What exactly does "down home" mean? I'm not certain, but it's the words that came bubbling up when I decided to go public with one of my favorite restaurants. Not just my favorite restaurant because it's close by, to go to on a Friday evening after a long work week, where I wanted to go to kick off and end my sabbatical, or where I would love to convince my husband to go tonight.
It's all that, but it ranks in my top five restaurants in the world.
Tad's Chicken 'n Dumplins, located on the Sandy River in Troutdale, Oregon. We had lived in Oregon for almost 7 years before we discovered it. Everyone has seen it who travels the historic Columbia River highway. As did we, but we never stopped. Now it's a destination, and one that is well worth it. Their signature neon sign is nestled in the trees, on your right hand side as you head east on the old highway.
I did get a passport before I was forty something, and don't get me wrong, I'm not saying I'm qualified to be vice-president of the United States, and realize that having a passport isn't a prerequisite for VP of the USA. Just stating the facts. The travel bug bit me, hard. I am lucky to have visited many countries in the world, lived in Germany for many years, and have had the luck to eat at many wonderful restaurants. I am a confessed foodie, so trust me on this one.
Tad's is the perfect place to go and unwind, enjoy an amazing meal, drink a nice glass of wine, and slow down with the perfect balance of past and present. Depending on your mood, the weather, or how hungry you are (there can be a wait), there are three distinct rooms where you can enjoy your meal. Our favorite is the large "open air" room, no A.C., just large floor to ceiling windows that open up to views of the river.
Open Air Room Dining Room Fireplace Room
Everytime we go, we open the menu, look through it and order the same thing. I am sure we are not alone in this habit are we? The portions are hearty, and you'll have enough to take home a nice doggie bag. We usually split the dinner, which is perfect. Here's what I recommend:
1. Glass, or two, of Firesteed Pinot Noir (served in a juice glass... was Tad Greek?)
2. Relish tray (comes automatically- fresh, crisp veggies and a dill dip)
3. Fried chicken livers for appetizer
4. House salad (their cole slaw is pretty good too)
5. Fried Chicken with Baked Potato
6. Peppermint ice cream (if there's room)
So there you have it, one of my top 5 restaurants. If you're ever in Oregon, it's only 20 miles east of Portland. Check it out!