Last week we went for a 1000 mile road trip on a whim, starting with the North Cascades highway, rounding up Rte. 97 and back through Vancouver. The edible and drinkable highlights were all either A) this side of the border or B) B.Y.O.
Day one, we got lazy and decided to bunk on the river in Winthrop, a tourist town so perfectly a parody of itself that my dark heart finds it totally endearing. A great place to drink always trumps a decent place to eat for me (that's why god invented rooms with kitchenettes). At the Winthrop Brewing Co., the food was average, but Grampa Clem's brown ale was delicious, caramely ,bittersweet and choco-hopo-licious. The Outlaw Pale smelled like it might give me hayfever, light and crisp. What a great place to relax after a drive, or ride--the place was filled with jovial bikers. Almost made me want to buy a motorcycle.
I found myself retroactively thanking hippies for small favors--and cafes and co-ops--once in B.C.. Local No. 98856, past the grocery store on your way east on the Methow Valley Hwy. out of Twisp, is a bakery and cafe that uses house-milled Emmer. The building is architecturally pleasing in its use of reclaimed wood and machinery. The applesauce coffeecake with fresh butter is fantastic, and they make a pretty mean cupcake. The little outdoor garden in back provides some of the ingredients for their baked goods. After that, it was through Omak and Oroville (each have a natural foods co-op or cafe) and up to the Okanagon.
So stock up on your natural foods south of the border because the Okanagan is beautiful, but it's a culinary wasteland, unless you count fruit & veggie stands every 200m. No burger shacks. No...(gulp)...taco trucks! I would have stooped to fast food, but we insisted there must be something between the border and Rte. 97c. Nope. Canadians are supposed to be just like us, but the restaurant per capita in the sticks is bleak to zip. Two hours into eastern B.C. and I knew I wouldn't eat right until Vancouver. Mmmm...butter chicken...