Saturday, September 22, 2012

Apple Picking and Finally a Decent Lunch

I have blogged before about our annual fall sojourns to Apple Hill, but this year we wanted to do things a little differently. Going earlier in the season to avoid crowds and finding a decent place for lunch were at the top of our priority list. See, Apple Hill does anything apple-related extremely well.

Case in point: Apple Cider Donut-

Or the perfect Apple Fritter with chunks of fresh apple, laced with cinnamon:

Apple pie is always a winner-

Along with Apple Dumplings, Apple Crisp, Apple Strudel, Caramel Apples, Apple Cider and...  you get the picture.

But while the desserts are superb, over the years we have been subjected to one horrible lunch after another at Apple Hill. Grisly hamburgers, cold and tough tri-tip sandwiches on squishy white buns, and puny pulled pork sandwiches (all overpriced) had slowly drained us of any hope of finding a meal that was equal to the apple desserts.

But Crystal Basin Bistro finally has us excited about lunch again.

Located next to a winery of the same name, the sunny and open space of the bistro is inviting, modern and offers a dog-friendly patio. (We didn't take our chihuahua this time, but would love to in the future.)

Lunch plates are affordable ($8 per plate with meat, $6 for a vegetarian plate) and more sophisticated than anything else in the Apple Hill area. We opted for an antipasti plate, a beef brisket and gorgonzola sandwich, and...

The ridiculously gooey and probably very fattening cheesy artichoke dip. What can I say? We lost our heads for the day.

All fueled up after lunch, we headed to Denver Dan's for some apple pickin'.

I find apple orchards to be incredibly picturesque.

Last year we were disappointed when the U-Pick option here was cancelled after a bad apple season. This year obviously the trees were making up for lost time and were heavy laden with fruit.

Customers are encouraged to taste as they go to ensure ripe apples. Besides allowing us to buy the freshest apples possible, we get access to interesting varieties not often seen in grocery stores. We stocked up on King David and Northern Spy apples in particular.

Before leaving, we found this amazing deal - $2.99 for a basket of figs. In our area, figs almost never sell for less than $5 or more a basket, so I was in fig heaven when I saw this.

Weekends like this, you wish Monday would never come.


  1. There's nothing like the first apple cider donut of the season!! Wonderful photos! xoxo

  2. What fun! Seeing an apple cider donut brings back happy childhood apple picking (and apple cider donut eating) memories for me. Thanks.

  3. Apple cider donuts-one of the best things about fall! Great photos. :)


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