Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Breakfast at the Gorge
One of the things that I most looked forward to when we recently stayed at the Skamania Lodge in Washington was the fact that they had a full restaurant on premises that served breakfast. Boy, I was not disappointed. On my own for breakfast and lunch each day (that Jay guy was in winemaking classes….) I got to plan my day. And plan I did, entirely around breakfast. I figured if I had a big breakfast a wee bit later in the morning I could skip lunch. It was well worth it.
If you are interested in checking out their dining options you can do so here http://www.skamania.com/columbia-gorge-dining.php
Day One: Meandered down to the restaurant which has breath taking views of the gorge. The smell hit me immediately. They had a good looking buffet but I was all about the Salmon Hash that I had seen on the menu. When it came I was not disappointed, you could tell it was all freshly made. Shredded potatoes (not those crappy frozen ones) julienned peppers and onions that we slightly crunchy and not greasy at all. This nest of flavor was topped with two poached eggs and a huge piece of fresh salmon. I was happy that the salmon was not over marinated or smothered with some sauce. It had a light, slightly spicy, dusting of flavor. Topped off with some freshly made sourdough toast and strawberry jam and I was a happy gal. Note: this illustrates one of my favorite things about breakfast over other meals, you can always blend salty and savory with sweet.
Day Two: Well, I’ll be honest this was the morning after I was at a Winemaker dinner with over 400 amateur winemakers who all brought some wine to share……I’ll leave my condition to your imagination. Moving a bit slow I decided that room service was best. This time I went all out, the Blue Dungeness Crab Omelet, served with homefries of course and a fresh fruit smoothie. Everything was good and hot. I would say though that the flavors were not quite as balanced as the Salmon Hash the day before. There was a lot of crab but even the quantity could not make up for the huge amount of cheddar cheese fighting for attention. It would have been better, I think, to have used a smaller amount of a more flavorful cheese, like goat or maybe even gorgonzola. This would have added some salty flavor without smothering the crab flavor. The smoothie was great and, let’s say, medicinal for my ailment.
On our last morning I finally had company and we decided to go to the restaurant and partake in their champagne buffet. The food was good, and there was A LOT! Pastries, and omelets, carving stations, desserts, an assortment of lunch items. Though I enjoyed all the food it was not quite as good as my made to order breakfasts were. I had Jay try the Salmon Hash after my wonderful experience and it was only OK. The salmon had been shredded rather than one large filet and the potatoes, peppers and onions a little limp, all of this as a result of being a “buffet”.
In the end, if you head to the Skamania Lodge, definitely get some breakfast. But, if you go to the buffet remember the golden rule: No matter how much it costs….it’s still a buffet, even if they are serving champagne.