Days off are a precious thing in my world. By day, I work in insurance and by night, I’m a proud member of the food service industry. Factor in a part-time writing gig for this blog and you can see why I cherish each work-free day, or sometimes, half day, that gets thrown my way. Bonus points if they happen to coincide with my boyfriend’s days off. Miraculously, I got one of those rare days this past Sunday. To celebrate, we decided to skip town.
One of the great things about living in Moses Lake is that it’s pretty easy to escape. Drive for an hour and you can get to Wenatchee, Ellensburg or the Tri Cities. Drive for an hour and a half and you’ll find yourself in Spokane, in two hours you’re in Walla Walla and in three, you can be in Seattle. But since we only had one day to spend we settled on a quick trip to Wenatchee.
We left Moses Lake mid-morning so we would get there in time for lunch. I had heard some great things about the restaurants at Pybus Public Market and I was dying to give them a try. Pybus has a fantastic location in between historic downtown and Riverfront Park which makes it a breeze to get to. I’m a huge fan of Pike Place Market in Seattle and I love how Pybus embodies that same spirit, just on a smaller and more intimate scale. The market features more than a dozen specialty shops and a handful of eateries and they’re open seven days a week, 362 days a year.
We spent some time at D’Olivo, which specializes in infused Extra Virgin Olive Oils and balsamic vinegars. My boyfriend was in heaven there. As a chef, he’s always looking for those unique ingredients to take his dishes to the next level. After sampling almost a dozen varieties—including a Blood Orange infused oil and an espresso balsamic vinegar (yumm!)—we settled on a Tuscan Herb olive oil and a black currant balsamic vinegar to take home with us. We also made a stop at The Cheesemonger’s Shop because cheese is my absolute favorite food group. The ladies behind the counter really knew their cheese too and guided me to a smoked Applewood Cheddar which was right up my alley. Unfortunately, we couldn’t take any home with us since Pybus wasn’t going to be our last stop.
By that point we were getting pretty hungry so we grabbed a table at Fire, one of Pybus’ restaurants that is all about the wood-fired pizza. We started off with a round of Icicle Creek brews—an IPA for him and a Blonde Ale for me—and some bruschetta. We then debated between a couple of their pizzas and it ultimately came down to their Ham, Fig and Goat pizza, with fig jam, smoked herb loin, green onions and goat cheese, and their Colazione, with bacon, green onions and a fresh duck egg. The Colazione won. There’s just something about dipping your pizza in runny egg yolk that speaks to me. Definitely worth trying if you find yourself hungry at Pybus.
After lunch we grabbed a bag of cinnamon vanilla almonds from Almond Blossom Roasted Nuts (their Bootjack IPA beer nut and Thai Chili nut are both worth sampling if you are more into savory than sweet) and a Jalapeno Cheddar beef stick from Mike’s Meats.
With a good chunk of the day left, we decided to visit Ohme Gardens and take advantage of the sun and warm temps. Besides the flora and fauna and picturesque views of Wenatchee, the Ohme Gardens is also worth visiting for its history. The Gardens are now managed by Chelan County but they originally belonged to Herman Ohme and his family. Herman purchased the property in 1929 and cultivated the Gardens from the ground up. A mile or so of walkways and steps take you to the various waterfalls, pools and lookout points around the Gardens. There are also a number of hand carved stone benches throughout the property so you can sit and take in your surroundings. Admission to the Gardens is $8 for adults, but well worth it.
We left Wenatchee early enough to make a pit stop at White Trail Produce, a charming specialty grocery store just outside of Quincy. Besides fresh produce and other grocery staples, the shop also carries wine, home décor items, handbags and accessories– and my favorite part ice cream and milkshakes! A large scoop of Mocha Almond Fudge ice cream was the perfect way to end my day. It was almost enough to make up for the long work week ahead of me. Not quite, but almost, and sometimes that’s all you need.