Hood River Oregon- The Gorge, Dining, Wine & Brews

July 8, 2023

Part 1: Dining & Brews

The Columbia River carved out the Gorge when it cut through the Cascade Mountains, giving us dramatic views. Insider's note, to ensure you enjoy the views from both the Washington and Oregon sides, take Washington State Hwy 14 there, then drive I-84 on the Oregon side back home.

The town of Hood River is located where the Hood River drains into the mighty Columbia River. From Portland, it's only an hour's drive, and from Seattle less than four hours.

Double Mountain Brewery & Cidery

Double Mountain Brewery and Cidery

Before we begin our outdoor fun, we will highlight the food we need to fortify ourselves. We were hungry and thirsty when we first arrived, so our first stop was at the Double Mountain Brewery & Cidery in town. I usually wouldn't say I like IPAs for the beer flights. They are generally too hoppy for me. However, I liked the Hop Lava IPA this time; the hops are a bit understated. The India Red Ale, with a little more punch, was also enjoyable. Then I went to the lighter Kolsch, which was refreshing. The winner for me was the Hood River Valley Hefeweizen. It was bolder than the Kolsch but not hoppy. Elizabeth's favorite was the Cross Town Traffic which had great hop notes and a smooth malty flavor. 

Double Mountain Brewery and Cidery

They have a great pizza selection for food, and Elizabeth chose Truffle Shuffle white pizza with portobello mushrooms, goat cheese, green onions, and truffle oil. It had a terrific crust – lots of blackened crust bubbles. I enjoyed the tuna melt sandwich prepared with pickled onions. I ordered a side of Caesar salad, and the house-made Caesar salad dressing was simply the best I've had in a long time!


The next day we went for fine dining at Votum, where Chef Sarah Doyle offers a seafood-focused menu. We decided to go with their tasting menu, which features a nine-course dinner with suggested wine pairings. They also provide a separate entrée menu.

Chef Sarah is co-owner, along with Nathan Ricks. They met while working at a three-star Michelin restaurant in California. They decided to start their own restaurant in Hood River in 2019. They moved into an older building in town and did much of the construction. It was very nicely done, with lots of open space and clean lines.

Choosing our favorite from the nine courses is difficult, but the Crab Risotto with sorrel & hazelnut stood out. This combination of fresh Dungeness Crab with risotto was special. For the risotto, they used Arborio rice which is excellent for absorbing and locking in the flavors. The Copper River Salmon was a close second, with asparagus & Choron sauce (a tomato spiked béarnaise sauce). Nothing can beat the famous Copper River Salmon's seasonal rich taste, and the creamy sauce enhanced the salmon beautifully.

It is also important to mention the Oysters, with cucumber and ice. Luckily, my wife does not like oysters, so I got to enjoy all of them! To finish the tasting, there were many delicious dessert choices.


Broder Øst

This Scandinavian-focused brunch place is extremely popular in Hood River. There are also three sister restaurants in Portland, Oregon. I have fond memories of previous visits and was pleased to see some of my favorites on the menu. I liked the Danish Pancakes, served with Lingonberry jam (a Northern European staple) and lemon curd. I also tried their pickled herring, sourced out of Poulsbo, Washington. Poulsbo has its roots as a fishing village and is known as "Little Norway."

Broder Ost

I had the Baked Egg Scramble with salmon, smoked gouda, and shallots this year. My wife enjoyed the Lost Eggs baked with spinach and ham, topped with a parmesan panko crust. All the flavors and moisture are locked in by baking the eggs. We were glad we arrived when they first opened since this is a popular brunch venue.

Ferment Brewing Company

Ferment Brewing Company

On the waterfront with a huge outdoor patio, you can go up to the window and order your brews and food. You can eat and view the kayaking route that you just completed or are planning for later. Today we went inside the cozy setting. I tried some of the lighter beer flights, and I enjoyed all their pilsner offerings. However, one stood out for me, the Mothra Pils. The light citrus notes of the Mandarina German hops make this beer my favorite. My wife enjoyed the I Heart Nelson IPA and Crystal Kingdom IPA, both easy-drinking beers.

The food selection was difficult because we could not decide if we wanted the cheeseburger, salmon burger, or Ruben sandwich. However, we selected some of the lighter items and were not disappointed. We had house-made smoked salmon dip and artichoke dip, both served with pita bread. We enjoyed it so much we decided we would return tomorrow to get it to go with our picnic.

3 River Grill

3 River Grill

This hilltop location in the center of the city of Hood River has stunning views. The best part is you can enjoy the views from the big windows inside or on the outside patio. Perched on the hilltop, you can see the three rivers, Columbia, Hood, and White Salmon. Thinking of all the fish that must be in these rivers, we both chose seafood for dinner. Trust me, the Braised Lamb Shank and the Fillet Mignon looked delicious. But we were both happy with our choices. My Oregon Sole stuffed with crabmeat was delicious, and the lemon dill sauce was perfect. It came with a shrimp on the top for good measure. Elizabeth ordered the pan-seared Sesame-Crusted Sushi Tuna. It was served on mashed potatoes with wasabi and pickled ginger, which gave it a nice gentle kick. Wonderful food, wonderful view! Read Part 2 here

Editorial disclosure: food, beverages, and lodging were generously provided.


Image Sources: