Mount Hood Brewing's Ice Axe Grill: quest for the Oatmeal Stout is futile
Mount Hood Brewing's Ice Axe Grill was a bit of a disappointment. While Mount Hood, the peak, was the draw for us to the area, it would not be a stretch to say that Mount Hood, the brewery, had something to do with us being in the area. We had tried their Hogsback Oatmeal Stout in cask form at the Horse Brass Pub in Portland and decided that a trip out to see Mount Hood was likely in our future. It was that good and the keg ran out after the one pint we had too.
Government Camp was an odd name and odd town for what is the tourist center of the area. The Ice Axe Grill sits right at the entrance to it and looked like a typical ski resort pub from the exterior but the interior lacked much atmosphere. Our hearts sank when the bartender informed us that the cask beer was their Cloud Cap Amber. Even worse, they were totally out of their Hogsback Stout. If looks could kill, the bartender job at the pub would have been open for immediate filling.
Favorite Dish: The food menu was not particularly interesting. With them not having the beer we had come all this way to try, we decided to make it a short visit. Thankfully, they had 12 oz glasses in addition to pints. Doreen went for a pint of the only dark beer on the menu. The Multorporter Ale was a smooth roasty porter with a definite if light smoked character. She enjoyed it but it was no match for the Hogsback Oatmeal Stout. I had a 12 oz glass of the Tom Foolery Nut Brown Ale which was served nitro and was an English style brown, creamy with a nutty malt palate and semi-dry finish. I got a full pint of their cask Cloud Cap Amber which had a rich malty palate and dryish slightly bitter finish. A nice session ale but not overly tasty. Next up, a glass of the Ice Ace IPA which was deep golden with a creamy head and balanced palate, finishing dry and bitter. I finished up with the XXX IPA which at 8.3% was a seasonal strong ale. This amber ale was malty but thin on flavor for the strength but managed a fairly dry finish. Dangerously drinkable but simple for how strong it was.
Two pints and three glasses plus tip: $20
- Road Trip
- Food and Dining
- Beer Tasting
Elliot Glacier Public House: beer with a view
Elliot Glacier Public House is a great small brewpub in the foothills of Mount Hood. In the small town of Parkdale, this rustic little wooden pub is filled with climber artifacts and oozes ski lodge warmth and hospitality with an alternative flair. We arrived before it opened but as soon as we walked through the door we were glad we waited. I also immediately wanted to sit inside this cozy little pub but it was gorgeous out so we checked out the patio in the rear. It was simple but had the most incredible view of Mt. Hood so there was no further discussion.
Favorite Dish: They had a pretty limited menu but the soup of the day was lentil and we ordered two large bowls ($6) which came with home baked bread. It was very tasty, hearty and a good size portion. Doreen had the Baseline Porter (5.6%) which was a nice chocolaty porter in the English mold with a semi-dry bittersweet finish. I had a taster of the Parkdale Pale Ale (5.6%) which was tasty but a typical Pacific Northwest Pale. Balanced but leaning towards the citrus hop as expected in this area. I also tasted the Gnarl Ridge IPA (6.2%) which was a super floral IPA with a perfume nose and dry bitter finish. It seemed a bit harsh after the cask-conditioned beers of Portland. I opted for a full pint of the Ghost Ridge Russian Imperial Stout (6.7%) which was a supercharged big brother to the porter with pronounced alcohol in addition to the chocolate malt and hints of dried fruit as it warmed up.
It would have been easy to spend the day here. Nice beer and views of Mount Hood are tough to beat. Lunch with two beers and tip came to $25.
- Food and Dining
- Beer Tasting
- Road Trip
The Ixeaxe Grill: The Ixeaxe Grill
The restaurant is located in Government Camp, a short drive from Mount Hood. It may have changed ownership as the name changed between 2006 and 2007. But the food remains the same- standard pub fare with a good selection of beer and wine.
I've sampled quite a bit of the menu during my Mount Hood forays. The burgers and pizza are very good and some of their entrees, particularly the steak and chicken, are pretty good as well. The prices are reasonable and the service is friendly. Definitely a thumbs up all around.
- Budget Travel
Outdoor cafe: Some of the best restaurants don't have this view
Some people just eat gorp or trail mix on a trail. I know. I am guilty. But if it is a dayhike and you can carry it, doesn't cheese, bread, sausage, wine and/or beer with some chocolate for dessert (fresh water, too, of course) sound a lot better?
Favorite Dish: The favorite dish is up to your imagination - limitless.
- Hiking and Walking
- Food and Dining
- Wine Tasting
Timberline Lodge dining room: Timberline Lodge dining room
I ate here during a visit to Mount Hood in July, 2001. The food was fantastic and the restaurant was pretty upscale. One of those white tablecloth and candlelight places which felt out of place in a rustic lodge, although its hard to complain about a dining room with a view of the sun setting over Mount Hood. But the dress is casual and the atmosphere pretty relaxed. There was an extensive wine list which is a good part of the reason why I don't remember more details about the food. Service was top notch and friendly as well.
Favorite Dish: According to my journal notes, rock shrimp blended with truffle oil was fantastic, smoked trout in raspberry sauce divine, ditto for tilapia with peanut chili sauce and the chocolate cake was to die for. By then, I'd apparently gone through a couple of glasses of wine and some port to go with dessert, so this review might be slightly skewed.
- Luxury Travel
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
The ski lodge...: Expensive.
I'm a brown bagger by nature, and although I can't remember the specific amount I paid for the soup, I DO remember the reason I had only soup was that the menu was pricier than I cared to spend on. Just call me El Cheapo the hungry. The service wasn't that outstanding either.