Cheese For Days!
Well now, who doesn't just love a nice hunk of cheese? I'm guessing not many won't raise their hand on that one. So, it's exciting to announce that one of the longest-running, world class cheese, ice cream and yogurt makers...Tillamook Cheese...has opened a hugely revamped visitor center down in Tillamook, Oregon. If you've been in the NW for long, you've likely visited the old visitor center and macked down on their copious free samples. As of now, this experience has been taken to new and very exciting heights.
With the grand opening of the new visitor center having just occurred on June 20, it's a great time to get down there and be a part of NW history. And hey, a trip to the coast needs little excuse anyways, so this just adds some great, extra sharp white cheddar to an otherwise wonderful day or overnight trip.
The beauty of this new visitor center owes its general design to Seattle design firm Olson Kundig. Having visited the prior center more than a dozen times over my lifetime (yes I dig cheese ;), well, this new offering from Tillamook really shines. It's a bit like going from a local, mom and pop grocery store to a Whole Foods. Indeed, there is still a strong sense of local, home grown feel...so it's not all corporate...but the new quality of interactive exhibits (great for all ages), the now supreme food offerings (more on that in a second), and the overall space (greatly expanded to cut the elbow-to-elbow crowd experience that was always an issue)...just takes things to new heights.
The Chef from Irving Street Kitchen
Many prior visitors to the Tillamook Cheese Factory recall eating good food at the dining hall. That said, the lines were ALWAYS tough. Now, not only do things run much faster and smoother, the gorgeous new dining hall features menu creations from Irving Street Kitchen’s executive chef/owner Sarah Schafer. Local wines from A to Z, beers from Rogue, Boneyard and more, a great breakfast menu...and such delectable main menu items as tempura battered cheese curds, a classic Tillamook Cheese burger and individual pizzas make me want to stop typing and head west. See the full menu here to see what I'm talking about.
Useful Tillamook Cheese Links
Here are some great links to check out the new visitor center and plan your exodus from the valley, down to the coast. Just make sure to arrive on an empty stomach! From ice cream to wine to the best grilled cheese money can buy, well, you won’t go away hungry…that I can guarantee.