By Alyssa Holtrust
The hardest thing about planning a road trip is deciding where to eat, especially when the starting point is Eugene and the destination is Seattle. Leave the granola bars, trail mix and peanut butter pretzels at home. You won’t be needing any snacks for this trip.
Start off by eating at Brail’s Restaurant in Eugene. Wesley Wachob, a junior at University of Oregon and the epitome of #exploregon, recommends having breakfast at Brail’s and ordering Joy’s Special. Wesley explains, “Joy is actually the owner of the restaurant and the Joy’s Special is a mix of ham, eggs, peppers and gravy — it’s a hangover savior, if you’re 21 of course.” Wesley also raved about the coffee shop located in the parking lot.
Don’t eat too much though because in three hours you’ll want to stop by La Tarasca in Centralia, Washington, located halfway between Portland and Seattle. Julie Regnier, a retired Senior Vice President at World Vision, says, “[La Tarasca] is a family owned Mexican restaurant. The homemade corn tortillas are to die for and the food is authentic — not your typical American-Mexican food.”
If you’re in the mood for something spicy, try the Bisteck en Salsa de Jitomate. This family recipe simmers pork in a spicy tomato sauce and is served with rice, beans and fresh tortillas. Since La Tarasca is only about an hour away from Seattle, play tourist for a day and swing by Pike Place Market. You won’t be there to see the workers throwing around the catch of the day, but you certainly can pick up some fresh fruit or flowers, take a few pictures by the famous Gum Wall and maybe pop in the original Starbucks for a latte.
For dinner, Brianna Lovest, a sophomore at the UO from Sammamsih, WA, suggests going to Serious Pie for dinner, which is conveniently located in walking distance of Pike Place Market. “Serious Pie is one of my favorite places to visit when I’m home. All of the ingredients are fresh and the pizzas are cooked to order, the atmosphere is really cool too with candles, mood lighting and a huge brick fireplace. I love it.” The first Serious Pie opened in 2006 in Seattle and has expanded, adding two more locations in Washington. Serious Pie uses a “600 degree stone-encased apple wood burning oven,” to prepare their pizzas. Brianna raved about the pizza with sweet fennel sausage, roasted peppers and provolone cheese. If your mouth isn’t already watering, maybe dessert will liven up those taste buds.
Then take a 10 minute drive to Pie where you can enjoy an individual sized sweet or savory pie. Founded by Renee Steen and Jessamy Whitsitt, they claim, “All pies are completely hand crafted and baked fresh everyday with innovative and delicious creativity.” By the looks of the menu, Pie offers eight pies served daily with over 50 pies in rotation; each day a different combination of freshly made pies are available. With such a wide variety of flavors including Chicken Pot Pie, Smoked Salmon Pot Pie, Northwest Blackberry and French Toast Cream, Pie will have a dessert for everyone.
Remember, a road trip is about adventure, and it’s the perfect time to try something new! Take advantage of everything these cities have to offer and indulge.