Monday, August 2, 2010

Vacation Food, Part 1

Sadly, I am back from my week-long vacation on the coast of Washington.  Every year, my husband and I rent a super cute cottage on the Pacific for a week in July.  We like having a place to call home--a place with a kitchen so I can do some cooking if the mood strikes.  I did manage to whip up a few things this time around...and I'll get to that soon enough...but today I'm going to talk about our adventures eating out.

While the town where we rent our cottage is awesome, there's not a whole hell of a lot around.  That's part of the charm, I suppose!  So when it comes to eating out, we have limited options.  Thankfully, we've found a few really good choices.  If you're planning a trip to the Pacific Beach/Ocean Shores/Lake Quinault part of WA state, let me share with you my dining selections.
Crappy iphone camera!  The view from Ocean Crest's dining room ROCKS!
Ocean Crest Resort (Moclips, WA)
Moclips.  Great name for a town, eh?  If you drive fast enough, you just might blink and miss fabulous Moclips.  And you can certainly drive by the Ocean Crest Resort without thinking too much of it.  But what it lacks in curb appeal, Ocean Crest more than makes up for with its insanely beautiful view of the Pacific.

The restaurant is perched high up in the trees and overlooks the beach.  You dine on top of the world, with the ocean and setting sun in full view.  Your entertainment comes from various birds and other wildlife (we saw the resort's unofficial cat--Mr. Kitty--while eating there.  According to a waitress, raccoons sometimes make visits to the resort's bird feeders.)

The food is pretty good.  I wish they had a few more options on the menu, but that's just me.  Highlights of meals I've eaten there include: crab cakes (they come with a yummy red pepper puree!), Asian-style scallops (my mom's favorite thing on the menu), Louisiana-style shrimp (an appetizer, but I would LOVE it as a main dish over pasta), steamed clams with gremolata (a special appetizer that was high on the nom-factor--as in nom, nom, nom...delicious), and a dish of local chanterelle mushrooms (also a special appetizer that my mushroom fiend of a husband went wild for).

If you're a wine lover, this is the place to visit.  For being in a nothing town, Ocean Crest has a crazy wine selection and often hosts winemaker dinners.  Their wine steward is friendly and knowledgeable.  They recently added wine flights to their menu, and I had three wines from Charles Smith that were AMAZING.  

One final note about Ocean Crest: Apparently, this is one of Apolo Ohno's favorite vacation spots.  That's kind of awesome!

Sausage Roll and Mashed Potatoes/Cabbage at Galway Bay
Galway Bay (Ocean Shores, WA)
I'm not the biggest fan of Irish food, but for some reason, my husband loves it.  We always make at least one trip to Galway Bay and my hubby almost always gets either their sausage roll or chicken and mushroom pasty. The last time we went, I tried their fish and chips.  Oh My God!  They were amazing.  I could care less about the chips (I'm not a fan of the potato in general--I guess that's why I'm also not a big fan of Irish food!), but the fish was so damn good.  It was crispy, tender, and not one bit greasy.  I'm hooked.

Galway Bay is kind of a dive--in a good way--but it's a fun place to go grab a bite.  They also have an Irish import store with some cute items and they feature a lot of live music at night. I once convinced my non-alcoholic husband to down a Guinness here, so this place will always be special! In my mind, it's the best place to eat in Ocean Shores, but that's not saying much, I'm afraid!

View from the deck at the Roosevelt Dining Room
 Roosevelt Dining Room, Lake Quinault Lodge (Lake Quinault, WA)
Ok, so the food here isn't the best or the most budget-friendly, but we always seem to stop here.  The views from the Lake Quinault Lodge are incredible.  The lake is gorgeous and sometimes the clouds hang low over the surrounding hills/forest making the view even more magical.

We love hiking in the rainforest that surrounds the lake, and always work up an appetite.  The Roosevelt Dining Room is one of the few dining options in the area (the other option is the general store across the street, but they're slower than molasses and not that great).  At the Lodge, my husband usually gets the Monte Cristo with a side of sweet potato fries (see below). Me?  I usually opt for something boring like a salad or a burger.  As I said, I don't think the food here is great, but the location and views can't be beat!
The mister's Monte Cristo.  Too ham-y for me!
 Next time you hear from me, I'll share a few of the meals I made during vacation!

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