Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Coast, waterfalls, craters and some good food

Crater lake

Diamond lake

We recently visited the state of Oregon on vacation. One of the highlights of the trip was our visit to cheese companies in Tillamook. Tillamook region is famous for its milk and cheeses. One of the companies, Blue Heron, makes French cheeses mainly Brie and blue cheese. I liked the taste of their garlic brie and so I have bought some home with me. The company's shop has some great gourmet sauces, salsas and mixes. I found a meyer lemon spritz oil. I have never tasted a meyer lemon and so I had to get it at a steep price, I must say. They have a lot of European chocolates too. I found Violet Crumble, something that was brought to my notice by Nic of Baking Sheet. Cadbury's Double Decker bar was my childhood favorite and after years of searching for it, I found it here.

Tillamook Cheese

Tillamook cheese company is quite famous around Oregon for not only its milk and butter but also for the rich ice creams and several varieties of Cheddar cheese. Yes, we did a lot of tasting but I was particularly impressed by their cheese curds. They taste great and are more on the chewy side. In Canada, McDonalds serves their French fries with these cheese curds (the combo is sold as poutine). Many customers seem to enter the premises only for buying ice cream. So we treated ourselves with a scoop. Their prize-winning classic vanilla was too rich and buttery for my taste buds.

Coulmbia river

We also got to taste some fresh apples and peaches from the orchards in the Mt. Hood's famous fruit loop. I searched quite a bit for hazelnuts but did not find them in local grocery stores. Perhaps I had to look elsewhere?

Crater lake national park at dusk

I had made a list of restaurants that I wanted to visit in Oregon based on Portland food forum. It turned out that I was being way too optimistic since we could hardly find time to search for a particular restaurant in the city especially with a toddler on hand. I managed to visit Karam, a small, Lebanese restaurant in Portland Downtown. We chose the vegetarian mazzawat and it was more than enough for me and hubby. It consisted of some great baba ghannouj, hummus, labne, vegetarian kibbee (it was not so great), stuffed grape leaves, crispy falafel, tabbouli and a garbanzo bean salad with a yogurt dressing. The star of this feast was the warm,fresh, soft pita bread made on-site.

Cape Kiwanda

Thanks to ExtraMSG for putting together the restaurant tip sheet. Be sure to check out this site if you will be anywhere near Oregon.


  1. OOOh, Mika, the photos of Columbia lake and Crater Lake - fantastic!

  2. Oregon is really the best place to spend summer vacation, I think. Gorgeous photos, Mika.
    What happened to the Mcdonald French fries post? I too didn't know that at first. I always felt little bit squeezy after eating them, once I know the reason(about their beefy oil,)I immediately stopped eating them. It's one thing to eat meat, but consume repeatedely reheated animal fat, I think it is like eating our way into death.(God only knows how many times they reused that oil).

  3. Thanks Shammi and Indira for the comments. Oregon is really beautiful and I feel the pictures can only capture a part of it.

    I was tinkering with the McDonald's post and my machine crashed and I lost the post I guess, along with a new post I had saved as a draft. I am now unable to recover them (or don't know how to). I am thinking of typing a gist of it for vegetarians who are clueless about this. French fries are probably the only reason a vegetarian eneters McD for. It is sad they cheat us.

  4. Great photos, Mika. I particularly like the photo of Diamond lake. I'm glad you found a Double Decker, but that's a bar I don't think I've had. Sounds tasty, though.

  5. Hi Mika,
    You won't believe how I found your blog. I googled for Double Decker Chocos and your blog was one of the restuls. well I am dying to have a Double decker my self. It would be great help if you could let me know where exactly did you find it in Tilamook.

    BTW those are some nice pics. I am just happy that spring round the corner, finally get to hit the canon beach again. :)