Call it progressive eating combined with a beautiful drive on the outskirts of Salem, amongst acres of agricultural land, or maybe "driving the valley on a food mission". Whatever you call it, call it delicious.
N and I began our Saturday afternoon trek with a stop at Minto Grower's Food Cart. After reading contributor Krist Nez's post and enjoying Vegan's Nightmare's photos of his experience, I had begun to plan when I'd have the best chance to take N out for a try. I thought we'd start our drive with one of their smoothies or milkshakes, but we were hungry and the menu taunted us with a Pepper Tree sausage sandwich, chicken satay and their romaine boat salad. We enjoyed watching some children play in sun while we savored each bite. (link to their Facebook/ Hours: Tues - Sat: 11:00 am - 6:00 pm)
Next stop? Willamette Valley Fruit Co. The sun was shining and there was a warm, gentle breeze ruffling the edges of the umbrellas on the outdoor tables when we arrived. We stepped past the people buying berries outside the front door and entered the nice sized area that includes a small gift shop, a large freezer case full of pies, fruit and other treats, a window to watch pies being made and the food counter. We bought a marionberry pie and an ice cream sandwich made with 2 large sugar cookies. I noticed on their website that KarnaVor BBQ food truck sets up shop every Friday, from 11am to 2pm. If you've never had one of their pies, you're missing out. That's what I treated N to on his birthday. (link to their Facebook/ Hours: Mon. - Fri. 7am - 7pm, Sa.t 9am - 7pm, Sun. Noon - 5pm)
And our final stop? Bauman's Farm and Garden It seems like every time N and I visit Bauman's, they've added something new. They have produce, a gift shop, a big variety of baked goods--usually with plates of samples so you can try before you buy, and now you'll also find a food counter selling ice cream cones and coffee, amongst other goodies. Their ginormous flower baskets are works of art, plus you can walk through a garden area, enjoy their petting zoo and playground (even I wanted to climb all over those huge tractor tires). In the end we used restraint and purchased a loaf of iced lemon poundcake to take to my parent's house for dessert. Be sure and check out both their website and Facebook for a list of their many events. I hear it's one of the most popular October locations in the area. (link to their Facebook/ Hours: Mon - Fri: 9:00 am - 6:00 pm, Sat: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
What other gems can you suggest for a weekend drive?