Culinary Gems at Oroville’s Farmers’ Market

Farmers Market, Oroville, Great Food

by James Gutschmidt

Some things are just great, unsurpassed. Like: homemade apple pie, a freshly mowed dandelion patch, (see pic), a man and his dog, and a great burger. I’m not talking about something run of the mill, here. I’m talking a great masterpiece.

I’m talking about Tina’s Burgers at the Farmers Market, Saturdays, in Oroville. There is no fanfare involved with these burgers. Place your order. Wait for Tina to custom barbeque it. A little mayo, a little ketchup, barbeque sauce, that’s out of this world, on a glazed bun, and, Voila, the best burger I’ve had in 50 years.

Oh, and did I tell you, the meat is from her own Irish Dexter, grass fed beef raised here in the great Okanogan? Butchered ground and certified, it’s the quality ingredients that make it right; worth traveling for.

“Masterpiece” That’s the term used by Greg Palmer to describe the “Cheese Deluxe” hamburgers that were fashioned at the Samoa Drive-In on Mercer Island 50 years ago.

Being spoiled in my youth, I remember well those burgers on Mercer Island. Quality goods made it good. And, I have waited 50 years till now, for the like.

If you were wondering, and like to read, I would recommend Greg Palmer’s Memoir “Cheese Deluxe.” It’s an interesting anecdote of the Samoa Drive-In, from 50 years ago, and a sometimes humorous account of upscale, 1960’s youthful characters, and their escapades. It’s remembered from the perspective of a pubescent, but mildly intellectual, short order cook. He’s changed the names, but I know them all well, because I was there. The chapter on the Golden Horseshoe is especially entertaining. And, the Samoa Burgers were a complete “masterpiece,” as described in chapter one. It’s reminiscent of small town life, before condos and tower cranes, kinda like Oroville.

By the way, don’t forget to take in the other exhibits at the Oroville Farmer’s Market. If you were wondering, Tina is the assistant cook at Oroville Senior Center, lunches served Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

Noteworthy farmers at the Oroville Farmers’ Market, Saturdays.

The German Sausages melt in your mouth. Jim Weaver and Ken Zimmerlee
The German Sausages melt in your mouth. Jim Weaver and Ken Zimmerlee
Is that Dennis Peterson on the ukulele? Randy Battle Bluz Band
Is that Dennis Peterson on the ukulele? Randy Battle Bluz Band

Highland Beauty
Fresh Mow

Nothing is more beautiful than a freshly mowed dandelion patch in the Okanogan Highlands, 12 miles east of Oroville. The picture is taken from our dining room window, looking west. Great place to be.

Article by James Gutschmidt on special loan to North Okanogan – an Online Magazine. All rights reserved by international copyright laws.

P.S. For the editor. I thoroughly enjoyed the music, and your harmonica, at the Farmers Market. Great sound.

July 4th with the Taber Family

For a while Monday evening Oroville was no longer lost in space (see previous article). Thanks to the Oroville department of sky rockets department and the Taber family the sky was lit up bright for nearly 90 minutes. I don’t recall ever seeing so many exploding shells per minute as what we enjoyed this 4th. Being very family oriented the Tabers had a special area set up for kids to take part with safe but exciting fireworks, and there were dozens there to take advantage. The celebration was preceded by a presentation of the colors performed by the kids and the playing of the Star-Spangled Banner. Thanks to Dave and Judi and the entire family, and the city of Oroville for a fun evening.

Here’s a 7 minute vid which can’t capture the experience so be there next time!

And here is the presentation of the colors.

Presenting the Colors ~ A Toni Brown photo
Presenting the Colors ~ A Toni Brown photo

Run for the Border 2016

It’s come and gone and the memories linger – so much fun! Here’s a photo that defines the moment – wife Nancy Peterson and Colette Biele enjoying the music and atmosphere at the Pastime Bar and Grill:

Nancy and Collette ~ Photo by Leah Palmer
Nancy and Collette ~ Photo by Leah Palmer

Saturday morning began early for myself and Joseph Enzensperger racing against the weather to complete the outdoor stage to be used by the Road Dawgs band coming up from Riverside. Was not to be. With showtime slated for 11:00 am and a steady downpour, Tim Naillon from the Pastime Bar and Grill said to set up indoors and so we did. A power outage that morning put food prep behind a bit, but by noon the band, Lota Duarte, son Mike Duarte, Brock Hires, and “Hillbilly” Mike Blakley were pounding sound into the streets of Oroville. Didn’t take long for the dampened throngs to find warm hospitality, hot food, and good music. And Lordy was the music good.

Lota Duarte and son Mike ~ photo by Leah Palmer
Lota Duarte and son Mike ~ photo by Leah Palmer

This is a band that inspires movement and smiles. That means happy dancers and that’s what we got. Anyone’s guess if it was the rain pouring down or the music pouring out the open doors and windows, but the place was soon packed. No spirits were damped!

The Road Dawgs ~ photo by Leah Palmer
The Road Dawgs ~ photo by Leah Palmer

Speaking of happy, Tim was in the kitchen trying his best to stay ahead of food orders and was seen to be head banging and dancing at the grill and the wait staff were dancing back and forth picking up and delivering orders. The Road Dawgs were having so much fun they blew past the end of show time and kept going and going. Lota said “I don’t know about alla y’all, but we’re having a blast!” Nothing feeds energy into a band like an appreciative and enthusiastic audience and Oroville has the best.

Mike Duarte on bass guitar ~ photo by Leah Palmer
Mike Duarte on bass guitar ~ photo by Leah Palmer

Mike Duarte was all over the bass lines and delivered hard rocking vocals, and Brock Hires, who plays every instrument known to mankind filled in the middle with vocals, keyboard and guitar leads, and Mike Blakley dished up tight rhythms on the drums. It was a solid performance by everyone but there’s something compelling about Lota’s saucy vocals and acoustic guitar that makes the whole show work. The band is appearing regularly around our beautiful Okanogan so watch the calendar here to stay up on where they appear next, and don’t miss them!

It didn’t end there – the Rally at the Border team brought in musicians from all over the PNW and the music continued well into Friday evening with the Jones Street Boys at Veranda Beach, Tuck Foster and the Mossrites at the Pastime followed by an all-star jam, and then started over again the next day at the wineries, and Alpine Brewery with the Deep Water Blues Band, and Polly O’Keary, then Voodoo Church and Lisa Mann back at the Pastime. Esther Bricques hosted our friends the Slippery Slope Band, and Taber’s Copper Mountain barn hosted Clay Warnstaff and Mike Chappel aka the Harley Hunks. And on Sunday Esther Bricques hosted the Mood Swings trio – an engaging and fun trio of women who sing tight harmonies and music that spans several generations – a little something for everyone. If you missed the music at the wineries then you also missed the barrel tasting and there are some awesome offerings coming out of our Okanogan Wineries this year.

Big thanks to Leah Palmer for the awesome photos. More to see in the usual places at Facebook and also to Joseph Enzensperger for volunteering his stage and valuable time to help set it up.

What a fun time to be Okanogan!