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Mazama, Winthrop, Omak

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Went over the North Cascades Highway and stayed a few nights in Mazama at the Mazama Country Inn. Clean, comfortable, plainly furnished rooms, but the plumber in them evidently didn't know how to connect the cold water in the bathroom taps as we were not the only ones who had difficulty getting cold water. In any event, the kitchen is only passable--lamb burger and sirloin burgers were pretty good, but chicken marsala was a joke (where is the marsala,my husband wanted to know?) and didn't even resemble chicken marsala so much as rice with seasoned chicken chunks and mushrooms. Staff is friendly. East of Winthrop, we stopped at a Mexican take out stand, Dos Gallos (it's next to the BBQ place!). Since we were interested in only a snack, we tried a chicken and a pork tostada. Outstanding! Smallish looking, but piled with ingredients, the tostadas were on hearty corn tortillas (you get your choice of corn or flour), with a generous portion of tasty beans, tomato, lettuce and meat. The cooked red salsa in a squeeze bottle was very good. Pineapple jarritos was delicious and thirty quenching on a hot afternoon. They also carry paletas made in Quincy in various flavors. I tried rice and found it creamy and surprisingly satisfying. This stand is attempting to cater to Mexicans -a good sign--since you can also get paletas in tamarind and cucumber-chile in addition to the expected fruit flavors. Here's hoping that Dos Gallos expands to a regular restaurant, not just a small stand! The man who took our orders mentioned that they were in the process of trying to get a liquor license to sell beer. In Omak, the place to go is the Breadline. Eclectically decorated, this place offers honest food in good quantity for reasonable prices. We each had salads--my husband had a Cobb and I had a spinach salad. The spinach salad came with herb dressing--not a match I would have chosen, but the ingredients were all nicely fresh. The restaurant has its own bakery and we each had large freshly made whole wheat rolls. Our waitress was a delight and very helpful in offering tips for our camping trip. We were actually disappointed on our return trip on a Sunday to learn it was not open Sundays. Would it be so successful if it was in the middle of Seattle? Probably not. But in that area, definitely the place to go.

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  1. Where's this Dos Gallos? 'East of Wintrop' - do you mean south headed toward Twisp?

    In Twisp I like to stop at Hanks grocery to get some of their smoked meats.

    2 Replies
    1. re: paulj

      Yes, on the Twisp side of Winthrop. Sorry about that. If I remember correctly it's on the left side of the road heading toward Twisp, sandwiched between a BBQ and a pizza place and all 3 of them might be owned by the same person.

      1. re: PAO

        It is between Heenan's Burnt Finger BBQ and Hwy 20 Pizza. I believe it is now closed for winter. There is another good taco stand call Paco's Tacos, on the highway just north of Twisp, but also closed for winter.

        However, you missed the best small place in the Methow Valley, PAO. That is Tappi's in Twisp. Everything from pizza to steaks and lasagna are cooked or finished in an Italian, wood-fired oven. All fantastic. They even have a one pound (to share!) burger made in that wood oven, using local, grass fed beef.

        Open Fri-Mon, often with live music (jazz, bluegrass, or piano) on Fri-Sun.

        -----
        Tappi
        201 Glover St, Twisp, WA 98856

        Paco's Taco
        315 N Methow Valley Hwy, Twisp, WA 98856

    2. Very glad to hear the Breadline is still decent!

      1. I thought I'd add Wesola Polana, between Mazama and Winthrop, to this thread. It's a beautiful spot, in a restored barn with a garden and outdoor tables. It's an interesting place--American breakfasts and lunches, but by night it's a tapas place...run by an Irish guy and with a large selection of Polish beers (plus, they had a Jordanian guest chef that night). Oh and they show soccer on tv. Sounds odd but it works. I wouldn't say the meal blew me away but everything we had was good, and service was very friendly (a party of about 15 came in just before us and our waiter brought some free nibbles so that we wouldn't starve while waiting for our food. That was nice.). It's VERY dog friendly--they actually have a pen you can put your dogs in, or you can dine outdoors with them. I heard breakfast is great but we didn't try them.

        I had a good veggie burrito at Dos Gallos (another dog friendly patio here). It was pretty gringo (ie grilled zucchini) but I like that kind of thing.

        We tried Rocking Horse Bakery in Winthrop based on great reviews online but both weekend days the case was really low at 9 am. Their bagel breakfast sandwiches are premade and not great. Javaman made a good breakfast sandwich, in contrast-they actually scramble your eggs and fry your bacon to order.

        4 Replies
        1. re: christy319

          and they finally got the highway (20) open, in time for Memorial Day.

          1. re: christy319

            The Rocking Horse bakery has new owners who are not bakers themselves. I think this hurts quality. For example, the so-called baguettes are nothing like a French baguette. Even the shape is more like a ficelle than a baguette, i.e., much smaller and thinner. The crust is soft, too.

            The previous owner was a baker. Initially he made excellent baguettes, albeit also somewhat small. However, he found after a while that he could not spend the time it took to do them that way. The quality went down.

            Personally, I prefer the Cinnamon Twisp bakery. They do not try to do French pastries, usually, and what they do is sufficiently un-French that one can simply enjoy it for what it is. The Asiago cheese "croissant" for example. I love it, but I wouldn't even try to compare it to a true French croissant. It's a totally different animal. I also love their "mush puppies." These are small, flaky pastry turnovers with a delicious mushroom filling. Only made on Saturdays.

            If you drive out or back via Stevens Pass or Snoqualmie Pass, you will pass a great, small bakery near Cashmere called the Anjou Bakery. I give them my 3rd-best for real croissants and pain au chocolat, after Cafe Besalu in Ballard and Fuji Bakery in Bellevue and the ID. The also have excellent, very crusty breads and wonderful berry pies. Just about halfway between Seattle and the Methow Valley makes a good pitstop and treat stop. Closed Tues-Wed.

            1. re: RandyB

              I like Cinnamon Twisp a lot, too. Damn, I've never had a mush puppy, and that is right up my alley.
              Good berry pie at Anjou, hmm? I will keep that in mind.

              1. re: christy319

                We LOVE Cinnamon Twist! We look forward to the long days when we can drive up from Wenatchee to enjoy a lunch at CT!

          2. Has anyone tried the bagels they make at the Mazama Store? My husband and I ordered the last breakfast sandwich in their case yesterday and then took off, and as I was eating my half I was struck by how good the bagel was. It was soft and chewy and small, like a real NY bagel--the kind of thing that's impossible to find in Seattle (though Eltana is good). !?!?!? Does someone there really know what they are doing, bagel-wise? I wish I'd picked up a bunch to take home, so see if this was a fluke or not.

            1 Reply
            1. re: christy319

              We were just there again and again I was so impressed with the bagels. They are the best I've had outside NYC.

            2. We're considering staying at Mazama Country Inn and including 3 meals/day in our stay. Can anyone else vouch for food quality at the restaurant there in winter, when meals are family-style? Thanks!

              3 Replies
              1. re: lrsseattle

                I though I'd update this post to say Dos Gallos closed down and so did the BBQ place next to it. It may be because Paco's Tacos has a following and they've been around for 4-5 years now. My tastebuds thank me everytime I go! Try it, you won't be dissapointed. They are closed Sundays and Mondays...

                1. re: eattravel

                  Darn. I really liked Dos Gallos. Thanks for the update.

                  1. re: PAO

                    Shoot, I liked them, they were dog friendly, and open Sundays. Bummer.