Bryan Shull and his son, Zane Singleton, of Trap Door Brewing are trailblazers. In 2015, they became the fifth or sixth craft brewery to open in Vancouver. They had the first food-cart pod in the county. Now, they are the first brewers in the state of Washington to use cannabis terpenes in their beer.
UnderBar opened in June in downtown Vancouver in a basement space long used for AA classes for court-ordered offenders. UnderBar is Vancouver’s first speakeasy, which harkens back to Prohibition Days, when the term was used to describe an illicit liquor store or nightclub. The bar serves all manner of alcohol, accompanied by a small food menu.
Why: Las Flamas recently opened in the space that previously housed the Taco House. The restaurant is family owned and operated and serves a wide selection of Mexican cuisine favorites. Las Flamas is family friendly, casual and open seven days a week.
Like Patrick Swayze in the film “Roadhouse,” Andrew Reudink has three rules for his Beginning Brewing class at Bader Beer and Wine Supply. Redink’s three rules are easier to remember than Swayze’s: sanitization, sanitization, sanitization.
Vancouver Pizza Company’s slogan is “The art of pizza, tastefully done.” They take the business of pizza-making seriously and continue to enjoy success year after year — a testimony to the level of expertise they have achieved in making pleasing pizza combinations that keep their customers coming back for more. The family-friendly restaurant has expanded over the years to accommodate more diners.
On a raw, rainy Monday, I met my friend Nichole Peppers for lunch. The beastliness of the day dissolved upon entry. Water cascaded down a small waterfall by the door. Soothing music filled the room. I found myself face to face with a large Buddha serenely seated in the lotus position, a bright orange placed in his lap. Nichole commented, “It doesn’t feel like you’re in a strip mall.”
WildFin American Grill is one of the anchor restaurants at Vancouver's new waterfront development. It is one of four locations for the Washington-based restaurant, which has a regionally focused menu featuring Northwest meats, fresh fish, seafood and produce.
Why: Twigs Bistro and Martini Bar recently opened at The Waterfront Vancouver. The restaurant is one of 11 locations in five states offering a great American menu in a beautiful environment. There is something for the whole family to enjoy — from pizzas to sandwiches to steaks and exclusive creations. In addition to an extensive martini selection, local craft beers and regional wines round out the offerings.
A lime green taco truck opened four weeks ago in the gas station parking lot on Evergreen and Grand boulevards, kitty corner from the Paper Tiger Coffee Roasters coffee shop. On its side, it says “Delicious Tacos.”
Why: Shelby’s Grille in Washougal has been in business for many years and has served its fair share of different cuisine options. I have personally experienced three renditions; my favorite, though, are its present offerings — Northwest barbecue with housemade sides, burgers, sandwiches, soups and salads for lunch and dinner.
Why: Krispy Krunchy Chicken is a convenience store-based quick service restaurant in 41 states as well as Malaysia and American Samoa. Located inside the Battle Ground Chevron on Northwest 13th Avenue, it offers Louisiana-style menu items for lunch or dinner, including several sides to please the whole family.
If you spend any time with Northwood Public House & Brewery owner Eric Starr, you will hear the word gemütlichkeit many times. And, you will find yourself saying it repeatedly. There isn’t a word for it in English. Starr defines it as “A feeling, an atmosphere, an authentic sense of communion, liveliness and warmth.”
Why: Battle Ground Sweet Shoppe recently opened in a longtime vacant space located next to the Cerveza Factory in Battle Ground. The shop provides a selection of baked goods and ice cream. If you stop by at breakfast or lunch, there are a couple of meal options for both.