Shake out your sweaters and bring on the decorative gourds, because as of this weekend it’s officially autumn. A welcome change from the smoky skies of summer, autumn days invite the chance to wake up to crisp air, changing leaves, and a chance to enjoy a steady stream of subtle spices. Here are 14 treats to try to make the most of your autumn.
Apple Cider Doughnuts
Whether you prefer the warm ones from E.Z. Orchards or Bauman’s Farm & Garden or the glazed version at Roth’s Fresh Markets, you can’t go wrong with these autumnal treats. Apple cider lends tang to the batter of cake doughnuts, which are often served coated in cinnamon-sugar. Looking for a vegan and/or gluten-free version? Check out the apple Cider-Glazed Spice Donut Holes from Bigwig Donuts at Archive on Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday mornings from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.
E.Z. Orchards 5504 Hazel Green Rd NE Salem
Bauman’s Farm & Garden 12989 Howell Prairie Rd NE Gervais
Roth’s Fresh Marketsmultiple locations
Sweetsmith is a new bakery-café from Diana Ramallo and Alena Stewart, the mother-daughter duo behind Amadeus. Though the case at the new bakery is full of stunning cakes, the one to fall for now is the Autumn Cake ($8 per slice). It’s two layers of butternut squash and pumpkin spice cake with a thick ginger cookie layer in between, a handsome tower of autumnal goodness lavished in cranberry-orange cream cheese frosting.
Sweetsmith Bakery 135 Liberty Street Salem
Pear Crepe with Brie, Raspberry Jam and Walnuts
Sweet, sophisticated pears are often overlooked next to apples and pumpkins, the stars of the harvest season, but they shine in a sweet and savory crepe with raspberry jam, walnuts and Brie at the Oregon Crepe Café. Still hungry? Pick-up an apple danish or a pumpkin cookie.
Oregon Crepe Cafe 315 High Street SE Salem
Baked Apple Crisp Ice Cream & Vegan Pumpkin Chai Ice Cream
Dolce Mama’s is going all out on fall! Owner Jenna LoSciuto-Olivas is offering pumpkin spice cheesecake ice cream, gingersnap ice cream, baked apple crisp ice cream and vegan pumpkin chai ice cream, all brimming with fall flavors. Level up your order by getting two scoops of the above in a pumpkin spice waffle cone.
Dolce Mama’s 333 State Street Salem
Bourbon Brown Sugar Latte
IKE Box has got coffee-drinkers covered, but their latte offerings go beyond the basic PSL. Instead try a Caramel Apple Cider, a Pumpkin Spice Dirty Chai or a Toffee Nut White Mocha. The café is also debuting their Bourbon Brown Sugar Latte, made with bourbon-spiked brown sugar syrup. Though the drink might sound boozy, it’s not. The alcohol cooks out leaving only toasty bourbon notes behind. Have one for breakfast paired with a Spiced Pumpkin Scone.
IKE Box 299 Cottage Street NE Salem
Two Towns Hollow Jack’d Pumpkin Cider
Pumpkin beers abound at bars all over town this time of year, but make sure to seek out this spiced cider at Barrel & Keg as well. Hollow Jack is Two Towns’ original pumpkin cider, made with apples, caramelized pumpkin and sweet potatoes and finished with honey and spices. This year, seek out Hollow Jack’d, an imperial pumpkin cider with the same ingredients, juiced to an 8.4% ABV (up from the original’s 6.4%). Think of one as the trick-or-treat version of Halloween and the other as the haunted house version.
Barrel & Keg 1190 Broadway Street NE Salem
Salem Ale Works’ Gourdless Heathen
If you are the type who enjoys a pumpkin spice latte but wants neither pumpkin nor spice in your pint of beer, make a plan to head to Salem Ale Works. In past years the brewery released the antithesis to pumpkin beers everywhere: Gourdless Heathen, an American brown ale with zero pumpkin or spice. This year, based on customer feedback, they’re introducing Gourdless Heathen Light, a mild brown ale (4.7% ABV) hopped to what co-founder and brewer Justin Ego calls “a happy 26 IBUs using Northern Brewer hops. With such an unaggressive hopping we decided to forgo the spice additions for another year; gourdless and proud.”
Salem Ale Works 2315 25th Street SE Salem
The combination of pumpkin and coconut in Thai curry is a classic, pairing pumpkin (or, traditionally, green-skinned Kabocha squash) with a whole different set of spices; chili, ginger and galangal. The combination makes for a warming yet creamy curry. Try a classic version at Thai Orchid, or visit Venti’s for a vegetarian version made with garbanzo beans. A riff on the same idea, there’s no better time of year for Wild Pear’s Coconut Curry Butternut Squash Soup, available either by the cup ($4.50) or the bowl ($7).
Thai Orchid 285 Liberty St NE #250 Salem
Venti’s Downtown 325 Court St NE Salem
Wild Pear 372 State Street Salem
Fried Green Tomatoes
Lest pumpkins, apples and squash steal the entire seasonal spotlight, plan to stop into W. Wallace for a plate of fried green tomatoes. As summer tomatoes start to slow down in cooler temperatures and fading sunlight, autumn is the perfect time to enjoy this southern favorite that makes use of tangy, under-ripe green tomatoes. If you like fried pickles you’ll love this dish.
W. Wallace 383 State Street Salem
Apple Spice Milkshake
A new addition to Burgerville’s lineup of seasonal shakes, this one highlights roasted Washington-grown Granny Smith apples, blending them into a milkshake with ice cream, nutmeg, vanilla and cinnamon. The shake is garnished with whipped cream and pieces of pie crust. It’s available at local Burgerville locations through November 25, 2018.
The Johnny Appleseed Burger
A little sweet and a lot savory, the Johnny Appleseed is Bo & Vine’s answer to autumn. It’s a grass-fed beef burger topped with grilled Granny Smith apple, crumbled blue cheese, smoked bacon and cinnamon whiskey caramelized onions. Your call on whether or not you’ll still have room for tots.
Bo & Vine 176 Liberty Street NE Salem
“Dig A Pony”
This cocktail, named for a Beatles song, is Table Five 08 bartender Rob “Drinkenstein” Melton’s answer to an autumn Old Fashioned. He keeps the bitters and the muddled orange and cherries of the original, but layers in fall flavors by infusing the bourbon with vanilla and maple. Finishing the drink with a float of porter beer lends a toasty bitter edge not unlike summer’s bittersweet departure.
Table Five 08 508 State Street Salem
You knew that there would be a cupcake somewhere on this list, right? This time around it’s Sugar Sugar’s pumpkin cake topped with chocolate cream cheese frosting and a few tiny, adorable pumpkin-shaped sprinkles.
Sugar Sugar 335 State Street Salem
Think of Sweetly Baked‘s Pumpkin Bar as cake that is ready for an autumn adventure, a stroll through the farmers market, a hike, or a picnic. Another good contender? Pumpkin white chocolate cookies.
Sweetly Baked 1288 State Street Salem
Emily Teel is the Food & Drink Editor at the Statesman Journal. Contact her at [email protected], Facebook, or Twitter. See what she’s cooking and where she’s eating this week on Instagram: @emily_tee
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