- dining by the tracks at terrebone depot.
If you're in the mood for a treat on the way out, stop at Juniper Junction for a scoop of world-famous huckleberry ice cream (and likely a somewhat awkward interaction with the store's colorful proprietor). But if you're looking for something heftier and service that's a little, well, friendlier, head straight for Terrebonne Depot. Housed in the old Oregon Trunk Passenger Depot, originally constructed in 1911 but expanded and relocated before being abandoned mid-century, the award-winning renovation was initiated in 2005. The entire structure was put on rails and moved 36 feet west to accommodate a new foundation, but as much of the original building layout and materials were incorporated as possible. The result is a charming spot with a spacious, high-ceilinged dining room with wooden crossbeams featuring a large square bar at the center and a beautiful outdoor patio that boasts unobstructed views of Smith Rock and the Cascades.
The menu, largely the same throughout the day but with a selection of steaks and other higher-end entrees ($10.95-$21.95) available at dinnertime, focuses on quality and execution rather than innovation, though the seemingly traditional fare is often adorned with a New American twist or global influences. Appetizers ($6.25-$9.95) include Buffalo Nachos that feature ground buffalo meat and a nicely done smoked chicken quesadilla with grilled chicken breast, Tillamook smoked cheddar and Monterey jack cheese, peppers and cilantro. Small plates with international flavors round out the starters like bruschetta, a hummus plate with cucumber salad and tzaziki and stuffed triangles, modeled after the classic Greek spinach pie.
A long list of salads, sandwiches, burgers and pizzas, many of which are under $10, ensures that there's something for everyone. I've heard good things about the fish tacos with seared ahi, mango cabbage slaw, avocado slices, jalapeño honey lime sauce and cilantro, but I went with the steak sandwich ($10.95). Served on a fresh roll with horseradish mayo, greens and steak cooked to order, it was satisfying and cohesive. Also deserving of special mention were the fries. Perfectly crispy and nicely seasoned, I couldn't stop eating them long after I was full.
Terrebonne Depot, located just a quarter mile from Highway 97 en route to Smith Rock, also offers picnic baskets with sandwiches and salads to take out, as well as a great happy hour popular with locals and daytrippers alike that features $2.50 beers and $5 pizzas, chicken quesadillas and hummus plates that are no smaller or different than they would be at full price.
With a solid lineup of hearty and tasty dishes, a selection of specialty cocktails and ice-cold regional beers that honor its location like Cascade Lakes' Monkey Face Porter and Terminal Gravity IPA, along with incomparable views, Terrebonne Depot is a must on any visit to Smith Rock-at the very least for a toast on the patio to one of Oregon's most magnificent natural wonders.