Lunch at the Station
I love old gas stations.
This one caught my eye as we drove through the town of La Grande, last summer.
Don and I were over halfway, driving from Portland to Boise, Idaho. If the year had been 1959, we could have stopped and bought some gas.
But it was August 2022, and there was no gas at the old Texaco. However, we could buy ice cream, coffee and sandwiches. It was food that we actually needed.
This is how the Texaco looked, back in the day. There were 3 pumps and 3 garage doors.
I'm not clear about when the Texaco became The Local. But today, the open-air, covered drive. (behind the pumps) is a fresh, air-conditioned room where you can order ice cream and coffee.
Sweets and Caffeine
We were looking for lunch when we entered this bright space.
The smells of handcrafted ice cream and specialty coffees, filled the room.
Before ordering food, I made a trip to the Ladies Room. As a kid I dreaded creepy bathrooms at gas stations, especially when you had to borrow some grubby key. But I was excited about this one. It was the original, with mint green tile.
Luckily the restroom was as clean as the ice cream/coffee shop. And I didn't have to obtain a key. However they had the old keys on display. Love it!
We inquired about lunch and were directed to the "garage" area.
First we took a peek at the patio. it was a beautiful day and there were some families and a couple sweet dogs. Such a comfortable setting.
Into the Garage
We headed towards the open garage doors. Surely those come down in the winter months.
My eyes were drawn to the bright green Adirondack chairs. If only we'd had lots of time to kill, I would have loved kicking back in those chairs with a cup of coffee.
Relaxed, Clean and Friendly
I loved the comfy vibe. There were people sitting near a fireplace. (unlit) A few worked quietly at laptops. Most of the people looked like locals, who come regularly.
We ordered our food from 2 "youngins" behind the counter. They were probably students at Eastern Oregon University. Couldn't have been nicer.
Payphone at the Station
There was an old payphone near the counter. I asked the 2 if the old phone actually worked. They both laughed like they'd never heard that question. They invited me to try.
I asked if either had ever used one and the young girl never had. The guy said he did once, but it didn't have a dial. I have a good story from when I was 16 and used payphone at a gas station, in a sketchy part of Detroit. There wasn't enough time to share that long story!
Signs of the Past
We waited for our order and I looked around the place looking for evidence, that this really once was a gas station. It seemed too clean. I spotted a drain and could suddenly picture cars, leaking oil and mechanics with dirty hands. Luckily none of those car smells exist today.
Closer to the coffee/ice cream shop, I peeked through a window and saw some old news clippings and postcards, attached to a Texaco sign. Maybe the space was once a waiting area for customers. I'll bet there was a glass coffee pot sitting on burner and some disposable paper coffee cups... with little handles. Starbucks never had cool cups with handles!
Muffuletta and Oregon Chips
Don and I ended up splitting a muffuletta, with a bag of Oregon chips. It was just the right amount. It was such a quick and tasty stop. I wish we could have lingered.
We headed to our car parked out front on Adams Avenue... which I believe was once the Old Oregon Trail. Then I noticed a cozy looking, old hotel called, The Landing. Hmm? Another hotel to try in the future. Someday we can stay right on the Oregon Trail, in a cute hotel and spend more time at The Local, sampling ice cream and coffee!
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.