Though its shop brims with stacks of specialty gifts and an extensive wine collection, Blue Heron French Cheese Company's main draw is its signature creamy brie. The cheese counter offers complimentary tastes of the signature flavors—including herb garlic and smoked—as well as other local and imported cheeses. At a wine-tasting counter, sippers linger over glasses of Oregon and Washington wines, guided by a resident wine steward that matches vintages with differing palates. At the petting farm outside, visitors get to know goats, donkeys, and emu, or nod off to sleep after counting all the resident sheep.
In 1993, Casey Miller got his first job at The Meating Place, a local meat market that first opened in 1974. Then a freshman in high school, Casey started sweeping up the Hillsboro butcher's shop part-time, but by graduation, he had worked his way into an assistant-manager position. The shop closed its doors in 1998, but Casey and original owner Steve Crossley teamed up to reopen the custom meat-cutting business and showcase meat exclusively sourced from area farms. Following family recipes, the butchery smokes all sorts of proteins, including beer sausage, salmon, and jerky, and carves sustainably raised beef and pork into custom cuts or busts of George Washington. Hunters and fishermen also turn over their own wild game for The Meating Place pros to process. Butchers grind locally sourced alpaca meat, fresh or smoked bones, and seasonal vegetables into raw dog food that makes pets' coats shine and teeth glisten while also encouraging healthy digestion.
A sun-filled space for breakfast, lunch, and deli selections, Uptown Market serves up an array of casual eats made from fresh ingredients. Guests can pop in for breakfast to devour huevos con jamón, a medley of two poached eggs with toasted country bread, hollandaise, and jamón serrano ($8.95), along with savory gulps of South American coffee ($1.95). Easily transportable, sandwiches are the ideal lunchtime meal. You get a variety of food groups in every bite without annoying utensil requirements, prep work, or cleanup. The smoked-ham-and-brie panini with caramelized onions and sliced apple fits the bill ($7.95), served alongside a kosher dill pickle and coleslaw. An arugula-and-roast-beef salad showcases medium-rare beef on a lovely bed of arugula, garlic crostini, and asiago. topped with a truffle vinaigrette ($8.95), and a veggie burger sates visiting brontosaurs ($7.50).
When Debbi Fields opened the first Mrs. Fields in 1977, it wasn’t all sunshine and cookies. Between her lack of business experience and the unorthodox business model—selling only cookies—not many people believed in her. More than 30 years and a global franchise later, it’s safe to say the doubters are eating their words, at least when they're not busy stuffing their faces with one of Debbi's signature semisweet chocolate chip or oatmeal raisin and walnut cookies.
The wild popularity of Mrs. Fields's cookies can be attributed to the richness of their basic ingredients: real butter, whole eggs, and special blends of chocolate. Classic flavors include chewy fudge, peanut butter, and white chocolate macadamia, and seasonal flavors complement the lineup throughout the year. Select varieties can also be made into cookie cakes of various sizes and shapes that add a delicious twist to any celebration or milk-truck spill.
It was 1869 when the Lee family planted its first seed in the soil of Tualatin, Oregon. Today, three generations of the family still keep Lee Farms' lights on and its scarecrows vaccinated. They stock the country store with local produce, 18 flavors of honey sticks, and 17 varieties of jam. In the bakery, the staff hand makes pies each day, baking perennial favorites such as apple and seasonal flavors such as pumpkin.
To keep things fresh, Lee Farms rotates the selection of food and activities each season. In May a greenhouse surrounds visitors in flowers, and in October the farm transforms into a celebration of the harvest season, when guests can pick from 12 varieties of pumpkins. Lee's staff cuts down stalks to make a corn maze and drives visitors on scenic hayrides across the farm while they sample kettle corn and homemade cider.
Portland Pumpkin Farm's 100 acres of picturesque rural farmland yield a cornucopia of produce, which its workers cheerily harvest and sell directly to Portland residents. Not content to keep customers well fed, the farm also draws families, music lovers, and food aficionados to its pastoral atmosphere with a plethora of seasonal activities. A series of harvest festivals fill the air with blues, rock, bluegrass, and country music and simultaneously sate the appetites of guests with food-cart fare, local microbrews, and wine from Bella's own organic winery, which include creations made from berry, cherry, rhubarb, and traditional grape wines. Sun-soaked youngsters can take refuge on cow and grain trains, relax on a hayride, or explore a petting zoo stocked with barnyard animals and friendly carpet samples.