Food & Drink in The Dalles

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Cuisine Type: Fresh, veggie-friendly Mexican food

Established: 2002

Reservations: Optional

Handicap Accessible: Yes

Number of Tables: 5?10

Parking: Free street parking

Most popular offering: Seafood tacos, chile rellenos, enchiladas

Kid-friendly: Yes

Alcohol: Full bar

Delivery / Take-out Available: Takeout Only

Outdoor Seating: Yes

Q&A with Kevin Bastin, Owner

What made you want to work with food? When did you first develop that passion?

I grew up cooking Italian food, learning to cook from scratch from my mother. I began learning authentic Mexican recipes while living in Austin, Texas after college. My best friend's mother was a fantastic cook and instilled in me a love for fresh ingredients and the preparation of flavorful traditional dishes. Over the years I have worked at the Ritz-Carlton in Marina Del Ray, the Regent Beverly Wilshire and other fine dining establishments, but never lost my affection for the Mexican cooking I learned in Texas. After opening The Taco Shoppe, I have expanded my repertoire and begun creating my own recipes and variations on the traditional Mexican fare.

Is there anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?

When I arrived in Government Camp after working at several local establishments like Timberline Lodge and Edgefield, I opened a small take-out place in 2002. In late 2013 The Taco Shoppe reopened as a full-service restaurant with a full bar. The new space and expanded menu allows me to try out new recipes and margaritas. Cozy booths surround the walls and large windows offer views of picturesque downtown Govy, a tiny mountain community surrounded by several ski resorts on and near Mount Hood. In the summer, the town becomes a haven for skateboarders and offers year-round opportunities for skiers and snowboarders.

Do you use any family recipes at your restaurant? Whose family do they belong to?

All the recipes are my creations, including homemade chips and salsas. One of my passions (besides skiing!) is wild mushroom hunting, and the chanterelles, boletes, and morels find their way into my kitchen, as well as inspire the decor in the restaurant.

In your own words, how would you describe your menu?

The Taco Shoppe serves up fresh, authentic Mexican dishes like chile rellenos, enchiladas, carne asada, and tamales. Most entrees come with a side of our homemade fire-roasted red salsa or spicy green chile, or specialties like fresh grilled pineapple salsa. Many items are vegetarian and/or gluten-free. Depending on the season, you may find on offer such specialties as local, wild mushroom soups and enchiladas, or fresh steelhead, salmon, or rockfish tacos. From the bar, you can try a Mexican martini or a local draft, but you would be remiss if you didn't try a fresh-squeezed house margarita with Cazadores tequila and Patron Citronge orange liqueur.

88786 E Government Camp Loop
Government Camp,
OR
US

Patrons headed to Wind Rivers Cellars must first make a two-mile drive up Spring Creek Road, whose densely forested surroundings lead many first-timers to believe that they've lost their way. But, the doubt soon turns to awe as they arrive at the vineyard and the tree line breaks into a cloud-topped view of Mt. Hood in the distance. The lush scenery complements the winery's 12 wine varieties, each crafted from grapes grown in the Columbia River Gorge and Klickitat County. The winery is owned by winemaker and fourth-generation Washingtonian Joel Goodwillie, who pays careful to attention to environmental practices when managing the estate. During their stay, visitors can peruse the racks of rustic barrels, wander the rows of green grapevines, and sample the wines in a tasting room operated with a standing ban on jazz and grape juggling.

196 Spring Creek Road
White Salmon,
WA
US

"Come get naked with us." It sounds like an indecent proposal, but it's really a call to action from Naked Winery?specifically a call to grab some of the cheeky winery's offerings. Its winemakers use grapes grown in both hot and dry climates and cool marine climates in Oregon and Washington to produce vintages such as Foreplay chardonnay and the sweet red Blazing Straddle.

The masterminds behind the winery, the Barringer and Michalec families, gave their creations such sassy names partly because of the wines' ability to seduce palates. But they also did it because they loved the idea of couples sipping a glass at night and sharing a laugh over the names and saucy descriptions on the label.

102 2nd St
Hood River,
OR
US

Waving Tree Winery churns out award-winning wines. But instead of using its syrah, orange muscat, and other varietals to fill a delicious moat around the facility, Waving Tree shares them at its tasting room in Kirkland. Here, visitors can immerse themselves into the cozy room's dark tones while tasting Waving Tree's many productions. In between sips, they can also munch on small plates, flip through books, or explore rotating art exhibits showcasing the talents of local artists.

2 Maryhill Hwy
Goldendale,
WA
US

Sourcing grapes from the vineyards of the lush Columbia Valley AVA and the Columbia River Gorge, Jacob Williams Winery’s vintners produce about 2,000 cases of award-winning wine each year. Owner Brad Gearhart and winemaker John Haw combine their talents to create varietals including the 2007 cabernet sauvignon, winner of Best Red Wine at the 2010 Northwest Wine Summit, as well as a runner-up for Miss Congeniality. Jacob Williams accommodates all palates with its other offerings, which include zinfandel, a reserve syrah, and a red blend named Sadie Red, after the family dog.

The winery’s new tasting room overlooks vineyards, the Columbia River, and perfectly spaced cherry and peach orchards under the shadow of majestic Mount Hood. During warmer months, sippers can sample blends while sitting at the outdoor patio’s rustic wood tables. Those hoping to stock up on the vineyard’s stellar creations can join the wine club, which offers perks such as a 30% discount, invitations to special events, and a complimentary tasting for up to four guests.

3 Avery Rd.
Lyle,
WA
US