There are so many reasons to Visit Mountain View Orchards in Parkdale, Oregon including the variety of fresh fruit, a tasting room, a beautiful flower field and epic views of Mount hood.
Mountain View Orchards is a family-owned farm and has a history that spans back to the 1920’s. The farm is now owned by Trina McAlexander who grew up on her family farm. Her Swiss grandparents purchased an orchard in Parkdale, Oregon and farmed pears, berries, cherries, peaches and apples.
There are over fourteen types of pears, six types of cherries, eight varieties of peaches and over 100 types of apples. Trina shares that her favorite way to enjoy the fresh fruit is sliced in salads or on the pizza at Grateful Vineyard which she opened in 2016. At Grateful Vineyard, people can also enjoy crisp apples with Authentic Fondue paired with wine, cider or beer for those who are 21 and older.
The welcoming and generous spirit of the farm are evident. The farm now has a self-service system where customers can select fruit they would like, weigh it and pay with cash, check or via venmo to @mtvieworchards.
Trina enjoys serving her neighbors healthy foods. While the farm stand is winding down in November, there will still be events in the tasting room. Keep an eye out for more events.
In addition to the fruit, there are always rotating flowers that are grown. Some of the flower varieties include sunflowers, dahlias and lavender. Visitors of the farm can explore the flowers which complement the beauty of Mount Hood in the background. Even better- these flowers are available for U Cut for people to take home. Payment by Venmo is welcome.
A “Healthier” Halloween Treat: Snickers Dates
By Sarah Harper
Halloween stands out as one of the only holidays when we don't convene around the dinner table for a grand family feast. Nevertheless, food remains an important aspect of celebrating Halloween. Whether it's carving pumpkins, bobbing for apples, or trick-or-treating, food is still very much a part of the Halloween spirit.
While it can be tempting to pick up a bag of Snickers when you stroll past the Halloween candy aisle, consider swapping processed sugar with natural alternatives. Dates are naturally sweet, and drying them only intensifies their caramel-like flavor. Snickers Dates are perfect if you are craving sweet, salty, and crunchy.
You can serve Snickers Dates as a simple homemade sweet treat at Halloween gatherings or prepare them as a wholesome snack to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Sarah Harper is a Registered Dietitian, creator, and one of many eaters behind The Addy Bean. She is also an avid hiker, a registered yoga instructor, and a former nursing home dietitian.
Based in Hood River, Oregon, Sarah lives with her husband Jacob, her dog Huey and her blog’s namesake – her cat Adeline.
-The Start Up Coffee Cart is now open in the heights in Hood River. They have a variety of drinks to choose from and espresso that will give you the boost you need.
-Take a scenic fall drive to experience the Glenwood Fall Bazaar in Glenwood, Wa on October 21. This event will have unique vendors selling handmade goods, a flea market section, and food options. On the menu for breakfast are breakfast burritos and Huckleberry pancakes. For lunch, there is chili, super nachos, hot dogs and chili dogs. US Veterans and military eat for free in honor of Veterans Day and coffee is complimentary for all. The event will be held at 9am at the Glenwood School at 320 N Bunnell St in Glenwood, WA.
-The Hood River Common House is hosting a cocktail pop up on October 21st at 5:00pm until they are sold out. They will be serving wine, sake, cider and non-alcoholic spirits. You can pair your drink with an order of their Green Chili Queso. No tickets are required to enter the event.
-The Harvest Craft show will happen at the Hood River County Fairgrounds on Saturday October 21, and Sunday October 22. There will be art, gifts and treats. There will be a selection of over fifty vendors with handmade products and goods. The event hours are 10am-5pm on Saturday and 10am -4pm on Sunday. Mt Hood BBQ will be there selling their food.
-Pour Girls Espresso in Odell is now open Sundays 8am-12pm.
-@pelintipizza in Hood River is now open Sundays from 12-8pm.
-@goldengoodshr is changing their schedule to fall hours and will now be open Thursday-Monday from 9am - 3pm.
-Crush Cider Cafe hosts a Secret Salsa Society for Latin dancing every Wednesday. All are welcome for a free lesson and dance.
-Throughout the year, you can enjoy live music every Saturday at @clarkandlewies in Stevenson, WA. This Saturday the music will begin at 6:30 PM.
-Solstice Wood Fire Pizza Truck is open in the Dalles for regular hours. They serve Pizza slices, whole pies and salads. Find them at 6th St. Station Food Carts.
Valo Wines establishes tasting room in Bingen
Story By Laurel Brown
For wine-lovers in the Gorge, there is a new space to explore in Bingen called Valo Wines. Opened in late July of this year, Valo has a beautiful space offering wine tastings, bottles, and wine club memberships. Owner Michael Ruhland is excited to be come a name in the Gorge with his young yet award-winning wines.
Originally from Memphis, Tenn., Ruhland spent most of his years in Montana and explored Washington and Oregon in his free time, his affinity for the Columbia River Gorge always growing. With the help of Winemaker Matías Kúsulas, Valo Wines has been making a big name for itself in a short amount of time.
“We have extremely high quality wines,” Ruhland said. “When Matías makes his wines, he really creates and develops the individual characteristics in each one, framing the fruits and flavors very intentionally.”
Kúsulas is from Santiago, Chile, and spent seven years in the Chilean military, earning the rank of lieutenant in the Naval Academy before returning to school. Now, he is head viticulturist of Lawrence Vineyards and winemaker for both Valo Wines and Desert Wind.
Lawrence Vineyards is one of the farms that Valo sources their grapes from; another is Conner Lee Vineyards, both located in Washington in a region called Royal Slopes in the Columbia Valley. Valo Wines uses grapes from
Royal Slopes and processes that fruit in Prosser, Wash. The farms they choose all use sustainable techniques, which lends to Valo’s handmade expertise.
Ruhland met Kúsulas in 2016 in New Zealand before working a harvest season in Washington together, all the while discussing their ideas and experimenting with wines. They began production for Valo Wines in 2018 and later established their tasting room in Vancouver, Wash., in late 2020.
With a background in restaurants and dinning, including being the chef at the Yellowstone Club in Bozeman, Mont., Ruhland was interested in breaking into the world of wine and wine dinners. He wanted to combine his chef knowledge with a less kitchen-centered business model, and instead focus more on wine.
Ruhland was happy to finally open a space in the Gorge to help continue gathering a solid following with his premium-style wines.
“We really lucked out with the new space. We want to be a spot for people to be comfortable, where they can sit and sip and enjoy,” he said.
Meaning “light” in Finnish, Valo focuses on organic growth and expands when it makes sense, such as the new spot in Bingen. Ruhland mentioned one day finding land to build on, possibly with production space and a vineyard, but for now he is focused on the success of the new tasting room.
Ruhland hopes to achieve a kitchen build-out down the road to offer more food options and wine dinners.
Currently, simpler items like charcuterie and smoked salmon dip are available atValo, and pick-up-parties for club members with food and wine are also on Ruhland’s wish-list.
For such a new business, Valo Wines is collecting the accolades of an established winery “We set out to make the best wines we can, but we also want people to enjoy what we’re making,” Ruhland said.
They want to offer people a variety of excellent wines, including their Massalto line.
Valo’s Massalto wines are their artistic series: Edgy wines crafted to push the norm. Each bottle sports a beautifully designed label by the Australian artist Loui Jover, and large prints of the art on these labels decorate the walls of the new Valo tasting room in Bingen.
Despite bottling their first in 2020, the awards and recognition already seem nonstop. Jeb Dunnuck, renowned wine reviewer, awarded them three 94-point ratings June of this year, describing several varieties as “loaded with charm and character,” “terrific”, “layered,” “balanced” and “elegant.”
Among other praise, Valo Cellars was named a wine producer that is “under the radar” by The Robert Parker Wine Advocate Journal just last year. Ruhland said they have earned other 90-point ratings over the last few years, ranging from 91 to 97-point awards.
With limited distribution outside of Southwest Washington, Valo is looking to bring their wines to other spots in the Gorge soon, like local wine bars and breweries, but details are still in the works. For the moment, Ruhland said they want to be a top local tasting spot and popular winery option among the Gorge community.
The Valo tasting room in Bingen is usually open Thursday through Monday from noon to 7 p.m., though hours are subject to change, so guests are encouraged to call or check online. The space is a storefront
located at 114 W. Steuben St., Bingen. You can find them on Instagram @valo_wa, or on Facebook, which has pictures of their chic Vancouver tasting room.
six must see booths at this year's hood river harvest fest
Mark your calendars for a weekend full of fall flavors at the 41st Annual Hood River Valley Harvest Fest. This three day festival October 13-15 at the Hood River Event Site is a celebration of the bounty of the Hood River Valley. At this year's Harvest Fest you can find apples, pears, local treats, and more all on display for locals and visitors to enjoy.
Here are six must-see booths at this year's Harvest Fest for food enthusiasts:
Want to Spice it up? Head to The DalleS
Story and photo by Kathy Watson
I was digging around in my bag for a larger tip for the guys at the Tadka Indian food cart on West Sixth in The Dalles.
“That’s okay, ma’am. Just give us your blessings,” the cook said, with a little tilt to his head.
Ah, but it’s me who’s blessed. The food cart pod of West Sixth is showing all the signs of a spicy food lover’s nirvana, carts bursting with Thai, Vietnamese, Mexican, a second Indian truck, and a couple of oddball catch-alls: Kimberly’s Cauldron offering soups and sandwiches, and BobaBlastic that has everything from frozen desserts on a stick to cheesy fries.
That’s a lot to choose from, but I’m gonna put a stake in it right here: just go to Tadka. This is real-deal Indian, with everything from fish curry to lamb vindaloo, garlic naan and saag paneer. I’ve lunched here three times, and if my blessings continue it’ll be 3 x 3 x 3 in the year ahead.
This pod has one super-duper addition: It’s in the parking lot of an old Wendy’s that’s been converted to Sixth St. Station. Full bar, beer, a pool table and a refuge from the fall weather. You can bring your food cart nummies inside, order a beer, and watch the rain streak in over the Columbia. Nice. The Sixth St. Station is closed on Monday, open the other days from 11 a.m to 8 p.m.
Carts in the Pod:
Boss Authentic Thai Kitchen
Pho Saigon Grill