Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Airport Travel: Austin, TX > Hood River, OR

I left off in Austin, Texas...
...where I was preparing for a flight to my hometown of Hood River, Oregon. Evan and I needed a little break and my parents wanted to see me before their trip to Europe. Pictured below is the airplane food I concocted with my remaining van produce and some help from Beets Living Food Cafe. Check the refresher of my last post here.
On board, I couldn't resist the temptation of ordering tomato juice. While it is one of the healthier options in the realm of airplane beverages, it's still a pasteurized fruit juice (super acidifying) and loaded with 980 mg of sodium. It sure was tasty, though. 
I also brought along the remaining few clumps of the softest, chewiest, tastiest goji berries ever by Ron Teeguarden's Dragon Herbs...
...as well as his Spring Dragon tea made from gynostemma, an energizing, anti-stress adaptogenic herb often referred to as "poor man's ginseng". This tea tastes great and works with your body to give it what it needs in terms of having an energizing or calming affect. If you're feeling anxious, it will calm you down, if you're feeling sluggish and depressed it will bring you up. I love it and it's naturally sweet so you don't have to add any additional sweetener. Find out more about Ron Teegaurden Dragon Herbs here.
There was no one sitting next to me on the plane...
...so I could really spread out.
 I landed in Minneapolis as the sun was setting...
...and finally arrived in Hood River, Oregon around 11:00 PM PST 
(photo taken the following day).
This was the first day back in HR. I went for a refreshing 55ºF morning jog to my Dad's office from my brother's new house. I was a little surprised that it was still so chilly here at the end of April, but I guess that's normal. It was so moist and shweaty in Texas and Mexico, I forgot what it was like for temperatures to drop below 70 degrees.
I took this photo on the way to Dad's office. (Pictured below: the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge and the Hood River toll bridge)
I jogged all the way down to Mother's Organic Market.
106 Hwy 35
Hood River, OR 97031
Mother's has got it all and the employees/owners are super sweet peeps. It's only slightly off the beaten track because it's not on Oak Street (the main hub of Hood River where all the hip sh** is), but it's well worth the 1/4-mile detour for it's healthy vegetarian/vegan and raw food offerings.
At mother's you can look forward to: all organic vegan juices, wheatgrass shots, and smoothies...
...including green smoothies...
...an all vegetarian deli with plenty of vegan options...
...a well-stocked bulk section. They carry goji berries...
...other bulk spices and teas...
...and several dried goods, grains, nuts, and seeds.
You will find a small, but adequate organic produce section...
...superfood juices...
...quality enzyme supplements...
...and an expanding raw food section.
 I was thrilled to see this.
They even had young thai coconuts.
(I want this license plate)
I left with a green smoothie and fresh juice.
If you ever make it over to Mother's Organic Market, also stop next door to check out Dawn Patrol Snack Bar and say hi to my good friend, Mariva, who is now running that joint during the tourist season. 

They've always got bangin' salads. They're not always raw or vegan, but I'm sure you can find something or they will accommodate you otherwise.
After that, I went to Mom's new office...
...and gave her the gift I got her from San Miguel De Allende in Mexico.
A new painting to hang in her new office.
Later that day I stopped at Farm Stand, a relatively new produce market in Hood River.
2305 12th Street
Hood River, OR 97031
(541) 386-4203
I was surprised with the amount of local, organic produce they had available.
Local organic mushrooms...
...local organic spinach...
...local organic braising greens...
...and tropical fruit as well.
They even had chia seeds (expensive, but at least they had them). Wait, $8.25 per lb for chia seeds? That's not outrageous, but it's not a great deal either. Props for carrying such an amazing product. Chia seeds are high in omega 3 and 6 essential fatty acids, high in fiber, awesome energy booster, great source of protein, and considered a superfood. 
Their raw foods section included organic Raw Revolution bars...
and organic Go Raw bars
I picked up a few things including fiddlehead ferns, which I had never seen before. Apparently, they are big in the northeast during this time of year (early spring).
I prepared the fiddlehead ferns by washing, lightly steaming, and then drizzling them with olive oil, minced garlic, lemon juice, and red chili pepper (sea salt to taste if you so choose). 
~Next day~ 
416 Oak Street
Hood River, OR 97031
My family has a Thursday morning ritual at Betty's place on Oak Street in Hood River. They meet for breakfast around 8:00 A.M. before Muir and Jenny open their store (Waucoma Bookstore), before dad opens his office (Middle Mountain Tax Services - wow, I can't believe he still doesn't have an actual website) and before Mom begins her day in the travel nurse department at Providence Hood River Hospital. They all have very legit jobs and here I am bunny-hopping across the continent writing about my twenty-something foodie experiences. I wonder how I will one day fit into that mold of legitimacy...

Anyway, here we are at Betty's on Thursday morning. Everyone ordered eggs and toast and pancakes or some variation thereof. I ordered a blackberry-banana smoothie blended with water instead of pasteurized orange juice or yogurt. Thumbs-up delish.
For dinner that night I tried to make some kind of marinara-pesto sauce using sundried tomatoes (soaked for ten minutes)...
...fresh basil...
...probably some garlic, onions, lemon juice, salt and pepper, and other spices to taste (wow, I was Super Slacker on my note-taking/photographing during this trip)
Then I tried to steam an artichoke and failed horribly. 
Instead, I ate more steamed fiddleheads with some of the marinara-pesto paté stuffed in a cabbage leaf. Not the most glamorous shot ever. It tastes better than it looks. 
~Next Day~
I took this on the way to Friday morning yoga at the Mt. Hood Town Hall. My dad won't stop raving about his yoga teacher, Sybil, and he invites me to Friday morning yoga whenever I'm in town.
Dad preparing for yoga. Kind of adorable, no?
For lunch that day we met the rest of the fam at Pietro's Pizza, a childhood favorite for end-of-season sporting events, birthday parties, and Friday night arcading. I suggested this spot because I remember it having a decent salad bar buffet (pre-apologies for the blurries).
107 2nd Street
Hood River, OR 97031
The salad bar actually looks much smaller than I remember. 
I thought it was funny that they used kale as a garnish and filled the large salad greens bowl with iceburg lettuce and an even smaller bowl with spinach.
The plates seemed smaller, too, but I guess I've just grown so much since those carefree days in middle school. Probably a whole 1/2 inch.
I brought my own salad fixings - local Penny's organic salsa and Annie's Naturals salad dressing. I'm not a huge fan of Annie's because they use some not so awesome ingredients, but I settled because this is what I had with me and it's a huge improvement over msg-laden salad dressings you find at the majority of restaurants that don't make their condiments in-house.
I went back for seconds...
...and stole some of the kale garnish for my salad. Probably not the best idea I've ever had. You never know what they do with the food they assume nobody's going to eat. By-the-way, I have this sudden obsession with baby corn and I have no idea where it came from. This strikes me as odd for several reasons 1) it doesn't even taste good 2) it sits in brine and who knows what kind of preservatives (primarily salt, I guess) 3) it's most likely gmo-corn because on no packages or jars purchased over the past month have I seen a "non-gmo corn" label and 4) it doesn't even taste good! (worth reiterating). So what's the deal? I can't resist the cuteness factor. 
On the drive home down Hwy 35.
Back in town for River City Saloon's last night as River City Saloon. It's now under new ownership with a new name. There was an epic party. 
This band played:______
and this guy played: ____ It was entertaining to say the least.
The following day I hit up Rosauers, another local grocer with, perhaps, a few more locations around the state. They had a great organic vegetable section.
...as well as organic fruits.
 A ton of local salsa companies (preservative-free, but often not organic)
They even had aloe vera leaves!
...for $2.99. Not bad, HR.
Hood River has a large population of Hispanics so I wasn't shocked to see such a wide selection of peppers. It even made me a little nostalgic for Mexico.
Rosauers added a natural food section to their store about eight years ago.
It's called Huckleberry's Fresh Market. They have all kinds of organic and natural processed foods, bottled fruit juices, crackers, chips, rice cakes, baking ingredients, supplements, health and beauty supplies, yogurts, ezekiel bread, ice cream, soy dream, rice dream, hemp and coconut "ice-creams", cheeses of various kinds (soy, almond, rice, dairy), yogurts, energy bars, gluten-free foods, etc
They had raw honey available in the bulk section at a great price: $2.75/lb
And a rainbow of dry goods to peruse. 
Back at the ranch, a herd of deer were munching on some goodies in the backyard.
And then I went to Portland.

Stay tuned for my whirlwind trip in Portland, OR. I hit up all my favorite spots. 
Thanks for reading and supporting. 
Love you.