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Real Estate Trivia
Question: What land did the U.S. Government buy for $7.2 million?
Answer: The U.S. bought all of Russian America (Alaska) from the Russian Czar in March 1867.
Restaurants and Shopping
All armies travel on their stomachs, and Gladys’ troops are no different. Luckily for us, we have the Willamette Valley to pillage, surely one of the most blessed food producers in the nation.
Oregon is a leader in the “locavore” movement, which aims to produce a diet sourced locally. Our restaurants do amazing things with local seafood, all manner of butcher’s delicacies, succulent berries of all kinds, internationally renowned wines, fresh market produce and locally crafted beer. Despite a true embarrassment of riches, Gladys does have her favorites:
Your mom was right – every day should begin with a good breakfast. Busick Court Restaurant has been winning awards from Statesmanjournal readers for their stellar efforts for years. One look at their menu, and you’ll see mom was too right. In Gladys’ words, “crowded but fun. Great food and large portions.”
Perhaps your idea of breakfast centers around baked delights. Bakery D’Amour has a very simple message – love your bread. Delicious coffee is a pretty good love object, too, so what are you waiting for?
With breakfast out of the way, what should we do for lunch? If “the best in sandwiches, soup and salad located in the heart of downtown Salem” sounds good, then head over to the Wild Pear Restaurant. Unique, local and seasonal – Wild Pear is “locavore” come to life.
Steak Houses have been an American institution since forever, and we all know why. Strip away the extras, and a good steakhouse is honest food, honestly prepared. Something like Rudy’s at the Salem Golf Club. People have been chasing little white balls here since 1925, and Rudy’s has been serving them corn-fed steaks almost as long. “Wonderful indoor or outdoor dining! Beautiful setting! Great food!”
The Best Little Roadhouse is exactly that. Voted “Best Steakhouse” by the readers of The Statesmanjournal, go for the “great food…family fun atmosphere…fresh rolls right out of the oven…and who can say no to miniature golf?”
Bentley’s Grill is Gladys’ favorite seafood restaurant, and she invites you to let them pamper you with their terrific service and sophisticated ambience. Gladys especially enjoys Bentley’s for its “vibrant downtown location – fine dining with great atmosphere – I love their seafood, steaks and salads.”
Salem has a tradition of fine Chinese restaurants, and one of Gladys’s favorites is Chan’s at 2290 Fairgrounds Road NE. Wonderfully friendly service and reliable quality make Chan’s a regular stop!
Italian-lovers need not be unfulfilled in Salem! One of Gladys’s recommendations would be Caruso’s Italian Café. Since opening in 2000, Caruso’s has won numerous awards, including best first date restaurant and best overall restaurant. Gladys enjoys their “great pasta in a beautiful setting.” Davinci’s Ristorante will also stir your senses as only the Italians can - with its “fun atmosphere, unique Italian food, and exciting downtown location.”
Coffee culture is more than just alive in Salem. One of Gladys’ favorite spots is Break Point Coffee Co. because it has all the ingredients of a terrific café – “great coffee – fun atmosphere – amazing sandwiches and desserts.” The Steam Heat Coffee House makes the short list for its “warm and cozy atmosphere, the best coffee in town, and for being a place you can truly relax.” Take your time at the Steam House – in the best café tradition, they’re in no hurry to push you out the door.
As you can see, here in the Willamette Valley we grow some of the best food in the world. The best food deserves to be accompanied by the best wine and beer, and the Valley has literally dozens of labels for you to discover! An increasingly popular way to discover new wineries is via a tour, such as that offered by Willammette Tours. These kind folks know the region inside and out, and will plan a tasting tour that will showcase the best we have to offer. Perhaps you’d like to see how Oregon wineries are leading the way in practicing “green” viniculture – Eco-Wine Tours specialize in demonstrating why sustainable, organic and biodynamic are the way of the future, and the route to truly great wines. Don’t overlook the cousin of the vine, the equally noble ale and lager. At Mcmenamins the tradition of local quality brewing lives on at both Boon's Treasury and the Thompson Brewery and Public House. Terminator stout and their classic Hammerhead pale ale are perennial favorites, and show why Oregon is a true “beervana”.
One of the better things about Salem is its eclecticism. True to the best traditions of Oregon, we value freedom of expression, appreciate our neighbors and invest in our community. This makes for a diverse local economy, and a decidedly interesting shopping experience. The Salem Saturday Market (which is also open Wednesday – don’t ask, just be thankful) is a deliberate throwback to the time when we knew from whom and where our foodstuffs came. Now boasting over 300 vendors, the Market is where you will find everything from fresh baked bread to produce picked this morning, intriguing local arts and crafts to captivating live entertainment to fresh cut flowers– everything grown, created, or produced by its vendor. Okay – maybe not what you think of first when thinking shopping, but the Salem Art Fair is a must on so many levels. Hosting over 200 artists and fine craftspeople from across Canada and the US, this is the place to find that stunningly unique piece for over the mantel, or the gift for that relative who is impossible to buy for, or just to browse and immerse yourself in the creative vibe of one of the nation’s best arts festivals. At Mary Lou Zeek Gallery – “art not to be ignored” - works from selected artists are featured in monthly solo exhibitions or in group shows. Since opening in 2000, the Zeek Gallery has effected a paradigm shift in the way art galleries are expected to look and behave. Drop in to be surprised, amazed, maybe even shocked!A good bookstore is absolutely vital to the life of any city. In Salem, we are fortunate to have Tigress Books (formerly the Tea Party Bookshop) – a fiercely independent bookstore, committed to the written and spoken word, and the home of poetry evenings, author readings and signings, and film nights. If your brain needs a regular workout (and whose doesn’t?) you’ll become a regular at Tigress Books.Some deluded folk may think they have enough kitchen appliances and cooking tools. Well, Lullu’s Tutto Cucina is here to tell them they’re wrong. This is kitchen gadget nirvana, and if you are in any doubt as to how to use that new “thing”, Lullu runs cooking classes – a great gift idea, by the way. We’ve even heard of men benefitting from such a thing.Salem had a cherry festival as far back as 1903, and today The Cherry Country is continuing with that fine tradition. Run by the Shadbolt family for 20 years, their specialty is the marriage of organic cherries with the best dark and milk chocolate. And we’ve heard that anyone with an appreciation for the sublime combination of sweet, sour, and spicy will climb over corpses to get their hands on any one of the Cherry Country’s three cherry pepper jellies.
As nice as it is to visit the unique and the creative, sometimes only the mall will do. For those times, the Lancaster Mall with such mainstays as Macy’s, Sears, Best Buy, Regal Cinemas, Old Navy, and over 80 specialty shops is hard to beat. Trying their best to do just that are the fine folks at the Salem Center, where you’ll find solid performers like JC Penney, Kohls, and Nordstrom keeping company with 75 fine shops and services. Both malls offer family-oriented options for dining and entertainment.
The Best Salem Web Sites