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.
Bellagios Pizza, locally owned and operated since 1996, brews ripe batches of tomato sauce and tosses fresh disks of dough daily at their Wilsonville location, while crews at each restaurant sprinkle pies with delicious toppings to create a menu loaded with pizzas, grinders, and calzones. Heaps of spinach, artichokes, and juicy tomatoes guide wandering bellies out of the desert with the Oasis pizza ($10–$19.99), while the Butcher Block throws a crust-top party of salami, pepperoni, canadian bacon, and italian sausage ($10–$19.99), coming together in hearty harmony like a chorus of lumberjacks. Diners interested in a wider variety of toppings or in teaching children about medieval class structure can opt for a pie cleanly divided down the middle, such as a half-cheese, half-pepperoni pizza ($8–$17.99). Slathered with pizza sauce and adorned with meaty toppings, the Bellagio grinder ($5.99) competes with a host of calzones ($10.99) for the silver medal to the pizza menu's gold.
Indecision is all part of the fun when it comes to visiting Yogurt Shack. Each shop features self-serve stations that patrons use to fill their cups with calcium-rich YoCream frozen yogurt?a frosty, certified Kosher treat made with a high count of live natural cultures and no high-fructose corn syrup. But choosing a yogurt may prove deliciously daunting, as the staff rotates the selection of flavors at every store and adds seasonal favorites throughout the year. The lineup can include everything from classic chocolate and vanilla to cake batter and fruity sorbets. Once their decisions have been made, customers can finish their personalized creation by topping the yogurt with fruits, candies, and edible name tags before paying by the ounce at the register.
It was a family tradition: Big Al Costillo and his son Adam would feast on massive cheesesteaks and watch the Phillies game, collecting dollops of sizzling hot cheese on their plates. When the Costillo family moved from Philadelphia to Florida, the duo was devastated to find that the local cheesesteaks paled in comparison to the beloved sandwiches they enjoyed back home. "We spent six years trying every local spot that claimed they had a real philly cheesesteak, only to be disappointed," Adam explained to reporters from Atlantic Avenue. Unable to stifle their craving any longer, Big Al and his son opened their own cheesesteak shop— Big Al's Steak. They arranged for fresh Italian steak rolls to be shipped to their restaurant straight from Philadelphia before firing up the grills in the kitchen. There, they layered the crusty bread with thin slices of juicy, rib-eye steak before topping it off with Cheese Whiz, provolone, and American cheese.
Since then, Big Al's Beef has expanded to numerous locations in Florida and the West Coast, including Tualatin, Oregon, and has earned numerous awards from publications such as New Times Magazine. These cheerful, laid-back eateries faithfully follow the Philadelphia tradition, doling out authentic cheesesteaks, as well as hoagies, french fries, onion rings, Tastykakes, and even tall, cold beers to wash it all down
Barkeeps dispense 21 rotating drafts and pour out more than 500 microbrews and imported beers at Birra Pub, which derives its name from the Italian word for beer. Soups, salads, and hot and cold sandwiches concocted from local ingredients complement each hop- or malt-heavy libation. Amid a colorful interior of neon beer signs, arcade games, and a flat-screen television, the Pub hosts regular beer tastings where customers can win unique prizes, such as cryogenic freezing chambers that keep beers chilled for up to 100 years. In addition to brews in the eatery, visitors can bring home sudsy treats in bottles, cases, or kegs in a variety of brands and sizes.
You don't mess with good dough. It’s a lesson the Perfect Pizza Company owners learned the hard way when they tried to add butter to Head Chef Anthony Hartmeier's tried and trusted recipe. They recounted how their failed dough experiment forced them to throw away 58 balls of the unstretchable stuff but restored their unwavering faith in the expertise of the Oregon-born Hartmeier.
Today, the owners concern themselves with the quality of the pizzeria's ingredients and service and let the chefs flex their creativity in the kitchen. Hartmeier's famous hand-tossed crusts emerge from a brick oven brimming with a unique and diverse smattering of toppings. Specialties include pies such as the Perfect Chicken pizza, which swaps out red sauce for alfredo sauce and includes generous sprinklings of red onion, grilled chicken, feta, and bacon bits.