May 2015: Oregonion Review

A little over a year ago, Solstice Wood Fire Café & Bar moved to a beautiful new location in Hood River across from the waterfront (501 Portway Ave., Hood River; 541-436-0800; solsticewoodfirecafe.com). In prior years, the Washington location had what was considered one of the 50 best pies in the country, the Country Girl Cherry Pizza: a combination of cherries from the Columbia River Gorge region paired with chorizo sausage and goat cheese, topped off with a dash of rosemary and thyme. It’s no wonder it won over the editors of the Food Network Magazine. Talk about inventive. This husband-and-wife team believes in sourcing food from local farmers, ranchers and purveyors to bring customers organic food at a fair price. The café also is allergy-friendly and offers gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian options. Although pizza is the specialty, there’s a full menu consisting of small plates, salads such as the Siragusa Pear Salad, gluten-free seasonal soups, and pastas/entrees including grilled chinook salmon. It doesn’t end there. There’s also a full bar with culinary-inspired cocktails, 11 rotating local microbrews, hard cider and a house wine that you can enjoy in the café or outside on the patio. Owners Suzanne and Aaron Baumhackl have created a family-friendly environment with a special kids menu as well as a play area. Hours are 11:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. six days a week (it’s closed Tuesdays until June 16), with happy hour from 3 to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Lisa Mullis