There are so many reasons why I love Hood River. The orchards, stunning mountain views, wineries scattered across the valley, and the list goes on and on. One of just the many places unique to the area is Apply Valley Country Store.
Located on the site of a former lumber mill, the store is built from lumber salvaged from the buildings that originally stood here. While once intended to be just an outlet for organic apples and produce, the store has expanded to offer a full line of jams, jellies, pie fillings, syrups and more made with local fruit.
Jars of their creations line the shelves inside the store. Plentiful samples are available, to taste test before you buy. They also serve up milkshakes and house made desserts. Grab yourself a fresh baked pie to enjoy when you get home.
The real star of the show here is the BBQ, served only on Fruit Loop Event weekends. In fact, I plan 90% of my trips to the Hood River Valley around when Apple Valley is serving up BBQ at the store.
While there is an Apply Valley BBQ restaurant located just up the road in Parkdale, where I also eat often, there is just something about sitting at the picnic tables, under the trees, with the smell of smoke hanging in the air that makes the ribs taste so much better.
All of their meat is smoked with cherry wood, from local trees and slathered in a zesty sauce. They serve up ribs, pulled pork, chicken, and sausage. Sorry vegetarians, there aren’t any options available for you here.
Not to be outdone by the meats, the pear cole slaw, again made with local fruit, is unique and tasty. The pears add a nice sweetness and crunch. While I have tried to duplicate this recipe myself at home, I seem to miss whatever magic touch they add to it. Maybe it’s the fresh valley air that makes it taste so good.
Rounding out the sides, is apple cider baked beans. Yet another treat for your taste buds.
Put it all together, and it’s what I like to refer to as “Love on a Plate.” I think your stomach will agree!
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