February 16, 2013


Although the Oregon Coast is one of the most scenic drives in North America, and I have gone up and down several times, I needed to do some big mall shopping in Eugene so I had to veer off Florence and drive east inland on Highway 126.  This is real backcountry mostly trees, rivers and creeks. 

About after 15 miles, I passed by what you can say is somewhat downcast looking town of Mapleton, next to the Siuslaw River.  Clean but like a depot. In fact it is a train depot.

There was a very uninviting café, but deep inside me, I was suspecting the place might be holding some pleasant surprises. “Do not judge a book by its cover.”

So parked I did, went inside Mapleton Depot Cafe and saw only a father and son.   


A lady smilingly showed me the menu.

"What is a Bushmills French Toast?"

"It’s batter has Bushmills Irish Whiskey"   


Although I am driving, “go for it.” 
I was drinking water - whiskey bottle was on the table for you to see.

I knew the alcohol would evaporate in the cooking.

It was terrific!  I can taste and smell a hint of the whiskey in the French Toasts.  At $6.50 and no tax (this is Oregon remember), the plate with bacon and maple syrup was a treat.  Mapleton was named after the maple trees surrounding the area.

Bushmills is brewed and distilled in Northern Ireland.  The Depot Café uses Triple Distilled with 40 % alcohol!

Gave me an idea, next time I make my own French Toast (which is very rare), I can incorporate liqueurs like Grand Marnier Orange & Cognac, or Kahlua Rum Coffee or Malibu Rum Coconut – whatever serves my fancy.  I don’t think beer will work.

A door at one side of the café leads to a long liquor bar with pool tables – there was nobody there in the morning.   


Only 900 plus people live in Mapleton.  This is real America, friendly folks, decent mark ups, and clean fresh air inspite of all the train gears on the rail track side.

A bit of an FYI
There was an original Mapleton Depot built in 1913.  The depot building was relocated to Florence’s Old Town area and is now a restaurant called The Waterfront Depot -  1252 Bay Street

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