Food Finds in Grants Pass

Yesterday a friend and I were driving home from Central Point and decided to have lunch in Grants Pass. Summer Jo's is always delightful, but it was close to 2:00 pm and they would be closed. We headed west from I-5 on 6th Street. You have to go quite a ways, past all the fast food franchises into downtown, to find a local restaurant. I had eaten some good soup at Rosso's Trattoria before and I had some sort of wrap or sandwich at Ethereal Cafe one time, but as we drove around the corner looking for a place to park we passed Chocolate Affair Bakery and were definitely tempted to eat dessert first. More on that in a bit.

Another right turn landed us on H Street across from Sunshine Natural Foods and the sign in the window advertised fresh, organic soups, salads, and sandwiches. Soups of the day were Old Fashioned Minestrone and Lentil-Barley. I chose the all-organic salad bar, which you pay for by the pound, so I took small portions of several types of salad and enjoyed them all. I tried the Green Bean and Basil Pasta Salad and it was excellent, though my scoop had mainly broccoli instead of beans. The Quinoa and Corn salad was delicious, as was the potato salad. In addition to organic greens and two types of dressing (one vegan), the bar offered dairy-free tuna salad, egg salad, tempeh noodle salad, seasoned pumpkin seeds and almonds, sliced turkey and teriyaki tofu strips. After lunch, we sampled some of their homemade granola and I bought a loaf of organic raisin-walnut bread. I would definitely eat there again.

Before heading home, we walked around the corner to the Chocolate Affair Bakery. "For Serious Chocoholics" is what their brochure says and my friend and I certainly qualify. Shelves were filled with cookies, muffins, brownies and truffles, but it was the beautiful specialty cakes that caught our fancy. I don't often make cake at home so it's a real treat to indulge in a thick slice of decadent layer cake when I have the chance. Too many choices! German Chocolate, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Black & White, Chocolate Buttercrunch, Black Forest, Chocolate-Raspberry, Chocolate Hazelnut Ganache, Chocolate Capppuccino, and even a few that didn't involve chocolate, like Lemon Curd Torte and Coconut Cream. Well, we didn't agonize over it; we both chose a slice of the Original Triple Chocolate layer cake and made up our minds that we'll just have to stop by every time we go through Grants Pass until we have tried them all.

Mmmmmmmm! "Handmade dark chocolate sponge cake layered with bittersweet chocolate mousse filling, iced with a rich buttercream icing, topped with a rich dark chocolate ganache glaze." Lived up to every expectation.

As we offered our compliments and headed out the door I was struck with an uneasy feeling. What if they went out of business before we ate our way through the menu? One never knew, with an economy like this. "How long have you been in business?" I inquired. "Since 1990," came the reply and my fears were relieved. If they have been around for twenty years, I am confident they won't be closing their doors anytime soon. I can't believe it took me this long to discover them.

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