The Local Lunch Gals – Living and Loving Life!
The Local Lunch Gals have a new home on The Real Wine Julia, and our enthusiasm for food, wine and good times are compiled into articles that feature and unveil some of the best food-centric venues to be found in the state of Oregon. We’re lucky to reside here, where the glorious bounties present us with endless opportunity. Some of the finest farmers, artisan winemakers, innovative chefs, craft cocktail-slingers, determined distillers and masters of brewing have made Oregon their home – it’s the land of plenty. Whether it’s a catered lunch in a greenhouse or a curbside dinner from an eclectic food cart – our uniquely Oregon adventures and imbibing good times in food and drink are well worth sharing with others. While our food-centric experiences will be found here, many of our adventures in Oregon’s rapidly growing craft beverage movement will be found on oregoncraftbeverage.com (coming soon)!
Get to know the Gals:
Two of my life-long friends and I are the official Local Lunch Gals: Maria (a teacher), Jennifer (a restaurant owner) and Julia (that’s me – a wine enthusiast) have very different expectations and preferences when dining out, so getting to know us is important in understanding why we may love (or not love at all) a dining experience that we share with you.
Maria was born in California but has lived most of her life in Eugene, and she graduated from Sheldon High School in 1988. She is an incredibly loving, caring, generous person who has found the perfect job as a full time pre-school teacher. She is married with two children; in addition to, previously being a guardian of two other kids. Her daughter recently moved to California for college, and her son graduated from a local high school this last spring. Maria is the picky Lunch Gal, but for good reason: she has serious food sensitivities. She absolutely can’t eat cheese or dairy products, so finding something satisfying can sometimes be a challenge. She overcomes these challenges by making special requests or deleting certain ingredients from dishes on the menu, we call her the Menu Modifier. Maria the Menu Modifier thinks a diverse menu with a flexible chef is incredibly important, and these two factors are ultimately what will make or break a dining experience for her. Maria doesn’t have a favorite food because she loves just about everything, as long as it fits in with her diet restrictions. She’s a Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon kind of gal.
Jennifer is a Eugene native, she graduated from Sheldon High School in 1989 and is University of Oregon alumni. She is the spicy one of the group and is definitely the most outspoken. She’s outgoing, a ton of fun and lives in the moment. She and her husband own and operate a busy restaurant and catering company, but she somehow always manages to find time for Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts with her two young kids. Because Jennifer owns a successful restaurant, she feels service and food quality are of the utmost importance. She loves all types of food from Mexican to Thai, and she prefers light, crisp white wines. Jennifer almost always orders an Oregon Pinot Gris yet she has been known to occasionally order a Pinot Noir.
I was born in Virginia into a military family that moved all over the world before making way to Eugene from Egypt in 1987. Maria and Jennifer were some of the first people I met at Sheldon High School, where I graduated in 1988. I moved to Florida shortly after high school and returned to Oregon in 2006 with my husband and two young boys. After selling my Oregon-focused wine shop and wine bar in 2010, I began writing about wine, discovering my true passion in life. When I’m not writing or on media tours, I’m at baseball games and spending every spare minute with my three favorite guys in the world. There are two things that are most important to me when dining out: ambiance and – you guessed it – the wine list. Because we’re located in the heart of the Willamette Valley, I expect local restaurants to support our local wineries. I love seafood and enjoy sparkling wine best when eating shrimp or scallops, but you’ll usually find me with a glass of Oregon Pinot Noir alongside salmon or a salad. I’m also head over heels for Oregon’s Chardonnays.
Through the eyes of a teacher, a restaurant owner and a wine enthusiast, join us to discover Oregon’s vibrant, diverse and locally sourced food and wine scene. Check out our facebook page here, and follow us on twitter here.