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Jul 24, 2011 11:03 AM

recommendations needed: NY chow hound driving trip Vancouver->Seattle --> Portland --> Oregon coast

Arriving in Seattle July 28.
Driving north to Vancouver then south to Portland, down Oregon Coast and visiting friends in San Francisco. We have 2 weeks.

Looking for great Chinese (and other) restaurants in Vancouver.
Hoping to visit some interesting vinyards in Washington and Oregon.
Looking for great west coast restaurants along the way.
Expensive is OK. But, moderate cost, unique and interesting is even better.

What would you recommend?

In past years we spent time in Napa, Sonoma and San Francisco.
This is our first trip to Vancouver, Seattle and Oregon.

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  1. If you want to see some vineyards, you're going to need travel east a bit (Walla Walla or Yakima at least), but there are many tasting rooms and wineries in the Seattle area, especially a few miles NE in Woodinville. I barely know one from another.
    You might want to ask about the Chinese restaurants in the BC thread - still mostly hearing about Richmond area.

    1. You don't necessarily have to go east for wineries in Oregon. If you are willing to go over to the coast from Portland to Lincoln City, you would go through the town of McMinnville. I was there a few weeks ago and can't say enough good things. There are wineries every few yards when driving through the countryside. Here is what I wrote up after our trip:
      For moderate, unique, and interesting in Portland, I would not hesitate to send you to Pok Pok. One of my top five spots. You can probably find more about it on the Portland board.

      1. Sounds like a great trip. Spent some time eating my way though Seattle and Portland myself last October. I am heading out to Portland again starting Thursday for a wedding. Driving this time so should be fun. Get to see Yakima/Walla Walla on the way in.

        I got really into Oregon wines when I was out there in the Fall. We went to Rex Parker, Winderlea, and Penner-Ash which are all around an hour outside Portland. Beautiful country. Rex Parker was decent. It was bought by A to Z but they still offer their Rex Parker line. Nothing too memorable but a nice start to our day. Winderlea is a lovely small winery and perhaps our most memorable tasting. It is situated on a hill with a very nice view and the wines were all excellent. A bit out of my price range ($50-$60 or so) but the tasting was nice and it's a great small producer. Modern designed building. Does not feel like a business at all but just people making wine. Penner-Ash is a phenomenal winery. Their Dussin vineyard Pinot was the best I tasted when I was out there. The vineyard itself is at the top of a hill in a tucked-away valley. Their top-flight Pinot tasting (I think it was $15) is not to be missed. Also drank (but didn't go to) Adelsheim over lunch and it was a very nice wine. I hear good things about their winery visit as well. In Portland, Wildwood restaurant does local cuisine very well. They also have an outstanding burger. I've heard great things about Pok Pok and it's on my list for this time (it was #1 on my list for last time but I didn't get to it because it was vetoed by a friend).

        Seattle does have a tasting room in the Market area where a bunch of smaller vineyards got together. It's a fun experience and you get to taste a lot of different styles there, but my trip was the trip of the Pinot. Oregon really took me. Also, I know you mentioned Vancouver Chinese food, but in Seattle, Ho Ho Seafood is worth a trip. It's an inexpensive hole-in-the-wall open late night with some delicious crab with black bean sauce. Hope you enjoy your trip, I know I will mine.

        2 Replies
        1. re: TheNewYorker

          Thanks for the vinyard & restaurant recommendations.

          We will definitely go to Pok Pok in Portland and try Ho Ho in Seattle.

          Do you have any restaurant recommedations while traveling down the Oregon coast on highway 101?

          Ho Ho Restaurant
          1911 Cascade Ave, Hood River, OR 97031

          1. re: RichardMW

            Glad to hear you'll be checking out Pok Pok. My favorite dish there is the charcoal grilled boar collar served with iced mustard greens. It's a great first course with their salted plum vodka collins. Hope you'll report back on your meal there, and wherever else you go.
            You might also want to check out Pambiche, great for a cuban breakfast.

        2. If you're going to Vancouver, I would not bother with Chinese in Seattle. The Chinese food is MUCH better in Vancouver. Instead, try Vietnamese in Seattle--Green Leaf or Tamarind Tree or for something more upscale, Monsoon.

          1 Reply
          1. re: PAO

            We just returned from two nights at The Allison Inn & Spa and had some very nice meals and tasted some excellent wines. Jory, Dundee Bistro and Red Hills Provencial Dining were all fantastic places to dine. The Wild Salmon with Mango Salsa at Red Hills was possibly the best salmon I've ever had in a restaurant. Their Lavendar housemade ice cream was delicious, served with a fresh sprig of mint and a homemade shortbreaad cookie.

            Penner-Ash, August Cellars, Montinore, WillaKenzie and Four Graces were all recent places we have enjoyed wine tasting. August Cellars is also a nice one. :)

            Dundee Bistro
            100A SW 7th St, Dundee, OR 97115