Waitsburg offers slice of small town life

Sam Adler

Is Walla Walla feeling a bit old-hat, yet you’re still yearning for a slice of small town Americana? Look no further than Waitsburg, Wash.

“Waitsburg? I didn’t know there was anything to do in Waitsburg!”

Well, you were wrong!

Located just 20 miles east of our fair college town, the town of Waitsburg offers enough attractions to thoroughly titillate the culture glands of you and your day-tripping companions.

For a history lesson, visit the Bruce Memorial Museum, restored by the Waitsburg Historical Society, and featured on the National Register for Historical Places. Built in 1883––less than two decades after Waitsburg’s founding––this once lived-in Victorian mansion now stands in all of its restored beauty as both a monument to the past and as an educational tool.

Feeling a bit down, and the SAD light in the Counseling Center is just not doing it for you?  Try some aromatherapy by visiting Lavender’s-R-Us, Waitsburg’s u-pick lavender field and lavender gift shop. Deck yourself out with lavender swag, or, if you want, just stop long enough so that you can leave smelling like soap.

And if all your fragrance-wafting has left you feeling a bit peckish, avail yourself of Waitsburg’s local culinary fare. Jimgermanbar––named for its owner, Jim German––serves up a host of Euro-inflected small plates. And, if you are of a lawful drinking age, sip on some of German’s cocktails, which have carved out an ardent following due to their seasonal ingredients and expert execution.

Still hungry? For another dining experience, head across the street to the Whoopemump Hollow Café, which dishes up southern comfort food Tuesday through Sunday, and has reached the status of a Waitsburg institution not only through its solid takes on Southern classics, but  through its lively, friendly atmosphere.

Now how about some wheat? Stop by L&B Kitchens, Waitsburg’s local purveyor of wheat products. Yet be warned: This is not your everyday purveyor of wheat meals and flours, as L&B Kitchens specializes in the purveyance of the nutritious whole grain wheat berry. Boil them, mash them and stick them in a stew; these unctuous and succulent morsels are the perfect way to savor a last taste of Waitsburg, as well as the perfect addition to soups, chilis and salads. So take a package to go, so that upon your return, you may prove to your disbelieving peers that you experienced the fun, one-of-a-kind urban tapestry that is Waitsburg, Wash.

And before I forget: Pass the wheat berries, please!