The Magic at Pacific Pie NW Portland

I have been a fan of Pacific Pie for several years, ever since I discovered them at the Farmers Market where they got their start. Husband and wife team Sarah and Chris founded Pacific Pie when being the sweet loving wife that she is, Sarah tried to help Aussie Chris’ homesickness for savory pies by baking meat pies. I love their sweet pies too (my favorite is the Chocolate Bourbon Hazelnut), but Sarah’s savory goods were really what hooked me in. Also, Sarah is a better food lover than I: like me, even while eating she is already thinking ahead to the next deliciousness, but with the extra expertise of being able to actually come up with interesting combinations and make it happen. Even though this is a business, you can see and taste the love in these pies.
Sarah and Chris, the owners of Pacific Pie Portland Sarah holding one of the pie offerings of Pacific Pie Portland

Sadly, I had not had the time to visit their new NW 23rd location when it opened last year in December. It sure is a struggle to be a food blogger while simultaneously trying to slim down for my sister’s October wedding! When a Pacific Pie Food Blogger Event invitation appeared in my email box a couple weeks ago though, I knew I had to go. And look at the reward I got!
Pacific Pie NW 23rd Avenue Pacific Pie NW 23rd Avenue Bloggers Event - Spinach Strawberry Rhubarb Salad with organic baby spinach, fresh strawberries, toasted almonds, goats cheese, and rhubarb vinaigrette, some mini pies and a piece of Grand Central Bakery baguette smeared with Marinated Goats Cheese

This new second location of Pacific Pie (their original is still open at 1520 SE 7th Ave) at 1668 NW 23rd Ave has the same great sweet and savory pies, but aims to be more of a neighborhood restaurant that you can bring the family in for a laid back delicious meal without the hustle and bustle of many of the other options on NW 23rd. The interior feels open and airy but casual, like a combination of a coffeeshop that you can hang out at, but with the benefits of being able to order many many more baked good items OR from a bar. In fact, they have a happy hour Monday-Friday 3-6 pm!
Pacific Pie NW 23rd Avenue Pacific Pie NW 23rd Avenue Pacific Pie NW 23rd Avenue

I mean, do you see these kind of offerings behind the glass case as you are ordering your latte normally? There are some regular pies and also seasonal pies that just vary from key lime, chocolate bourbon hazelnut, chocolate peanut butter, apple sour cream streusel, marionberry, peach crumb… And tarts like chocolate salted caramel tart, pecan pie bars, anzac biscuit, cowboy cookie, peanut butter cookie with a Hershey’s kiss…
Pacific Pie NW 23rd Avenue, some of the temptations behind the glass case Pacific Pie NW 23rd Avenue, some of the temptations behind the glass case Pacific Pie NW 23rd Avenue, some of the temptations behind the glass case

Sarah understands the dilemna of there being multiple options you want to try… so she also offers the most adorable little mini pies so you can have several of them and try more flavors without having to eat a whole pie’s worth. How adorable are these? And how perfect would they be as a tray to have at a party?

Pacific Pie Food Blogger Event - mini pies! Pacific Pie Food Blogger Event - mini pies! Pacific Pie Food Blogger Event - mini pies! Pacific Pie Food Blogger Event - mini pies! Pacific Pie Food Blogger Event - mini pies! Pacific Pie Food Blogger Event - mini pies!

But don’t think that Pacific Pie only has pies. They offer lunch and dinner during their hours on the weekdays, and on the weekends they also offer breakfast/brunch. This is only at their NW 23rd location.
Pacific Pie has brunch on their NW 23rd location Pacific Pie has brunch on their NW 23rd location

During the Pacific Pie Food blogger event I attended, I was able to try some samples of these offerings. They offer six different salads, but the two that caught my eye were the Arugula + Roasted Squash Salad that has molasses roasted butternut squash, feta, currants, candies walnuts with arugula in a Balsamic Vinaigrette and the one we got to sample, the Spinach Strawberry Rhubarb Salad with organic baby spinach, fresh strawberries, toasted almonds, goats cheese, and rhubarb vinaigrette.
Pacific Pie NW 23rd Avenue Bloggers Event - Spinach Strawberry Rhubarb Salad with organic baby spinach, fresh strawberries, toasted almonds, goats cheese, and rhubarb vinaigrette Pacific Pie NW 23rd Avenue Bloggers Event - Spinach Strawberry Rhubarb Salad with organic baby spinach, fresh strawberries, toasted almonds, goats cheese, and rhubarb vinaigrette

They also have 5 sandwiches and 7 other entrees to choose from, varying from a lamb meatball wrap and curried chicken salad sandwich to lentil & veggie’s shepherd’s pie (Yes! Vegetarian shepherd’s pie!) and chicken schnitzel. And of course, they have more than a dozen combinations of pasties, which is their founding food, varying from Steak and Cheese pastie or Beef and Stout (with Burnside Brewing stout) to Thai Green Chicken Curry or a Roast Lamb with lamb braised in a shiraz red wine sauce. 4 of their offerings are vegetarian! Yes, that is the most adorable little chicken shape on top of their chicken pot pie.
Pacific Pie, Classic Chicken Pot Pie

Among their 10 snack & starter plates include intriguing options such as Mini Sausage rolls with beer mustard, Mini pasties where you get 2 each of the spinach and feta pasties (with organic tomatoes and hint of spice), and curried samosa (these are stuffed with peas, carrots, potatoes, finger, garlic, cilantro and spices) served with cilantro yogurt sauce. Or indulge with mini chicken pot pies with Draper Valley chicken in a creamy white sauce with peas and carrots. These mini things are so endearing!
Pacific Pie Portland, Mini Sausage rolls with beer mustard

Pacific Pie NW 23rd Avenue Bloggers Event - Pasties! Mini spinach and feta pasties with organic tomatoes and hint of spice, and curried samosa mini pasties that have peas, carrots, potatoes, finger, garlic, cilantro and spices served with cilantro yogurt sauce. "Pacific Pacific Pie NW 23rd Avenue Bloggers Event - mini pies! These are mini chicken pot pies with Draper Valley chicken in a creamy white sauce with peas and carrots

Or how about Marinated Goats Cheese, creamy goat’s cheese marinated in olive oil with fresh herbs and peppercorns served with Grand Central Bakery baguette? On the non baked good / no carb side, how about a starter of Chicken Satay, a yogurt marinated chicken breast on ginger soy slaw finished with peanut sauce?
Pacific Pie NW 23rd Avenue Bloggers Event - Marinated Goats Cheese, creamy goat's cheese marinated in olive oil with fresh herbs and peppercorns served with Grand Central Bakery baguette Pacific Pie NW 23rd Avenue Bloggers Event - chicken satay, yogurt marinated chicken breast on ginger soy slaw finished with peanut sauce Pacific Pie NW 23rd Avenue Bloggers Event - chicken satay, yogurt marinated chicken breast on ginger soy slaw finished with peanut sauce

On both their lunch/dinner menu and also available at their breakfast/brunch is their Polenta with mushroom sauce, baked polenta with creamy organic crimini mushroom sauce. The only difference is the breakfast/brunch version comes topped with 2 eggs. This is so melt in your mouth you can see even though I sampled it at this Bloggers Event, I also ordered it when I returned for lunch a couple weekends later!
Pacific Pie NW 23rd Avenue Bloggers Event - Polenta with mushroom sauce, baked polenta with creamy organic crimini mushroom sauce Pacific Pie NW 23rd Avenue Bloggers Event - Polenta with mushroom sauce, baked polenta with creamy organic crimini mushroom sauce

Pacific Pie NW 23rd,  Polenta with mushroom sauce, baked polenta with creamy organic crimini mushroom sauce Pacific Pie NW 23rd,  Polenta with mushroom sauce, baked polenta with creamy organic crimini mushroom sauce

Vegetarian F was able to have a pie as well – there are many options, and it was great that he had multiple choices of different vegetarian friendly pies. He ended up selecting the Lentil and Veggie Shepherd’s Pie with french green lentils, carrots, sweet potatoes, turnips, and potatoes cooked in a savory porcini mushroom vegan gravy topped with vegan mash and served with a small green salad.
Pacific Pie NW 23rd, Lentil and Veggie Shepherd's Pie with french green lentils, carrots, sweet potatoes, turnips, and potatoes cooked in a savory porcini mushroom vegan gravy topped with vegan mash and served with a small green salad

I went wholely the opposite way with an un-pie option but which still reflects the Aussie story here, Chicken Schnitzel that is skillet fried, seasoned and crumbed chicken breast served with your choice of potato and with a small green salad. I upped it by adding ham and melted Tillamook Cheddar. I think this ended up being not only lunch but 2 other meals with the leftovers!
Pacific Pie NW 23rd, Chicken Schnitzel that is skillet fried, seasoned and crumbed chicken breast served with your choice of potato and with a small green salad. I upped it by adding ham and melted Tillamook Cheddar Pacific Pie NW 23rd, Chicken Schnitzel that is skillet fried, seasoned and crumbed chicken breast served with your choice of potato and with a small green salad. I upped it by adding ham and melted Tillamook Cheddar

I would also highly recommend stopping in even if you don’t want coffee or a meal just to come for dessert. Obviously, there’s the pies. But, they also have concocted pie shakes. PIE SHAKES. In case you wanted to go beyond a pie a la mode, they have pie shakes, which are their amazing pie with ice cream. Because it was my super lucky day, besides sampling all the above I was able to get a glass of my favorite pie in shake form- the Chocolate Bourbon Hazelnut Pie Shake. If you want, you can ask to spike it with bourbon or rum.. Seriously Sarah, you are not good for my waistline.

Pacific Pie, pie a la mode Pacific Pie NW 23rd Avenue Bloggers Event - Pie Shakes! The amazing Pacific Pie pies + ice cream make milkshake heaven. This is their chocolate bourbon hazelnut pie shake - you can even spike it with bourbon or rum! Pacific Pie NW 23rd Avenue Bloggers Event - Pie Shakes! The amazing Pacific Pie pies + ice cream make milkshake heaven. This is their chocolate bourbon hazelnut pie shake - you can even spike it with bourbon or rum!

If you can’t stay and linger for pie, you can even cheat and take some of the pies home to bake for your dinner party or to have later for dinner or lunch the next day, as it includes their sweet and savory pies and many of their pasties!
Pacific Pie NW 23rd,  you can grab frozen pies to make hot at home!

Try visiting Pacific Pie NW Portland – I think you will be surprised  by this wonderful gem.

Disclosure: The Blogger Event meal was complimentary, but I returned later and had a regular lunch out of my own pocket. I will always provide my honest opinion and assessment of all products and experiences I may be given. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are entirely my own.

 

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August Book Club Review: Thomas Jefferson’s Creme Brulee

For August, the Kitchen Reader online book club assignment was Thomas Jefferson’s Creme Brulee: How a Founding Father and His Slave James Hemings Introduced French Cuisine to America by Thomas J Craughwell.

First, I have to say that the title and description on the book jacket of this was totally misleading to me. In advertising it as a deal between Thomas Jefferson and his slave James Hemings and how they studied and brought  French cooking and crops to America, I thought I would be reading both about what Thomas Jefferson contributed as well as what James Hemings contributed.

Book cover for Thomas Jefferson’s Creme Brulee: How a Founding Father and His Slave James Hemings Introduced French Cuisine to America

Instead, the narrative history sticks much more as the side stories that you might hear from a history professor in telling interesting facts here and there from that time period, tying them loosely together based on the chapter. There are many pages of the book which are about neither Thomas Jefferson or James Hemings but a great detail what it was like to generally be living in that time either in the United States or in France, and even a little pre-history of how that way of living came to be too.

I appreciated the rich context that it gave to some of the interesting facts, but it also became a lot of noise as well, sort of if that history professor was drinking whiskey with you and would go off on these long tangents before coming back to the story.

The result was on one hand, I did enjoy some of the information that I learned. On the other hand, there were times I felt like I was being forced to get through sections politely, and it was as dry as assigned reading given as homework.  Although the book provides limited information on James Hemings, you can find a bit more here on the Monticello website.

Jefferson Memorial in Washington DC Jefferson Memorial in Washington DC

Lucky for you, I’ve decided to pull out some of what I thought was the best stuff.

We start off in the book when Thomas Jefferson, who by the way if you didn’t know was not only a founding father but  a great lover of food, is first assigned overseas. You also learn about what dining is like in America at this time and France.

Food at this time was cooked by women, many of them slaves, with an open hearth. The food itself consisted mostly of meats (salted, seasoned with garden herbs and very few spices are used, roasted, boiled, baked or stewed), overcooked vegetables, breads, and heavily sweetened desserts.

An example of some colonial food: These two appetizer dishes below. One is a baked brie en croute in puff pastry stuffed with cardamom spiced apples and finished with raspberry coulis and sprinkles of cinnamon and sugar. The other are hot smithfield ham biscuits with mascarpone cheese and raspberry puree dip. Both of these dishes are example colonial dishes which I had a chance to try at Gadsby’s Tavern (which specializes in a colonial experience) in Alexandria, Virginia.
An appetizer of hot smithfield ham biscuits with mascarpone cheese and raspberry puree dip at Gadsby's Tavern

This sounds crazy now thinking about how plentiful the colonies’ seafood access could be, but except for sturgeon and oysters, no one ate it! Clams and mussels were fed to pigs, and governor of the Plymouth Colony in 1662 William Bradford lamented once about having nothing to feed the new colonists but all lobster. As late at 1796, the author of the first published American cookbook Amelia Simmons suggested garlic, though used by the French for cooking, was only suited for use as medicine. Plain food was seen as a virtue, and as honest. Hospitality was based on abundance of food, not flavor.

This is different than in France, where a culinary renaissance had moved from the cookery of the Middle Ages reliant on spices and sugar to stocks and sauces to build layers of flavor. Rather than trying to fill the table to brimming with options, serving meals in courses which were a progression was the process for a meal. It was also in Paris that the word restaurant changed from a place that sold restoratives like consommes and bouillon to offering food. Before this, the only restaurants as we know today were inns and taverns. In Paris, the city apartment-dwellers who did not have kitchens also helped encourage the boom of retail food shops.

In a fun little fact, even though potatoes were brought back by the Spainards from South America in the 16th century, it was not until 1785 that potates accepted them as safe to eat. The convincing came from a sly trick where Frenchman Antoine-Augustin Parmentier schemed and had 40 acres planted with potatoes and then guarded by troops. The fact this was guarded made the local people curious and so they stole them and ate them and so started the potato craze. The pomme frites of France would later travel with Thomas Jefferson and James Heming as french fries.

truffle fries from Violetta in Portland

We also learn in the book that the slave to turn apprentice chef James Heming is a slave, but is also actually one of the half-siblings to Martha, Thomas Jefferson’s wife (who has already passed away at the time of his overseas appointment). Upon his father in law’s passing, the Hemings family of slaves/half-siblings were then inherited by Thomas Jefferson.

Slavery is unknown in France, and so any black person, including James Heming , could have claimed his freedom. Thomas Jefferson paid a generous monthly salary to James Heming while he lived in France, gave him freedom of movement, and promised emancipation at the end after he returned to America with him and taught the skills he learned to apprentices (which it would turn out, would be his brother).

In the end, some of the dishes that James Hemings mastered for Thomas Jefferson have since become American classics: French Fries, Creme Brulee, and Macaroni with Cheese! These were among the humbler dishes that had easier recipes to teach to apprentices. Jefferson’s recipe is the earliest recorded recipe for ice cream as well. Thank you Thomas Jefferson and James Hemings!
The beautiful deluxe mac and cheese from Violetta in Portland At my Hipcooks Class, this is my Creme Brulee with vanilla and raspberry (we each torched our own to our liking). We also made one with orange ginger and Patron Citronge Orange Liqueur. It was so ridiculously easy to make

For 4 months, Thomas Jefferson took a special grand tour by carriage to visit farms and wineries, scouring for local ingredients to take back home to America. Things he collected and introduced back in America (and in some cases smuggled back) included Champagne and other French wines, Italian rice, Olives, Capers, Almonds, Pistachios, Broccoli, Figs, Parmesan, Maille mustard, apricots, a pasta making machine, and more. He brought back plants including cuttings to grow wine, and cork trees to have stoppers on hand when he bottled his first vintage. Jefferson journeyed with a corkscrew in the same little case he carried with him that held his toothbrush.

He also brought back a new way of serving dinner in which servants presented serving dishes but then left the room, leaving guests to serve themselves, a process in which he believed encouraged open conversation. On multiple occasions, the book refers to various parties of opposing views meeting for a meal at Jefferson’s and that the cuisine and wine put men in an amiable and reasonable frame of mind to negotiate and unite on measures.

Jefferson Memorial in Washington DC

There were other little tidbits of stories as well-  as a widowed father for instance, how he tricked his remaining middle daughter that he had left in America after his youngest died to come to France. He had her and her friends play on a ship as long as she wanted, and when she fell asleep her friends left and the ship took off for France! Later, when his oldest daughter wanted to join the Catholic nuns, he took her shopping and let her attend balls and other entertainments, and she abandoned the thought of changing religion and becoming a nun. Yes, Thomas Jefferson was skilledb at negotiating the complexity of politics and daughters!

If you’ve read this book before… do you agree that these were parts you found interesting? Was there a unique side story that I missed?

For September the selected book subject is Molecular Gastronomy: Exploring the Science of Flavor (Arts and Traditions of the Table: Perspectives on Culinary History) by Herve This.

Interested in joining us? All you have to do to join our book club is sign up at the online book club Kitchen Reader, read the book (or part of it) and post your thoughts on your blog during the last week of the month.

 

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Whole Foods and Hopworks Beer Dinner

Earlier this month, I wrote about the series of brewery dinners that Whole Foods is doing at their Pearl District location. Each ticketed dinner event involves working with a brewery every month while Whole Foods prepares food to pair with a beer for four courses for $25 or less.

Last week, I attended the one for August, which was a Whole Foods and Hopworks Urban Brewery Beer Dinner. This one also had a good cause in mind: all proceeds benefit The Whole Kids Foundation, an organization devoted to improving children’s nutrition and wellness with the goal of ending the childhood obesity epidemic. As before, the dinner was held in their Salud Room and beautifully set up.
Whole Foods Pearl Brewery dinners, this one is with Hopworks Urban Brewery (HUB) Whole Foods Pearl Brewery dinners, this one is with Hopworks Urban Brewery (HUB)
Whole Foods Pearl Brewery dinners, this one is with Hopworks Urban Brewery (HUB) and started off with a cheese course by Benjamin that was paired with Hopworks Belgian Apple

I am going to recap the dinner for the rest of the post, but I wanted to let you know there is no dinner for September because Whole Foods is going to be pretty busy with Feast!! The next dinner they are thinking of will be October 3, so pretty early in the month, and may be partnering with Merchant du Vin, who imports some pretty fabulous beers. The menu will be Oktoberfest themed, so it all sounds pretty damn exciting! Be sure to keep checking their Events Page to see when it is up!

Whole Foods and Hopworks Beer Dinner Recap

It was such a thrill to get to sit and chat with Owner and Brewmaster Christian Ettinger and his wife as they told us what it was like to at the same time found Hopworks while also having their first child. It is also very clear how extremely proud and dedicated Chris is in truly being an Eco-Brewpub. It started with how they took an existing building and then carefully deconstructed and then reconstructed it to be as green and efficient as possible, including sorting and reclaiming everything they can and using recycled materials. Then, add to that beers and a food menu that leverage organic and fresh, local ingredients and even after you’re done, HUB recycles food waste for animal feed and composting to strive for zero waste.
Whole Foods Pearl Brewery dinners, this one is with Hopworks Urban Brewery (HUB) Whole Foods Pearl Brewery dinners, this one is with Hopworks Urban Brewery (HUB) and here is founder of HUB himself, Christian Ettinger

HUB has big plans in its future- Chris is working with New Deal, which means soon they will be experimenting with oak and whiskey barrels. As a barrel aged beer lover, this is sooooo cool to hear, I can’t wait to see what HUB does!

Also, Chris hopes a wine license will allow him more freedom in using more fruit so he can push even more the levels of flavor that he went right up to the limit for the Organic Belgian Apple Ale. Because these Washington apples for the juice used are sourced locally, Chris admits the beer flavor may vary from year to year- but it is honest and reflects the origin of the ingredients and of that time. The Belgian Apple beer was paired with a Cheese Course by Benjamin which I was delighted I brought F because he turned over his prosciutto and blue cheese to me!
Whole Foods Pearl Brewery dinners, this one is with Hopworks Urban Brewery (HUB) and started off with a cheese course by Benjamin that was paired with Hopworks Belgian Apple

The Belgian Apple beer was a great pairing, as its balance of wheat malt with slight tart fruit flavor line throughout from the apple and effervescence was reminiscent of a sparkling wine. It did a great job of balancing the fat of the cheese and the prosciutto and was fun to contrast the kinds of tartness when biting into one of those little grapes and then a little sip of the beer.
Whole Foods Pearl Brewery dinners, this one is with Hopworks Urban Brewery (HUB) and started off with a cheese course by Benjamin that was paired with Hopworks Belgian Apple Whole Foods Pearl Brewery dinners, this one is with Hopworks Urban Brewery (HUB) and started off with a cheese course by Benjamin that was paired with Hopworks Belgian Apple Whole Foods Pearl Brewery dinners, this one is with Hopworks Urban Brewery (HUB) and started off with a cheese course by Benjamin that was paired with Hopworks Belgian Apple

Next course was a refreshing reflection of the current bounty of the Oregon summer with a salad of beets, heirloom tomatoes, beans, and watercress greens in a dijon dressing.
Whole Foods Pearl Brewery dinners, this one is with Hopworks Urban Brewery (HUB). This second course included beets, heirloom tomatoes, beans, and watercress greens in a dijon dressing paired with HUB's DOA American Style Strong Ale Whole Foods Pearl Brewery dinners, this one is with Hopworks Urban Brewery (HUB). This second course included beets, heirloom tomatoes, beans, and watercress greens in a dijon dressing paired with HUB's DOA American Style Strong Ale

This was paired with HUB’s DOA American Style Strong Ale, one of my favorites of the evening with its balance and caramel finish. No wonder it’s the house beer at esteemed Northwest cuisine restaurant Higgins.
Whole Foods Pearl Brewery dinners, this one is with Hopworks Urban Brewery (HUB). This second course included beets, heirloom tomatoes, beans, and watercress greens in a dijon dressing paired with HUB's DOA American Style Strong Ale <a href= Whole Foods Pearl Brewery dinners, this one is with Hopworks Urban Brewery (HUB). This second course included beets, heirloom tomatoes, beans, and watercress greens in a dijon dressing paired with HUB's DOA American Style Strong Ale

Next up, this main course was an amazeballs grilled flank steak with potatoes, arugula and tomato tarragon dressing paired with Hopworks IPA. Even for F, who is vegetarian, they swapped out the flank steak for portabella mushrooms so he had a wonderful main as well. So if you are vegetarian, you can ask for the menu to accommodate you!
Whole Foods Pearl Brewery dinners, this one is with Hopworks Urban Brewery (HUB). This main course was an amazeballs griled flank steak with potatoes, aruglua and tomato tarragon dressing paired with Hopworks IPA Whole Foods Pearl Brewery dinners, this one is with Hopworks Urban Brewery (HUB). This main course was an amazeballs griled flank steak with potatoes, aruglua and tomato tarragon dressing paired with Hopworks IPA Whole Foods Pearl Brewery dinners, this one is with Hopworks Urban Brewery (HUB). This main course was a vegetarian version of the entree that used portabella mushrooms instead with potatoes, aruglua and tomato tarragon dressing paired with Hopworks IPA

Hopworks IPA is the HUB best-selling beer and takes the West Coast approach of dry and citrus (versus the East Coast IPA that leans more towards sweet and herbaceous)
Whole Foods Pearl Brewery dinners, this one is with Hopworks Urban Brewery (HUB) Whole Foods Pearl Brewery dinners, this one is with Hopworks Urban Brewery (HUB) Hopworks IPA, which is their bestselling beer and takes the West Coast approach of dry and citrus (versus the East Coast IPA that leans more towards sweet and herbaceous)

Dessert started with a honey herb butter custard with lavender, sage, rosemary and thyme (and winner of a Whole Foods department ice cream competition) with house shortbread with many of those same herbs partially dipped in chocolate.  Oh yes. This was then paired with Hopworks’ Notorious FIG, a Belgian Dark Strong Ale that uses 30 lbs of organic fig.
Whole Foods Pearl Brewery dinners, this one is with Hopworks Urban Brewery (HUB). Dessert started with a honey herb butter custard with lavendar sage rosemary and thyme (and winner of a Whole Foods department ice cream competition) with house shortbread with many of those same herbs, then paired with Hopworks' Notorious FIG, a Belgian Dark Strong Ale that uses 30 lbs of organic fig Whole Foods Pearl Brewery dinners, this one is with Hopworks Urban Brewery (HUB). Dessert started with a honey herb butter custard with lavendar sage rosemary and thyme (and winner of a Whole Foods department ice cream competition) with house shortbread with many of those same herbs, then paired with Hopworks' Notorious FIG, a Belgian Dark Strong Ale that uses 30 lbs of organic fig Whole Foods Pearl Brewery dinners, this one is with Hopworks Urban Brewery (HUB). Dessert started with a honey herb butter custard with lavendar sage rosemary and thyme (and winner of a Whole Foods department ice cream competition) with house shortbread with many of those same herbs, then paired with Hopworks' Notorious FIG, a Belgian Dark Strong Ale that uses 30 lbs of organic fig Whole Foods Pearl Brewery dinners, this one is with Hopworks Urban Brewery (HUB). Dessert started with a honey herb butter custard with lavendar sage rosemary and thyme (and winner of a Whole Foods department ice cream competition) with house shortbread with many of those same herbs, then paired with Hopworks' Notorious FIG, a Belgian Dark Strong Ale that uses 30 lbs of organic fig

See how the berries make a happy face in the reflection of the Notorious Fig? That is how I felt at the end of this marvelous Whole Foods and Hopworks Beer Dinner.

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Fruits and Berries at Hollywood Farmers Market

Can you tell that it just maybe, maybe it is tomato season and berry season in Oregon? It’s been very hot and dry this summer which is a little hard on the humans but has been wonderful for the tomatoes. Here’s a look at what I found at the Hollywood Farmers Market.

A Saturday in August at the Hollywood Farmers Market in Portland, Oregon, with so much tomato goodness A Saturday in August at the Hollywood Farmers Market in Portland, Oregon, with so much tomato goodness A Saturday in August at the Hollywood Farmers Market in Portland, Oregon, with so much tomato goodness A Saturday in August at the Hollywood Farmers Market in Portland, Oregon, with so much tomato goodness A Saturday in August at the Hollywood Farmers Market in Portland, Oregon, with so much tomato goodness A Saturday in August at the Hollywood Farmers Market in Portland, Oregon, have you ever head or Pineapple Tomatillos / Ground Cherry? A Saturday in August at the Hollywood Farmers Market in Portland, Oregon, a new adventure when I was introduced to Teggia, an Italian Shelling Bean Just another normal find of beautiful berries at the Hollywood Farmers Market in Portland, on an August lunch visit to the market /> Just another normal find of beautiful berries at the Hollywood Farmers Market in Portland, on an August lunch visit to the market /> Just another normal find of beautiful berries at the Hollywood Farmers Market in Portland, on an August lunch visit to the market Just another normal find of beautiful berries at the Hollywood Farmers Market in Portland, on an August lunch visit to the market
Just another normal find at the Hollywood Farmers Market in Portland, on an August lunch visit to the market Just another normal find at the Hollywood Farmers Market in Portland, on an August lunch visit to the market

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Giveaway to see The Trip to Italy at Cinema 21

Are you feeling like it can’t be the end of summer already, because you haven’t been able to do all the travel and vacation you had hoped for? I’m definitely feeling that way. How can I have still not gone to the Coast yet all year? It just keeps getting put off for other things going on.

On my bucket list has always been to visit Italy. I hear that it’s hot and tourist season, but they also have a lot of festivals and outdoor events. I guess it is going to continue forward on my list of to dos for sometime in the future. In the meantime, might I recommend to you a mini mental and culinary escape to Italy without having to pack any bags or sit on any planes?

The movie The Trip to Italy is opening to pretty strong reviews already, with its official open on August 29 at select theaters, find your nearby theater using this link here: http://thetriptoitalymovie.tumblr.com/find-a-theater.

I am giving away FREE tickets to attend an Advance Screening of the movie The Trip to Italy at Cinema 21 in the trendy Nob Hill neighborhood in Portland at 616 NW 21st Ave. This free screening will be held on Monday August 25, 7 PM

I haven’t seen this movie yet, but given it’s current 88% critic / 71% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes, I think this is still an enjoyable movie to cool off from the summer heat. A positive review from NPR here and Sundance review from Variety here seems to back up that gut feeling I have, as do snippets such as snippets like “Brilliantly funny, hilarious, and touching” – Entertainment Weekly and “A hilarious tasty treat” – USA Weekly.

Also, I find bromance/watching guys hang out extra amusing, maybe because I’m not a guy so the things they talk about are fascinating and boy, these two just go off on tangents and keep going and going and going. They really embody that what makes the experience of a trip and memories is not only about where you go, but who you are going with. Particularly, this pair is witty and smart but also dorky. Adorkable.

With the money you are not spending on the movie, can I recommend getting a nice Italian dinner afterwards at nearby restaurant… for instance, Cafe Mingo or Serrato only a block or so away. Other favorite Italian places I like in Portland include on the east side of the river Ava Gene’s, Accanto, These other restaurants close earlier so maybe you do date night part 2 the next night at options like GrassaNostrana (which also has a convenient parking lot), Tabla or a Cena.

After seeing The Trip to Italy, perhaps visit Ava Gene's for dinner, so you could try their pane. For instance, this Pane of squash, mint, ricotta salata, barrel aged colatura, carta di musica Oven and Shaker Cauliflower Pizza, Oven & Shaker, Cathy Whims, Wood fired pizza, Portland After seeing The Trip to Italy, perhaps fill your tummy with Radiatore with tomato braised chicken, crisp skin, ricotta, basil, from Grassa by Rick Gencarelli Coffee and dessert idea after the The Trip to Italy movie at Accanto: Rose panna cotta with strawberries and lambrusco

Synopsis

Michael Winterbottom’s largely improvised 2010 film, The Trip, took comedians Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon—or semifictionalized versions thereof—on a restaurant tour around northern England. In this witty and incisive follow-up, Winterbottom reunites the pair for a new culinary road trip, retracing the steps of the Romantic poets’ grand tour of Italy and indulging in some sparkling banter and impersonation-offs. Rewhetting our palates from the earlier film, the characters enjoy mouthwatering meals in gorgeous settings from Liguria to Capri while riffing on subjects as varied as Batman’s vocal register, the artistic merits of “Jagged Little Pill,” and, of course, the virtue of sequels.

Winterbottom trains his camera to capture the idyllic Italian landscape and the gastronomic treasures being prepared and consumed while keeping the film centered on the crackling chemistry between the two leads. The Trip toItaly effortlessly melds the brilliant comic interplay between Coogan and Brydon into quieter moments of self-reflection, letting audiences into their insightful ruminations on the nuances of friendship and the juggling of family and career. The result is a biting portrait of modern-day masculinity.

 

Enter to Win!

I will be traveling out of town for work so won’t be attending the free screening, but don’t let that hold you up and I still wanted to present this opportunity to you!

There are 28 tickets I can give away, so in your only mandatory task (commenting on the blog) to enter, list how many tickets you would like – if I have more than 14 or more entrants I will give them away as pairs only, but since this is last minute maybe you’ll get lucky and do a double date?!

Seating is first come first serve, but if you get a ticket you should arrive at 6:30 as you will be let in before the general line!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Are you going to see the movie?

Did I miss naming your favorite Italian restaurant- tell me about it! Are there other movies that combine food and travel that you love and want to recommend to me?

Disclosure: I am not being compensated for this post – I just thought this was a wonderful opportunity to give something away to you readers out there! I will always provide my honest opinion and assessment of all products and experiences I may be given. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are entirely my own.

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