Monday, May 7, 2012

A New Dining Experience

Recently, my husband and I drove to Newberg, OR.
My daughter's high school choir was participating in the State choir competition held at the College there.
Newberg is an interesting town.
Several years ago, there was very little reason to go to this town.
It was old, run down and rather sad.

But then Oregon discovered that it had some ideal growing conditions for grapes.
Since then it has become know for more than it's rain - but also it's wines.
I myself, am not a wine drinker.
But I do appreciate what that industry has done for towns like Newberg!

Lots of antique stores, charming businesses and restaurants.
It seems to have gone through a rebirth.
the perfect balance between "small town feel" with enough of the conveniences of city life.

After our choir was done, my husband and I had an hour long drive to get home.
And we were hungry.
So we decided to see what Newberg had to offer.
I checked with Yelp on my smartphone and we found this place. . .

The reviews looked very promising.
The outside of the buidling looked even more promising.
And the clincher for me . . .look at the picture above. See the planter box next to the
They grow their own herbs.
Not a huge thing, I know - but you don't find that at chain restaurants.
I mean- no offense to the "applebees" of the world - but I like to independent places.
I like restaurants that use local ingredients and have changing menus.
I like restaurants where they actually prepare and cook the food on site!

We perused the menu and our server offered suggestions and recommendations.
By the way . . .I love that, too.
Our food? I ordered a pastrami sandwich. My husband had a hamburger.
Simple right?
Well they smoked the pastrami on site - it was flavorful with a slight kick of spice.
Grainy mustard and grilled onions so tender they seemed to melt.
An absolute mess to eat. No napkins were spared in the consumption.

And dessert - well, what can I say about dessert?
From the presentation to the description to the taste. . .

Jon's dessert consisted of a dense semi-sweet flourless cake. More like a piece of fudge. So rich.
A homemade biscotti cookie.
And on the side - a coconut creme brulee.
Oh the tastes. Oh the textures.

My dessert was a rice pudding.
I mean how exciting can rice pudding be?
But this pudding was topped with salty toasted hazelnuts - warm and crunchy.
On the side was a salted dark caramel sauce.
Drizzle it on the rice pudding.
Taste the pudding, feel the smooth texture with the grains of cooked rice.
Then comes the sweet caramel - with an after taste of the salty nuts.
Oh my.
So very, very good.

Quite frankly - this was one of those meals that makes the next days meals pale by comparison.

And my daughter who opted to ride back on the school bus?
She had Subway.

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