Portland in 2018
Don and I had our first Tin Shed adventure in October 2018.
We were visiting our daughter and son in law. They were eager to take us to their favorite brunch place. There was a long wait and that was typical.
I don't remember what we ate, but I remember that everyone was happy. You can tell, from this 3-year-old photo.
What a different visit we had this past July.
We were a party of 5 on this visit. We had a Baby Charlie with us on this visit. The 4 adults were craving a delicious and safe dining adventure. Tin Shed was the perfect place, with outdoor dining.
We arrived on a pleasant Saturday morning, with reservations at 9:15.
There was a garden patio with tables and umbrellas. It didn't look crowded but there was still a wait. Pandemic patience always helps.
Covered or Not
There was a covered open air space that looked inviting.
But that seemed to be sort of reserved for people with pets. That cracked me up. There were definitely more folks with dogs than children, at Tin Shed.
We got a table on the gravel patio after a while.
The sun actually felt good. Oregon in July, is very different than Texas in July!
Coffee and Cream
I was thrilled that Don and I each got our own container of cream.
Some days you crave a mimosa at brunch, I felt pampered with lots of cream on this Saturday morning.
I ordered the breakfast with the silly name. It was indeed sinfully good.
Homemade biscuits with Rosemary-mushroom gravy and a potato pancake with sour cream and chives... 2 crispy slices of bacon and a simple and delicious scrambled egg.
Don's cheesy scramble with tomato and bacon, was served on top of potato pancakes.
You can see his biscuit is picture perfect. I'd say we both ate exactly half of our orders. Yummy leftovers!
This was not an adventure in exotic dining. This wasn't some odd and curious dive cafe experience...
This was mostly a successful dining adventure, with our happy grand baby. Charlie was born in Portland, in the middle of February's ice storm. The Covid pandemic added an extra layer of worry, back when none of us were vaccinated. We dreamed of the day when it would be warm enough and safe enough, to enjoy a little restaurant outing.
So cheers to our Portland Dining Adventure. We had good food, on a pleasant patio, on a sunny day.
After lunch, we strolled and enjoyed the area. How far things have come since February. What a sweet treat!
In July, Don and I had a fun-homey meal at Dean's.
We had heard about the family owned cafe, from my sister. Jennifer sent a text last February, "Kate and I just ate at a place that you and Don would love!" She raved about the food and the folks running the place. Dean's went on my list!
Palms & Roses
Don and I were back in Portland in July and checked the place out, on our very last day. It was an easy stop, right off the highway on the way to the airport.
We parked and headed towards the sweet looking bungalow. What a palm! It made me feel like we were back in Texas. Those roses were mighty sweet, too! Bonus points!
Picnic Tables and Porch
Bonus points for picnic tables, too. Don and I are cautious travelers and diners, during these pandemic times. We appreciate outside options.
And oh how I love a porch, I guess we could have eaten out there too. But we were curious to see the inside of this cute place. We headed for the door. Luckily we had cash, since the sign told us they didn't take credit cards.
Eating in the House
We were greeted by a young bearded man, named Tyler. He was carrying on with a group of coffee drinking men, near the fireplace. Tyler invited us to sit anywhere. We peeked in the second room, which looked cozy with lots of old woodwork.
I was curious about the window that connected both rooms. Was that original? I could see through to the fireplace.
The front room had the fun fireplace, that would have been nice on a cold day. I was sort of amused by how the mantel was being used on a day in July. It had become a shelf, for holding napkins and carry-out containers.
I was more amused listening to Tyler, with the locals who were sitting near the fireplace. Tyler was across the room, but he conversed with the older gentlemen, as he moved from here to there. Don and I felt somehow included in some of the humor, that flew back and forth. The coffee drinkers seemed to egg Tyler on. At one point an old fellow stood and headed to the counter, with his cane. Tyler teased, "No running on the pool deck now!" There were some chuckles.
Sitting in the Front Room
Don and I were seated at a comfy table in the front room, with a view of the dining counter, below a display of old tools.
Next to the old saw and drill, there was a sassy little sign. "I'll have a cafe mocha, vodka, Xanax, Latte to go please."
I read a few more snappy sentences above the window. "Mind your own biscuits and life will be gravy!"
"Bacon makes everything better!" "Public Drunkenness Prohibited!"
As we sat and absorbed the atmosphere around us, I began to see how these signs set the tone for the place.
On the wall past the man at the counter, I spotted another sign, with yummy (and reasonably priced) food options.
The sign was surrounded by shelves of personalized mugs. Clearly, Dean's was a place where lots of locals enjoy breakfast. If it hadn't been so close to lunchtime, I'm sure more mugs would have been missing.
Chicken Noodle Soup
When Tyler came to take our order, I was able to compliment him on his t-shirt, with an amusing photo from the movie, "Step Brothers". He looked down to remind himself, then laughed. He seemed pleased that someone appreciated his goofy Will Farrell shirt.
I ordered Soup & BLT. My chicken noodle soup came so packed with noodles and chicken, I could have used a fork and knife. Moments later I heard a man nearby complain that his soup didn't have enough chicken. Tyler responded, by pointing to me. "Well, I gave all the chicken to her. It's her first time here!"
Don was pleased to have breakfast options for lunch. He was then perplexed about how to begin, with the massive serving on his plate.
Actually he was excited about his ham & cheese omelet and hash browns. There were no signs demanding that we clean our plates, so he was safe. I even helped him a bit and it was a yummy feast.
My delicious BLT arrived on sour dough. When I placed my order, Tyler suggested English muffin for my BLT. I hadn't caught on to his humor yet, so I said "Sure, BLT on and English muffin." Tyler shook his head and scolded that idea as if he hadn't given it to me. "What? You'll never fit 5 slices of bacon on that!" I scratched my head and ordered sourdough, which I loved. The sandwich was delish! And I wasn't a bit annoyed by Tyler's dry humor.
After lunch I explored on the way to the bathroom. I loved the old stairs and wondered about the family that once lived in this wonderful house.
Tyler saw me snapping photos and invited me to look at the framed photos of the Haberlach family.
How wonderful that these photos were preserved when the home was bought.
I did some internet searching later and couldn't find much info. But it looks like this family had some history with Tillamook Cheese!
Chatting with Tyler
Tyler checked us out and didn't reprimand us for not finishing our meal. He did ask where we were from though and said he might just have to charge us tax, since we were from Texas. His silly sarcasm reminded me of some of the old timer characters we've run across on our travels. But his quick and sassy remarks were somehow refreshing and kind.
I thanked Tyler for the great food and his fun humor. He seemed to genuinely appreciate that.
On our way out, we were stopped by a couple on the porch. They had overheard our conversation and seemed so pleased that we enjoyed the place. They told us, "We came all the way from Vancouver to eat today!" They agreed that Tyler was a fun and funny addition to the place. They also mentioned that Tyler's parents owned the place. "We've been coming to eat here, since Tyler was about 7 years old."
I loved ending our homey visit, with this extra little prize at the end. We drove off knowing that Dean's Cafe had been serving food for years in a couple other locations and in this cute house for about 10 years. I loved it that this couple knew Tyler as a little kid and had fun watching him grow up on their visits.
I tried to find more information on the internet, but found very little. Dean's is obviously a happy, homey business with lots of pleased customers. They evidently don't need lots of write ups and ads to lure people their way. Word of mouth got us there! The best kind of advertisement!
Mount Hood, Oregon
On a gorgeous day in mid June, Don and I joined our daughter's family on a food and drink adventure.
Less than an hour from their Portland area home, we found ourselves at Grateful Vineyard, with a view of Mount Hood!
The air was warm, so many of the tables in the sunshine were empty. No reservations needed for those.
We spotted children having their own little picnic in the shade. This wonderful place encourages families and pets.
Table Under the Tent
Heidi had luckily made reservations and we had a table under the tent.
I loved the words on the menu, "Weaving together farming fermentation and nourishment"
Grateful Vineyard opened as a Winery/Cidery/Brewery, in 2019 by Katrina McAlexander. Her grape-farming roots go back to her great-great grandparents vineyards, in Switzerland.
For that reason, Heidi and I chose to sample wine!
Don and Jamie enjoyed some beer flights.
Baby Charlie didn't do any cider samples, but she enjoyed her pacifier.
On weekends they offer a small menu.
The fresh ingredients on the salad and pizzas, matched the atmosphere perfectly.
Maybe it was the perfect weather that made every sip and bite, taste just right.
Even this little girl was in perfect spirits.
It was so heavenly just sitting and enjoying...
But it was impossible to stay seated. I had to get up and wander. The scenery was amazing.
Charlie doesn't look too crazy about the sunflowers, but they were pretty.
You could pick them for a dollar a piece, I believe.
There were some great spots for family photos. Mount Hood tried to photo bomb this one.
Until Next Time
This was the perfect easy getaway on a Sunday at lunch. As we got ready to leave, it looked like they were setting up for some live music.
I can only imagine how lovely these tables would be in the evening, as the sun lowers... with a glass of wine and little guitar. Sigh!
On the Way to Pawnee
In June, Don and I met up with friends Kim and Dan in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Kim made us dinner reservations for Click's Steakhouse, in Pawnee. We had quite a few adventures on the way to the steakhouse.
There are lots of small towns and prairies to explore, between Tulsa and Pawnee. Dan drove us through the Tall Grass Prairie Preserve.
We saw more horses than bison, but I love horses. And the wind turbines were a lot taller than the grass. But it was a beautiful day to be out roaming with no other cars in sight.
We also spent a little time wandering through the town of Pawhuska.
That was a fun adventure, searching for signs of cast or crew, involved in a new Martin Scorsese movie. The movie is based on the book "Killers of the Flower Moon".
Dan and Kim know us well. They knew we would be giddy over a 1939 bath house, in the middle of nowhere.
We didn't have much time before dinner, but we pulled up to have a quick look.
The bath house was built by the WPA, using hand cut native stone. It's still in use in 2021, but had already closed for the day.
Luckily the doors were open. We carried some drinks with us through the doors and straight back to the open terrace. We needed to have a toast.
Time was ticking, but we set the camera timer and toasted to our crazy reunion.
We've had many happy hours together, since we first became neighbors, 22 years ago.
To the Water
Next, we took a quick dash, down the steps to see the lake.
We were so quick, that I missed getting photos of the little swimming beach. It reminded me of lakes my family went to when I was a child.
There was a floating dock and a slide, I believe. It looked peaceful on that warm evening. We took in the view and headed up to the car.
We were just minutes away from Pawnee and Click's Steakhouse. I love the idea of a small town steakhouse, on a Saturday night.
The old stone building had a modern facade. I'm guessing the building may have looked different when Clifton "Click" Nelson opened, in 1962.
We saw Click's face smiling down, when we entered. He was wearing a paper "Rainbo" hat and showing us a huge platter of raw steak!
Lucky for us it wasn't 1962 anymore. Back then, the door was kept locked and customers knocked. Diners had to be checked in and women weren't allowed at all, for a few years. Kim and I would have had to go back to the bath house.
In We Go
Since it was 2021, Kim and I strutted down the entryway, looking at all the furs and antlers, while Don and Dan parked.
We were seated in the first dining room and I felt like all heads turned our direction. I'm pretty sure we were the only non-locals who were dining. In a town of 2,000, you can be sure that out-of-towners are obvious.
I didn't pull out the camera to take photos of our table, or our food. No instagram steak photos. Just didn't have it in me.
I did sneak a photo of the old stove holding the kettle of steak soup. It was a little surprising to see the guests strolling around the huge salad bar and slicing off hunks of cheese, to put in their soup. June 2021. I'm still easing back into this pandemic dining thing, with caution. It didn't look like anyone in Click's had ever worn a mask.
Steak and Pies
I ordered ribeye which is so unlike me. But when in Rome. The flavor was pretty amazing though. It was huge and I couldn't eat more than half.
I almost saved room for some pie. They were on display nearby and looked exciting. But by the time I spilled my water glass and made a big mess, I had forgotten about the pie. I'm sure the locals were amused.
So this is my silly write-up. I don't have much about the food or the restaurant itself. But I will always remember this outing as a dining adventure with our friends. We adventured first, then topped it all off with a hearty meal.
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!
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.