Surviving Salem, Oregon

Friends, it's the time for road trips and summer travel. For those of you traveling in the Pacific Northwest you might find yourself somewhere in between Eugene and Portland and you might wonder and say to yourself, "Self, I'm hungry and I'm driving through a place named Salem and all I can see is a Denny's and a McDonald's, what should I do, where can I stop to satiate my burning desire for good and hopefully healthy food?" If that is indeed you talking to yourself, 1) stop addressing your self as "self" (you know who you are, you) and 2) keep reading, this little blog post is for you. If you can't hold over until you land in your foodie retreat of Eugene or Portland there are some points of food salvation to be found in Salem, plus there's a lovely art museum housed in a 1960's building. See the pics of the Hallie Ford Museum of Art at Willamette University. It was a blah building before and they've attempted to add some color with the stained glass windows. I'm not sure how I feel about the Native American Indian and MCM style working together. I haven't been inside since it's opening in 1998 but it looks as though they have some interesting exhibits passing through. You can read about the history of the building here
 La Capitale. It's a block away from the actual Capitol Building and it's crowning golden man. You can see from the pic of my lunch below La Capitale had a nice mix of good and bad - good: lightly dressed salad, bad (for you): french fries, good: presentation, bad: lots of creamy goodness in the chicken salad open-faced sandwich, good: beautiful display of infused liquors, bad: the temptation of mid-day cocktails with their lovely display of infused liquor. Big idea: if you're in Salem go to lunch or dinner here. Would this restaurant be as popular if it weren't in Salem and were instead in Eugene or Portland? Maybe not, the food was good not amazing, not too expensive, any other place with a larger food scene might find itself slipping into the background - in Salem this place is a stand-out. If you find  yourself in Salem for breakfast you would do yourself a disservice to not drive yourself over to Off Center Cafe. It's quirky but the breakfast fare is beyond fair. I recommend Annie's Eggs or the Bibble and Squib. I've heard it's under new ownership, a relative of the previous long-term owner. I haven't been since this change. I can only hope the place has gone largely untouched. I hope this little post helps you out when you find yourself somewhere in between hipster- and hippie-ville. Happy trails!

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