Welcome to Oregon! Well, sort of. This past summer my husband and I spent twelve days traveling the state and now I’m sharing the experience with you. I’ll tell you about the attractions we visited, the meals we ate and where we stayed. Maybe you’ll decide you want to visit Oregon, too. Today, we’ll have a bite in Grant’s Pass.
I mentioned when I started this series that feeding ourselves was one of the most difficult challenges we encountered. One big problem throughout the trip was that the restaurants just weren’t open when we wanted them to be. The other problem is that we live in Dallas. Dallas is one of those places where eating out and shopping are our primary entertainments. In other words I’m spoiled.
Still, I know a good restaurant when I find it. Andina, the Peruvian restaurant in Portland is one of the best places I’ve ever eaten. Edgefield McMenamis in Troutdale serves a memorable breakfast. At this point in the trip we’d been on the road for seven days. Out of nineteen meals, we’d had two good ones. I’m just saying this to remind you that I’m not one of those people who takes great joy in finding fault with food, accommodations or attractions, but I was having some tough days in Oregon.
Our non-refundable pre-paid admission for the jetboat had me a little worried. Bill’s not much of a morning person and I wasn’t sure how the drive to Grant’s Pass would turn out. I figured we might be stuffing down a Mickey D’s burger as we climbed on the boat. Instead we got there plenty early to enjoy a meal at Taprock Northwest. We’d gotten a glowing recommendation about the restaurant when we made our reservations with the hostess at our Grant’s Pass bed & breakfast inn.
I’ve got to tell you it’s a gorgeous place. From the parking lot, it appears you’re walking into a very large one-story log cabin, but on the backside are several levels of decks that offer riverside dining. Every detail of the architecture is first class. The hunting lodge theme pervades every surface and fixture, but its not overwhelming. The sun was shining and it was a gorgeous day, so Bill and I took a seat on the upper deck.
We were hungry, but neither of us eats very heavily at lunch, so we opted for a salad and a sandwich. Bill ordered a crab salad and I went for a turkey sandwich with cranberry cream cheese. The waiter returned to us quickly with an apology, the crab salad wasn’t available. Nothing else grabbed Bill’s fancy, so we decided to share my sandwich. I warned him that there would be fruit on it, something he usually doesn’t want. I even offered to change to something he’d like better, but he said to stick with the turkey.
When we got our sandwich, there were cranberries and there was cream cheese, but I wouldn’t have called it “house made cranberry cream cheese.” In my book, “house made cranberry cream cheese” would have been cranberries blended with cream cheese and spread onto the sandwich. Instead, a hunk of cream cheese was slathered in cranberry sauce, overwhelming everything else between the two monster pieces of foccacia.
It wasn’t the best meal we had in Oregon, but the day was gorgeous and the deck was relaxing, so it wasn’t the worst meal we had in Oregon either. We saved that honor for the Windjammer in The Dalles. (After the boat ride we had dinner at Applebee’s, a safe and economical option any where you find one.)
The best part of the Taprock experience was the post-meal stroll. The jetboat launch is below the restaurant and a riverside trail connects the restaurant with the jetboat office, which is across the street from the restaurant at street level. Along the trail are murals and gardens to enhance your experience.
I’d say that if you are in Grant’s Pass you should go to Taprock Northwest, but I wouldn’t suggest the same sandwich we shared. I’ll tell you about the bed & breakfast inn next week.