Today I'm going back a year, to remember a visit to a sweet bakery/cafe a year ago.
Don and I found Harmony on our road trip in Oregon, in 2019. Evidently, Linda Lawrence opened the cozy place in 1984, as a "Community Gathering Place".
This is how the place looked on a sunny day in October.
I saw on the internet, that Linda's niece took over the biz in 2020. Now there are photos showing some seating, in the front. What a rough year to take over a business!
One side of the building was covered in colorful art.
I like to think all the peaceful images and words, are somehow offering protection to this small business.
Here's the menu from a year ago.
"We have a place at our table for everyone." A sweet motto.
Organic, Local, Naturally Grown
A lot of places brag about that these days. But there was a write up on the table to help us learn more.
It was nice to read up on Lisa Fuller and Sister Moon Gardens. I had a feeling that anything we chose for lunch was going to be healthy and fresh!
Reading, Sharing, Visiting
I peeked in the back room when we first arrived. The wall of books and games was welcoming.
There were mostly older locals when I first looked in. A man with a nifty bolo tie and 2 men with walking poles. It looked like a nice crowd and I'm sad to think they probably have not been gathering here, during pandemic days.
Even the restrooms felt welcoming. A little Halloween decor here... a quilt there...
And welcoming door signs! I could enter the door that said "Either..." or the door that said, "...Or". Clever!
I love the idea of eating in a bakery. We were seated in the front room, not far from the sweet smelling bakery case.
I kept eyeing the fat loaves of fresh bread, on the cooling racks.
Donuts and Apple Fritters
I was pretty tempted by the donuts. But it was lunchtime.
Breakfast for Lunch
Don was excited that he had some breakfast options.
His plate looked heavenly with a veggie & cheddar scramble, grilled potatoes and fat pieces of toast, with boysenberry jam!
Tomato Dill Soup!
I couldn't resist soup, on a chilly October day.
The soup was scrumptious, when I topped it with broken pieces of crispy toast. The salad with red onions and tomatoes, was accented with delicate flowers! That won me over.
We grabbed some iced, buttermilk pumpkin bars for the road and headed to the car.
I took one more look at the art. Lettuce Live Together... Shalom, Salaam... Peace...Live... Thank you. This little place deserves to survive this pandemic. I hope to give them some business when we return to Oregon!
Lunch in October 2019
On this muggy July day in Texas, I'm remembering a chilly outing in Oregon.
Don and I enjoyed a cozy lunch with our daughter, in this fabulous stone building, last fall.
What a treat to have Heidi drive us out from Portland, to see Multnomah Falls.
It was early enough when we started our hike, that the bridge wasn't jammed with tourists. We hiked long and high enough to work up a good appetite and enough warmth, to shed our coats.
Completed in 1925
The 95 year old lodge looked picture perfect, sitting at the base of the falls.
The lodge no longer houses overnight guests, but they had a restaurant and there was smoke coming from the chimney, just like the old photo.
The gift shop on the first level was swarming, but when we headed up to the restaurant, we found the dining rooms calm and inviting.
I wondered about the stairs behind the host's desk. I was told there was just storage upstairs now, but the staff was once housed there. I really wanted to steal the lodge model that was on display. Very cute!
The main dining rooms were to the left, but I peeked at few extra rooms off to the right.
The old lodge furniture made it easy to picture guests staying here, back in twenties and thirties. There were only 5 guest rooms, originally. They became offices in the 1950's.
There were a couple options for tables. The great room was original, with stone walls and soaring ceiling.
Evidently most people request the newer atrium, with views of the falls and lush green growth.
Near the Fire!
I always opt for dining in the original part, when there's a choice.
Our table wasn't far from the fireplace, with a real cracking fire! There were dramatic light fixtures, reminding me of a haunted castle. And the vintage artwork, showed scenes of the falls and mountains.
Vintage Place Setting
I was delighted with the retro placemat and china.
I was quite entertained with the trivia on my mat. Multnomah Falls is the second highest year-round waterfall in the U.S.!
Heidi looked the part in her sweater and knit cap, as she dug into her poached eggs and hash browns.
Don also was tempted by the breakfast options. He had a salmon-scramble, also with hash browns.
I couldn't resist having potato bacon soup, on a chilly day. Don shared some of his toast and that made it perfect. All was yummy and the atmosphere was casual-comfy!
As I write this up, our hot weather has turned to steamy storms. I'm looking at these photos longingly. Plaid shirts and jackets AND a cozy meal served in a lodge in Oregon! It's Pandemic July 2020 and I haven't eaten in a restaurant since early March.
Dreaming of the future!
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.
Cookbook Dining Adventure!
Don and I spent one night in Bend last summer. We could have missed this wonderful little tavern, at the foot of Oregon Avenue... but our cookbook reminded us.
Traveling with Cookbooks
The old tavern was still in business after 80+ years! We pulled up and grinned to see that little had changed with the building, over the years. It was July so we saw no, icicles and snow, like this old photo. But we saw lots of pine trees.
Bend was a logging town, when the tavern opened in 1936. The tavern got its name, for the 2 gigantic Ponderosa Pines, just in back. A patio was built around the beautiful trees. In the old photo and the book illustration, it looks like one tree is growing right through the roof.
We stepped inside and felt the mix of old and new. We could see a few reminders of the past. There was a little knotty pine here and a few retro booths there.
Lots of displayed photos helped us imagine how the tavern looked over the years. In 1936, the place opened as a lunch counter, serving local timber workers and their families.
Two women, Marne Gribskov and Eleanor Bechen began the business, during a time when the country was just recovering from the Great Depression. The coffee shop/tavern/dining room, changed and grew over the years.
It wasn't yet 5, so Don and I stepped over to the bar to enjoy the end of Happy Hour. We had a good chat with a few local couples who raved about Bend and made us want to move.
I hopped up a few times to look at the old photos on the wall. There were pictures of the original lunch counter and photos of famous guests who have dined... Clint Eastwood, Ronald Reagan, President and Jackie Kennedy. I love it when restaurants display old photos!
Just past the bar, was a spacious dining room that was added in 1957. I passed a few booths with curtains and that seemed very retro. Then I spotted the two trees, growing through the center of the room!
DJ and the Cookbook
DJ was suddenly the best guide ever. He told me that the Garden Room was added in 1957. It was built right around the two trees that had been on the patio. He took me closer, to study the tree trunks. One was about 300 years old and still thriving. The other was killed by mountain pine beetles over 30 years ago, but the trunk was preserved.
DJ said he would be happy to be our server, whenever we finished up at the bar. We were lucky to get a patio table on such a lovely evening. Once seated, I looked back and was pretty amused to see the living pine, growing right through the roof.
The red umbrellas gave us shade from the evening sun.
Then when the sun got low enough, the umbrellas came down. Our view was even better. We watched a few kayaks and envied the people who lived in the homes across Mirror Pond.
After studying the menu, we dug into some warm, sourdough bread with honey butter. The relaxed, evening atmosphere made us want to slow down and enjoy every minute.
Don ordered the house meatloaf special. It came with two slabs and a zingy, hot fanny gravy! My Chicken Marsala was smothered in a thick sauce of mushrooms and Marsala wine... which I shared with my heavenly mashed potatoes!
We were just finishing, when the manager stopped by our table and introduced herself. "Are you the ones with the cookbook?" Betsy asked with much enthusiasm. Betsy told us she was curious to see the book. I think she said had worked at the Tavern for 40 years, but that seems impossible.
Betsy studied the illustration and chuckled. She remembered specific details about how the door and entrance looked when she first started working. She kept shaking her head and smiling. "Bill will be so excited to see a picture of this book." It turns out that the owner is Bill McCormick, as in the McCormick and Schmick's restaurant chain. He sold the chain a few years ago and now his focus is on Pine Tavern, alone.
Our evening at Pine Tavern ranks pretty high. The atmosphere was comfortable with a good mix of locals and tourists. The pond setting was ideal. The food was yummy and not over priced. And our people encounters were fun... with the silly cookbook!
Nothing delights me more than a retro neon sign (including the word cocktails) and windows, painted with holiday greetings and clinking martini glasses! Usually, I just take a picture.
The sight of this neighborhood bar might scare some parents. But Don and I didn't worry. Instead, we joined the "newlyweds" and celebrated with drinks.
The front door opened to the original bar, which has been serving customers for over 80 years... first, as a lunch counter, then a bootleggers saloon during prohibition. The Holman's sold the bar to the current owners in the 1970's. Last summer the bar stools were empty.
The Game Room
The game room with its slanted linoleum floor was practically empty, too. But the walls were full of entertainment!
Last summer, it was a lovely day when we shared drinks on the patio bar. It didn't look quite as inviting, when we returned on December 26th. But even in the cold drizzle, the little area behind the bar looked a lot better than it did years ago... when it was an old used appliance graveyard. I learned that from some menu trivia.
December 26, 2018
We ended up having lunch at Holman's, on the day after Christmas. We were just finishing a festive holiday celebration with our kids and their spouses in Portland. What better place to dine, before heading to the airport!
The North Dining Room
I tried not to intrude with my camera, but there were quite a few people seated at the dark bar, at 11:30 am. We headed to the dining room, which was added in the '70's. It sort of felt like we were sitting down for a meeting at our round table, with rolling task chairs.
As it turns out, we were lucky to get this prized dining spot. Holman's opens at 8 am and Heidi said the table is usually occupied, by older gentleman, when she walks by in the morning.
I ordered a BLT with fries. That seemed like the kind of food I might have ordered years ago, at the lunch counter. They would have surely delivered my beverage with a straw, back in 1933. The sign on the table was a reminder that it was 2018 and we were in Portland. (Too bad the metal straws that Santa brought me, were packed!)
While we chatted and ate our fairly decent meals, I took in all the fun decor. The dining room had once been a Rexall Drugs and I tried to picture that. I doubt the Cigar Man was part of the drug store decor, but the lit up Rudolph and Snowman could have been.
Shoes and Socks
Before noon, the Game Room was very quiet. I checked out the slanted floor again and the pinball machines and the square windows, that let me peek in on the bar. I smiled to see the wooden shoe display, that I remembered. I was glad they had added some felt socks for the holidays!
We didn't have time to play Pacman or pinball, but our very nice server did invite us to spin the Meal Wheel, before we paid up. She watched from the bar, while we took turns, hoping to match up the arrows for a free lunch.
This photo makes the wheel look like it was spinning crazily fast! It wasn't. Luckily my wimpy attempt was strong enough to make one revolution... before finishing with the red arrows pointing at each other! Free Meal!
My BLT was free and I got to write my name on the Winner's Chalkboard! This was my first dining adventure, involving a free meal!
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.