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Pioneer Pizza in White Salmon continues to evolve. It’s settled into it’s place on the “main drag” of White Salmon, across from Everybody’s Brewing. I’ve already drooled over their pizza and fried chicken, and as the head into busy spring and summer seasons, I stopped by to talk with Micheal about what’s new or exciting. I was thrilled to learn that they’re have a full bar and Micheal has crafted three signature cocktails, Micheal created many of the signature cocktails at Henni’s! The cocktails are: a whisky based Basil Apricot Smash; a Sage and Cherry Gin Cooler; and a Green Tea Mint Mojito. They also have wine and beer… including beer to go! The Pioneer Pizza Happy Hour is from 3-6pm Monday through Friday, offering $2 slices and $2 Rainiers.

They also have over a dozen gluten-free options and the largest gluten-free pizza in the Gorge.

Pioneer Pizza is open until 11pm 7 days a week! Since I’ll need to go sample all of the signature cocktails I’ll probably see you there.

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I’m so impressed with the incredible craft beer that pFriem Family Brewers produces, and it’s newly available in gorgeous bottles. Josh and Annie invited me and Kyle to attend their special bottle release party and we were both so excited to celebrate with them. They have plans to release 23 bottled beers throughout 2015! The bottled beer is available in many Washington and Oregon locations, and is available on their site to order and have it shipped!

I so admire the work that pFriem is doing and I’m proud to be able to support them here on the site, by sipping their beer in their brewery, and now by enjoying their bottled beer at home. Cheers!

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(Last photo by Blaine + Bethany Photography!)

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Dog River Coffee has amazing coffee, and their approach to making each cup of coffee great has been documented, but I sometimes forget to sing the praises of one of my favorite things to order there… the Mexican Hot Chocolate. When things get busy, I’ll grab my oldest child and head down there for a quick mom-daughter date. We order a couple of hot chocolates and either grab a window seat, or if it’s quiet we will settle down in the back by the toys to read books. If you’re feeling a little sluggish you can always step it up and order a Mexican Mocha, which is also pretty amazing.

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One of my favorite ways to pass a slow afternoon is to go by myself or with a friend up to Marchesi Vineyards. I love to do a tasting if I’m with someone who hasn’t been before, but more often I will order a glass of something I’ve loved in the past, or try something new. April is the Columbia River Gorge’s Wine Passport Month, and Marchesi, along with lots of other local wineries, are bringing forth their new wines for the season. Marchesi is introducing it’s 2014 Pinot Grigio, Primitivo, and Dolcetto, and 2013 Esta and Barbera (pictured below) this April (with their delicious rosé following shortly after in May or June). Basically, if you are looking for me for the next three months I’ll be sitting on the patio at Marchesi.

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A couple weeks ago I stopped by Henni’s Kitchen and Bar in White Salmon, Washington to talk to Christiaan about his classic South African dish, Bobotie. Bobotie is a sweet, savory dish that, as Christiaan explained, is a constant on tables in his country of origin. The original bobotie recipes came to South Africa from Malaysia, and it’s unique blend of flavor and ingredients are testament of that. Christiaan’s version is served as a small plate, though he said that it’s traditionally made as a large casserole with a custardy egg topping poured over it and lemon leaves covering the top before baking. It’s usually served with a variety of sides like cumin rice with raisins, fresh banana, coconut, and chopped onion and tomato. The Henni’s version is pared down and served with a bit of rice. I brought some home from my afternoon in the Henni’s kitchen and my kids ate all of it – I hardly got a bite!

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Bobotie is rich with the flavors of spices like garam masala, ginger, banana, garlic, apples and spices. All of the ingredients compliment the ground beer in an unexpected way as they are not flavors we would typically combine together here in the U.S.  All of the cooked meat and fruit is placed in a dish, topped with a bit of egg and heated through. Then it’s dolloped with a bit of rice and served.

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One of the things I love about Henni’s is that there are such wonderfully different things on the menu, a variation from the norm. This beef curry with egg custard and rice is a small dish that’s full of unique flavors and South African tradition.

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