Hallo from Vienna! We had a great time in Prague and have now moved onto Austria where we are eating and drinking our way around. Lunch at the 2-Michelin starred Restaurant Steirereck was incredible. We then enjoyed a concert featuring Mozart’s best hits which was really special. The adventure continues to Budapest next!
My friend Summer is back for Day 2 of sharing her Walla Walla drinking and eating adventures. Didn’t read last week’s Day 1 post? Give it a read now.
Going HAM on day two has to include a solid breakfast or brunch before you start wine tasting again.
We had to try the food at Andrae’s Kitchen because all the locals were collectively losing their damn minds over this place. Maybe it’s because this food truck was voted the best in the nation and the chef graduated from the prestigious French Culinary Institute? Or the fact that it’s located inside a gas station and will probably be some of the best food you’ve ever had? Ignore your gas station food fears and order the Shrimp Po Bo or the Chicken Halal. Other great breakfast options are Bacon & Eggs or the Maple Counter.
A couple things to note: Oregon is saturated with stellar red wines and I was disinclined to do many red tastings. It was also a blazing hot weekend in July and the cold, crisp and unexplored whites of Walla Walla were calling my name. And if you’re going to be tasting all day, use the pour buckets so you aren’t completely trashed by 3pm. I’ve learned this lesson the hard way so just trust me.
My friend Marcella and I started our second wine adventure by heading to the Southside. I’d highly recommend Basel Cellars, a private residence turned estate winery. If you’re like me and crippling single, you’ll start dreaming about planning your wedding here until reality slaps you in the face. Go for the photo ops, the patio and the Semillons!
Next head to Sleight of Hand Cellars where they serve “Punk Rock Wines for Punk Rock Minds” and prepare yourself for a non-traditional tasting room and some of the best wines you’ve ever tasted.
About 100 feet from Sleight of Hand is the beautiful outdoor patio and tasting room at Amavi. Here I was able to meet up with my best childhood friend, Mike and his insanely cool girlfriend, Morgan. We claimed a table in the shade, ordered a food truck lunch and I taught Mike that “when in doubt, pinky out.”
If your palate isn’t completely shot, leave no stone unturnt and consider heading to the Westside to L’Ecole No. 41. I loved L’Ecole (French for “the school”) because it’s in an old school house and is adorable. L’Ecole No. 41 has national and international accolades for their traditional, high quality wines and was awarded by Wine & Spirits Magazine as Winery of the Year. Try the 2014 Columbia Valley Semillon. The French Oak is unassuming and is plenty fruity to balance the acidity. I took two bottles of it home and it’s becoming one of my go-to summer wines.
A mile away is Waterbrook and Three Rivers where you realize just how new the wine industry is in Walla Walla. Waterbrook is a stunning, young winery and felt more like Napa than any other place we visited. Here you can order food and sit outside on their beautiful patio that overlooks a man-made pond.
We couldn’t get a table at Saffron, which was highly recommended by several people but we found a great seat at the bar at WhiteHouse-Crawford. Start with the iconic Walla Walla Onion rings and one of their many fun cocktails featuring an eclectic collection of aperitifs. I almost never see traditional beef stroganoff on a menu but when I do, I’m inclined to order it to satisfy my childhood fantasy. I never ate it as a kid because we didn’t exactly get the freshest beef in Fairbanks, Alaska and the only red meat we were allowed to eat was salmon. You can’t go wrong with anything on the menu here but I’d order the stroganoff or the fettuccine.
Other wineries to visit:
- North Star- great patio
- Pepper Bridge- great patio
- El Corazon- this place gets crazy
Other lunch/dinner options:
- The Olive
- Ice Burg
- T. Maccarone’s