Posts Tagged ‘Rush 2112’

Columbia River Gorge: Hood River Restaurants and Bars

June 15, 2010

Our first night in Hood River, we decided to check out the local haunts, to find out what there is to do in terms of food, drink and fun.

This retro tandem bicycle is suspended over diners at the Sixth Street Bistro, and, according to John, the bartender, it once belonged to Steve McQueen. Now, I know McQueen was a biker, but I thought all of his two-wheelers had motors. If someone knows anything about his pedaling pursuits, please fill me in! Either way, the tandem looks pretty good in the restaurant.

John also turned us on to a fascinating new drink: the Pendleton Nutsqueeze. It’s sort of like a whiskey sour, but with nutty liqueur and a squeeze of lemon. The whiskey is Pendleton, which is a Canadian-style nectar of the gods made in Hood River. Everything about this drink rocks, including the name. 

After a fine dinner at the Sixth Street Bistro (we had Thai Chicken Sate and Red Curry with Tofu–both excellent), we strolled over to Brian’s Pourhouse. We simply had to have one more Nutsqueeze, so we taught Brian’s bartender how to mix it, and pretty soon it was Nutsqueezes all around, including a few guys who were in town for training–on flying military spy drones. Turns out there are several aircraft manufacturers in the area. Here’s the outside of Brian’s Pourhouse: 

We didn’t just eat and drink, of course…there was a lot of hiking and a bit of shopping during the week, and we indulged in Sundari Abhyanga massages at the Bonneville Hotsprings Spa across the Gorge in Washington. But one night, we saw an alluring sign at the Passport Pub & Cafe advertising their Wed. night trivia contest. Nothing could have stopped us from signing up, although our tiny team of two took last place. We did make some friends, though, and hooked up with them later in the week to watch a Portland indie band at a Hood River hotel. Best of all, I discovered–totally by accident–that some Hood Riverians enjoy episodes of Trailer Park Boys–those crazy, dysfunctional, lovable Canadians. My favorite Trailer Park Boy is Bubbles!

Toward the end of the week, we had a sushi dinner at Kaze–they have lots of good noodle dishes, too–and later found ourselves at The Trillium, a cheerful little place with a youngish clientele. Weird Al Yankovic was on the jukebox when we walked in, and by the end of the evening, Rush’s 2112 was blasting over the speakers–by request. At The Trillium, it’s possible to make fast friends with the locals–they’re quite friendly. Plus, the chips and salsa are excellent.

If you need to work off all that food and drink, you can hit the water. Hood River is known, of course, for the wind surfing and sailing. Even on the coldest days of spring, hardy surfers are out there in their wetsuits, ridin’ the breeze:

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