Mac’s Hidden Gems
We all know how great the historic Third Street is, but what about those places that are a little further away and still really awesome? Those places that go unknown to Linfield students but Mac residents will rave about? These are some of those places, and each and every one is worth checking out.
Fred’s Weenie Wagon
2200 Orchard Dr.
10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Tuesday – Saturday
Previously located in front of Lowe’s Home Improvement store, Fred’s Weenie Wagon is now located in front of Western Oregon Waste Recovery Zone and has been there since March of this year, with no plans of relocating.
Owner and cook Fred Fabreth greets all his customers with a friendly smile and a bright personality. Cooking his food on site in a small red trailer, Fred’s Weenie Wagon is definitely unique and worth the short drive.
Fred’s offers a small but rounded menu and is the place to go for spicy chili and delicious bratwursts.
Fabreth learned to cook 35 years ago. He hasn’t lost touch, and it is evident in his food. Fabreths’s loyal customers will attest to his ability.
Roth’s Market is where Fabreth purchases his ingredients, many of which are organic. He buys his meat from Zenners out of Portland.
His hot dogs and bratwursts are 1/4 lbs. and all beef. Fabreth is known for making his bratwursts his own by providing blackened onions as toppings.
He also offers sauerkraut that is fresh, crunchy and crisp so it adds a little something extra. Additionally, Fabreth has on hand nine different kinds of mustard, sometimes more, that can give your brat that extra kick. These include a tangy cranberry mustard and occasionally mustard made with
jalapeños. At Fred’s, the bratwursts and the hot dogs are $4.00 each.
Fred’s chili is made with seven different types of peppers that he fire roasts in his wagon, including Habanero, Serrano and Naga Jolokia peppers that, according to the Scoville scale, which measures spiciness of chilies and peppers, is the hottest of them all.
Fabreth can make your mouth water describing his chili-making process. Fabreth roasts the peppers with sea salt to bring out their sweetness and add flavor to the chili. He also adds blackened onions and bits of his all-beef bratwursts, garlic, organic fire-roasted tomatoes and black beans among other things. So when it all comes together, the heat comes in waves and makes the spiciness bearable and extremely tasty. A bowl of chili runs $3.50 and is served on a platter of tortilla chips and a spicy cheese sauce.
Fabreth gets all his meats from Zenners out of Portland, and both his hot dogs and his bratwursts are ¼ pound, although sometimes there are even larger 7 oz. choices.
And if you want to try a little bit of everything Fred’s has to offer, you can order the chili cheese dog, which as you can imagine has his chili, his spicy cheese sauce and his bratwurst for only $5.00.
Don’t worry if you start to feel a little heated when eating his chili: Fabreth has chocolate on hand that helps tone down the spiciness, as well as ginger ale that cleanses the palette and is available, among other soda options, for only $1.00. If you are lucky, Fred will and pop a whole Habanero in his mouth without thinking twice.
Katz & Dawgs Boutique
605 NE 1st Street
11 a.m. – 6 p.m., Wednesday – Saturday
Located in a historic 100-year-old house in downtown McMinnville, Katz & Dawgs Boutique is not what you might think from the name. It is a store full of antiques, collectibles, gifts, art and handcrafts that all have an animal theme.
Owner Phyllice Bradner lives there with three other roommates, has her art studio here as well and is more than willing to share with visitors a glance of her workspace. In fact, her studio is part of the Art Harvest studio tour that happens the first two weeks in October.
Bradner is also a founding member of Currents Gallery on Third Street and says that her work there is a lot different than the work at Katz & Dawgs because the atmosphere is so different.
Bradner has her own artwork on display and for sale at the boutique, as well as work from about 25 other artists from the greater Yamhill County.
The shop itself is hard to describe bcause of its eclectic qualities, but evertime you visit, there will be new things to see. A few of the things that stood out were hand made tote bags, hats, jewelry, doggy sweaters, hand printed silk scarves and framed artwork, among many, many
Helpful in getting a feel for the store is Bradner’s four criteria for bringing items into her shop. First, it has to make Bradner smile. Second, it has to be animal oriented. Thirdly, it has to be affordable so that someone coming in with just a few dollars could leave with something special. Lastly, it has to be unique. It can’t be something you would find at any old place.
Mixed in with all these things is an abundance of curios, small unique items Bradner picks up from state sales and such and has only one of most of the things in the store.
“Every time something goes out, something new comes in,” Bradner said.
Contrary to its name, the store carries products of animals other than cats and dogs.
“I carry the full spectrum of the animal world,” Bradner said.
Grocery and Deli
160 Hill Rd.
Sweet Milks Grocery and Deli offers much more than what you would expect from first appearances. And although the drive is a bit long, it is worth it.
Walking in, you are greeted with the smell of fresh food, warm soup and homemade cookies.
The store recently had a facelift and now has an inviting and warm exterior.
Inside there a variety options to choose from, including the regular finds such as candy, soda, beer, wine and packaged goods and everything at reasonable prices. Conveniently, there is an ATM, so you can grab a bite to eat and some cash as you head out of town for a trip.
Additionally, the store offers goods that you wouldn’t expect to find but will be pleasantly surprised by.
Take-and-bake pizza is one specialty item that you can find in the refrigerated section, offering creative flavors such as Ranch Garlic Chicken and Ranch Pepperoni, as well as original favorites such as Supreme and Hawaiian.
Everyday, they make fresh sandwiches with good bread and great meat, as well as homemade pasta and potato salads at fair prices.
Sweet Milks is most known for its pizza and burgers, offering hot ready-made burgers Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. The burger meals range from $6-$8.95 and include your choice of fries, seasoned fries, potato munchers or onion rings and a 32 oz. soda. Burger options include the regular cheeseburger; the everything burger, which has bacon and sautéed mushrooms and onions; a chicken burger and a fish burger.
Also, there is a large seating area with a television so you can enjoy the food on site, instead of just taking it to-go.
The staff is friendly and willing to offer their opinion on their fresh food selections.
The Giggling Stitch and Ed’s
1822 SE 1st St.
11 a.m. – 5 p.m., Tuesday – Friday
Entering the newly renovated store, you are greeted by Sassy the owner’s dog, who serves as a kind of store mascot and is friendly and loveable.
The Giggling Stitch and Ed’s T-Shirt Company combine two different shops, both owned by Joan Robinson, into one venue.
The Giggling Stitch part of the store offers mainly knitting supplies, yarn and hooks and all sorts of things knitting related.
Ed’s T-Shirt part of the store offers hot press and embroidery custom made T-shirts. This part of the store is named after Robinson’s late husband, who started the business. When she realized it was making some money, she decided to keep it going but brought the businesses together when she moved from her previous location in Carlton, Ore., to her location on 1st Street in March 2004.
Among the knitting and T-shirt merchandise are gifts, some of which are handmade by Robinson or friends.
“It’s kind of a one-stop shop,” Robinson said.
The T-shirt part of the store is ideal if you want to design your own shirts for yourself, or design them as gifts. Most of the shirts are made for people from photographs. They can add custom lettering to any shirt, as well.
To widen the options even more, you get to pick from a variety of different kinds of shirts to print your design on. Shirts up to size XL are $9.50 each and the cost to get a standard design printed on it is $14.99. The price to add lettering depends on the typeface and ranges from 10-25 cents a letter. The price can change depending on the complexity of the design.
Although, the cool thing is you get to have a one-of-a-kind shirt, and any number of shirts can be made with the same design.
“This makes it so you can get anything you want on a shirt,” said Robinson.
Touch of Glass
1036 NE Baker St.
11 a.m. – 4 p.m., Tuesday – Saturday
Tucked away in the same area as Bronze Bodies Tanning Salon on busy 99W across from Arctic Circle is Touch of Glass stained glass shop. Though it may go unnoticed, it deserves its time in the limelight.
With friendly and welcoming owners, anyone who walks in is greeted with a smile and tons of knowledge of anything stained glass.
The store offers stained glass, mosaic and stepping stone supplies, including colored and patterned glass and all the tools you could need.
They also offer scrap glass for use in mosaics or whatever else you might need it for. It runs $2.50 per pound and is a great bargain if you’re looking for scrap glass. They also carry special deals on some of glass squares.
But a highlight of Touch of Glass is that it offers classes and workshops. Their beginning foiling class is $115, plus the price of glass, includes all the tools you will need and is primarily hands on. The workspace accommodates eight people, so each person receives individual one-on-one time with the instructor.
By the time you are completed with the six-week two-hours-a-week course, you will be able to do many tasks and know how to carry that into your own work. After taking the class, there is a discount on the necessary tools so you can purchase them and do the work at home.
The workshops are $50 a class and include the price of glass and use of tools. Currently, they offer workshops in jewelry, stepping stones, mosaics and, for the holiday season, Christmas ornaments.
“The workshops give you a taste of what stained glass is like,” John Stepisnik, one of the owners, said.
These workshops are small, intimate and provide each class participant the chance to get something out of the class. For the owners, it isn’t about making money, it’s about teaching people, and anyone who comes out of the class and isn’t quite clear on something afterward is always welcome to come back or call and ask questions.
For Stepisnik, stained glass is about more than just creating art, it’s a therapeutic experience that can serve as a stress reliever – it is breaking glass, after all.