personalized itinerary. | Find places to eat. | View the digital visitor guide.

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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Inside Scoop from Oregon’s “Premier Citizen”

Posted on: January 13th, 2014 by Jackie Luskey No Comments
Oregon's best in a Mason jar from 1910 Main: Pruitt farm fresh corn spoonbread with Oregon dungeness crab and a poached quail egg.

Oregon’s best in a Mason jar from 1910 Main: Pruitt farm fresh corn spoonbread with Oregon dungeness crab and a poached quail egg.

When it comes to trip planning, nothing’s better than getting the inside scoop from a real insider. You know—someone who lives and breathes for his home turf. Gerry Frank is Oregon’s ultimate insider, especially when it comes to down home grubbin’.

Gerry Frank is a seventh-generation Oregonian with 150 countries stamped in his passport. It is this mix of deep-roots and global flair that made him a tastemaker, a former head of the Oregon Tourism Commission, and—as of 2001—Oregon’s first-and-only “Premier Citizen.” These days, Gerry shares his old-time and newly-found favorites in The Oregonian and his Oregon Guide books. Of course, his round-ups often include gems in Oregon’s Washington County:

Showtunes
Broadway Rose Theatre Company is marked as one of Gerry’s favorite places to “be merry.” And merry the shows are indeed, especially with the much-loved “The Music Man” on deck this summer.

Classic Food Fare
Reedville Cafe has evolved in name and expanded in offerings since opening its doors in 1934; however, its friendly charm is ever-true. Come with an appetite to match the impressive menu. Look out for month-long specials, like January’s CrabFest and April’s SteakFest.

Locally-Sourced Everything
In his July picks, Gerry mentioned two Forest Grove favorites. First, 1910 Main’s locavore mindset is manifested through hearty meatloaf and lighter (yet scrumptious) vegetable stews. Next, Gerry picked Bistro Stecchino’s French-flair tapas.

Natural Wonder
Tillamook Forest Center is filled with long-weathered forests and rivers. Gerry suggests enjoying the Wilson River with a hike and picnic, as well as exploring the center when it reopens March 1.

When You Want It All
AZA Blue Market & Café’s  namesake impressed Gerry, as it is a confident nod to the chef’s ability to make anything “from A to Z.” It’s hard to resist the AZA Ba-Bomb, which includes every meat available in the house—really.

Salads & State Parks
After a gut-bomb at AZA Blue Market Café, Gerry offers healthy salads and hikes from Sweet Tomatoes and L.L. “Stub” Stewart State Park.

To read even more praise for Oregon’s Washington County eateries, check out Accolades for Asian Eats.

The Route Less Traveled: Sip 47

Posted on: December 20th, 2013 by Jackie Luskey No Comments
Rudy Marchese of Montinore Estate is passionate about sharing the beauty, wine, and food along the Sip 47 Route.

Rudy Marchese of Montinore Estate is passionate about sharing the beauty, wine, and food along the Sip 47 Route.

While some say get your kicks on Route 66, here in Oregon’s Washington County we say get your sips on Route 47. What we lack in rhyme we make up for in wine…and sake, cider, and cuisine.

Over the years, Rudy Marchesi, owner of Montinore Estate, has loved meeting wine lovers from all over the world. It seemed that many travelers made their way into his tasting room after spending a few days in Portland. But Rudy was always a bit perplexed as to why people always journeyed from Portland to Oregon wine country via Highway 99, especially when Highway 47 was just as accessible and much more picturesque.

Rudy and a collaboration of proud winemakers, farmers, and business owners in the Northern Willamette Valley created the Sip 47 Wine Passport to show off 17 delicious delights along NW Highway 47. For urban dwellers and peace seekers, the Sip 47 route is one of the best ways to escape the city grind for a few days of pastoral relaxation.

Until February 28, this collective of culinary attractions along Highway 47 provides a fun passport for visitors to fill as they explore the route’s wineries, saké kura, cider brewery, creamery, and restaurants. To determine your first stop, download a PDF printable map of the route. Once you arrive, you’ll receive a hard copy passport and map, along with your first stamp. The Passport will be signed as you make your way along each stop, whether you do it in one day or over multiple weeks.  

Upon receiving the last stamp in your passport, your name will be entered into a drawing for great prizes. After hitting up so many tasty finds, you’ll be eager to win some of the Oregon Pinot, fancy cheeses, effervescent sake, or naturally cured meat samplers that are up for grabs!

Looking for a place to stay as your trek the Sip 47 route? Book a few nights at one of the route’s nearby hotels.

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Post Prohibition Potions

Posted on: December 4th, 2013 by Jackie Luskey No Comments
Much of the wood at McMenamins Cornelius Pass Roadhouse comes from the original Henry Weinhard Brewery.

Much of the wood at McMenamins Cornelius Pass Roadhouse comes from the original Henry Weinhard Brewery.

On December 5, 1933, Congress passed the 21st Amendment, which effectively repealed the Prohibition of the decade prior. In the 80 years that have passed since “Repeal Day,” Oregon has blossomed into a leader of craft beer, full-body wines, and well-aged spirits.  In homage, we are taking a look at how our history and innovations make our breweries and distilleries so great.

Portland’s own Henry Weinhard brewery weathered the 19 years of Prohibition with sales of its now famous root beer and cream soda. In tribute to the historic brewery of the 1800s, McMenamins Cornelius Pass Roadhouse & Imbrie Hall constructed its walls from the salvaged wood of the Weinhard brewery.  Weinhard’s perseverance and love of good suds are steeped into the reclaimed lumber. The rustic wood makes for a cozy and romantic ambiance, too.

Speaking of salvaging wood, the Big Bottom Whiskey distillery is named in honor of Oregon conservation efforts. The distillery celebrates the repeal of the Prohibition and the enactment of the 2009 Omnibus Public Lands Management Act, which preserves lands (like Big Bottom) as federally protected wilderness.  While it’s not a speakeasy, you’ll feel “in the know” when you visit Big Bottom Whiskey and try one of their specialty varieties that can only be bought in house. The cinnamon whiskey Devil’s Hole is a perfect spike to holiday eggnog.

In the depths of Prohibition, could beer lovers even dream of 40 spigots flowing with a seemingly never-ending supply of beer and cider?  The fantasy is brought to fruition at The Growlerie. Though, if you want to feel like a bootlegger, you can store your growler in the closet or bathtub.

In the aftermath of the prohibition repeal, “Beer Wars” bubbled up between different alcohol distributors in Oregon’s Washington County. Read more here.

Cheers! Repeal Day is a time to drink—responsibly—in celebration of our freedoms, evolution, and darn good libations.

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Post T-Day Shopping Blitz

Posted on: November 15th, 2013 by Jackie Luskey No Comments
Holiday shopping has never been so easy...or fun!

Holiday shopping has never been so easy…or fun!

What do you do the day after Thanksgiving? Some people watch the much anticipated Oregon State vs. University of Oregon Civil War Game. Others head out to get a Christmas tree.

This year, some families may even be celebrating Thanksgivukkah. And of course, there is always Black Friday. Scout out your shopping trail with our guide to the area’s hubs for tax-free shopping.

  • Bridgeport Village (7455 SW Bridgeport Road, Portland, OR 97224); Black Friday Hours: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Bridgeport Village is decked to-the-nines with whimsical holiday cheer and Santa visits. Credit card need a rest? Take in a free show with The Beatniks Holiday Concert (November 29, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.). Like the Bridgeport Village Facebook page and follow its Center Events page for Black Friday deals.
  • The Streets (19350 NW Emma Way, Hillsboro, OR 97124); Black Friday Hours: 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. The Streets will be bursting with door-buster savings, including 50% off all Coldwater Creek purchases until 2 p.m. The grand opening weekend of the Thirsty Lion is great for thirsty shoppers, with 52 beers on tap. Like The Streets Facebook page for updates on Black Friday deals.
  • Washington Square (9585 SW Washington Square Rd, Portland, OR 97223); Black Friday Hours: Opens at midnight Thanksgiving Night, with select stores opening as early as 8 p.m. True die-hards can scope out their shopping strategies while lapping the mall’s outer perimeter during the Oregon Turkeython. Like the Washington Square Mall Facebook page and follow its Midnight Madness Page for Black Friday deals.

Where to Plop after You Shop
It’s tough to decide whether to stay in Aunt Gertrude’s guest bed or a hotel room. If you’re still wavering about where you’re to lay your head, many area hotels have paired up with our shopping hubs for great rates on rooms and extra shopping perks. It’s kind of a no-brainer. See our lodging packages.

P.S. Don’t worry—we’ll be showcasing all kinds of ways to give for the holidays. In the coming weeks, look for profiles on adorable boutiques and recipes made with local ingredients.