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'Besties' a first step for Log Lodge posted on 02/01/2021

Last summer, Anita Halmøy Wisløff-Menteer and Erik Sims Wisløff-Menteer found themselves as the new owners of the Log Lodge in Rhododendron and in the middle of a pandemic. And thanks to how so many aspects of life as they knew it were shut down due to the coronavirus (including Erik’s band, Blitzen Trapper, not being able to tour) the pair sold their Portland house and moved to Rhododendron.

“We just realized that neither of us had anything going on in Portland, so we might as well just head up to the Mountain,” Erik said.

Anita and Erik have a larger vision for the Log Lodge, a historic building on the south side of Hwy. 26, but while they chip away at repairing and restoring it, they also opened Bestie’s Coffee, a food truck that offers beverages and food. They see their location as convenient for tourists travelling up to Mount Hood and hope that locals swing by, too.

Anita, who grew up in a small mountain town in Norway, noted they will focus on offering things that people can take with them on a ski trip or other recreational activities, with plans to have sandwiches and pastries in the future. She also noted they might offer “wieners in a thermos,” a popular skiing meal in Norway that features hot dogs in a thermos with hot water, buns and condiments for a hot lunch on the slopes.

“We do that all the time up (on Mount Hood) and we get a lot of weird looks,” she said. “It’s a great thing, so hopefully people will try it out.”

Erik, who grew up in Salem, added that they will offer Water Avenue coffee, noting it’s a good change of pace from some of the heavier brews they experienced in Portland.

“We really like their coffee and the roasting methods,” he said. “It’s incredibly flavorful. They’re just a really solid team.”

The pair plan to feature coffee in the Log Lodge when they open it, offering a place for people to sit and work during the day. And even though no firm timeline is in place for that to open, they both can appreciate the fact that due to the pandemic they would be closed up even if the building was ready.

“For us, it’s weirdly good timing,” Anita said. “We wouldn’t have been able to open anyway.”

And to help people who want to make a quick stop while getting their drinks, Bestie’s Coffee can be preordered online, allowing beverages to be finished by the time people stop by.

The pair added that they are extremely grateful to the community of Rhododendron and their neighbors, who have been very helpful as they have started their endeavors.

“We love it up here; everyone is so amazingly nice,” Anita said. “It’s so fun to be part of such a small community. The nature is amazing.”

Bestie’s Coffee is located at 73330 Hwy. 26 and is open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. seven days a week.

For more information, or to preorder, visit Bestiescoffee.net.

Anita added that late in January, a second food truck joined in at the location. The Flavor Bus offers breakfast, lunch, drinks and catering, featuring bright veggies, sustainable fish, better meats and all-around healthy recipes.

Menu items include sashimi grade albacore, house-made turkey chorizo and vegan herb maple sausages, with house-made sauces such as Liger sauce made with cashew, red pepper and grapefruit and a low-sugar teriyaki sauce.

Hours for the Flavor Bus will be 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays. For more information, visit www.theflavorbus.com.

By Garth Guibord/MT




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