I spent my childhood on the waters of the Puget Sound, boating throughout Washington's San Juan Islands and Canada's Gulf Islands. Over the weekend we were at Roche Harbor and I stopped in for a
San Juan Island Culinary Tour
Whether you want to go for a day or a long weekend, San Juan Island offers a wide variety of places to fill your senses. I’ve put together some of my favorite places to go, from restaurants to wine tasting with a little history thrown in, San Juan Island is a perfect place to relax and enjoy a weekend “Island Style”.
Bakery San Juan is a great place to get a morning pastry or a fresh baguette for an evening appetizer. Their hours are short on the weekends so make sure plan ahead.
Front Street Ale House, located in Friday Harbor near the ferry terminal, is known to the locals for serving great pub food and local brews. Their arrogant bastard ale is an A+ staple. Ask to do a beer tasting and try a sample of all they offer.
Sweet Re-treat Need an afternoon pick me up? Grab a latte or a chocolate milk shake at this little stand in the heart of Friday Harbor.
Roche Harbor offers several places to eat, but my favorite is on the deck for lunch at the Madrona Bar & Grill. Start out with the blue cheese chopped salad, with eggs and almonds, then satisfy your hunger with the roast beef sandwich and be sure to add cheddar. Wash it all down with a house specialty Berry Mojito. This is a great meal to split for two as the portions are generous.
Heritage Farm is a local farm that offers milk, produce, poultry and beef in a small house complete with a couple of refrigerators and freezers. Heritage Farm operates on the honor system and is unattended, so be sure to bring change. They are not always consistent with what they have available so have an open mind when shopping there.
Location: 221 Heritage Farm Lane
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Other things to do: Hayrides and carriage rides. Draft horses raised and trained for farming.Sustainably-raised pastured chickens, and eggs from organically fed and pastured hens. Grass hay. Farm tours available.”
Duck Soup Inn is a wonderful place to celebrate your time with a fantastic dinner on the island featuring local fare with delicious flare. The menu has something for everyone and largely features local, organic ingredients. Make sure to make reservations on the weekends or if you have a large party, the dining room is quaint.
San Juan Island Vineyards Wine Tasting
San Juan Vineyards is on your way back from Roche Harbor to Friday Harbor. They offer 10 wines, but here are my favorites:
Siegerrebe, “From our Estate Vineyard seen as you drive along Roche Harbor Road, our Siegerrebe vineyard is in view. This interesting, light varietal has aromatic floral and tree fruit nose with crisp citrus and pear flavors finishing with a hint of grapefruit. There’s just a hint of sweetness. The Siegerrebe is a wonderful, summertime entertaining wine.”
Cabernet-Merlot, “Our Cabernet-Merlot has been a popular blend year after year. This blend has burnt dark cherry on the nose with plum, tea and cherry on the palate. It finishes with a hint of chocolate, oak and cordial cherry. This is a great, consistent food partner to have around the house for the grilling season and a nice Pot Roast in the Fall. The blend of the Cabernet Merlot is 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot and a 5% splash of Syrah, with all the fruit sourced from Kestrel View Estates.
The grapes were fermented in open top fermenters using Bordeaux Red yeast, and from the fermenters to the Oak barrels. The wine was aged in Oak for 20 months. We used 40% new French oak primarily on the Cabernet wines with blending taking place later in the aging process. The 2004 Cabernet-Merlot was recently awarded a Silver Medal at the prestigious Riverside State Fair in Riverside, CA (May, 2007).”
Mona Vino, In May, 2007, we released a Red Table wine in honor of the popular “Mona” a Dromedary Camel living across the road from San Juan Vineyards. The camel has become quite popular with locals and tourists alike. Many stop by with apples and carrots to feed Mona. She is very friendly, and has a following! So, Mona Vino was born using blended red wine, 2003 vintage. It is 55% Syrah with the remainder split with Merlot and Cabernet. It is presently sold exclusively in our Tasting Room.