|Arch at Rockaway Beach|
After setting up, we headed a couple of miles up the road to the town of Wheeler in search of either groceries or a hamburger diner. Since we found the Tsunami Bar and Grill before a grocery store, hamburger won out. Chris’ hamburger was cooked perfectly and was accompanied by awesome onion rings (no kidding awesome!) After perusing the menu, the steamer clams called my name. They were cooked to perfection in a white wine reduction and a side order of garlic bread made a complete meal. This restaurant recently moved from a mid block location across 101 to their current waterfront spot and just had their “soft opening” five days prior. It was early evening and they were already sold out of a number menu items. Seems they underestimated just how many people would come to dine in their new location. To sum it up: great food, great service and killer location and views.
|WWII nose art|
Heading back into Tillamook, we stopped by the Blue Heron French Cheese Co. We went based on signs along the road. This is just a specialty gourmet boutique, with a petting zoo to entertain the spawn. However, we did purchase some really wonderful smoked garlic Brie, a fresh baked baguette, did some wine tasting and picked up a few bottles of wine. Note: they charge for wine tasting and do not credit the tasting fee toward purchases. (If we had read the fine print we probably would have passed on the tasting & just picked up some wine – live and learn)
On Saturday we ignored the rain and went back to Tillamook for the farmer’s market. We picked up some Kumimoto oysters, some so-so fruit turnovers, fresh veggies and CRACKERS. Yes Crackers, the hi-light of the day. So here’s the back story: We were down to our last partial package of Rain Crisp Crackers from Taylor’s, our gourmet market back in Sacramento and we had all but given up on finding any crackers of that quality any time soon. Walking through the market, Chris spotted the crackers and this is how we met Jan Skelton of More Than A Cracker. Jan offers three flavors in regular and gluten free. We found the gluten free to be more flavorful and actually better than the Rain Crisp Crackers, so we stocked up and now we have crackers for a while, and when we run out, we can order more on line - and so can you :o) HERE!
We also stopped at the Tillamook Cheese Factory. You can’t miss this huge plant right on the 101 at the north end of town. They have a self-guided tour and you can watch the packaging of the famous bricks of Tillamook Cheese. Since this cheese is readily available at most supermarkets, we didn’t fight the crowds in the gift shop and store, but we did grab a couple of Tillamook ice cream cones which were pretty tasty.
|Pirates invade Rockaway and sing|
One stop that we would not revisit was the Nehalem Bay Winery. The wines there are not to our taste. Half of the offerings were the novelty type sweet fruit based, pear, berry etc. The more traditional wines all had a strong chemical flavor that reminded us of Los Angeles Tap water and were extremely dry to the point of being really sour. Tastings were $5 per person, but applied to purchases. Prices were high $20-$35 in our opinion for the quality.
|Bill's six shot sampler|
So another week of good, bad and fun, lots of rain and a little sun… but we wouldn’t change a thing!
Click here for this week's photos.
Click here for this week's photos.