Stopping for lunch while wine tasting is necessary. Even though we serve a hearty breakfast at Chehalem Ridge Bed & Breakfast, you really need to balance your wine intake with food. Trust us, we’ve seen and experienced the consequences. Here are some of our favorite foodie options, with one in each of our winery towns.
When you arrive in the valley, you’ll probably hear about the buzzworthy Red Hills Market located in Dundee. Cozy and vibrant, the counter-service restaurant doubles as a market stocked with local artisan goods. The wood-fired pizzas are excellent, though they can add a bit to your wait time. The sandwiches, soup or salads are the way to go if you’re on a schedule. My absolute favorite is the Open-Faced Egg Salad Sandwich. The flavors are always spot on and they are also vegetarian and vegan friendly, with gluten-free bread and pizza crust available as well. While there is seating inside and outside, you can also use Red Hills Market for procuring picnic supplies. You can call ahead for an order off the menu or make a selection from the deli case meats and cheeses and head to a picnic-friendly winery.
Another option for curating your picnic lunch, with a larger selection of grocery items, is the Fred Meyer right off 99W in Newberg. They have a deli plus a great deal of specialty cheese, meats, olives, bread and produce. We have picnic backpacks at the inn for you to borrow with plates and utensils, cutting boards and insulated storage ready for your use.
If a table-service restaurant is what your lunch is calling for, The Newbergundian Bistro (in Newberg, get it?) is a hopping spot where you can get an appetizer of brothy, delicately flavored mussels that pairs well with a nice glass of Pinot Gris. Or, you may want to try their inventive sandwiches and salads, like the Croque Monsieur Salad with smoked ham hock, spinach and gruyere. They also have a hearty burger, fish and chips and Steak Frites on the menu. Sitting at the chef’s counter is a great way to see the action of the kitchen at work.
If your wine tasting takes you further west towards McMinnville, check out the lunch options at Pura Vida, where Latin American cuisine graces the menu. The meats are well seasoned and tender, and Kristin swears by the Plátano Maduro. Their bar menu includes many flavors of margaritas, mojitos and the Brazilian caipirinha in case you want a break from wine.
Finally, the town of Carlton, where you’ll find The Horse Radish with wines by the glass from Marshall Davis Wines and taps of local beers and cider. For lunch, order the cheese and meat board to select from their mostly local cow, goat and sheep cheeses and cured meats. They also have a good selection of sandwiches to choose from using local meats and house-made condiments, and the soup of the day is always tasty.
Whether you decide to relax for lunch in a restaurant or grab a picnic to enjoy at a picnic-friendly winery, throughout the Willamette Valley you’ll find diversity of choices to balance out the wine tasting you’re doing.
By Liz Bethell, Assistant Innkeeper