Monday, July 06, 2009

The Willamette Valley Experience

Its been awhile since I've flown by myself anywhere. But for this trip I had to suck it up & fly without Kelly because Oregon Pinot Camp is for the wine biz & by invite only. This stunning site was my welcome mat to Portland, Oregon.

There were folks from all of the U.S., UK, Japan, Canada & Europe. It was a veritable melting pot of wine folks from all over the world. After stepping off the plane I picked up my rental car & drove straight down to McMinnville. I was lucky enough to have stumbled across Hotel Oregon online & I'm glad that I did. The other hotel selections were Comfort Inn & their ilk. Hotel Oregon is a boutique Euro-style (meaning shared bathrooms) hotel in a renovated bank/retail office building. Its funky, cute, cool & loaded with personality. I would recommend it to anyone who doesn't mind sharing a bathroom. After checking in I headed down a few blocks to have lunch at La Rambla. McMinnville has this awesome little village vibe with great shops & restaurants. La Rambla specializes in authentic Spanish cuisine. I haven't eaten like that since Barcelona. My first plate was Jamon Serrano (heaven) on San Simon cheese over homemade grainy toasted bread.

This dish was pure Spanish bliss. Mmmmmmmm.

My next plate was a Tortilla Espanola with egg & potato served over classic Romesco sauce & topped with garlic aioli. On the side is a little salad with chopped hazelnuts, dried blueberries & hazelnut vinaigrette with manchego cheese.

With a full belly I was ready to face the winemakers at Saturday night's OPC (Oregon Pinot Camp) orientation.


Samantha Dugan said...

My hubby has stayed in that hotel! That "ham on toast" plate looks like my idea of heaven.

Michael Hughes said...

Yes, simply delicioso.

A said...

Wow! Glad it was so much fun. We need to make that salad soon.


Benito said...

Looks incredible, and you must have had a blast. Can't wait to see the remaining stories and photos!