The Best BBQ in Oregon

Quick: name states renowned for their barbecue. Missouri. North and South Carolina. Georgia. Florida. Oregon. Wait. Oregon? Yes! The Beaver State is an up-and-coming BBQ dynamo. Just visit Cindy Lou’s, and you’ll see (and, better yet, taste) why.

Rainstorm wines explains where you can find the best BBQ in Oregon.

This Salem gem is quickly gaining traction as a local hotspot for amazing barbecue. Think pulled pork, brisket, hand chopped slaw….paired with a delicious Rainstorm pinot noir, this is a meal you’ll be thinking about for days afterward.

The story behind Cindy Lou’s is as juicy as its baby back ribs. Named after owner Christopher Sarff’s mother, Sarff got his start not as a chef, but as a construction worker. After a few years building houses, Sarff decided to make a career change and began delivering bread overnight in the Portland area. He also launched a food truck, selling hamburgers and other lunchtime favorites. He quickly became a hit with the locals.

But Sarff had his sights set on BBQ. Destiny intervened when Sarff entered a contest to win a brand new food truck. After being drawn as a finalist, he put his skills to the test in a cook-off against four other worthy contestants, winning the top prize and taking home the truck.

Cindy Lou’s was born. The truck was parked in Happy Valley, where lines of customers formed every day to get a taste of Sarff’s homemade barbecue favorites. Many of his top treats are based on his mother’s recipes. Everything in Sarff’s mobile kitchen is made from scratch, and he loads his specials up with local ingredients. All the rubs, sauces, and side dishes are created daily with care.

Last spring, Sarff decided it was a time for a change, though. Not to his incredible recipes, thankfully, but to his location. Sarff wanted to be back in his hometown of Salem. And he wanted Cindy Lou’s to become Salem’s premier BBQ joint.

With his barbecue selling out every day, it’s safe to say he’s done just that.

If you want to get a taste of Cindy Lou’s BBQ, you can find it Monday through Saturday, 11:00 am to 7:00 pm, at Beehive Station in Salem. Our advice? Get your order to go so you can take it home and enjoy with your choice of Rainstorm wines – a truly winning combination!  

Would You Try This Mountain Slide on Mount Hood?

Summer is starting to wind down, but the fun on Mount Hood is still in full swing. The highlight? The half-mile Alpine Slide, which will send you rocketing down the mountain, twisting and turning through flowery meadows until you reach the bottom. Cap off your day with a chilled bottle of Oregon Pinot and you’ll experience the best the state has to offer – adventure and relaxation!

Bring your Oregon pinot to Mt.Hood and dare try this slide.

Okay, so what is the Alpine Slide? It’s a dual track slide built right into Mount Hood and featuring some of the craziest hairpin turns and S-curves this side of the Sierra Nevadas. The ski lift carries you to the top of the slide, and from there, you just hop on a sled for a thrilling mountain-style roller coaster ride! Most people average about 20 mph, but one thrill-seeker managed to clock in at 37 mph – we’re guessing they didn’t even so much as tap the brakes on their ride down the mountain!

Some more quick stats on the slide:

  • 2,640 feet long
  • 350 foot drop in elevation
  • Constructed of fiberglass with a protective gel coating – it’s made for speed!

You’re welcome to take on the Alpine Slide solo, but most people like to share in the fun with family and friends. The folks at the park welcome groups, too, and have even been known to host wedding parties who want to capture some especially unique memories as they head down the slide.

While the slide is a huge attraction for the Mount Hood Adventure Park, the park also offers up mini golf, zip lining, go karts, bungee jumping, and tons of other warm-weather activities.  It’s a great way to spend the day.

Oregon’s unique terrain grants us endless gifts. From the Alpine Slide at Mount Hood to the cool, hilly vineyards from which Willamette Valley wine is born, there is an abundance to see, do, and taste!