May 25, 2009

Goldendale and The Glass Onion

add to kirtsy

My dad's an accountant. January through April, he is not normal. In fact, he's downright cantankerous. And at the end of every tax season, when his personality starts coming back, he takes the family out to dinner, where we can order anything on the menu.

This year, my dad wanted to take us to Goldendale, Washington, where he and my mom have property, to their favorite restaurant, The Glass Onion. My parents have been talking about The Glass Onion for months. I keep telling them that there are awesome restaurants in Portland that they should try, but coming into the city is not really their idea of fun. So a couple of weeks ago, my sister and I piled in the car with my parents and headed up to Goldendale.

Situated in an old house, The Glass Onion, is simply decorated. The tables and chairs almost cafeteria style on the wooden floors. The walls are covered in the beautiful photography of Maren McGowan, one of the owners. The room we sat in had a large stained glass window, the light coming through the bright colors.

The menu sounded delicious. We decided to be adventurous and try a few starters. We had: crab cakes, pork belly on white bean cakes with olives, and spring pea soup. The crab cakes held together well and were subtly packed with flavor. The pork belly was less popular among the family, but I personally liked it. I'd never had pork belly before and I was a bit surprised by its texture: it was crispy on top and a little gelatinous in the middle. It was seasoned well, though and a bit salty, which was mellowed out by the white bean cakes and the olives added a little tang. The spring pea soup tasted just as it should, like pureed fresh peas, with creme fraiche. Simple and tasty.

My parents had never been to a restaurant with me before when I've whipped out my new camera and they, alternately being proud of me and embarrassed by my meal-time photography, laughed nervously, as I clicked. We got some fantastic pictures of the food, especially the soup.

Then our sandwiches came. I had ordered the steak sandwich, my dad ordered the club and my mom ordered the ahi tuna sandwich. My steak was perfectly cooked and the baguette really stood up to the steak juice and the blue cheese melted in my mouth. Of course, after eating all those starters, I was pretty full and couldn't quite finish it. I had a bite of each of the sandwiches and all were equally delicious, though my favorite was my own steak sandwich - it was the most hearty. I got great pics of the sandwiches, too.

Stuffed beyond comfort, we declined dessert and headed out to look at the barn that my amazing brother built by hand.

Out in the sun, I needed to adjust my camera settings. And. Suddenly. "NO IMAGES AVAILABLE." Yep, that's right. Ms. Brilliant, aka ME, accidentally deleted all the wonderful pictures we had just taken of our amazing lunch.

After a good 10 minutes of me splurting out words that caused my mother to say "Elizabeth! Please! I didn't raise you to talk like that!", I finally moved on and decided that I would beg the owner for pics of food. She very graciously sent pictures of some of the food on the menu. And even though I didn't eat THIS food in particular, I'm certain it's at least as wonderful as the things I did eat.

If you go to Goldendale, please stop by The Glass Onion. It's seriously the best restaurant in the area. Okay, well, I've only eaten at one other restaurant nearby, but that's just what my gut says. I'm happy to say that when my parents retire, I now feel comfortable going to see them, knowing that there is at least one option for my kind of food within 20 miles of their property. In the meantime, I'm going to try to drag them to some Portland restaurants, so they can know that good food is within their reach here and now!

The Glass Onion
604 S. Columbus Ave.
Goldendale, WA 98620

Photography by Maren McGowan (Except the barn pic. That was me.)