a weekend trip to the Portland area.
a stop at Dick’s Brewing in centralia, WA for lunch on the way down. the adjacent Northwest Sausage & Deli had absolutely amazing food, and the beer couldn’t possibly be fresher. we were very disappointed that they were closed on our trip back (sunday), or we would have been obliged to fill the trunk of the focus up with beer & meat.
dinner at old chicago, a chain who claims to posess “110 taps.” on their website they maintain a laundry list of brews, nearly all of which were not available. (apparently that is the aggregate list for all their locations, not representative of any individual location). the beer menu we were presented with had about a dozen options on tap (and sorely missing the leinenkugel’s that we went there for in the first place!). food was somewhat unique chain-pub fare, with an italian-ish twist on everything. i say, skip it and go someplace more local (see ‘portland brewing’ below).
saturday morning offered a visit to the start of the Oregon Trail Rally. this was an SCCA Pro Rally, there were many cars (mostly subarus) at the rally expose event. We didn’t see any stages — those will be better enjoyed when broadcast on the Speed Channel’s SCCA Pro Rally Coverage.
saturday afternoon meant a drive out the historic cascade highway and around mt. hood. the vista house was chainlinked — we couldn’t get within 40 feet of the building itself. for good reason, it looks like some stupid punkass kids broke some of the beautiful windows.
we stopped for another respite at the mt. hood meadows ski resort, which still had quite a massive amount of snow. the drive itself was somewhat disappointing — in comparison to the north cascades, the only real peaky mountain to be seen down there was mt. hood itself. quite a different experience from driving, say, the mt. loop highway (north of granite falls, WA) or through one of the north cascade passes.
saturday night, dinner at the Portland Brewing Company’s MacTarnahan’s. absolutely amazing food — somewhat of a challenge to a traditional conservative pallette but done in a safe way (yes, an old grump like me enjoyed something called a “torta”). incredible beer, as expected. fell in love with Uncle Otto’s Weissbier, only to learn that they recently STOPPED bottling it. darn! the only complaint i would have is that the place was very crowded and very very noisy, but one has to expect such things as a testament to the good food & good beer mentioned above.
sunday morning, we were definitely ready to get home, get our cat out of hock, and take a nap.