The Road Trip Diaries: Vol 1

Ontario, Oregon

Maybe, not a super sexy destination for our first outing but we had a goal to visit a coffee shop my friend had learned about while chatting with a gentleman at the hot springs in Idaho City.

We headed out after our Kaia workout for some laughs, good coffee and food! A quick drive down I-84 and we crossed the Snake River into Oregon. Destination: Ontario “Where Oregon Begins”.

Located in far eastern Oregon in the infamous Malheur County, Ontario is the first town you encounter after crossing the Idaho border via I-84.

As we exited the interstate, we were welcomed to the area by the smell of onions and potatoes cooking at the Ore-Ida plant. About a mile and a left turn later we found ourselves in downtown Ontario.

Fresh Roasted Coffee, Smoothies, Beer, Wine and Food, Oh My!

Located in one of the town’s oldest buildings, a former bank, Jolts & Juice Coffee Shop is a feast for the eyes and the belly! The electric and re-purposed decor is super fun and reminded me of some of my favorite places in the small towns that make up the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Depending on the time of day you can get something to sustain and entertain you.

The coffee. They serve Jack Henry Coffee Roasters – a small batch, drum roaster located onsite (in the downtown location) also known as the “the gateway to the Northwest coffee scene”.

Read more about their coffee, name and artwork here.

The beer. There is a nice selection of craft brews; including one of my favorites Lost Coast Brewery’s Tangerine Wheat. More here

The food. Breakfast and bakery items along with a solid lunch selection make it definitely worth the 4-minute drive off the interstate to experience the fresh, house made foods and friendly service.

We sipped on cappuccinos and noshed on avocado toast, carrot ginger soup, and a breakfast burrito. The soup reminded me of this easy recipe I’ve made at home.

When we asked one of the girls working there what else we should see while visiting sadly she reported “nothing”. Lesson learned! In the future, I’ll do my homework ahead of my road-trips when possible and practical.

Of Note:

  • Ontario voters narrowly approved the sale of recreational marijuana last November. Dispensaries should be opening up soon according to this article in the Malheur Enterprise.
  • Ontario Saturday Market – Seasonal Farmer’s Market.
  • Tacos Mi Ranchito – 3 doors done from Jolts & Juice and highly recommended by Jolts & Juice staff.
  • Tacos El Zarape – I can vouch for this place located in the parking lot of one of the gas stations/truck stops. I enjoyed the shrimp tostada. Food seemed authentic & Mr. Fantastic gives it 5 stars!
  • Do your research before going thanks to Travel Oregon – Ontario

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