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Bend, Oregon is a tight-knit, eco-friendly city, where you’ll find farms, bakeries, restaurants, breweries often working together. The continual loop of community support and reliance is coming to light more than ever before among the Coronavirus pandemic. Creative solutions and compassion have become the forefront of the culinary scene in this vibrant mountain town, and if this is any indication of how the rest of the town works, we are sure they will be trailblazers in recovery methods of the crisis. Here are just a few ways Bend’s culinary scene has been taking unique approaches to push back.
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Amidst the virus spread, one thing many restaurants around the globe are doing is shutting down dining rooms but continuing service via delivery, takeout, or curbside pickup. It’s a smart move that keeps employees safer while leaving small businesses with the ability to operate to some capacity. Bend is abundantly blessed with a diversity of local bakeries, breweries, organic cafes and healthy restaurants—many of which are participating with the new “eating out” mentality. The city is being more laid back when it comes to parking rules during pickup, and Visit Bend has developed a handy tool so folks can find out which awesome Bend eateries are still churning out mouthwatering eats. A list, combined with an interactive map adds ease to the hunt
Mt. Bachelor is the place to ski in Bend, and the outbreak forced the resort to close operations. Many major events will be cancelled but will be back up and running next year. Those in charge didn’t just sit back in defeat, decisions were made to give back to employees in a big way. All the food that would no longer be needed for the upcoming week of bustling activity, was offered to staff. The blow of temporarily not having a job hit many in the community, so Mt. Bachelor invited them for a free shopping event at their warehouse. Those above drinking age were even allowed to fill up growlers of Bend’s beloved beer (which is amazing because of high quality, pristine water).
Grocery Outlet on Third Street is undoubtedly a critical part of the food scene in Bend, and they are putting in serious work and thought to keep customers safe. While not a big grocer, they’ve enacted a curbside delivery form that pays special attention to things like food allergies, if replacements need to be made because of stock issues. Sneeze guards have gone up at checkouts, and handwashing stations are set up outside. Daily updates are made on their Facebook page.
Local restaurants are saying thanks to workers who’ve fulfilled critical jobs during these difficult times. Greg’s Grill is in the Old Mill District and is still serving takeout if you were wondering. But they also supported their community by providing food to workers at Grocery Outlet. Other restaurants in the area are also outpouring support in the form of tasty food, for those selflessly completing necessary duties.
We’ve probably all experienced this not long ago—you run into the store to buy some essentials, like hand sanitizer, and the shelves are wiped. Could you have ever imagined? Oregon Spirit Distillers came to the rescue and quickly began using surplus alcohol to create cute bottles of effective hand cleanser. And they are doing it all for free, in a time when they too are struggling. The initiative is echoing through the nation, with distillers in other big cities doing the same. So keep these awesome places in mind when all this blows over, and come in for a drink.
Tumalo Feed Co is a precious little steakhouse just outside of Bend, in the “blink and you miss it” town of Tumalo. Their steaks are buttery, tender and hearty, so if you’re not a vegan or vegetarian, it’s a down to earth place to grab takeout, and it’s a little more in the open rather than packed in a city.
If there’s one food that many are having to overlook these days, it’s fresh produce. Canned and frozen goods are flying off the shelves, and online grocery delivery often excludes cruciferous favorites. Tender Greens is one of the farms in Bend, that is not only offering pickup but will deliver too. Their specialty is microgreens—nutrient-rich sprigs of green, flavorful goodness that work great in grain bowls, as a plant-powered garnish or anything else you would want to add a fresh touch too. Home delivery is just four bucks extra, and you can find the form on their Facebook page.