The Other Side of the Mountain

Greg Robeson and Jason Stoller Smith, Guest Author
May 21, 2012 (Updated May 31, 2013)

Jason Stoller Smith, Oregon’s Most Elevated Chef:

Jason Stoller Smith has one of the best commutes in Oregon. As the executive chef at the historic Timberline Lodge, Jason’s route to work takes him more than halfway up Mt. Hood. There, he creates menus featuring products sourced from a cadre of farmers and foragers, when he’s not out in the forest himself looking for edibles. Jason says the view never gets old, whether it’s the sunsets and sunrises outdoors, or the towering dining room and expansive Oregon wine cellar indoors. Here are a few of Jason’s tips for exploring his part of Oregon:

Start your day:
I like to start my day at Café Aria in Welches, where they serve fresh ground Stumptown Coffee along with delicious breakfast pastries and waffles, like the hazelnut and chocolate.

Can’t-miss dinner:
Grab a table at El Burro Loco in Welches and order the wild boar tacos along with an Oregon craft brew. It’s my 4-year old daughter’s favorite place, and that’s big praise.

Unique sleeps:
There are lots of secluded cabins in the forest around Mt. Hood, the perfect place to snuggle by a fire on a crisp day. My favorite is the River View Cabin on the banks of the picturesque Salmon River.

You’ve gotta see this:
The Arts Cabins in Government Camp is a working gallery for a collective of local artists who produce everything from watercolor images, to blacksmithing and woodcarving.

Grab your camera:
I’m kind of biased on this one, but who else has a gorgeous mountain outside their office? The view of the lodge with Mt. Hood behind is stunning, any time of year.

Meet the maker:
Stop by Phelps Creek Vineyard in Hood River. You might just find 4th-generation Burgundian winemaker Alexandrine Roy pouring some of her luscious pinot noir.

A treat worth driving out of your way:
The pizza at Double Mountain Brewing & Taproom in the scenic town of Hood River is the best wood fired pie in the area, if not the state, and the beer is awesome. Try the Vaporizer dry-hopped pale ale.

Want some inspiration to help create your own tasty trail? Download our Trails To Feast booklet featuring seven culinary paths throughout Oregon.