FFQing in Tri-Cities (Kennewick, Pasco, Richland)

The first question we ask ourselves when doing travel research is "Does it have a fun, funky or quirky potential." Sometimes it is harded to tell and we have to take a chance, other times it is obvious and sometimes you just stumble upon "a find" by taking the sidewalk less travelled. 

A recent trip to Kennewick, Richland and Pasco Washington, otherwise known as the Tri-Cities had obvious FFQ places like Spudnuts and Cheese Louise (names are almost always a tip off if a place is going to be fun, funky or quirky). 

Other places like Tulip Lane sounded a bit hokey, but in chatting with locals and other tourist you begin to get an idea aht maybe it is more interesting than you think. 

We thought it would be fun to share with you a random selection of photos of the FFQing places we found during our fives days of flaneuring in the Tri-Cities.  

We found these green ladies in historic downtown Kennewick handing out green M&M as part of the First Thursay art walk event. We also found a couple of ducks! 

We did get to Spudnut Shop to sample their donuts (made from potato  flour) and the fun ambience, but the quirkiest thing was the coffee with a straw.  Not sure what that is all about? 

Wandering Richland's Uptown Mall where Spudnuts is located we discovered Desserts by Kelly the "Home of the Atomic Bombe" Cake.  We were told they see about 4 a day.  We reallly regreet not buying one. 

The store was definitely quirky - part bakery, part sports memorbilia. 

  Cheese Louise fun starting at the front door with an invitation I couldn't refuse. 

Cheese Louise fun starting at the front door with an invitation I couldn't refuse. 

 Probably one of the quirkiest places we have ever visited is the LIGO Handford Observatory outside of Richland.  I took lots of notes and I thought I kinda understood what they were doing but I am not even sure the boys on Big Bang Theory could totally comprehend the idea of measuring the existence of gravitatinal waves that was first postulated in 1916 as part of Einsteins theory of general relativity.  Even in my ignorance it was facinating.  If you'd like to try check out their  website.

Probably one of the quirkiest places we have ever visited is the LIGO Handford Observatory outside of Richland.  I took lots of notes and I thought I kinda understood what they were doing but I am not even sure the boys on Big Bang Theory could totally comprehend the idea of measuring the existence of gravitatinal waves that was first postulated in 1916 as part of Einsteins theory of general relativity.  Even in my ignorance it was facinating.  If you'd like to try check out their website.

Terra Blanca is the gateway to the Red Mountain AVA, offering spectacular views from their patio restaurant.  This is what happens with a Napa geologist discovers a special place, with special soils and a special climate in Washington.  A fun tour also includes opening the largest wooden doors we have ever seen! 

Tapteil Vineyard is almost at the end of the Red Mountain road but it is worth it for its sunny patio and sweeping views.  They also have two guest houses Spilya and Bella Luna for those who want to soak up the sun, tranquility and wine. 

Wandering along the river pathway we heard some music and wandered in that direction to find a saturday afternoon "sock hop" at Rosy's Ice Cream & Diner. Fun was being had by all.

Country Mercantile began as a humble roadside fruit stand. Today it is a roadside tourist attraction, part farmer's market, part candy store, part chocolatier and part bistro.  We were there in the Fall so it was part Fall Fair with rides, hay stack climbing walls, corn maze adn this hay bale maze.  Fun, Funky and Quirky all in one. 

Downtown Pasco is known for having one of the best the framers' market in Washington - sorry we missed it.  But we did find a downtown filled with dress shops like this one with quirky windows and fashions.  It is a photographer's paradise. 

The Atomic Ale Brewpub & Eatery was a great find.  We were there are on Sunday night and the place had a good buzz with locals hanging out and some playing games. No TVs showing Sunday night football. But they have lots of board games for you to play and lots of great beers with great names based on Richland's atomic culture. I liked it so much I bought the t-shirt! 

Saw this intriguing looking trailer with a white picket fence parked on the edge of parking lot and thought we have to investigate.  Sign said "Boomer on Wheels." see next photo

One of the fun finds was Tulip Lane right in the city of Kennewick.  It is home to not only serval winneries but DB Glass Studio which is attached to Barnard Griffin Winery.  It has to the most artsy winery in the region with live music and its own in house artist. Loved this FFQ glass clouds suspended from the ceiling in the wine tasting event room.  Glass classes are offered along with wine tastings - how fun it that! 

Bookwalter Winery on Tulip Lane was a fun find with its great JBistro. The menu is fun with dished divided into Preface, Prologue, The Epilogue and The Archives rather than appetizers, salads, entrees and dessert. Too  bad we couldn't take back more wine the 2006 Red Roan case special at $60 would have been a nice addition to our cellar. We are looking forward to being back for one of their Winemaker's 6 course dinners. More Info

Before we left we had to visit Spudnuts at least once more for a coffee and donut for the road.  They had our order waiting for us when we arrived. 

We'd love to hear about your FFQing places and experiences.  Leave a comment!

If you liked this blog you might like:

Flaneuring Richland's Uptown Plaza 

Flaneuring Pendleton Oregon 

Thrill of the Hunt in Portland 

Everyday Tourist Transit Tales 

Flaneuring Finds at the Uptown Plaza

By Richard White, October 4, 2013

Had great fun this morning flaneuring at the Uptown Plaza in Richland.  We had been told that we should check out Spudnuts a Richland icon but what we didn't know was that the entire plaza was a living history museum.  

Upon finishing our spudnuts for breakfast we decide to check out what else was around - as any good flaneur would do.   

Below is a photo essay of our flaneur finds at the Uptown Plaza which looks like it was built in the '60s and today has evolved into a second-hand, thrift, vintage, estate sale mecca.  For treasure hunters like us it was like we had died and gone to heaven.   

There are several of these Las Vegas like retro neon signs marking the entrances to the Uptown Plaza.  Why can't modern shopping centers create signage like this any more.  Where has the character and charm gone - stucco and rock just doesn't do it.  

The Spudnut Shop was established in 1948 when Jerry Bell bought a franchise for $50 and 100 sacks of Spudnut (potato) flour.  The store has been featured on Food Network and Travel Channel.  It is a local icon.

Inside Supnuts is full of local characters.  There was a long line-up not only of people waiting to get in but also people want to pick-up and go.  Everyone seemed to know everyone - it was like a big family kitchen. 

One of the quirkiest things about Spudnuts was the coffee served with two same straws.  We have never seen this before. At first thought this might be a way of noting which coffee was black and which had milk but B didn't have milk so both were black...strange?

We decided to check what else was in the plaza and just a few door around the corner was the sign "Desserts by Kelly" with the Atomic Bombe cake.  Who could resist checking this out. Once inside we found the strangest shop.  The front had framing and art supplies, another wall was all baseball collectables and then at the back was the bakery with wonderful looking cakes, cookies, scones and of course the Atomic Bombe cadke.  

This is the Atomic Bombe Cake with layers of velvety chocolate mousse, pralines and chocolate truffle icing.  It retails for $28.95 and they sell at least 4 per day.  I was sooooooo tempted. 

Just ahead was this wonderful neon sign announcing Lee's Tahitian Restaurant in the pink flamingo pink building.  It just doesn't get any better than this. 

One of the things we love to do when flaneuring is "window licking" i.e. window shopping (the french word literally translates into window licking).  One of the things like love is the reflections in the windows and the juxtaposition of the images.  They create rich collages of images that have their own wonderful narrative. Like this one in the music store.  

At the end of the Uptown Plaza's shops was a huge antique mall that was full of treasure's for someone.  We didn't have enough time to explore but will be going back.  

Flaneuring back we took a side alley like sidewalk just incase there might be something else and stumbled upon Becky's.  It was a hybrid between thrift and antique store...lots of interesting artifacts. Brenda has this place on the top of her list to go back and check out.  

No sooner had we left Becky's when we were at the Estate Sale.  While the Uptown Plaza doesn't have the upscale traditional tourist shops, it is a "treasure hunters" mecca.

While we didn't find the "kitchen sink" at the Uptown Plaza we did find a "four poster bed."   

As we were quickly shuffling off to meet up for lunch one of the last shops was this barber shop.  This was the exclamation mark on the Uptown Plaza experience for us.