Weekend in Bend, OR

March 11 – 13, 2016 – We’d never been to Bend, OR, and were looking forward to a road trip.  We headed out Friday afternoon, supplied with baguette sandwiches from Fred Meyers, chips, water… and the reminder to make sure to stop for gas before crossing the border. The drive was uneventful, and thankfully not very busy.  Our hotel for the next few nights was the new-ish My Place – a discount extended stay hotel.  Yes the walls are thin, but we didn’t really have people around us so it wasn’t a problem.

Rain was a theme of the weekend.
Rain was a theme of the weekend.

Saturday dawned cloudy and rainy – lots of rain.  We drove over to The Original Pancake House to try buckwheat and buttermilk pancakes, omelettes and an egg scramble with bacon, spinach, cheese and eggs.  The food and the coffee were all very good; we got there early, around 7, but it was almost full by the time we left.

You can walk all the way from the Old Mill District to downtown.
You can walk all the way from the Old Mill District to downtown.

By the time we got back to the hotel and parked the car the rain had let up a bit.  Fortunately we had rain jackets and winter hats, so we geared up and set out for the riverwalk.  By the time we got to town we were pretty drenched, and were looking for a place to relax and dry off.  Enter the Thump Coffee shop.  We got one of the last available tables, and ordered a vanilla latte and a mocha.  Both were excellent.

We would not have gotten very far without our rain gear.
We would not have gotten very far without our rain gear.

We were hoping to get lunch at the Deschutes Brewery Pub, but first had to wind our way through the after-party for a St Patrick’s Day fun run.  Lots of green plus some live Irish music – and beer, of course – were part of the festivities. The Pub has great beer (which we knew – Deschutes and Stone are two of Louisa’s favorite breweries), but the food is also excellent.  House made chips and salsa, mac n cheese, and burgers are all good.  The fish and chips wasn’t our favorite, however, the fries were overdone.

The eternal debate: pints vs flights.
The eternal debate: pints vs flights.

After lunch we wandered back towards the other end of town and the Deschutes Brewery.  We had booked a (free) tour online, and got there about 30 minutes early.  Which meant we had 3 of our 4 samples in before the tour, which worked out since that gave us a bit of a quieter time in the (usually boisterous) tasting room. The tour was interesting, and the beer was great – just what we were looking for.

We were impressed by the sheer number of pines in central Oregon.
We were impressed by the sheer number of pines in central Oregon.

After the tour we went back to the car and headed to Craft Kitchen & Brewery.  We were hoping for dinner, but they were out of brisket and burnt ends, so we had two beers and the shrimp and grits appetizer.  The grits were perfect, the shrimp ever-so-slightly overcooked (but still quite edible).  We wound up at Flatbread Neapolitan Pizzeria for dinner.  They’re a small chain with great pizzas and sandwiches.  The original location is in Boise, which is convenient for us.

The river trail continues north from Drake Park.
The river trail continues north from Drake Park.

Sunday morning we had leftover pizza for breakfast, then took a walk back into town and along a quieter, more nature-oriented section of the river.  Lunchtime found us back at the Deschutes Pub, where we had wild boar and barley soup and the fish and chips.  The soup was great, the fish was good, but the fries were cooked a bit too long for our liking (but were more than edible). A treat on the drive home was seeing over 12 bald eagles in the flooded Oregon fields.

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