Ingrid’s Scandinavian Food – Oregon City

I visited Ingrid’s while in Oregon City checking out the Municipal Elevator.  It’s a very short distance away and in fact while researching interesting places to dine I had found Ingrid’s earlier and had decided to try it.  I didn’t though realize how close to the elevator Ingrid’s would be and I was getting hungry after visiting it.

Ingrid’s is a rather small place that might be considered a kind of boutique dining place.  There’s a nice sign above the large windows that on this day were open – this is a feature seen on lots of European dining establishments.  The large windows allow fresh air to get into the restaurant and keep the customers comfortable.

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Ingrid’s shares an entrance with a taproom and a cooking space with another restaurant, so there is some opportunity for variety, and I observed lots of food being delivered to the tap room.  The entrance is nice and sophisticated with polished wood and glass all over – very modern European type designs.  Once inside the first door from the street Ingrid’s in to the right.  Ingrid’s only features lunch and dinner menus, so the hours are noon to eight most days.  The open hours can be tough to observe is the reason I’m mentioning the times.

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Once inside I was immediately drawn back to my trip to Iceland where I got my first international al experience.  Many of the decor designs harken to that trip and I was reminded strongly of those days.  The first thing that is seem when entering is the large menu in front behind the large serving counter.  The thing I noticed is that the recipes are truly European and feature flavors not typically seen in the states.

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I couldn’t decide what to get from that quick view of the place, so decided to take another look around.  To the right were tables where three diners could enjoy meals together and there were other single person tables closer to the main window – which was open, again reminding me of my travels.  All of the decor is very classically done, with matching wood used on the tables, counter and paneling.  It adds a very sophisticated exotic flair to the place.  To the left is where B and I ended up sitting.  The place wasn’t full when we arrived, but we also wanted to make sure there would be spots for folks if others came in.  So we sat to the left of the entrance at a two person table.

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There are also chairs where folks can sit at the counter and I found myself almost wanting to sit there – the counters themselves are beautiful solid rock counters seen in high-end homes – just beautiful!  Near the menu I also noticed a small display that had some trinkets on it, again reminded me of some of the things folks put out for display in Iceland.

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I remembered I was hungry after gawking for a couple of minutes and deciding what to eat.  There are also specialty drinks served at Ingrid’s that sounded very Scandinavian that I wasn’t brave enough to try.  All of the drinks sounded amazing and I was glad that there were local ingredients used in their creation.

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Like I said I decided not to indulge in a drink, but the next specials menu looked very intriguing.  I’ve only had venison once or twice before and found that I very much enjoyed it, so I decided to get the viking burger.  It looked and sounded amazing.  Now normally I’d order some kind of change from the special, but I ordered it “as is” it sounded so good.  I wasn’t too sure what to expect with the Yukon potatoes or dill sauce, but I was hoping it would taste as good as it sounds.  I also decided to order the Norwegian meatballs to make the meal more interesting and get a bit of variety.

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While I waited for the dinner to cook I took a further look around the establishment.   I couldn’t believe how much the place reminded me of Iceland – it was just amazing.  I took another look at the large roll-away windows on the front of the place.  They were partially open and allowed quite a bit of light and air to circulate throughout the place.  Another feature I appreciated and was also pretty prevalent in Iceland was the cart that had glasses, silverware, a nd kids activities on it.  I can only guess that Icelanders (and other Scandinavian folks) like the idea of self service for diners.  I thought it was great as well as I didn’t need to bother our hostess with requests for napkin or silverware.  There was also a large container of water on the cart that was super convenient to grab water from when I finished mine – again, not worth bothering our hostess with that kind of request if it’s there for me to reach easily.

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I wandered over to take a closer look at the windows and saw the amazingly creative lights in front of the window.  They were made with Edison bulbs and mason jars – I thought it was very creative and easily done, but there were also vintage wheel cranks incorporated into the design that I really liked.  The lights have an orange-yellow glow and really add tot he decor, just loved them!  About the time I was deciding that I needed to make my own lights like the ones at Ingrid’s my food arrived and it was just as amazing as I was hoping.  The burger had a very high quality bun and wonderfully tasty ingredients on it.  All of the different tastes and flavors were incorporated magically into the Viking Burger.  The roasted Yukon potato wedges were cooked to perfection and though crisp on the outside were fluffy on the inside, and the dill sauce that was provided with them was just fantastic – I liked it so much that when my wedges ran out I put the rest of the dill sauce onto my burger.

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I’d also ordered the Norwegian meatballs that proved to be just as good (if not better) than the burger.  They were easy and cooked to absolute perfection.  I ordered them with cheese sauce and was quite pleased with the combination – cut in half and dipped into the cheese sauce was definitely the way they were meant to be consumed – at least as far as I’m concerned.

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Well, as soon as I’d finished my lunch it was time to depart – I was a little worried about the parking situation where Id left the car, so didn’t want to delay too long.  Luckily there was not a ticket on the car.  Ingrid’s Scandinavian Food is definitely a place I can recommend to anyone who is in the area of Oregon City. The food was fantastic tasting and had a sophisticated and exotic flavor – like the entire restaurant.  The only detractor as far as I concerned is that there aren’t many chairs there – maybe ten or so, so if there are many folks there you might need to get an order to go – or sit in the nearby tap house, now, I didn’t have any difficulty getting a seat, there were folks waiting at the counter for a take away order when I arrived and while dining another group came in and  sat at the counter, so maybe half of the seats were available with only two or three parties.  It was a fantastic restaurant and definitely deserves four and a half Heywillamettes.

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