Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Brunch, Wine, Tulips: North Willamette Valley

I decided to take a mid-week day trip and explore the North Willamette Valley.

[The Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm in Woodburn, one of our stops]

This started with an hour drive south to McMinnville, OR.

After passing by the Evergreen Aviation Museum (home of the infamous Spruce Goose), I ended up at The Crescent Café in historic downtown McMinnville for brunch.

[Foreground: caramelized banana pancakes with house-made maple syrup and marionberry jam.]

The Crescent is one of those places that is famous enough from word of mouth that they don't need a website. They had rave reviews in the rating worlds of yelp, urbanspoon, and tripadvisor, so we checked them out... and their famous caramelized banana pancakes. Their claim to fame includes the exclusive use of local ingredients, baked and prepared in-house. The only thing imported is the blood oranges, which they squeeze for their juices (and mimosas).

[Left: Blossoms and grounds of Yamhill Valley Vineyards. Right: picnic area and grounds of Stoller Vinyards]

I had a groupon to use at Yamhill Valley Vineyards just down the road, good for a tasting and two bottles of wine to bring home.

[The hill to Yamhill Valley Vineyards]

[Tulips! Tulips! TULIPS!]

Last stop... the annual Woodburn Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival!

The acres of colorful flowers found on the grounds of the farm are iconic in Oregon tour books, so I couldn't pass up seeing them during peak season.

Now just preparing for a big event tomorrow... the nature of which will be unveiled tomorrow ;)


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