Sunday, March 19, 2017

Multnomah Falls in the Columbia River Gorge

Multnomah Falls is one of my favorite places to take visitors. Many others feel the same way. I've been working on an article for WanderWithWonder.com that will help you avoid crowds and get there more easily. Soon to be published!
Beautiful Multnomah Falls, the tallest falls in Oregon.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Tanner Creek Tavern to Open in Portland's Pearl District

Veteran Portland restaurateur and chef David Machado has signed a lease for a new 5,000 square-foot restaurant in the Pearl District, opening late summer. Tanner Creek Tavern will be located at the corner of NW 9th and Everett, adjacent to the new Hampton Inn Suites, which is currently due to open mid-summer. It will be Machado’s fourth restaurant currently in operation, his sixth as an owner overall.

 The restaurant name and décor will bring together a bit of Portland history: Tanner Creek, named for an old tannery built by an early Portland settler in 1845, currently traces an underground path beneath the Pearl District and flows into the Willamette River near the Broadway Bridge. The restaurant décor will call out some of the industrial elements that speak to the city’s early industrialization period: concrete, steel, Douglas Fir beams, tile, and glass. The restaurant will consist of a dining room, lounge area and bar, as well as two private dining rooms, and seasonal sidewalk seating. 

Machado has carved out an enviable track record across a restaurant career that now spans three decades. Early in his career, he moved to Portland from San Francisco and opened Pazzo Ristorante as executive chef. He went on to head the kitchens of Southpark Seafood Grill and Wine Bar, Hudson’s Bar and Grill at the Heathman Lodge in Vancouver, Wash.; and The Heathman Restaurant in downtown Portland.  In 2003, he opened Lauro Mediterranean Kitchen, a neighborhood bistro in Southeast Portland that was later named one of the best new restaurants of the year by Bon Appetit.  Two years later, he opened Vindalho to critical acclaim, an innovative and urban-chic approach to Indian food.  Today, he is the owner and operator of downtown’s Nel Centro at the Hotel Modera, and Altabira and Citizen Baker in the Hotel Eastlund.

More details on the concept, menu and chef will be announced in the upcoming months.  Tanner Creek Tavern is online at www.tannercreektavern.com, on Instagram @tannercreektavern, on Twitter @tannercreekpdx, and Facebook at www.facebook.com/tannercreektavern.



Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Wordless Wednesday: International Women's Day 2017

On this day designed to recognize women around the world, International Women's Day, I am sharing this photograph of two women in Guatemala. They are selling necklaces and stopped for a break to chat.
Photo copyright: Elizabeth R Rose

Monday, March 6, 2017

Dig Or No Dig, Long Beach Razor Clam Festival Slated for April


It’s fun to dig for razor clams but if that isn’t possible, you can still celebrate them! The Razor Clam Festival returns to Long Beach for a lively weekend of food, foraging, fun competitions and entertainment. Activities will take place in downtown Long Beach, Washington, Saturday, April 29 and Sunday, April 30, with digging along the entire 28-mile span of wide, sandy beach pending state approval.

Keep your fingers crossed that there will be digging
for Razor Clams this season.
Festival highlights include the ever-popular Clam Chowder Taste-Off (Saturday, 1-3PM, Long Beach Elks Club) with samples cooked up and served by local restaurant chefs to ticket holders, who vote for the prized “Best Chowder” award, and the Clam Fritter Cook-Off (Saturday, 3-5PM, Veterans Memorial Park), where Ilwaco High School Culinary Arts Program students vie for top recognition awarded by a panel of Tom Douglas restaurant chefs.

The Amateur Chowder Competition offers twelve home chefs the chance to compete for cash prizes and the highly sought out title “Best Homemade Clam Chowder” as judged by chefs from Tom Douglas restaurants. The competition takes place at the Long Beach Elks, on April 29, from 11AM to noon.

Other festival events include the following:

       Clam Digging and Clam Cleaning Lessons both days. Registration is at www.longbeachrazorclamfestival.com/free-razor-clam-digging-lessons/;
       Clam Contests, April 29, 8AM-noon, Dennis Company, Long Beach, including free samples and prize drawings by manufacturers of clam-digging tools;
       Oregon Mermaids storytelling, face painting, photo ops and more, April 29, 11AM-2PM, Long Beach Train Depot;
       Street entertainment including Dennis Duck, the Beard’s Hollow Pirates and Clam Bathing Beauties;
       North Jetty Brewing Beer Garden & Un-Clammy Foods, April 29, 3-8PM, Veterans Memorial Park.

“The Clam Guy,” David Berger, author of the soon to be released Razor Clams: Buried Treasure of the Pacific Northwest (due out in July, University of Washington Press) will attend as an honorary guest.

Expanding options for things to see and do, the Saturday Market at the Port of Ilwaco will open for a season preview, April 29 from 10AM to 4PM. In Long Beach, the Giant Squirting Clam and World’s Largest Clam Pan provide the perfect souvenir-photo backdrop.

Headquarters for the event is the Long Beach Elks Lodge where free coffee, updates, festival keepsakes including sweatshirts, t-shirts, mugs, hats and more will be available both days.

Long Beach ranks among the best places to dig for razor clams with a vast digging area, easy beach access, the gentle slope of the shoreline and other favorable conditions.

For additional clamming information and regulations, please contact the Dennis Company at 360.642.3166 or visit WDFW at www.wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/razorclams/.

For lodging (early reservations suggested) and destination information, visit www.funbeach.com or call the Long Beach Peninsula Visitors Bureau at 360.642.2400

Information courtesy: Long Beach Peninsula Visitors Bureau 

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Tillamook to Build a Brand New Visitors Center on Oregon Coast


The Tillamook Cheese factory is always a stop we look forward to when visiting the Oregon Coast. The ice cream, the cheese samples and the gift shop with cow-themed trinkets have been fun throughout the years. But something new is coming!

The Tillamook County Creamery Association (TCCA) has announced that it will undertake a significant project over the next two years that will completely redesign and rebuild the Visitors Center at the Tillamook Cheese Factory, the most popular tourist destination on the Oregon Coast.

“This new facility will provide us with an opportunity to bring to life TCCA’s story in a much more compelling way, from our vital history as a farmer-owned co-op, to our modern day commitment to Dairy Done Right,” said TCCA President and CEO Patrick Criteser. “This project represents a significant investment in our local presence here in Tillamook County and one that we anticipate will attract even more visitors to our area.”

Larger Tillamook Cheese Visitors Center
Through this project, the existing Visitors Center facility at the Tillamook Cheese Factory will be torn down, and built in its place will be a brand new 38,500 square-foot facility that reflects Tillamook as a world-class dairy brand.

The number of visitors who make the trek to the Tillamook Cheese Factory has grown significantly over the years, and currently more than 1.3 million people visit each year; as many as 10,000 per day. The new Visitors Center will be a larger space that will enable TCCA to better accommodate this growing number of guests and welcome even more visitors, providing the most comfortable, enjoyable experience possible.

Tillamook Visitors Center Features
Some of the more significant features of the new Visitors Center will include:
• A larger café with more indoor seating and a spacious outdoor covered patio for visitors to enjoy year ‘round.
• A new café menu, showcasing Tillamook products and other high quality, wholesome real food ingredients, including wood fire pizzas, Tillamook’s favorite grilled cheese sandwiches and more. The new café menu will also feature wine and beer from the Pacific Northwest.
• An enhanced Tillamook ice cream counter, available for indoor and seasonal outdoor service.
• A new coffee counter where visitors can purchase a variety of coffee and espresso drinks.
• An enhanced retail area that showcases the many quality products and gifts available for purchase all in one, easy-to-shop area.
• An enhanced visitor viewing experience of Tillamook’s cheese make and packaging operations with better acoustics and exhibit signage, as well as a small theater space where visitors can view short videos about TCCA and how Tillamook products are made.
• An interactive Research & Development (R&D) and Sensory work space where the Tillamook team will be able to facilitate focus groups to seek visitor feedback on new products and flavors.
• A small private event room (20-30 person capacity) that can be rented by the public for small business or celebratory functions. There will also be opportunities for the public to rent part or all of the facility after business hours for special events like weddings, reunions, etc.
• Improved parking which will make it easier for visitors to get in and out of the Visitors Center

Temporary Visitors Center
Given the extensive nature of the rebuild project, the existing Visitors Center at the Tillamook Cheese Factory will close completely starting in the spring of 2017 and until the new Visitors Center is complete in the summer of 2018. However, during this time, TCCA plans to open a temporary Visitors Center experience on an adjacent section their property to provide visiting guests a great Tillamook experience during the interim.

The temporary Visitors Center will include dining options, a Tillamook ice cream counter and retail area, as well as a unique experience that will allow TCCA to share with visitors a more in-depth look at dairy farming in Tillamook County. TCCA plans to share more information about programming at the temporary Visitors Center as well as updates about the overall project throughout the coming months. Visitors are encouraged to check the company’s website at http://tillamook.com for updates on the project.

Information provided by: TCCA

Friday, February 24, 2017

Spring Break: Columbia Gorge Discovery Center Free for Kids

Looking for a great family outing during Spring Break? Visit the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center and Museum. Kids through high school age receive free museum admission during Oregon and Washington Spring Break with paid adult admission from March 25 through April 23.

Enjoy the Kids Explorer room craft activities, and a fun scavenger hunt through the hands-on, multi-media museum exhibits that illuminate the cultural and natural history of the Gorge. Enjoy the wildflowers on the hiking trails and be wowed by the raptors in a live presentation.

Children (and adults) will learn and have fun at the same time learning about Ice Age geology, Lewis and Clark, Native American culture, the Oregon Trail, the Historic Columbia River Highway, renewable energy, and more. View the newest exhibit, “A Community Forgotten: Uncovering the Story of The Dalles Chinatown.”

Enjoy a tasty lunch from the Basalt Rock Café 11 am. To 2 p.m. and stop by the Columbia River Trading Co. museum store.

Columbia Gorge Discovery Center and Museum is the official interpretive center for the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area.  The museum is wheel-chair and stroller accessible. A paved nature trail circles the pond next to the museum, where you have the chance to see beaver activity, raptors and blooming wildflowers. Take the Riverfront Trail for miles of hiking and biking along the Columbia River.

Columbia Gorge Discovery Center is located off I-84 exit 82, at 5000 Discovery Drive, The Dalles, Oregon, 97058.  The museum is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information, phone (541) 296-8600 ext. 201, or visit http://www.gorgediscovery.org.

Information courtesy Columbia Gorge Discovery Center

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Still Craving Chocolate: Check out Tulalip Resort's Offerings for Chocoholics


Just north of Seattle, Tulalip Resort Casino chefs are going crazy for cacao in their kitchens from through March 31st. During a recent trip to Seattle, Executive Chef Perry Mascitti discovered Seattle’s indi chocolate location at Pike Place Market, which is a true small batch, single origin roasted “bean-to-bar” operation.

After his visit, Mascitti brought back samples for his chefs to taste and he challenged them to understand the nuances and complexities of the cacao bean. He went on to ask them to create a dish presentation that would best match those unique and wonderful characteristics. The excitement was so high that some of the chefs decided to not only use indi’s cacao beans in their roasted nib form, but to also find a place in their recipes for indi’s cacao tea blends, numerous spice rubs and un-tempered chocolates, as well as their 72% chocolate bars.

Chocolate lovers eager to try new dining options: this line-up is for you.

Chef Brent Clarkson’s Cedars Cafe’s featured dish is a Chicken Mole Torta with tender chicken breast simmered in Chef Brent's house-made mole sauce prepared with indi chocolate’s cacao nibs and mole spice rub; topped with coleslaw, chef’s tomatillo salsa, and pickled jalapeño. Served on a grilled torta bun and topped with his house-made black refried beans. To end the meal on a sweet note, guests can enjoy a Warm Chocolate Cobbler with pecans and indi cacao nib streusel.

Chef David Buchanan’s Blackfish Wild Salmon Grill and Bar will feature indi chocolate Dusted Filet Mignon - an 8 ounce filet with chocolate demi-glace, potato torte, broccolini, and spaghetti squash. Dessert consists of indi cacao nib churros with a Peruvian chocolate dipping sauce.

Chef Jeremy Taisey’s Tulalip Bay Restaurant will feature Cacao-Citrus Tea Smoked Duck Breast served with a chocolate ravioli, foie gras cake, black truffle, and dark chocolate. And that’s not even dessert! Enjoy indi cacao infused Amaretto Zabaglione with fresh raspberries, indi chocolate sorbet and cacao nib tuile post-meal.

Chef John Jadamec’s Eagles Buffet featured dish will include Pork Ribs seasoned with indi chocolate barbecue spice rub and bitter sweet chocolate; served with a house-made BBQ sauce.

At Journeys East go right for the finale by trying Pastry Chef Nikol Nakamura’s Warm Chocolate Fondant Cake with indi chocolate Gochujang chocolate sauce and ginger whipped cream.

Chef Brent Clarkson wants guests to order up a game day sandwich at The Draft Sports Bar and Grill, featuring a Spiced Cacao Rubbed Flank Steak Sandwich rubbed with their special blend of spices and indi chocolate cacao nibs, grilled and served warm on a buttery toasted ciabatta roll; topped with spiced cilantro sour cream slaw and fresh pico de gallo. Served with fries.
Try the deconstructed cocoa spice rubbed flank steak sandwich from The Draft.

For more information about Tulalip Casino Resort or to grab a spot at one of the Chocolate Exposed restaurants, visit tulalipresort.com.

Information provided by: Tulalip Resort

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Pueblo Bonito Resorts Los Cabos Announces New Food Hall Concept


The Pueblo Bonito resorts in Los Cabos never cease to amaze me. They have just announced the opening of a new dining venue at Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach.

The Market at Quivira, a unique culinary concept unlike any other in Los Cabos, has been unveiled at Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach Golf & Spa Resort and has quickly established itself as a popular “foodie” destination.
The Market at Quivira
Photo: Betsy Anderson

Inspired by modern food halls found in major U.S. and European cities, including the Plaza Hotel in New York and Harrods in London, The Market, featuring an enticing array of eateries and a handsome central bar, has redefined the region’s gastronomic “food hall” experience. The spacious 15,000-square-meter facility, built at a cost of $5.5 million USD, offers open communal seating for more than 450 diners of all ages.  

The Market welcomes Pueblo Bonito resort guests to enjoy its array of food and beverage options with their all-inclusive plans. Only the chocolate shop is not included in the all-inclusive program.

The Market’s open-floor complex, designed to please all types of palates, features several distinctive restaurants as well as a coffee shop and a bar. These include:

       1950’s Diner – This classic American-style diner, accented by red-and-chrome décor, offers hamburgers, hot dogs, fried chicken, milkshakes, homemade desserts and excellent breakfasts.
       El Asiatico – Asian cuisine is well-represented by a wide range of dishes, from traditional miso soup and Szechuan-style shrimps to delectable dumplings and other examples of Asian street food.
       La Creperia & La Heladeria – In addition to 24 flavors of homemade ice cream and gelato, La Creperia is turning out the best crepes (sweet or savory) in Los Cabos.
       El Deli – This bustling New York-style deli features the finest hot, cold or toasted sandwiches utilizing fresh-baked breads as well as selected meats, cheeses and condiments.
       El Italiano – Homemade fresh pastas, traditional lasagna and a mouth-watering variety of brick oven pizzas are available at El Italiano, which also offers a splendid array of Italian desserts.
       La Huerta – Specializing in fresh organic foods, La Huerta (‘The Orchard’) offers top-quality salads and vegetarian entrees, from a Portobello mushroom stuffed with quinoa and ceviche to a roasted beet salad served with blue cheese, arugula and walnuts.
       El Mexicano – A wide range of Mexican dishes is available here, from traditional sopas (soups) and tacos al pastor (native to central Mexico) to chiles en nogada--poblano chilis filled with shredded meat, aromatics, fruits and spices and topped with a walnut-based cream sauce and pomegranate seeds. 
       La Chocolateria – Situated near the entrance to The Market, this signature outpost artfully displays the finest-quality truffles, chocolates and macarons. Perfect for a sweet finish. Also popular as a gift. 
       El Bar – The Market’s lively circular bar, featuring a 360-degree panorama of the restaurants and food stalls, offers artisanal beers, selected wines from Mexico, Italy and California, and a range of spirits (including tequila and mezcal).
       La Cafeteria – This popular gathering spot offers custom-blended international coffees (four to six different blends daily) as well as hot or cold frappes and fresh-baked muffins, cupcakes, cinnamon rolls and more.
 
Looking ahead a Sports Bar, situated on a spacious terrace adjoining The Market and the first of its kind at Pueblo Bonito, will open later this year.

For more information about Pueblo Bonito Golf & Spa Resorts, visit www.pueblobonito.com.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Blini Feast at Portland's Katchka for Russia’s Butter Week – ACLU Benefit


Katchka's Bloody Mary
Credit: Carly Diaz
Following Portland’s uncharacteristically cold and stormy winter, Kachka will celebrate Maslenitsa, the Russian folk holiday that marks the end of winter, with a one-time brunch centered around blini. During Maslenitsa, or “Butter Week,” large, round blini made with butter (similar to pancakes) are eaten to symbolize the round, golden sun that arrives with spring. The blini will be served family-style with a bounty of traditional sweet and savory accompaniments: a board filled with cured fish, roe, fruit and preserves, as well as Machanka, a Belorussian gravy of braised meats.

“In its origins, Maslenitsa is a Pagan holiday which bids farewell to winter and welcomes in spring — a time when darkness turns to light,” says Chef/Co-Owner Bonnie Morales. “We wanted to honor that by creating an event that shuts out hatred and bigotry and welcomes in respect, inclusion, and equality by raising money for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).”

Kachka’s Maslenitsa brunch meal is $45 per person which includes coffee, tea and a “vitamin shot” (see below). Proceeds from the brunch will be donated to the ACLU of Oregon. Kachka will also offer additional brunch cocktails à la carte, including the return of Kachka’s “Bloody Masha” (Horseradish vodka Bloody Mary). Reservations are available between 10am and noon on February 26th, and can be made by emailing reservations@kachkapdx.com.

When
Sunday, February 26th between 10am and noon

Where
Kachka, 720 SE Grand Ave., Portland, Ore., 97214

Details
The set menu will be served family style, of abundant amounts of blini with sweet and savory accompaniments. The meal is $45 per person and includes coffee, tea, and a “vitamin shot” of Kachka horseradish vodka, beet juice, apple juice and celery bitters upon arrival. Additional beverages will be available for purchase and gratuity is not included.

Reservations
Reservations are recommended, and can be made by emailing reservations@kachkapdx.com

Information courtesy: Katchka

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

A Rockin’ Valentine’s Day at Tulalip Resort North of Seattle


Here’s a Valentine’s Day idea. Take the love of your life to Tulalip Resort Casino for a titillating night of fun-loving Rock and Roll music and perfectly matched plates. The Resort’s centerpiece events are the annual Rock Ballad Ball, which features music from two tribute bands and a jamming buffet dinner, or a choice from their seven award-winning restaurants that spotlight amorous inspired dishes and drinks. Tulalip Resort Casino has just what the love doctor ordered.

The Rock Ballad Ball is an out of the box barn-burner offered to the young—and the young at heart. This annual Valentine’s Day spectacular includes a concert of tribute bands U4 and INXSIVE featuring music from two legendary bands U2 and INXS.

Orca Ballroom doors open at 6:30 pm with a 7 pm Dinner Buffet service where guests can savor a selection of two salads, carved prime rib and maple herb chicken breast entrees, an assortment of side dishes, along with strawberry shortcake and dark chocolate mousse desserts and coffee/tea. Admirers and their main squeezes can dance the night away to rock pounding sounds starting at 8 pm.

Rock Ballad Ball is for those 21 and over. A no-host bar and festival seating compliment the all-you-can-eat dinner buffet. Concert tickets must be purchased in advance and are priced at only $65 per person or $120 per couple, including tax and gratuity. To purchase Valentine’s Day Rock Ballad Ball tickets, visit ticketmaster.com or the Casino Box Office (where no additional ticket processing fees are added). Additional details can be found at Rock Ballad Ball.

Looking for something a little more cozy and less shake, rattle and roll for an amorous getaway? Tulalip chefs are offering exclusive holiday classics at their award-winning restaurants. Lovers can make a stop at one or all of the Resort’s romantic hotspots.

Start by following Cupid's arrow to Tulalip Bay Restaurant for a Hearts of Romaine Salad or Bistecca alla Fiorentina (Tuscan style Porterhouse for 2) – pair it with a glass of Farnese Edizione Cinque Autoctoni, Abruzzo, Italy 2011. Slide into a home base finish with a Tartufo of Passion Fruit Gelato. Tulalip Bay’s specials will be available in addition to the regular dinner menu from 5 pm until closing on February 14, 2017. To book a table online, visit OpenTable or reserve by phone at 360-716-1500.

If steak and lobster is your traditional lover’s celebration dinner, then go no further than Blackfish Wild Salmon Grill and Bar for Chef David’s 8 ounce Chocolate Dusted Filet and his Sous Vide Lobster. And be sure to sample a serving of their Passion Fruit Chiffon Cake to seal the night. To reserve a table online, visit OpenTable or by phone at 360 716-1100.

Cedars Cafe’s Valentine’s Day specials will include a Sweet Dungeness Crab Melt, and as hearts melt into one, finish the night with a big slice of Pastry Chef Nikol Nakamura’s Red Velvet Cake topped with cream cheese frosting and sugar cookie hearts.

Gli amanti (lovers) can also wow each other with a trip to Journeys East for some plate sharing romance with items such as Steamed Clams in Black Bean and Oyster Sauce or Spicy Clams with Hua Tiao Wine and Vermicelli Korean Noodles. These chef creations will be available in addition to the regular dinner menu from 5 pm until closing on February 14, 2017. To reserve a table online, visit OpenTable or by phone at 360-716-1880.

Looking for a romantic spa experience for the love of your life? The T Spa has a grand selection of individual and couples spa treatments available, such as their Apricot Aromatherapy Massage, which will seduce the senses and hydrate the skin from head to toe. A perfect Valentine’s Day treat. 

Whatever fires up the proverbial Love Machine this year, Tulalip seems to have it covered!

Information courtesy: Tulalip Resort and Casino