Our friends Deb and Craig moved out to Eugene, Oregon a couple of years a go and we’ve never visited them. Why? Many reasons, theres nothing even resembling a direct flight to Eugene from DC. We were busily preparing for this trip a good part of the time they have been out there. And, I am highly allergic to Hippies.
Of course, being only a few hours north in Portland we were obliged to pay them a visit, they are some of our best friends after all, and boy did it paid off big! Details will follow, but hold on a minute while I set the stage.
Eugene is a College Town par excellence. The University of Oregon owns this town and dominates just about every facet of life in it. It is also widely known as the hippy capitol of the Pacific Northwest. I don’t know if it’s old growth forest, the generally laid back lifestyle of people here, or the mushrooms that seem to grow everywhere, but there are tons of them here. To quote Bill Paxton from “Aliens” – “There’s movement all over the place! Game Over Man, Game Over!” Except in Eugene he would be talking about Hippys, not Aliens that would one day go on to fight the Predator – Twice.
One more thing to know – hippies make great food. Ergo, there is a lot of great organic, non-GMO’ed, free range food in Eugene. I will speak of only one of them – the best one in my opinion – the Pizza Research Institute. A high fluting name if you ask me, but what else would you call a pizza place that serves corn-on-the-cob on a pizza? They are out there doing the kind of research that just can’t get funding here on the east coast, maybe one day we will all benefit from their sacrifice.
Anyway, this place is out there – in a good way! The menu has a Periodic Table of Ingredients, complete with a column for the “Noble Vegetables” (they have put some thought into this). And if you go, and you should, do yourself a favor and put yourself in the lovin' hands of the Chef and order a Chef’s Special. Fifteen (15) ingredients of the chef’s choosing on one pie. If listed out, the strange combinations would turn off most people (Peaches and Walnuts on a pizza, egad man!), but when administered by these Researches, it all works.
If you go to Eugene, go to the Pizza Research Institute. Call Craig and Deb and see if they can join you, but go to PRI for the love of Pete.