(Don't forget, Wild Pear is open until 9 PM every First Wednesday.)
One of my favorite summer activities? Taking the time for a leisurely lunch with a friend. Friend Shirley and I rarely let life's changing demands prevent us from carving out some time for each other. Although, I'll admit, we keep our goal attainable. We don't aim for once a week or even once a month, but settle for several times a year. We try to take advantage of the summer since we both work at schools and end up with schedules that are more flexible than the rest of the year.
I chose to take her to Wild Pear for this summer's get together. We used to go more often when their S. River Road restaurant was still open. After taking our time over lunch we could meander over and browse through the small nursery and gift shop that shared the back end of the property. I wonder if the recent work on that building means we'll see another restaurant soon?
It was good that she arrived slightly before 11:45, because the restaurant was full a few minutes later when I showed up. So many delicious choices on their menu! I had planned in advance to order their three salad sampler plate, but had neglected to read the fine print: "Salads include fruit, mixed greens, Caesar & daily special". I chose the Wild Pear Chicken Pizza instead (fresh pears, candied pecans, chicken, blue cheese crumbles, and mozzarella cheese on a pesto base.). Shirley wanted the two salad plate with a cup of soup, but changed her mind after hearing the restrictions, too. She ordered the Roasted Turkey Club (roasted turkey, smoky bacon, avocado, tomato, leaf lettuce & herbed mayo on foccacia).
I don't know if you've ever eaten at the Wild Pear. The historic building's interior is beautifully decorated, but if you sit on the east side of the building prepare for a less than intimate setting for conversation. The two of us chattered along (mostly) unencumbered by the diners beside us. Despite the busy lunch crowd, our servers took excellent care of us--my iced tea glass was never empty.
When our lunches arrived, I couldn't wait to take my first bite of pizza. Ah, just as the description led me to believe, it was a wonderful medley of flavors! Sweet and savory and delicious!
Here's Shirley's take on her sandwich: "It was very tasty. The bacon added just a little crunch to the creamy avocado. The bread was very fresh and delicious! There was just enough of the filling that it didn't overwhelm the flavor of the turkey."
The Wild Pear is one of Salem's gems. True, if you work an 8 - 5 job, their limited hours can be difficult to work into your schedule. Just remember they are open on Saturday until 5:30 PM and on First Wednesdays until 9 PM.
RESTAURANT HOURS: Mon – Sat: 10 am – 5:30 pm
HAPPY HOUR: Mon – Sat: 3:30 – 5:30 pm
FIRST WEDNESDAY OF EACH MONTH: 10:00 am – 9:00 pm
372 State Street
Salem, Oregon 97301
Wild Pear website