LAKESIDE — I've watched enough "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" to know you can find restaurants and good food almost anywhere.
But, a gas station?
Tree Acres owners Rusty and Pam Bent have recently undergone a menu change and hired a cook with local experience to man the kitchen and oversee their new menu.
They now serve lunch from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and breakfast and lunch on Saturday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.
They also have daily specials. The Thursday special is the Bacon, Mushroom Swiss Burger. That is one of the reasons we chose Thursday to head north and give it a try.
Tree Acres has four burgers on its regular menu, starting at $5. The hamburger is $5, cheeseburger $5.50, veggie burger is $6, and the Western Bacon Burger is $7. You can add fries or curly fries for $2.50 and onion rings for $3. The Thursday special is $8.95 and comes with fries.
The Western Burger at Tree Acres comes with cheddar, bacon, an onion ring and barbecue sauce.
The trip worked out well, sports editor John Gunther had a story to do an interview for in Reedsport, so it made it a two-for-one for him.
A little hint, the best way to order at Tree Acres is to call in your order (541-759-1222) and then pick it up. They do have a few picnic tables in front of the station in case you want to eat there.
I called our order in before we left the office. Then we took our order to go.
Autumn joined us for lunch, so that's why you see a third burger in the photos. She ordered the Veggie Burger and added a slice of pepperjack cheese and curly fries.
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The Veggie Burger at Tree Acres in Lakeside. The gas station has four burgers on its regular menu, starting at $5. You can add fries or curly …
John ordered the Western Bacon Burger with regular fries, and being the only mushroom person in the group, I ordered the Bacon, Mushroom, Swiss Burger with curly fries.
As we started eating, I commented to John, "Not bad for a burger from a gas station?"
"Not bad for a burger from anywhere," was his response.
I think we all agreed on this point.
Autumn said her veggie burger was more in a style of the nut-based burger patties than the new plant-based burger patties that we have tried and are becoming oh-so-popular these days.
My burger was quite good. I've seen plenty of mushroom Swiss burgers in my day, but their addition of bacon to this burger just adds another great layer of flavors.
There is a nice slab of bacon strips on top of sliced, grilled mushrooms (which were still quite hot even five minutes after we picked them up).
On the regular daily menu, Tree Acres has a couple of baskets options (chicken strips and finger steak) for $7. The also have a grilled chicken sandwich, a wrap and a few other sandwiches. The daily specials include tacos on Tuesday (3 corn with pork or carne asada); Chili Cheese Dogs or Chili Cheese Fries on Wednesday; the Bacon, Mushroom, Swiss Burger on Thursday and a hot pastrami on Friday.
From left, the Veggie burger, the bacon mushroom Swiss burger and the Western Burger at Tree Acres. The bacon mushroom Swiss burger is the Thu…
Saturday has breakfast specials that include a two-egg breakfast with choice of meat, country potatoes and biscuit; several different omelets and a country breakfast with chicken fried steak fingers, two eggs, country potatoes and biscuit.
They also do half and full orders of biscuits and gravy.
If you're looking for a place to eat and get a sunny day, you might try heading right up U.S. Highway 101 to Tugman State Park (about 1/2-mile north of Tree Acres on the right). There are plenty of public picnic areas there as well as Eel Lake.