I love the idea of eating at a Roadhouse! This might even be a first. Last October, Don and I ran across the Barlow Trail Roadhouse, after leaving Mount Hood's, Timberline Lodge.
The Roadhouse sign didn't look old enough to be a real roadhouse, but the cabin-restaurant was actually over 90 years old.
Barlow Trail Roadhouse Inn - 1926
We pulled off of Highway 26, when we spotted the sign and old log building.
The original cabin (in the center) was built by Bill Lenz in 1926. It was named for the famous toll road, built by Sam Barlow. The structure served as a general store before it became an inn.
Signs and Swings
We stepped up to the porch, looking for the main entrance.
We passed the Trail Room (bar) entrance and and a few signs. We went past the porch swing and found the pale green door.
We had just come from the iconic Timberline Lodge, (used in exterior filming of The Shining) so we could have been a hard pair to impress.
But, I ignored the '80's era tables and smiled at the old stove, log beams and deer head, with antler lampshades.
Locals and Travelers
The lunch crowd seemed to be mostly local folk and people like us... on the road.
The diners in the earlier years, were mostly loggers and miners and the workers who built Timberline Lodge.
I didn't get a chance to ask what the upstairs was used for, today.
Barlow Trail was more than a restaurant back in the day. On the menu there was a mention about the inn's reputation.
"Best food on the Loop to Timberline." downstairs and "Best Girls" upstairs.
Pick of the Tables
When we arrived, we were greeted by Brittnee. She invited us to sit anywhere.
I took a look at the line up of booths and felt pretty delighted when I spotted this cute little set-up, tucked into the back corner. Just look at the shape of that table and those fine seats!
I told Brittnee that I was pretty sure we'd picked the best table in the restaurant.
She smiled and informed us that we'd picked the haunted table. That got me pretty excited. "Really! What should we expect?" Brittnee sort of shrugged. "Oh... just good vibes." I was good with that.
Little Bit of Lunch
Don and I ordered a tiny feast, since we'd pigged out on brunch at Timberline Lodge. I ordered a bowl of chili. It was thick and piping hot, with a good amount of cheddar and just enough spice!
Don's Patty Melt was served on dark rye, with a small side of creamy potato salad. Just right.
From my seat, I had a good view of the fireplace. I would have preferred logs over gas, but I was happy for any fire, on that chilly day.
I was sort of amused that there was just one washroom in the old place. But I guess all the customers had been men, back in the day.
The little washroom was actually pretty tidy. I was sort of amused by the combo of fishing decor and lace curtains.
We finished up and thanked Brittnee. She seemed to be the only server. She was in good spirits despite being extra busy.
We peeked into the adjoining lounge. We could see from the outside that this odd addition (with stone facade) came years later. The atmosphere seemed more biker bar than cabin cozy.
Chimney and Deck
I took a quick peek at the other end of the building. There was a covered deck with picnic tabes. I'm guessing this place might have a whole different feel, with summer crowds.
On a quiet October day, the old inn looked like a storybook house. If I were a kid, I'd have been tempted to climb that stone chimney!
As we pulled back on the road, I glanced up at the roofline and was reminded of the image on the menu. What a sweet old place. I'm glad it's still around.
The Dining Blog
This is a blog about Dining Adventures. Sometimes, I talk about food. Below, you can read how this started.
On July 4th 2011, I set a goal to try 50 culturally diverse restaurants in one year! (I knew that was possible, living in the Houston area) I spent the year pulling in friends and family to join me, on some unusual dining adventures. I met some curious people, tried some scary foods and explored places and cultures I never would have otherwise. Even though I met my goal, I learned too much to end my adventures in dining. I have continued blogging about memorable dining adventures of all kinds, near and far... and all the discoveries and funny things I've learned along the way!
Locations and types of dining adventures, are listed further down.