Cascade Buffalo Ranch could be found at the Salem Farmer's Market selling buffalo burgers and hot dogs (choice of Polish sausage, German sausage, or dinner frank). Unfortunately, the owners of the establishment told me today (5/21/11) that due to shortage of product, this would be their last time at the Farmer's Market for the foreseeable future.
I did not get to sample their buffalo burger, and now I wish I had gone earlier to see if I could get one. Buffalo is leaner than ground beef, and personally, I prefer buffalo meat to ground beef any day of the week. So instead, I opted for a Polish dog with onions, peppers, and mustard:
I liked that they toasted the bun on the grill, but the problem here was that they toasted the bun way too early. the bun was sitting in the tray for at least 6-8 minutes while the Polish dog took its sweet time to cook. I enjoyed the size of the Polish dog, but again, it's the quality that counts. Was it worth $6?
In the end...no, it was not. The toasted, grilled bun became room-temperature by the time I received it. While the Polish dog had a good snap from the natural casing, it felt heavy and dry instead of light and juicy. I also felt the servers put too much onion and pepper on my hot dog. I couldn't even get my hands to properly grasp the immense hot dog. I had to race back to the counter for some forks -- and one of the guys had to go next door to get me one. Ouch.
I think the buffalo burger may have given me fewer problems, but I'll never know. It's not Cascade's fault that they ran out of buffalo; if there is a meat shortage due to popularity, then that can be construed as a good thing. At least one other person asked for the buffalo burger after I had gotten my food, and she was also told there was no more buffalo meat.
One thing's for sure...at least I don't have to order the hot dog from Cascade Buffalo Ranch again. It had some positives (friendly workers, good snap of the Polish dog, toasted bun), but the negatives far outweighed those positives. 2/10