Escape to the Coast

Who: Cole

Where: Bowpicker, Fort George Brewery and Pickled Fish (x2)

What: Albacore fish and chips, 1811 lager, Fresh IPA, El Burro, Cranberry + Bubbles, Steamer Clams, Roasted Brussel Sprout + Radicchio, Fennel Sausage Wood-Fired Pizza, Herb Gnocchi, Caramel Bread Pudding, Oatmeal Cranberry Skillet Cookie, Pancetta Eggs Benedict and Breakfast Sandwich.


I actually uttered the words, “I hate food” to Cole. I know, it’s painful for me to even tell you this. Of course I said this after we walked in the door after returning home after a 24 hour eating and drinking marathon.

Ok, I could NEVER hate food (I was eating pho approximately 2.5 hours after this statement was uttered.) But when Cole and I go on a vacation or a weekend getaway, that’s code for “let’s go somewhere so we can eat a lot of food and drink a lot of beer without any guilt.” That’s kind of why I like him. 

Cole and I have been to Long Beach, Washington before. I’ve actually been a number of times with the fam, especially growing up. It’s sort of one of my favorite weekend getaway spots. Now it’s even more special to me since the creation of the lovely Adrift Hotel and their amazing in-hotel restaurant, Pickled Fish. We found a great deal on rooms early this summer and have been looking forward to this little weekend getaway to kickoff fall before a busy season of work for the both of us. IMG_20151003_155813

We began our trip with a drive to Astoria, Oregon. Why, you ask, would we go down to Oregon only to drive back up to Washington? Well, my friend. Let me tell you about a little place called Bowpicker. Bowpicker is about as hole-in-the-wall of a restaurant as you can get. In fact, it’s actually not a restaurant at all. It’s a boat. Yep, you heard me. This little run-down steamboat happens to serve the best fish and chips I’ve had on this earth. They fry up tender, freshly caught albacore tuna chunks in the lightest, crispiest tempura batter, serve them up with a simple steak fry with tartar and ketchup for a whopping $10. Not only are they absolutely to die for (and well worth the hour long wait – the word is out!) but you won’t be breaking the bank for some phenomenal fish and chips. You literally cannot have the Bowpicker experience anywhere else. And thus why we clearly had to detour to Astoria, Oregon en route to Long Beach, Washington.

Astoria is also home to one of my favorite craft breweries: Fort George Brewery. When our tummies were full of fish and chips (and we clearly had no business consuming anything else) we wandered over to Fort George for a sampler of tasty brews and a growler fill for later. The best part? While sipping our beer tasting flight, our bartender offered us two free Fort George lagers courtesy of a few no shows on their afternoon br20151003_170153ewery tour (their loss). We kept laughing to each other because we seem to have a knack for scoring free beers/drinks/food when we go somewhere new.

Oh, did I mention this little “fall getaway” where it was supposed to be grey and rainy (but that’s OK because we live in Washington and should expect that in the fall), happened to be one of the most gorgeous, sunny fall weekends I’ve ever experienced? The entire drive to the beach our eyes got to feast on jaw-dropping views. I couldn’t have imagined better weather for this trip.

We checked into our hotel at the super hip Adrift hotel (ocean view, baby!) and immediately cracked open that growler for a toast. Clink! After a few mason jars of beer (when at the Adrift), we wandered along the boardwalk on the most stunning of days. Aren’t we cute?

Now for the highlight of the trip: dinner at Pickled Fish. The last time we dined at Pickled Fish, Cole and I came with my parents and we had one of the best meals of my life. We also happened to score a free sausage pizza that my mom just LOVED (see what I mean about scoring free things?) We couldn’t wait for round two. We even made a game plan: order each course one by one so we stay as long as possible to enjoy the live music. It took some discipline, but we did it, you guys.

First things first, we each ordered a cocktail – El Burro for Cole, sort of like a Moscow Mule with tequila. Cranberry + Bubbles for me because, obviously. Next we ordered some steamer clams. Classic. They were so good, Cole was practically pinning my arms back in order to keep me from not picking up the bowl of broth and drinking it.

Cocktails tossed back, it was time for a bottle of Cab to go with dinner, followed by a roasted Brussels sprout and radicchio Caesar with apple and cranberry off of their newly released harvest menu. And oh, was it a perfect taste of fall. Salty, earthy, full of texture and a touch of sweetness from the fresh apple. I think I may be replicating it for a Thanksgiving side. Stay tuned…

Ok, here’s where things really go overboard. We were dead set on re-ordering the sausage pizza that we loved so much from our first visit. We were also dead-set on trying another entree item off of their tantalizing menu. So to accompany our gigantic freshly made fennel sausage, mushroom, banana pepper and mozzarella pizza, naturally we ordered herb gnocchi with whiskey butter acorn squash, mushrooms, pepitas and manchego to accompany it. And we ate all of it.

Oh, but we’re not done. As the live band took the stage and a hilarious cover of R. Kelly’s Ignition played over the sound of our tummies bursting from food overload, we ordered not one but two desserts and coffee to wash it all down. A caramel bread pudding and a skillet oatmeal cranberry cookie a la mode, which was probably the best dessert I’ve ever consumed. Thank goodness our room was just a flight down the stairs (why can’t we have a restaurant above our room always?) because it was officially time for my food coma to take over.

Awaking from a fog of skillet cookies and sausage pizza, we actually felt like there was room for more. We soaked up a few last views of the gorgeous Washington coast, packed our bags, and wandered upstairs for a send-off brunch. Two coffees, a pancetta Eggs Benedict with a healthy (and appropriate) amount of hollandaise sauce, a bacon brioche breakfast sandwich and two free Bloody Mary’s (I really wasn’t kidding about the getting free stuff thing), our weekend was complete. I really couldn’t have imagined a more perfect (and delicious) weekend with my one and only!

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