Bread Pudding in The Dalles, OR
The Dalles, Oregon proved to run the gamut in variety and quality of bread pudding. I sampled this dessert from three different restaurants while in The Dalles and, as an aside, attended the Cherry Blossom Stage Race.
Stage one bread pudding was at the Cousins Country Inn restaurant, which also happened to be the motel where teammate Brent and myself were staying. The dessert was a decently sized bowl of the typical raisin/custard/bread combo. While it was a good prep for the 80 mile Cherry Blossom stage one road race, stage one dessert was nothing to write home about and proved to be a test of endurance to finish. Both Brent and I finished the next morning's race with the pack, an unfortunate 10 minutes behind the lone leader.
With Friday evening came stage two at Baldwin Saloon in the downtown area. The historic atmosphere was complete with live piano and waitresses that could substitute for a stubborn grandma. That said, stubborn grandmas know how to make a good bread pudding. Baldwin's hit a gastronomical high note, offering a creamy custard flavor; the absence of raisins was replaced by a delightful whipped cream and blueberry topping. Following the bread pudding, the next morning saw solid individual results in the morning's 8 mile time trial. The evenings crit, shortened to 30 minutes, saw no changes in overall GC with Brent and myself finishing with the pack.
The final stage came from an unlikely source: Romul's, a very appetizing Italian restaurant with pasta dishes sure to satisfy the cyclist. Romul's gave yet another bread pudding which nixed the typical raisins for an alternative. Instead, Romul's served up a pear based delicacy. The presentation was excellent with slices of pear to top the dish adjacent to a bed of whipped cream. Uniquely different from the traditional bread pudding. The slicing of the pear was a foreshadowing of the following day's final stage slicing up the pack. Sustained climbs, technical descents, and numerous attacks on the final climb had the field broken into many groups all trying to finish the day. Brent had the misfortune of a flat with no wheel car to provide a spare. I rolled in with about a dozen racers 5 1/2 minutes after the leader, finishing the weekend 10th in GC.
Overall it was a successful weekend with many varieties of bread pudding sampled. Next up: the team will see if Walla Walla shares The Dalles raisin-aversion in bread pudding.