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Walla Walla - Merged Topics


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#31 Ling

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 12:06 PM

Thanks to all who chimed in and helped us with winery/food recs for our Walla Walla trip! It was definitely a lot of fun, but the wine buying put a huge dent in my savings. I previoiusly thought I was fine with drinking bottles around $20, but the difference between a $20 and a $35-$50 bottle was really apparent at most of the wineries we visited. So I came away with 12 bottles of the slightly more expensive stuff from the following wineries: Abeja, Pepper Bridge, Waters, Portteus, Buty, and Walla Walla Vintners. Of the local wine I drank in restaurants, my favourites were the Tamarack reserve Cab and the Amavi rosé.

First, provisions for the drive at Glondo's.
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They were out of the beef jerky, but we stopped in again on our way home and picked some up, along with the landjaeger, a rather generous sample of the pepperoni and more of the salami. I liked the landjaeger the best.

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The drive:
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We got into town at around 2:30 pm on Sunday, and hit 4 wineries in the same area: Va Piano, Saviah, Pepper Bridge, and Tertulia.

Va Piano

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Saviah

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The tasting room is a garage.
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Pepper Bridge

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They charge the same price ($50) for all their Cabs from 2002, 2003, and 2004. I definitely liked the 2002 the best, and 2004 second best. I believe they lost their crop in 2004 and sourced grapes elsewhere (as did many of the Walla Walla wineries we visited.)

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Tertulia
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They have an upcoming wine dinner at Smash in Seattle in case anyone's interested.

#32 Ling

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 12:22 PM

We stayed at a really cute B&B called Maxwell House. I'll post a photo later when I show you the breakfasts we ate there.

After setting down our luggage, we ventured down to downtown Walla Walla.
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Denied!
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We had dinner reservations at Whitehouse Crawford, which I gather is the "fanciest" restaurant in town.

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We both thought the menu was a bit strange--they have stuff like Vietnamese fried calamari, Asian "Shaking Beef" and French bistro-style stuff like steak frites and beef bourguinon on the same menu. They also had cherries as a component on no fewer than four of the dishes...I'm all about supporting local produce, but that seemed kind of excessive, no?
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I did love the open kitchen and the high ceilings. The room was very airy and open and a nice reprieve from the 100 degree weather.
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I believe the amuse bouche was spinach, cilantro, and toasted pinenuts. Heavy on the cilantro, but quite refreshing.
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Henry got the grilled quail and it came with Walla Walla sweets and some sort of rustic ancho sauce.
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I got the paté with pickled cherries and cornichons. Very heavy on the liver.
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My squab with roasted Ranier cherries and gaufrettes. This was nicely done--simple ingredients treated simply.
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Henry's tenderloin with Sysco fries? The sauce was very tasty. Actually, all the sauces at dinner were very nicely prepared.
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Henry's strawberry ginger sorbet. This was good--not quite as smooth as some of the sorbets I've had, but the flavour was nicely balanced.
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Twice-baked flourless Cacao Berry chocolate cake with vanilla bean ice-cream. The outer ring was more set, and the center was semi-runny.
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We drank the Abeja Syrah with dinner, which was good for the price (only $53 on the wine list, so I'm guessing it retails for $25-ish?) All in all, we both thought the food was above average but nothing to get excited over.

We soon noticed that there is no night life in Walla Walla. All the major restaurants close at 9pm (I guess last call is 8:45pm or so.) There was one wine bar that closed at 10pm, but other than that, most of the shops close by 6pm so there wasn't much to do after dinner.

Goodnight!
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Edited by Ling, 26 July 2007 - 12:27 PM.


#33 Ling

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 12:40 PM

Maxwell House sitting room:
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Charming, yes?
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Here's our breakfast on the first day: maple sausages, puffed pancakes, and berries
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Rulo
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Tasting room
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Rulo oak barrels (all French oak, except for a few stainless steel ones)
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backyard/winery (the owners live next door! The lady actually gave us a tour of her house too so we could see her kitchen--we had told her we liked to cook.)
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Waters (a boutique tasting room in town. Their new winery will be out in the same area as Va Piano/Pepper Bridge.)

Unfortunately, I only got this one picture at Waters. I wanted to get a picture of the tasting room but I guess we were too busy chatting. I thought the wine here was a great deal--the Cab was $40 and he gave us a pretty nice discount.

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At this point, we stopped by Salumiere Cesario and I got one of the BEST cured meat products I've ever tasted in my life. It comes from a place in NY and the meat was called "Petit Jesu". Absolutely delicious!

We went to Tino's hoping to get beef cheek tacos but they don't serve those anymore. Henry got a steak and onion burrito and I got a carne asada. Henry liked his but I thought these were just OK...
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So we got a 1/4 lb. of the Petit Jesus with lunch, and inhaled it so quickly we had to stop at Salumiere Cesario again AFTER lunch to pick up another 1/4 lb for our afternoon snack.
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I also had these chocolates from Bright's, an old-fashioned candy store in downtown Walla Walla. I got the Earl Grey, the lavender, an English toffee, and a caramel almond chocolate. The fudge is brown sugar/walnut.
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My carne asada...this monster must've weighed over a pound!
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Henry's steak and onion.
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Edited by Ling, 26 July 2007 - 12:41 PM.


#34 vengroff

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 04:12 PM

Henry's tenderloin with Sysco fries?

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If they are good enough for Keller at Bouchon...

Seriously though, great pictures. You reminded me that it's been far too long since I've been out there and I need to go back soon.
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#35 little ms foodie

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 05:02 PM

thanks Ling, we are planning to head out to Walla Walla soon, you liked you b&b I take it? would recommend it?

#36 weinoo

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 05:58 PM

At this point, we stopped by Salumiere Cesario and I got one of the BEST cured meat products I've ever tasted in my life. It comes from a place in NY and the meat was called "Petit Jesu". Absolutely delicious!

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Hi Ling and Henry,

Do you happen to know which place in NY this came from - Salumeria Biellese, perhaps...

Click Herre for Biellese
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#37 Ling

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 06:02 PM

At this point, we stopped by Salumiere Cesario and I got one of the BEST cured meat products I've ever tasted in my life. It comes from a place in NY and the meat was called "Petit Jesu". Absolutely delicious!

View Post

Hi Ling and Henry,

Do you happen to know which place in NY this came from - Salumeria Biellese, perhaps...

Click Herre for Biellese

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Yes! That's the place. I couldn't remember how to spell it. Have you had it before?

#38 Ling

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 06:06 PM

thanks Ling, we are planning to head out to Walla Walla soon, you liked you b&b I take it? would recommend it?

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Yes, I liked the B&B a lot. We went Sunday-Wednesday and they had a great deal (3 nights, any room, $333.)

vengroff: heh heh, I think I had read that Bouchon used Sysco fries. Really disappointing! The tenderloin dish was $37, which is pretty spendy to be using Sysco fries, I think.

#39 weinoo

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 06:13 PM

At this point, we stopped by Salumiere Cesario and I got one of the BEST cured meat products I've ever tasted in my life. It comes from a place in NY and the meat was called "Petit Jesu". Absolutely delicious!

View Post

Hi Ling and Henry,

Do you happen to know which place in NY this came from - Salumeria Biellese, perhaps...

Click Herre for Biellese

View Post


Yes! That's the place. I couldn't remember how to spell it. Have you had it before?

View Post


Oh yeah - some of the best cured pork, certainly here in NY - I believe they even make a fine guanciale (cured pork jowl) - a classic Roman ingredient!
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#40 Ling

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 06:44 PM

3 guesses which winery we stopped at next...

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It was, of course, the very popular L'ecole 41.

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Maybe I was feeling a bit under the weather due to the heat, but I didn't particularly enjoy any of these wines. Most of them tasted a bit watery to me.

Woodward Canyon in Lowden was next. We spent quite a bit of time tasting here, but I found most of the wines very alcoholic (hot?) That was pretty much all I could detect on the nose. The lady did pull out a special Cab for us from under the table that was pretty nice. I asked the lady about the amount of alcohol and she said their wines did used to contain less alcohol in past years, but everything we were tasting was at 14.6%.
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Reininger was next door, so we stopped in there as well.
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By now, we were ready for more Petit Jesu so we went back to Salumiere Cesario.

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We asked pretty much everyone we met where their favourite places to eat where, and Luscious by Nature came up pretty often. It's part-gourmet grocery, part-deli/restaurant.

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I had to take a nap after this to escape the heat. A few hours later, we walked back downtown to 26 brix for dinner.

The scenic route:

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There are chalk drawings on the sidewalks all over downtown Walla Walla.
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I guess Whitehouse Crawford and 26 brix are the two favourites of Walla Walla.
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I had a glass of the reserve Cab from Tamarack and Henry had the Sangiovese from Yellow Hawk.
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The server said they bake their own bread.
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We ate at the bar (open 4:30pm-9pm)
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Henry got the double cut pork chop with grits, apple, and grilled Walla Walla sweets. The pork was nicely pink, and the sauce was great. This was probably better than anything we ate last night, although I shouldn't recommend one restaurant over the other based on so few dishes.
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I got the gumbo, which was much runnier and less substantial than I imagined it to be.
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The chef de cuisine sent us some duck prosciutto too, which was DELICIOUS! I asked him if he had used the Michael Ruhlmann recipe and he said no, he just kind of came up with it on his own. He said he brined it for 7-10 days, and hung it for 2-3 weeks. I am so excited to make my own duck prosciutto after tasting this!
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Larkin was a really nice guy and spent a good 20 minutes talking to us at our table when our server told him she thought we were kinda into food. :raz:

After dinner, the only place open was Vintages, a wine bar that the assistant wine maker at Waters had told us about. It's located on 2nd and Main. We squeaked in right before 10pm, when they close.

They serve a bunch of local wines, so we got three glasses. I remember I drank something from Russel Creek and we forget the rest, sorry. (Too much wine at that point.)
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They also sell a bunch of wine. This was a really cool place that deserves to be checked out! I bought two bottles from Abeja here--the Cab and the Beekeeper's Blend (which I understand is no longer available.)
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Edited by Ling, 26 July 2007 - 06:46 PM.


#41 David Ross

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 07:03 PM

"We both thought the menu was a bit strange--they have stuff like Vietnamese fried calamari, Asian "Shaking Beef" and French bistro-style stuff like steak frites and beef bourguinon on the same menu. They also had cherries as a component on no fewer than four of the dishes...I'm all about supporting local produce, but that seemed kind of excessive, no?"

Ling-I totally agree with you that the menu items you noted don't seem to fit together.

I get really frustrated when chefs try to get 'fancy' and go overboard by stuffing their menu with so many dishes from different cuisines. It's especially frustrating for those of us who live in the Northwest, and especially Washingtonians.

Walla Walla is literally the home to three of the world's most precious vegetables-fresh peas, asparagus and Walla Walla sweet onions. Combine that with lentils, strawberries, raspberries, huckleberries, corn, tomatoes, natural beef, lamb and pork, the list of Northwest ingredients is unending.

I'd like to see local chefs realize that getting fussy with a menu is actually not the answer. Just keep things simple and look in your own backyard.

Great, great report-especially your insight into the wines. I'm planning a drive down to Walla Walla this Fall during the harvest. Thanks.

#42 Ling

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 07:04 PM

Breakfast the next morning was a little fruit cup with blueberries and cantaloupe, ham, a baked egg and cheese dish, and a pecan and cranberry scone.

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We headed off to Walla Walla Vintners, which is located in the same area as Abeja and aMaurice. Unfortunately, we couldn't make it into Abeja (closed for tasting) or aMaurice (winemaker's trip to the fermenters). This was definitely the prettiest area in Walla Walla.
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random cool car in the parking lot, and I'm holding my purchase, which I believe is another Cab
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This picture was taken at "Scenic Loop".
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Next up was Dunham and Buty.
The girl who poured our wine at Dunham told us she also worked at Saffron, a new-ish Mediterranean restaurant in town. The winemaker at Va Piano also told us he worked there, and so we opted to have dinner at Saffron that night.

Anyway, we've both had Dunham wines before and I like their Cab, but I didn't like it as much as the other Cabs we were tasting at the same price point, so I just got a Riesling. It is their first release and it was pretty good. (Plus, I didn't want to give the impression that all I drink is Cab. :wink: )
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Buty was our friends at Pike and Western's #1 pick when I asked for winery recs. Unfortunately, they're really popular and only had two wines for us to taste since they were sold out of everything else. They'll be coming out with new stuff in the fall. I bought a bottle of each wine--"The Beast" is a blend that's not available in Seattle. I liked it, but it was quite astringent so we'll probably let it sit for awhile before we open it.
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Lunch was at Onion World, which serves Walla Walla sweet onion sausages. I gotta say, we were both pretty disappointed by these sausages. The onion flavour was really mild, so it was basically no better than your average mildly spiced pork sausage.

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Edited by Ling, 26 July 2007 - 07:26 PM.


#43 Ling

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 07:10 PM

At this point, we stopped by Salumiere Cesario and I got one of the BEST cured meat products I've ever tasted in my life. It comes from a place in NY and the meat was called "Petit Jesu". Absolutely delicious!

View Post

Hi Ling and Henry,

Do you happen to know which place in NY this came from - Salumeria Biellese, perhaps...

Click Herre for Biellese

View Post


Yes! That's the place. I couldn't remember how to spell it. Have you had it before?

View Post


Oh yeah - some of the best cured pork, certainly here in NY - I believe they even make a fine guanciale (cured pork jowl) - a classic Roman ingredient!

View Post


I've had locally-made guanciale and am curious how it compares to the stuff at Salumeria Biellese. Would it be disgusting to say I'm considering ordering the 8-9lb Petit Jesu for myself, haha!

#44 Ling

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 07:22 PM

I'd like to see local chefs realize that getting fussy with a menu is actually not the answer.  Just keep things simple and look in your own backyard. 

Great, great report-especially your insight into the wines.  I'm planning a drive down to Walla Walla this Fall during the harvest.  Thanks.

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Have you been to Saffron? Those pictures are coming up soon. It was by far our favourite meal in Walla Walla, and they did seem to take more advantage of the local produce (e.g. not everything on the menu was served with Walla Walla onions and/or cherries. :wink: )

You are too kind with my very amateur comments about the wine. I do think I tried my best to consider everything when tasting--the nose, the weight of the wine in my mouth, the different flavour profiles, the finish, etc. I learned a lot, definitely.

#45 Abra

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 07:34 PM

Did you get out to Yellow Hawk? For my money (and not too much of it) they make some of the best QPR wines in Walla Walla. Uh, the sangiovese happens to be my least favorite.

You guys made a heroic tasting effort, I must say!

Oh, and I meant to say that Cayuse is never open, so don't take it personally. Not at all, never, so far as I know. Their wine's all sold out way in advance and never hits the store. That store is more or less a cute ad on the main drag.

Edited by Abra, 26 July 2007 - 07:36 PM.


#46 Ling

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 07:49 PM

No, we didn't end up going to Yellow Hawk. I don't remember anyone mentioning it in the thread (I may be mistaken?), and it wasn't circled on my Walla Walla map. Next time we'll know! :smile:

I read your blog before our trip so we knew Cayuse is never open. It's a very cute storefront. We drove out to Oregon on our last day to look at the vines, which someone told us were planted near boulders...either we saw the wrong vines, or it was a little bit of an overstatement. We did see some vines planted in rows and rows of rocks, though.

#47 Ling

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 08:03 PM

So afternoon my afternoon nap, we poked around downtown Walla Walla again. This is a little foodshop called "Rare Finds".
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That's canned, smoked Copper River.
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Waterbrook wasn't on our list, but it was open so we tasted wine there as well.
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We had 2 hours to kill before dinner, so I got some roasted cashews at Bright's Candy shop.
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They make their own chocolates and fudge, and they also sell Dreyer's ice-cream and one other brand...maybe Grand's?

old-fashioned candy jars
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decent selection of chocolate bars, including Valrhona
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We also killed some time at Coffee Perk, which I think is a local coffee shop. It was pretty empty, while the Starbuck's next to it was packed. Injustice! I don't usually drink those blended coffee drinks, but Henry got one and it was really quite good! It wasn't very icy, but very rich and not too sweet. I had my regular iced Americano but I should've gotten my own blended coffee.
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Edited by Ling, 26 July 2007 - 08:10 PM.


#48 Sentiamo

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 08:30 PM

Lorna, I do so enjoy your contributions to eGullet, and its great to see you here in your usual form! You sure are a gem!

First thoughts were that you and Henry were visiting Australia. :biggrin:
Walla Walla is such an Ozzie type name but I am now a little wiser and know just a wee bit more about a small corner of Washington State. Thanks for that.

I am always interested in the variety of cured meats available and totally green with envy reading/seeing what was offered you. I remember ex hubster making bresaola 20+ years ago here in New Zealand and the reaction from the public to a non smoked cured meat. Nowadays, bresaola is everywhere but never as good as we made it! Vacuumed packed, a dab of preservative, ...you get the picture? :wink:
And the photos are quite beautiful, enough for me to include Washington in our itinerary next year. Thanks for that too!

More please!

#49 rockdoggydog

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 11:35 PM

I can kind of see the Vietnamese and French thing going together on one menu. With the French colonial influence on Southeast Asia I would not be surprised if there were not quite a few chefs from that region or from France who are steeped in both traditions. I think it's just a matter of balance in assembling a menu.

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#50 Ling

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Posted 27 July 2007 - 12:20 AM

Sentiamo: Thanks for the sweet comment! I had bresaola at lunch today and I love it. (We got to eat with Faith Willinger too, so that made the meal extra nice!)

Dinner that night was at Saffron. We didn't really know what to expect since I hadn't looked at a menu online or anything, but this was definitely our favourite of our Walla Walla dinners. (I was almost going to say this was our favourite meal there, but that's actually coming up in the next post. :wink: )

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housemade bread with nigella seed and roasted garlic oil
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Appetizers:
Kobe beef cheek with ratatouille
This was excellent--the meat was of the perfect soft, pull-apart texture and the ratatouille was really nicely balanced with the sweet raisins and the acidity of the tomatoes/capers.
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Sausage and Walla Walla onion flatbread
This was also very good--the crust was super crispy and there wasn't an overload of toppings.
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Henry got the agnolotti stuffed with spinach and Berkshire pork. The sauce was a super rich brodo and some grated Parm. This was DELICIOUS! Our favourite dish of the night. The only reason I didn't order this for myself was because the portion looked a little small and I was really hungry.
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This is a spiced, roasted half a pheasant. The fried thing on top is a stuffed zucchini blossom (it was stuffed with what I think is pheasant forcemeat.) On the bottom is farro, charred corn, peas, and slivered garlic. This was also very tasty.
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So there's Saffron. Probably the least fancy of the three restaurants, but you could definitely see that the chef put some thought and lots of love into the menu. The server told us the chef makes everything from scratch (yes, it's fresh pasta), including his own preserved lemons. He even said the chef butchered a pig back in February and is curing his own meat now. The steak seemed to be incredibly popular--I saw at least 8 plates of steak going out to different tables before we even got our appetizers.

#51 Abra

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Posted 27 July 2007 - 09:21 AM

Saffron's new since my last visit and now I'm really looking forward to trying it.

#52 Ling

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Posted 27 July 2007 - 12:03 PM

^Yes, it's pretty new. It wasn't even listed in the Walla Walla directory yet. You'll like Saffron. I'm so glad we didn't end up going to Creektown instead.

Here's our last breakfast at Maxwell House--berries on cinnamon bread pudding, a fruit cup (not pictured), and coffee
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Colville Patisserie is closed Monday and Tuesday, so we made it our last meal in Walla Walla. I must say I was completely blown away by the quality of the pastries. It was definiely better than anything I've eaten in Seattle, or Vancouver, or Bouchon bakery down in Napa.

(L-R) canneles, palmiers, financiers, kougin aman, apricot almond danish
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(L-R) croissant, brioche, quickbreads, 3 types of macaroons (vanilla, chocolate lavender, orange and chocolate)
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(L-R) danishes, chocolate hazelnut croissant, almond croissant
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looks like they bake their cookies in tart rings
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housemade gelato, including flavours like plum, fresh fig, Earl Grey, and chocolate lavender
I sampled the fig and chocolate lavender and both were excellent.
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The pastries were pretty, but the flavour combinations weren't as daring as what I've had in the past. Maybe because the locals are not so adventurous (according to one of the chefs we talked to.) They have standard things like chocolate caramel tarts, triple chocolate mousse cakes, fruit tartlets, etc.
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This was Round One. I got three pastries (kouign aman, almond croissant, and a canneles. I got Henry a plain croissant.)
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Can you hear the angels singing?
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The only minor quibble was that the canneles had too much orange blossom water for my taste. Texturally, it was perfect--crisp on the outside, and creamy moist in the middle.
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Almond croissants are my favourite breakfast pastry and this was hands-down the best I've had. The pastry was so incredibly buttery light that it made all the almond croissants I've eaten in the past seem leaden. The franigpane was very finely ground and not too sweet, and there wasn't a lot of it, so that contributed to the airiness of what's in reality a pretty heavy breakfast pastry. Also, the bakers had spread a layer of almond filling and then folded the dough again, so you got two thin layers of filling instead of one heavy layer. Sorry for the book, but this was just too perfect.
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The kouign aman was also incredible. I ate that too quickly before I could get an individual picture of it. There were large flakes of salt on the sugary top, which made the pastry extra addictive. These were probably the two best pastries I've eaten in my life.

I figured that since we won't be having pastries here for awhile, I might as well try the other items in the case that caught my eye. I got the Earl Grey mousse with chocolate cremeux (and a flourless chocolate base), the eclair (with vanilla bean pastry cream), and the orange and chocolate macaroon.

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These were all very good (perhaps the eclair was the least exciting of the three).

Interior:
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I spoke to the assistant baker and probably scared him a bit by going on and on about how much I loved the pastries that morning. He said the head baker used to work in NY and then was at Essential Baking Co. for awhile. I am SO glad we made it here for our last trip! The next time we're in Walla Walla, I'll have to make sure we go at the end of the week so I can visit them multiple times.

Edited by Ling, 27 July 2007 - 12:07 PM.


#53 Tim Dolan

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Posted 27 July 2007 - 12:32 PM

Man you guys sure know how to get the most out of a trip. Excellent pictures too.
I would kill everyone in this room for a drop of sweet beer...
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#54 Abra

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Posted 27 July 2007 - 09:05 PM

There are canneles and kouign aman in Walla Walla now? You have got to be kidding. The best pastries of your life in Walla Walla? That is too far out!

#55 Ling

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Posted 29 July 2007 - 11:55 AM

Yes, I was amazed! Henry said it was the best croissant he's ever had too. You must try the almond croissant and the kouign aman next time you're there!

#56 Katie Meadow

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Posted 11 September 2007 - 12:18 PM

Great up-to-the-minute details on Walla Walla. I will be making my fourth trip there (daughter in college) and it sounds like there are several new hotspots. We will absolutely try Saffron, since that's a new one, and a trip (or several?) to Cesario is clearly called for. Had no idea. We have not eaten at 26 Brix, so that's a possible 2nd splurge. It sounds like you were so overwhelmed by the Colville Patisserie I'm surprised your pix were in focus. I don't think I can pass that up now.

We have eaten at Whitehouse Crawford and I agree it was up an down. I had a steak and it was great. The rest of the food was just over the fussy line for me. I did have the WW fried onion thingy and it was pretty wonderful. I think I had a really good soup too.

I like the wine bar/cafe Grapefields. The food is okay, but tables outside on the main drag are great for gawking (of course we're talking Family Weekend so lots of dazed parents and kids looking forward to something other than dorm food) and I like the cranky women who run the place; we sat at the bar one night and just had a few lovely reds--and they poured generous glasses.

I am fond of the Walla Walla onion sausage/dog or whatever it's called, that you found bland. I like the little window on the street, and the fact that when it's high noon during the summer you can walk around the corner and sit outside at Starbucks with a Frapucino to go with your dog. I am not a big hot dog or sausage person, but I liked the flavor. I thought the problem was everything else--boring old american bun, not even dijon mustard as an option and no interesting toppings. I think that dog needs better clothes.

I loved my taco truck experience and plan to try at least one other wagon. I can't remember which one we went to--maybe one on 6th? The green chile sauce was really good and so was the carne asada. Paying $5 instead of $50 for a pretty high quality meal is not to be minimized!

Has anyone eaten in Dayton at the Whoopemup Cafe? Lots of raves about it. Anyway, thanks for thorough reviews!

#57 vengroff

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Posted 11 September 2007 - 03:32 PM

Has anyone eaten in Dayton at the Whoopemup Cafe? Lots of raves about it.  Anyway, thanks for thorough reviews!

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I had a good brunch at the Whoop. See this thread for more.
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#58 Katie Meadow

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Posted 11 September 2007 - 04:09 PM

Thanks. And of course I too got the town wrong. It's not in Dayton, it's in Waitsburg.

#59 vengroff

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Posted 11 November 2007 - 12:09 PM

Yes, I was amazed! Henry said it was the best croissant he's ever had too. You must try the almond croissant and the kouign aman next time you're there!

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I just had an Armagnac cannele from Colville St. Yesterday I had a pain au chocolate. These were without question two of the best pastries I've had in a quite some time.
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#60 Katie Meadow

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Posted 11 November 2007 - 04:54 PM

Ling, Vengroff, I never did follow up on my recent trip to WW. Here are a few observations.

I checked out the salumeria where Ling found the delicious Petit Jesu. The owner is very nice, a transplant from my neck of the woods, the Bay Area. He has some wonderful meats and cheeses from a variety of places. In the East Bay certain sources seem to be shut out, so I've never before tasted anything from the Batali operation in Seattle--that was really interesting. I also had some fabulous Oregon and Washington cheeses I hadn't tasted either.

We ate at 26 Brix and my steak was excellent; tasty and cooked just right for me. I thought my meal was the best--husband and daughter didn't order steak.

We also had a reservation one night at Saffron. I have a daughter (student at Whitman) who has a very sophisticated palate but who has also acquired a philosphy that doesn't favor spending a lot of money on food--even when her parents are spending it. Admirable on the whole, but it can be annoying. In addition, she gets overstimulated and can't relax or have a good time if there's too much attitude or racket. Saffron has both. We walked in at about 7:30--all tables except ours were taken--and the noise was horrendous. In addition the chairs were so hard and uncomfortable my daughter balked and we left for a more subdued experience elsewhere. Had the weather been better and had it been daylight I can imagine sitting outside would have been great. This is a restaurant designed with a capital BUZZ in mind--a fact that the waitress had no hesitation confirming; she admitted it was noisy on purpose. It's the "anti-cozy" theory--high ceiling, tight seating, sound reverberating. Everyone appeared to be enjoying themselves, but we really wanted to talk to our kid! Some other time we'll go without her.

Two mornings we picked up our NYT at Starbucks and then made a bee-line for the Colville Patisserie. Lovely place! The coffee was delicious and the cakes looked unbelievable. I think I am going to order a cake there for my daughter's birthday. Having just returned the week before from France, I will recuse myself from the croissant-judging.