We had a free night in the writing workshop in Lincoln City. My new friends Jill and Jeanie and I decided to head out to the Wild Flower Grill for dinner. The lovely little remodeled Victorian sat next to a pretty little bayou (Do they call them bayous in Oregon?). I didn’t think to ask the history because the view of the bayou captured my attention almost as much as the food.
I started with a cup of clam chowder as as big as a bowl. But I ate every last creamy drop. I chose the halibut for my entree which came served with fresh asparagus. It was every bit as good as the chowder. I was full when I finished but Jill and I both were hankering to try the Marionberry Cobbler for dessert. We decided to share because the waiter told us it was a huge serving, and we both were pretty full. We took it to go so we could enjoy it on a less full stomach.
At the Inn we fixed some decaf coffee and ordered ice cream from room service. As we peered at the small serving of cobbler, we immediately regretted sharing. And after tasting the sublime pastry that accompanied the perfect sweet-tart Oregon berries, we knew we’d made a monumentally bad decision. In this case, more is indeed better.
Two days later, Jill and I took a walk down to the Historic Taft District. I found this lovely little area on Siletz Bay during one of my early morning runs. There were a couple of shops that I wanted to check out, and I loved this little vintage cafe with a mermaid out front. I was curious as to what delicacies might be inside.
Eleanor’s Undertow served ice cream and some beach-style snacks and meals. I wasn’t too interested in anything except the ice cream. Vicky, the owner, started telling me about the history of this family-owned cafe. Jill and I got caught up in her story and asked Vicky to tell us more. Eleanor, the namesake of the cafe, was her Grandmother. Pictures of the elegant Eleanor and her husband adorned the old-style piano as Vicky took us on a colorful trip through her family history.
I hated to leave Vicky, and somewhere along the way she mentioned her husband Tom’s Marionberry Cobbler. Jill and I looked at each other with raised eyebrows. Could it be better or even remotely the same as the heavenly Wild Flower Marionberry Cobbler? Did we dare try another one that could be a major disappointment? Yes, we dared. And we did.
Tom’s cobbler was divine. It wasn’t as elegant as the Wild Flower cobbler, but it was every bit as delicious in a homegrown sort of way. In fact, we really couldn’t decide which one was tastier even though they were unique in their own special way. The Wild Flower cobbler was elegant with a French pastry flair but Tom’s cobbler was bubbling with seaside charm and family lore.
At the airport I spotted some cobbler, and I thought I would try one last sample. Alas, it was airport cobbler. Devoid of Lincoln City and seaside charm, it had none of the specialness of the cobblers we shared. No insult to the Marionberries that gave their lives for this particular crust, but I could’ve done without. It seems that Marionberry Cobbler is not just a dessert. It is a kaleidoscope of the hands that prepared it and the venue in which it’s created. I still can’t decide which of those Lincoln City cobblers were the best. But I do know that I wish we had each had our own. In the case of Marionberry Cobbler, one is never enough.