Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Pendleton & Walla Walla & Potato Pancakes

Last week I was in Pendleton, Oregon for work. It's in the eastern part of the state..a little drier and treeless than you think of Oregon being.

But a very cute little town whose heyday was back at the turn of the century (the last century). It was a carousing cowboy town with a main street full of brothels. The downtown area is still cute but I didn't see any brothels! I did see a lot of neat neon, like the sign at this restaurant I ate at the first night.

Mac and Cheese with bacon and jalapenos!

Besides the brothels and cowboys Pendleton also must have had some higher class who lived in pretty pink houses like this

How about another claim to fame for Pendleton....the woolen mills. Some of you out there are bound to have heard of Pendleton wool.

Dinner the second night was at an awesome old western steakhouse inspired Virgils at Cimmiyotti's. It was like stepping back in time..and not necessarily the old west. It was more like a 50s supper club. Red velvet wallpaper, dark wood and stainglass lamps plus the gracious owner/hostess wearing a 50s inspired evening gown. The food and service were outstanding, but I was only brave enough to take one sly cell phone photo of my beautifully garnished house salad.

I did find this one on Yelp. I sat in the seat right behind the server..who happened to be mine! This would be the perfect date restaurant. I had the Virgil's Steak Oscar with sweet potato fries. Everything was perfect.

So Wednesday night I drove out of Pendleton...

And headed to Walla Walla, Wa where I was going to be catching a plane the next morning. The drive between the two towns is essentially through rolling harvest wheat fields like this. Pretty...but reallllllly rural.

Walla Walla seemed to have a lot to offer restaurant wise, but after I failed to find a couple on my list I was getting a tiny bit desperate (=hungry) so I just decided to pick the closest restaurant that my trusty GPS had to offer. That's how I ended up at Clarette's on the skirts of little Whitman College. It was night when I got I didn't take a pic but I'm getting pretty good at this swiping bit. Courtesy of Yelp. As you can see it's just a diner type establishment, but with some very tasty food. The menu was a surprising multipaged jobby and I had a hard time deciding on my meal but settled on Potato Pancakes.

Now I thought the pancakes would look like all of the other potato pancackes I've eaten..little flattened mounds of shredded potatoes. But what came to my table looked exactly like regular if not a bit flat pancakes. Hmmm...was my first thought. Served with bacon and applesauce with various syrups brought to the table. I settled on the apricot syrup and a little applesauce combined and dug in. Definitely more potatoey than pancakey in taste but I loved the texture. I had to try and recreate when I got home. They were so yum I failed to take any photos, but here's my take on Clarette's

Potato Pancakes a la Clarette's

1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 eggs
2 medium potatoes shredded (about 2 cups)
1/4 onion, shredded
2 tablespoons green onions
salt & pepper
1 tablespoon butter

Mix well flour, buttermilk, baking soda and eggs. Add shredded potatoes, onions and green onions. Salt and pepper to taste. Heat skillet to medium high and melt some of the butter to grease bottom. Pour spoonfuls of batter to make pancakes. Flatten mounds of potatoes to spread over entire pancake. This made 7 good sized pancakes and was more than enough to feed two people. Serve with pats of butter & apple sauce, apricot syrup or preserves or ketchup or all three. I enjoyed the preserves...Randy like the ketchup. Clarette's served with applesauce but had syrups on the table...the apricot was perfect.


Katerina said...

So nice pictures of places not famous enough to see often on TV. And these potato pancakes I am sure they tasted great.

Marsha said...

What a fun peek into your trip. I really enjoyed seeing the scenery and hearing of your fun food excursions.

I love those type of potato pancakes - I haven't had them lately but the Perkins chain used to have them and served them with applesauce also.

Dishesdone said...

Never had potato pancakes like that, only the shredded kind. They sound so good! Love the neon sign! and the ma n cheese looks way over the top good!

Cute pink house. Not my color, LOL! Looks like you had a nice trip!

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

My MIL used to be a HUGE Pendleton clothing fan when my FIL had a clothing store. She would buy tons of things at cost and my Christmas present was often a Pendleton outfit. Back in the day they were quite popular!

I love potato pancakes with applesauce and I love the name Clairette's Restaurant ;)

Kathleen said...

I remember Pendelton, too!
I like the regular potato pancakes with applesauce, but I'd give your version a try. Next time take a pic! :)

Debbie said...

The potato pancakes remind me of the ones my mom used to make for us when we were younger! I forgot all about them. I think that traveling on business has it perks :-)

Foley said...

Nothing better than the Pendleton blankets!!
Glad you had some dining experiences when you were out of town..and honey, you haven't seen "rural" unless you come and see Marsha & Me!!

Bom said...

The potato pancakes sound intriguing.

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