Bauman's, Minto Island Growers, Willamette Fruit Co.

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?


Amy B. said...

We have been meaning to visit all of these places! Thanks for reminding us of the amazing options the Willamette Valley has to offer!

jodi b said...

You could add EZ orchards in to that mix, right between Willamette Fruit Co. and Baumans.

KandN said...

Often, I remember to take out of town visitors downtown, but always forget to take them to the edges. (Making mental note for future visitors.)

You're right, Jodi, EZ Orchards is definitely one of our local gems. On summer weekends I recommend visiting their wonderful strawberry shortcake stand. Their popular store has so much to offer, they've outgrown their building--for the weekend crowd. I end up feeling like I'm doing the "Chip and Dale" routine at every turn. ("No, no! After YOU!", "Pardon me, excuse me.")