Monday, July 27, 2009

Dining in the Forest

Yesterday, Chuck described our drive with his Aunt Martha and me up and down mountains and around sharp curves to visit his cousin Steve and his wife Betty at their cabin in the woods.

Just as I was despairing of ever seeing civilization again, there it was, its neon sign proudly proclaiming “OPEN” – The Outpost. A funky place if ever there was one.

Lucky for us, Steve and Betty’s plans for the morning included breakfast at this rustic mountain restaurant. There are four different sitting areas. Inside, one can either eat in the barroom or the adjoining “pool hall.” Outside, the choices are the front porch or the large back patio outfitted with picnic benches and barbeque paraphernalia. Since the morning was still cool up in the mountains, we decided to take advantage of the fresh air and eat on the back patio. (Too bad about the flies that found us about half way through breakfast.)

While The Outpost is open six days a week (closed Mondays) for breakfast, lunch, and diner, our menus only listed the breakfast choices. In addition to the standard pancakes, French toast, and eggs/potato/meat combos, the menu included biscuits and gravy, a Southwest inspired omelet, and a “garbage can” omelet. Many of the meals included country fried potatoes and your choice of white, wheat, or sourdough bread or a biscuit.

Chuck and Betty both ordered the Southwest omelet; Steve ordered the Garbage Can omelet; Martha ordered scrambled eggs and sausage; and, for me, it was the biscuits and gravy with a side of potatoes. As you will see from the photos, all of the portions were large – to say the least.

Steve’s Garbage Can included sautéed onions, ham, and sausage and was topped with grated cheddar cheese. Being polite (there is a first for everything), I was reluctant to ask for a sample, but it looked delicious.

Martha’s breakfast came with three large sausage links (which Steve and Betty helped her finish) and a giant baking powder biscuit.

Both Chuck and Betty’s omelets were stuffed with black beans and corn which were seasoned with cumin. Having no hesitation when it comes to eating from Chuck’s plate, I repeatedly sampled the bean and corn stuffing. Delicious. This is an omelet filling that merits repeating at home. With the omelet came a small cup of a dressing that tasted slightly of ranch dressing and slightly of red chili powder and which was delicious with the cumin-seasoned corn and bean mixture.

The sausage gravy that came with my breakfast was delicious. The sausage flavor permeated the white sauce, which was thick without being pasty. And this was a good country-style, sage-tasty and well-seasoned sausage. Yummy. The biscuits were your standard “we’re not in the South” biscuit, but certainly better than those at the Brown Hen Café in Florence, Oregon.

We seem to have moved into home fries/country fries territory. This makes Chuck very happy. Being a hash brown fan, I am less so. But, these were still very good. When I asked that mine be cooked crisp, I was warned by our dining companions that the cook doesn’t always take kindly to special requests. But cooked crisp, at least relative to the other plates, they were. In addition, there were so many potatoes that I finally had to say “no mas.”

What could be better on a sunny Sunday morning than a great breakfast with great company? The Outpost earns a 4.5 Addie rating.

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