Wednesday, April 4, 2012

to market, to market.........

to buy a fat pig;
home again, home again jiggly-jig

 i just like the jiggety-jig part.
 So we are home again, home again after a lovely inspiring week at artfest.  ahem, the last artfest. (sob* hic* sob*).   for the last 12 years it has been held at fort warden, port townsend, washington st., now unless someone buys it - its gone.
a spiritual and creative wonder.
my husband and i not only enjoyed each others company, we explore new ground too.  we drove up interstate 5 - it stretches from the mexican border to the canadian border, most of it boring.
 it was a long long boring haul. except for my husbands eternal singing.
5 hours into our trip we stopped for gas - we felt lucky to find a gas station cuz we hadn't seen one for miles.
and,  we were happy we didn't have to push the car.   anyway, if you can picture this.......miles of flatland, nothing.  no rest stops, no fruit stands, no truck diners or gas stations... (sometimes it is hard to believe that this popular state of california is not all developed). before  a big unreal hotel plus spa, plus gas station, etc.  rises before us.
the gas station was attached to a hotel and the hotel had a restaurant.  we were deciding whether to chance the restaurant figuring that it might have a marginally palatable menu)   or head further up to a city.  you see, we don't like to eat bad food or even so-so food.  We decided to take a chance and eat there.  to our big surprise the restaurant served the very  best prime rib i (we) have ever tasted.  after the first fork full, gastone and i looked at each other with wide eyes.  we were tired from traveling and we weren't sure if we had tasted right.  so we ate more.  and more and more.  turns out this steakhouse in the middle of nowhere, like an oasis, is called harris ranch restaurant.  who knew?
we have eaten in a lot of fine places in other towns, but this....OMG, i didn't need a knife and i didn't have to chew too much; the prime rib was so juicy.

the rest of our trip, we ate well too.  we stopped at grants pass, ore. to have a perfect large dish of steamed clams and fish and chips.  in port townsend, that little town, has outstanding restaurants too.
everything everywhere is homemade.   it's hometown to food lovers and art lovers as well as bakery artisans.  my favorite was homemade vanilla bean ice cream with a warm slice of marion berry pie,  (i never heard of marionberry) oolala, so nice.
in town there is a bakery/restaurant called laureates which makes splendid scones, cupcakes, cookies fresh baked bread.   the aroma of the place is killer good.
the rest of our nights in port townsend we had  more steamed shellfish, lamb, more steak, and italian food (that my gourmet italian husband approved of) - the milk and cheese in port townsend- straight from the cows - topnotch fresh.  lots of farm land and cattle in ore. and washington, so it was no surprise.
but best of all,  the coffee.  yeah, even though starbucks is from seattle, we found our hotel 's coffee  even better.  uncanny.

here's a tip:  if you like clam chowder  have a big bowl of it while riding the ferry.  i don't know why its so good, but it is.

i don't usually go on and on about food and specialty dishes, but i just had to say something here.  it was magical and it was a true eye opener.

on our way home we again stopped at harris ranch with watery mouths to confirmed to ourselves that this oasis was real.  a real restaurant (and spa) and really - i mean really good prime rib.  heavenly.
i don't even eat much meat.  but i had the huge cowboy cut before going home again, jiggly-jig.

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