Like Lewis and Clark, only with internet access, my Loyal Follower and I investigate places we want to explore when we have the opportunity to travel for pleasure. It’s important to us to jam as much fun as we can into a long weekend make the most of our time. Travel sites are great for getting a general idea of what to see and where to stay, but if you want to know what the locals know, it’s best to go to the source. A few years ago blogger Allan Smorra helped us discover the wondrous world beyond the Golden Gate Bridge and we had the good fortune to meet Allan in San Francisco.
We recently ventured west again for a getaway, this time to Oregon, and once again a blogger provided the inside scoop that made our trip extra special. It was a pleasure to meet Mark Petruska and his charming wife, Tara. They treated us to a taste of Portland I will not soon forget. Funky, and more than a little freaky, Rimsky-Korsakoffee House was the perfect ending to our Pacific Northwest adventure. Thanks, Mark & Tara!
I emailed Mr. Petruska with a vague request and he replied promptly with generosity above and beyond the call of a virtual friend, proving bloggers truly are the salt of the earth. Speaking of salt, Jacobsen Salt was on our list of stops. It was not meant to be.
TRAVEL HINT: Do Not Rent A Vehicle From Budget. (Possible future rant including pics.)
San Francisco is where clouds are born, but the Oregon Coast is where they are conceived. That’s right; Highway 101 between Astoria and Tillamook is where the action is. There were many, many photo ops along this route. I could have spent weeks capturing the scenery. This, too, was not meant to be. I only had four days. Of 200+ shots, only fifteen made this post. There are more to come. We packed a lot into our short stay.
My impression of the Oregon Coast: go for the view, stay for the food.
Dynamic duo Bob Neroni and Lenore Emery, owners of EVOO Cannon Beach Cooking School, lovingly prepared pumpkin squash risotto hugged by sesame seared chanterelle mushrooms and kissed with a fresh Pecorino and beet tangerine slaw. This divinely inspired first course was paired with Neroni’s Chef’s Blend Oregon White. Ordinarily white wine is not my go to, but the crisp citrus notes and fresh peach finish was the perfect contrast to the velvety rich risotto.
Next we enjoyed pan-seared rockfish topped with puttanesca & aioli sauce served with hand cut buttered linguini and lemon zested arugula salad. It was paired with Pete’s Mountain 2014 Haley’s Block Pinot Noir.
Just when I thought I could not eat another bite, a cast iron grilled NY striploin with pomegranate wine reduction was served with potatoes, carrots & Brussel sprouts. This taste of heaven was accompanied by J.Scott Cellars 2014 Petite Verdot.
No gastronomic excess is complete without dessert, and right on schedule a warm gingerbread spice-chocolate soufflé dressed in white chocolate sauce cozied up next to orange sorbet and salted candied orange peel & nut brittle for the big finish. This sweet shot is a bit out of focus as I was feeling quite dizzy by this point in the meal.
While in Cannon Beach we also ate at Sweet Basil’s Café twice. It was that good. Insomnia Coffee and Sea Level Bakery and Coffee gave us scrumptious sustenance between feedings.
Note: No calories were counted during this trip.