Seattle Wine Blog

This blog is dedicated to commentary on all aspects of wine, especially short entries to help you find the best wines without the usual hype and spin. These are my frank, independent opinions, usually based on tasting wine at a public event, off the shelf or at the winery. "All creative acts must arise out of a specific soil and flicker with a spirit of place" -D.H. Lawrence

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Walla Walla Restaurants

For many years friends tell me, Walla Walla was a desert when it came to restaurants, but the Oasis has been there just off the highway to Milton-Freewater for quite some time. In fact, it was a pleasure to have lunch from the 1950s style menu that offered everything your heart could desire in a diner. The Walla Walla onions stuffed with melted cheese and crab was the signature dish of our visit. Speaking of oldies, but goodies the Homestead offered up real good typical cafe food and a very nice list of local wines at reasonable prices. The Creekside Cafe offered somewhat more sophisticated cuisine in an outdoor setting. It was a good thing we were with Bob and Kathy as the conversation after the first course had to last a long time 'til the main course arrived. Whitehouse Crawford refused to seat us when we arrived ten minutes early even though the restaurant was basically empty. Although that left a bad taste in our mouths, the food was good and the Amaurice Chardonnay was spectacular with the fabulous squab. This time around we decided to skip the pretentiousness of 26 Brix where relatively untrained farm boys and girls are dressed up in formal wear serving small portions in imitation of, say, the French Laundry, for example. Walla Walla is turning out excellent winemakers, perhaps they need to add a hospitality training program. The highlight for us was our lunch with Catie at Saffron, where all the small plates we had at lunch so whetted our appetites that we tried to reserve for dinner that night. Of course, nothing was available on such short notice. Clearly this is the place to eat now in Walla Walla. The two wine bars, Grapefields and the Vineyard are great places to taste wine, meet people, and have a light meal. I always choose my wine first, then the food, so Walla Walla is the perfect place for me.


  • At 8:08 AM, Blogger Lena said…

    Please tell me you ate at the Woop-em-up cafe when you were there!

    PS I have really enjoyed reading your Walla Walla posts. We make an annual trip down there for tasting but the only one of these we have visited is Isenhower - so it's fun to read about some of the other out of the mainstream wineries.

  • At 4:40 PM, Blogger SeattleWineBlog said…

    Hi Lena, thanks for your comment. We didn't make it to Woop-em-up, even though Catie recoomended it. We will have to get there next time. Gene

  • At 7:15 PM, Blogger Catie said…

    There is no way that Gene et al is going to the Whoopemup without me!

    Gene, as soon as I downloaded your blog, the picture of the Oasis (known to the locals as "The O") popped up. It made me smile. You know, the "O" hasn't changed much with the exception of some odd looking extensions to make more seating. My folks dined there when I was a little girl --- and I don't need to tell you how long ago that was. heh.

  • At 6:55 AM, Blogger SeattleWineBlog said…

    Catie, we definitely have to go to the whoopemup together next time. Gene

  • At 1:20 PM, Anonymous maclu24 said…

    You should really stop in at 26Brix next time you're in town. Give them another chance. They've made some pretty big changes since the failed French Laundry attempt. They're now a more relaxed bistro style restaurant with larger portions and cheaper prices. Go in. Check it out. Sit in the bar for a casual comfortable dining experience. And keep writing! These genuine blogger reviews are so helpful. Thanks again!

  • At 9:09 AM, Blogger SeattleWineBlog said…

    maclu, thanks for your comment. I will definitely check out 26 Brix next time I am in Walla Walla. The first time I ate at there it was quite good! Gene

  • At 12:07 AM, Anonymous alison said…

    We are from Kirkland but have spent many long weekends in Walla Walla, as we have both a son and daughter at Whitman College. We are great fans of the WhoopEmUp. We find both Whitehouse Crawford and 26 Brix to be rather pretentious and have relatively poor service considering the price. Of course the food is good, but neither place has the cozy friendliness of WhoopEmUp.

  • At 10:07 PM, Blogger SeattleWineBlog said…

    Alison, thanks for your comment. The WhoopEmUp seems to be the place to be. The name reminds me of the the Let'erBuck room at the Pendleton Roundup. Gene


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