The Dream Meal Team has been at it again. For the second year, our group of three experienced foodies took on the enviable task of dining out once or twice a week at some of the region's finest restaurants for reviews and to pick the best appetizer, salad, entree and dessert for the Foothills magazine's annual Dream Meal.
The winners — and there were many — are published in the January-February issue of Foothills, now available at many locations. Reviews of all participating restaurants will appear one each week on the Winemaker's Journal website.
The Dream Meal review team is made up of Annette Pitts, director of the Cascade Loop Association, former caterer and food blogger; Kent Getzin, Wenatchee School District director of food services and member of the National Farm to School Board of Directors; and Rick Steigmeyer, food and wine blogger and Wenatchee World staff writer.
All meals were provided by the restaurants, most drinks were purchased. As current or former food service workers, we all want to see local restaurants succeed. Criticisms, if any, are all meant to be constructive.
Mile Post 111 Brewing Co.
A storm cloud arrived at Mile Post 111 about the same time we did. We sat in a booth where we could smell the rain and watch it pour down through the open overhead doors that front the Cashmere restaurant and sports bar.
The doors are a nice feature, especially in summer when you also have the option of sitting outside the doors or on a large wood deck overlooking the Wenatchee River.
The doors are a throwback to the building's history as a car dealership, a commercial helicopter operation and the former Ryan Patrick Winery among its many chapters.
Melissa McClendon opened Mile Post 111 about a year ago hoping to attract rafters and kayakers that play on the wild river, mountain bikers that come for Cashmere's renowned trails, skiers and travelers along busy Highway 2/97. So far, the place has been a hit, pairing fresh microbrews and inventive dishes well above and way better your average sports bar. More than 20 microbrews are on tap. McClendon plans to start making her own brews soon. Wine and spirits available too.
Chef Matthew Walgren said all of the restaurant's sauce's, dressings, soups and desserts are made from scratch. We tried to get him to share a couple recipes — no luck — after trying his refreshing Watermelon Jicama Salad. Our excellent server, Lane Graybill, insisted that we also try a green salad with Walgren's killer French dressing. Yep, it was good.
Although the house specialty Mac'N Cheese appetizer was good, what really bowled us over were the Truffle Fries. Annette said it was dish she could eat her weight of. We're glad she didn't because we would have had to carry two of her out.
The Fire Pasta was a tasty dish of Buffalo-style chicken and Fettuccini Alfredo. We didn't have room for it, but still loved the fresh-baked Upper Valley Apple Dumpling for dessert. We really love it when restaurants use locally grown foods and Mile Post 111 does it right.
Other menu items we look forward to trying include salmon, Mike's Meats brisket beef burgers, vegie burgers, steaks, apple stuffed chicken, salads, and Buffalo wings. We'll definitely return for an after-hike or after-ski beer and basket of those delicious Truffle fries.
Mile Post 111, 407 Aplets Way, Cashmere; 888-0222; Prices range from $6 to $22.