Dine out for Restaurants for Raphael House

Every year, I like to highlight the Restaurants for Raphael House event. For May 17, 2017, 45+ Portland area restaurants are participating in this tradition, now in its seventh year, where you can dine out for breakfast, lunch, dinner, any time on May 17 and participating restaurants will donate a portion of their proceeds to ensure our life-saving services are available to women, men, and children seeking safety from domestic violence.

Restaurants for Raphael House, enjoying a shake at Ruby Jewel
I grabbed a milkshake from Ruby Jewel last year as one of the stops to support Restaurants for Raphael House last year

You can see the full list here, divided by areas of Portland (and a few in Lake Oswego and Beaverton) but a few summaries of what each of these restaurants offer based off a version of the list I saw this week include of what each of the participating restaurants are below. [Read more…]

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Curse of the Haunted Curds 2016 at Portland Brewing

Two years ago I attended the first Curse of the Haunted Curds event at Deschutes. Although I missed it last year being out of town, this year I’ll be attending again and I’m super excited about it! The Curse of the Haunted Curds 2016 will be taking place at Portland Brewing Company Tap Room at 2730 NW 31st Ave. From 11 AM at lunch to the 8 PM evening on October 27, guests can choose to sample a flight of 5 poutines (fries, gravy, and cheese curds), each created from 5 competing chefs for just $10. You can optionally enjoy the poutines with beer pairings for an additional $6.

The Curse of the Haunted Curds at Portland Brewing 2016, 5 poutines from competing chefs of 5 breweries using beer in their gravy and Face Rock Creamery Vampire Slayer cheese

As before, Curse of the Haunted Curds continues to be for a good cause. 50% of all poutine and beer pairing proceeds go towards Friendly House, a non-profit neighborhood center and social service agency. Founded in 1930, Friendly House provides programs and services at no charge or on a sliding fee scale to ensure access to all members of the community of all ages and backgrounds in three program areas: Children’s Programs, Community Recreation and Education, and Community Services.

You’ll be sampling the 5 poutines from competing chefs from

Then cast your vote for the People’s Choice Award for Curse of the Haunted Curds 2016. The winner of the live judging as well as People’s Choice will be announced at 7:30 PM. Each of the poutine recipes must use one of the breweries’ beers from the competing brewery in the gravy.

Curse of the Haunted Curds, a Poutine Pop-up with proceeds to the D Wright Way Foundation featured 5 poutines from 5 chefs for $10 at Deschutes Brewery Portland Public House
My flight of 5 poutines from 5 chefs from 2014 Curse of the Haunted Curds

Teaming up with them is also local (Bandon Oregon) Face Rock Creamery with their Vampire Slayer cheese curds, which took 1st place at the American Cheese Society’s 2013 Competition. Face Rock sources grass-fed cow’s milk from Oregon dairy families, and they make cheese the same day the cows are milked. Face Rock cheese, including these curds, are available at their creamery, in more than 3,000 stores, and online at their website.

At $10, there’s a huge value with the amount of poutine you get, definitely enough for 2 to share. They are also doing a costume contest!

If you haven’t been to the Portland Brewing Tasting Room before, parking is easy in this industrial area and they offer not only their own brewed beers but also beers from their sister brewery the Pyramid Brewing Co. Their Thursday daily special is “Throwback Thursdays” with $2 pints from 6 PM to close – they have one daily special every day, ranging from Kids 12 and under eat free for each adult Sunday to matching a purchased flight or pint or growler with a free one on other days and “hoppy hour” every day 3 – 6 PM and 9 PM – close.

This entire month of July 2014, Portland Brewing is donating a portion from every case or growler of ZigZag River Lager (growlers must be purchased at the Portland Brewing Co Taproom, cases must be purchased in the state of Oregon) sold back to our Northwest waters via Sandy River Basin Watershed Council.

Have you been to Portland Brewing? What do you think about this upcoming Curse of the Haunted Curds 2016 at Portland Brewing event?

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Tips for Feast PDX 2016

It’s one week until it’s here! The food holiday time of year in Portland – Feast week. It’s all starting Thursday September 15 and goes through Sunday September 18 2016. This will be my fourth year attending Feast, and here are my top tips for Feast PDX, ranging from what to wear to how to proceed through a food event and make the most of it.

Feast promises 4 days of belly busting events showcasing delicious eats and drinks. This is Feast’s 5th year, not only celebrating the bounty of the Oregon and the Northwest in food and drink, but also since its inception Feast has donated more than $230,000 to charity. Feast Portland’s charitable partner in 2016 is Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon.

The main event kick off starts with Thursday, with the Sandwich Invitational (Sold Out) and multiple Dinner Series events (also Sold Out). Then, Friday is your best bet if you don’t already have tickets, as there are tickets still for the Friday version of the Grand Tasting ($60, which are the biggest value for your eating and drinking buck events – $12 an hour progressive sampling of all you can eat and drink for 5 hours!) and several Drink Tank events: see the full Feast schedule here. You can also check the Feast official Facebook page to see if there are any giveaways still open to win tickets.

Beans & Booze panel at Feast 2014 Feast 2015: Oregon Bounty, Kimberly Hoang of Magenta Restaurant in Corvallis Oregon presented Hot Chicks! Dough filled with savory chicken and spicy tamarind creme Brunch Village at Feast 2015, USA Pears, one of the participating sponsors, really brought their A game with their Creamy Coconut and Star Anise Poached Pears and a Pear Shrub wtih Sparkling Prosecco or Soda Water

I also wrote a previous post listing some of the Fab Five food that celebrates Feast but you can get even if you are not at any of the Feast events, and a portion of proceeds still goes to fighting childhood hunger. If you are attending a Feast event, here are my top tips for Feast PDX!

Tip 1: Dress Comfortably &  have Easy Pockets or a Tote Bag

For all the main events, you will be visiting a lot of different booths as you are progressive eating through a food market. That means you will be on your feet a lot of the time. In some cases, you will be walking on grass (Smoked) or gravel (Night Market – make sure you have good padding in your shoes). So wear comfy shoes every time.

You will also be eating for several hours – so dress like this is Thanksgiving. This is not the time for your form-fitting dresses and skinny jeans. You want to dress in clothes that have a little tummy give.

Friends - Joey - gif of These are my Thanksgiving Pants

If you are going to an evening event, think about layers as the weather will get cooler later. If you’ve got tickets Smoked, be prepared that the cooking aromas can permeate the air and your clothes will absorb it. In general you don’t want anything requiring dry cleaning!

I  highly recommend wearing something with easy accessible pockets or have a tote bag. That way you can store your napkins or utensils or camera or phone while leaving your hands free to hold and eat food and drink, but also get to those objects easily. I don’t like to create a lot of waste at these events, so I will try as much as possible to use every last corner of my napkin and reuse my utensils.

Official Feast Tote bags at Feast 2015

If the weather says it may be rainy and you are attending one of the outdoor events, I recommend wearing weatherproof hooded jacket instead of an umbrella so you don’t have to juggle a food sample, drink glass, AND your umbrella. Plus, your jacket should then come with pockets!

Specifically for the Sandwich Invitational, it is easy to get really, really full on all those 15 or so sandwiches. My secret trick for big multiple station food events like this is that I only take a couple bites of each dish. But since I feel bad throwing the rest away when it’s so delicious I store it away in a few ziploc bags I have in my tote bag and eat it for lunch the next week! This doesn’t mean to go grabbing multiples of a dish unless it’s the very end of the event: have respect for letting all your fellow guests get a chance to try the dish too.
Widmer Brothers Brewing Sandwich Invitational presented by Dave's Killer Bread, Feast 2014. Cathy Whims of Nostrana (Portland, OR) was still giving out a relaxed vibe from her return from Hawaii as she presented her sandwich of Peach Whim Smoked Lamb Ham, Cresenze Cheese, Watercress, Tomato, and Spicy Onion Relish which was paired with the Widmer Portlandic Porter, my favorite sandwich and Widmer beer pairing of the night.

Limiting yourself to only a couple bites, or sharing with a friend, is pretty much the only way to try everything because there is too much for a normal appetite. Don’t feel like you have to eat and drink everything either.

By the end at all the events, don’t be surprised if some of the booths may have already served up all their plates either so make sure you go in the order of chefs or dishes you want to see the most so you won’t be disappointed you missed someone you really wanted to see. I particular like visiting the out of town chefs first rather then the hometown favorites (though I visit them too) since it’s a unique chance to try their food without having to fly to their city.

At Grand Tasting, one of my favorite booths, and which always has a line, is the USA Pears booth which the previous years have featured multiple special dishes and a different chef each day, so if you are attending go look for their booth to see how they have highlighted pears this year. Last year it was Chef Vitaly Paley and then Chef Brian Clevenger. A little birdie told me this year you may find Top Chef finalist and local PDX Chef Doug Adams sharing nibbles featuring USA Pears paired with sips from Chateau Ste. Michelle! Saturday will be Chef Brian again- you can get a peek at what he served last year below. Also, don’t miss out on the Travel Oregon section (for the past few years it has been towards the weather machine) which features various chefs from Oregon.
USA Pears Pop up featuring Vitaly Paley Feast 2015: Oregon Bounty featuring Brian Clevenger with Bartlett Pear Bourbon cocktail, Sikoku oyster with pickled Anjou Pear, Foie Gras with Seckel Pear Mostarda on crostini, and Roasted rabbit loin with Bosc pear puree and brown butter

Tip 2: Use your Phone or Camera to take Photos for Notes

One of the best things about Feast is being introduced to so much new deliciousness. To help remember what you ate or drank, take a photo of them. The visual cue of seeing the descriptions (particularly wine bottle labels) when I look on my phone is so helpful later!
Feast Portland 2014, Oregon Bounty Grand Tasting Elizabeth Chambers wine Feast Portland 2015 Night Market, Mei Lin was hyperfocused and zen as she carefully plated her Pork Belly Pâté Egg Rolls, Nước chấm, Fragrant Herbs

Don’t forget to bring a charger because all those photos (and if you are recording any notes on your phone) will eat up your battery. I have a portable external battery phone charger I always keep in my bag, as well as the wall charger attachment and if you are driving, for your car as well.

In order to see what is happening and hot everyday at Feast, you can check the hashtag #feastpdx and for handles see on Twitter @FeastPDX and follow on Instagram Feast Portland to also see what everyone is talking about. Maybe that’s how you’ll know to hurry and get into a particular line for a food dish before it runs out. If you yourself do share, make sure you tag #FeastPDX too!

I’ll be on Twitter and Instagram myself covering Feast, so I hope we are already friends on Twitter @pechluck and on Instagram @pechluck .

Having cell phone juice is particularly important if you want to make sure you have enough for your phone to ride Trimet with their online app or be able to call a cab or Uber or Lyft for a ride.

Portland Transportation Options 

You can use Google Maps to help find your transportation options (they are hooked up pretty well, and you can also use trimet.org’s Transit Tracker to look up the stop # and see how long until the bus/Max appears – it’s only $5 for an all day pass). You can purchase a pass using cash or credit card at the Max stops, cash only on the buses, or on your phone using credit card via the Trimet Tickets app (iPhone and Android). You flash your ticket to the bus driver, but for the Max you only have to show it to the fare inspector.

It is very difficult to wave down a taxi – you are better calling one if you aren’t convenient to major streets like Broadway or Burnside near downtown where there are lots of hotels that have taxi stations that they might be heading towards.

  • Uber or Lyft: Use UBER app (iPhone, Android, Windows phones) or LYFT app (iPhone, Android)
  • Portland Taxi Cab Company: 503-256-5400
  • Radio Cab: 503-227-1212
  • Broadway Cab: 503-333-3333
  • Green Cab & Green Shuttle: 503-234-1414
  • Union Cab PDX: 503-222-2222

Tip 3: Talk to Strangers, and Smile!

Since everyone around you is a food and drink lover like you and me, we can ALL surely be friends. Start conversations with strangers! Something as simple as “What are you having? Where did you get that?” or “Did you have a favorite sandwich/sample/wine/etc” is a great conversation opener. This can help give you a heads up on something you try that you didn’t know about. There is a lot going on at each event, so to make sure you see everything so talking to people in line or while by a cocktail table eating is fun and a way to get the scoop of what’s hot.

When you’re at a booth, make sure you flash a smile to whoever is working to show your appreciation for them being on their feet prepping and serving food and drink samples to the crowds. Ask all the questions you’d like with the various vendors (stepping to the side so others can still get to samples), and thank everyone you see working hard to keep the event clean and running smoothly and your plates and cups full!

Sammich of Ashland, OR brought House-Cured Pastrami wtih Double R Brisket on Light Rye with Swiss, Slaw, and Housemade Russian dressing at Brunch Village, Feast 2015 One of my favorite dishes of the Night Market during Feast 2015 was the rich dish of Beef Tongue, Roasted Bone Marrow Aioli, Crispy Rice, Pickles by Carlo Lamagna of Clyde Common

If you really like their food or product, make sure you give them that feedback, ask where you can find their product. If you have a social media account, let them know how much you enjoyed it on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook. Doesn’t everyone like hearing a compliment and validation that their hard work was enjoyed?

Tip 4: Go with Friends, go Alone, just GO!

Being at Feast is sort of like being able to talk to anyone and everyone rooting for your same sports team at a game – but here the game is FOOD.

That means you also don’t worry about going to any event alone. I have gone to food festivals alone and with friends – and both have their pros and cons. Of course, going with friends means you can share the excitement before, the experience during, and the memories after. In some cases, you might even strategize with friends by waiting in different lines and coming together to share samples.
At Brunch Village for Feast 2015 Simpatica pleased the crowd with their Fried Chicken and Waffles with Green Tomato Syrup Feast 2015 Oregon Bounty: Face Rock Cheese Ricotta on Brioche with Honey with Face Rock Whipped Ricotta, Handmade Brioche Toast, Honey Drizzle, and Toasted Honey Almonds Bonnie Morales of Kachka was adored for her plates at Night Market 2015 of Lamb Pelmeni with Adjika Butter and Pickled Pears

Going alone also has its pros in that you are much more likely to meet new people, and you are able to move faster through food stations. You will naturally get full over time, so the faster you can eat the more you can try before getting to the uncomfortably stuffed point. On your own, you can make your own calls about how you want to proceed through the food areas based on your preferences at your pace.

Sunny Jin of JORY, at The Allison presented Goat Tartare - Charred Green Tomato, Frozen Egg, Panisse Croutons for Night Market 2015 Feast 2015, Oregon Bounty Grand Tasting Feast 2015, Oregon Bounty Grand Tasting

I hope my Top Tips for Feast and links to previews to get you in the feasting mood are helpful to you. Here are links to my previous posts from Feast 2015 and 2014 for an idea of the incredible bites of previous years:

For more Feast tips, check out the perspectives of my blogger friends like

Maybe I’ll see you at Feast? Don’t be shy about coming to say hi!

Disclosure: I was granted a Blogger Pass for Feast Portland 2016 for blog post and social media coverage but I am not otherwise being compensated. Even before I was given the Blogger Pass I already had tickets for some Feast events that I paid for myself. 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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Snackdown 2016 Recap

This past Sunday, I attended the closing event of Portland Beer Week, and here is my Snackdown 2016 Recap! Taking place 12 – 4 PM at The Evergreen event space above Loyal Legion, Snackdown was a food and beer pairing event where 10 of Portland Chefs and 10 Oregon Brewers are paired into 10 Brewer/Chef teams to make snack and beer pairing. The atmosphere is styled like a WWF style Smackdown with brewers and chefs hyping their pairing on the mic – possibly while sporting wrestling themed costume – while in the background a large screen played old matches from the days of Hulk – I guess in the mid 80s.
Snackdown Portland Beer Week 2016 Closing Party

DJ Rev Shines was playing fun music to keep everyone grooving while snacking. Everyone seemed to be having fun and in a great playful mood.
DJ Rev Shines was super cool at playing fun music to keep everyone grooving while snacking at Snackdown 2016 P.R.E.A.M. / Ecliptic Brewing was another favorite pairing of mine, see my Snackdown 2016 Recap for more details

Herb of Loyal Legion served as MC and got all the brewer/chef teams to take turns doing a little smack talking throughout the event
Herb of Loyal Legion served as MC and got all the brewer/chef teams to take turns doing a little smack talking throughout the Snackdown event Herb of Loyal Legion served as MC and got all the brewer/chef teams to take turns doing a little smack talking throughout the Snackdown 2016 event

Guests got to vote on their favorite pairing and the winning team will be awarded the Snackdown Belt – which is apparently a wristlet version for the brewery and restaurant,  here being modeled by Co-organizer of the event, Ben Love of Gigantic Brewing.
Guests at Snackdown 2016 got to vote on their favorite pairing and the winning team will be awarded the Snackdown Belt - which is apparently a wristlet version for the brewery and restaurant. Guests at Snackdown 2016 got to vote on their favorite pairing and the winning team will be awarded the Snackdown Belt - which is apparently a wristlet version for the brewery and restaurant.

The 10 Brewer/Chef teams for 2016 were:

  • Loyal Legion / Portland Brewing & Double Mountain showcased the official 2016 Portland Beer Week beer by pouring a Sub-Continental IPA, a collaboration between Portland Brewing and Double Mountain to create a ~7% ABV northwest IPA brewed with Indian spices like pepper, cardamom, clove, cumin and saffron. Meanwhile Loyal Legion used the Sub-Continental IPA to braise their homemade sauerkraut which they then fried into a krokotten and served along with a spicy beer mustard that also had Sub-Contental IPA in the mustard.
    Snackdown 2016 Loyal Legion / Portland Brewing & Double Mountain showcased the Portland Beer week beer by pouring a Sub-Continental IPA, a collaboration between Portland Brewing and Double Mountain to create a ~7% ABV northwest IPA brewed with Indian spices like pepper, cardamom, clove, cumin and saffron. Meanwhile Loyal Legion used the Sub-Continental IPA to braise their homemade sauerkraut which they then fried into a krokotten and served along with a spicy beer mustard that also had Sub-Contental IPA in the mustard Snackdown 2016 Loyal Legion / Portland Brewing & Double Mountain showcased the Portland Beer week beer by pouring a Sub-Continental IPA, a collaboration between Portland Brewing and Double Mountain to create a ~7% ABV northwest IPA brewed with Indian spices like pepper, cardamom, clove, cumin and saffron. Meanwhile Loyal Legion used the Sub-Continental IPA to braise their homemade sauerkraut which they then fried into a krokotten and served along with a spicy beer mustard that also had Sub-Contental IPA in the mustard
  • Bollywood Theater / The Commons Brewery also combined beer right into the food by pairing the Commons Fleur de Blanc, a Rose and Elderflower White Farmhouse Ale, with Bollywood Theater creating an Indian curry with mussels cooked in the Commons Fleur de Blanc with Indian spices, coconut milk, and rose petals. It was a little hard to eat in such a small little bowl to get the mussels out, but the mussels dish added a little heat while bringing out some of the funky and floral notes in the beer, which I thought made an excellent combo.
    Snackdown 2016 Bollywood Theater / The Commons Brewery combined beer right into the food by pairing the Commons Fleur de Blanc, a Rose and Elderflower White Farmhouse Ale, with Bollywood Theater creating mussels cooked in the Commons Fleur de Blanc with Indian spices, coconut milk, and rose petals. Snackdown 2016 Bollywood Theater / The Commons Brewery combined beer right into the food by pairing the Commons Fleur de Blanc, a Rose and Elderflower White Farmhouse Ale, with Bollywood Theater creating mussels cooked in the Commons Fleur de Blanc with Indian spices, coconut milk, and rose petals.
  • Lardo / Heater Allen Brewing I always love seeing Chef Rick Gencarelli at an event – he’s always excited about what he’s doing which I miss seeing when he gave up the Lardo cart for the multiple successful businesses of his current brick and mortars, but you get a glimpse of how fun he is and what a good hearted guy every time he’s at one of these food events in front of the people again.
    I always love seeing Chef Rick Gencarelli at an event - he's always excited about what he's doing which I miss seeing when he gave up the Lardo cart for the multiple successful businesses of his current brick and mortars, but you get a glimpse of how fun he is every time he's at one of these food events. Here at Snackdown 2016 he somehow kept that awesome wrestling mask on while doling out the most precious and super delicious mini lobster roll to pair with Heater Allen's Das Bier Kolsch I always love seeing Chef Rick Gencarelli at an event - he's always excited about what he's doing which I miss seeing when he gave up the Lardo cart for the multiple successful businesses of his current brick and mortars, but you get a glimpse of how fun he is every time he's at one of these food events. Here at Snackdown 2016 he somehow kept that awesome wrestling mask on while doling out the most precious and super delicious mini lobster roll to pair with Heater Allen's Das Bier Kolsch
    Here he somehow kept that awesome wrestling mask on while doling out the most precious and super delicious mini lobster roll to pair with Heater Allen’s Das Bier Kolsch.
    Snackdown 2016 Lardo created the most precious and super delicious mini lobster roll to pair with Heater Allen's Das Bier Kolsch Snackdown 2016 Lardo created the most precious and super delicious mini lobster roll to pair with Heater Allen's Das Bier Kolsch
  • The Bent Brick which just officially went to a tipless system and is one of six gratuity free restaurants in Portland, presented what they called a Pig Picnic with porky picnicky vibes in a pork and beans stew / Block 15 Brewing brought their Sticky Hands IPA
    Snackdown 2016 The Bent Brick presented what they called a Pig Picnic with porky picnicky vibes in a pork and beans stew / Block 15 Brewing brought their Sticky Hands IPA The Bent Brick presented what they called a Pig Picnic with porky picnicky vibes in a pork and beans stew / Block 15 Brewing brought their Sticky Hands IPA Snackdown 2016 The Bent Brick presented what they called a Pig Picnic with porky picnicky vibes in a pork and beans stew / Block 15 Brewing brought their Sticky Hands IPA
  • Old Salt Marketplace created “Last Year’s Succotash” with alubias gigantes beans, pickled corn, fermented pepper vinagrette, shaved country ham and arugula on a pork rind – sadly I found the pork rind to be old and chewy rather than crispy / Ex Novo Brewing with their Thick as Thieves Dry Hoppped Belgo-American Sour Pale, a collaboration beer they created with Solemn Oath Brewery in Chicago which they just released during Portland Beer week
    Snackdown 2016 Old Salt Marketplace created 'Last Year's Succotash' with alubias gigantes beans, pickled corn, fermented pepper vinagrette, shaved country ham and arugula on a pork rind to pair with Ex Novo Brewing with their Thick as Thieves Dry Hoppped Belgo-American Sour Pale, a collaboration beer they created with Solemn Oath Brewery in Chicago Snackdown 2016 Old Salt Marketplace created 'Last Year's Succotash' with alubias gigantes beans, pickled corn, fermented pepper vinagrette, shaved country ham and arugula on a pork rind to pair with Ex Novo Brewing with their Thick as Thieves Dry Hoppped Belgo-American Sour Pale, a collaboration beer they created with Solemn Oath Brewery in Chicago
  • Toro Bravo / Hopworks Urban Brewery was the winner of Snackdown with their rich Baller Grilled Cheese and “Tomato Soup”, a rich three cheese (truffle cheese, manchego, and mahone on Grand Central brioche) and modernist tomato soup sphere with the HUB Xocolatal Xake Up Belgian Style Spiced Quad to wash it down with.
    Toro Bravo / Hopworks Urban Brewery was the winner of Snackdown 2016 with their rich Baller Grilled Cheese and 'Tomato Soup', a rich three cheese (truffle cheese, manchego, and mahone on Grand Central brioche) and modernist tomato soup sphere with the HUB Xocolatal Xake Up Belgian Style Spiced Quad to wash it down Toro Bravo / Hopworks Urban Brewery was the winner of Snackdown 2016 with their rich Baller Grilled Cheese and 'Tomato Soup', a rich three cheese (truffle cheese, manchego, and mahone on Grand Central brioche) and modernist tomato soup sphere with the HUB Xocolatal Xake Up Belgian Style Spiced Quad to wash it down Toro Bravo / Hopworks Urban Brewery was the winner of Snackdown 2016 with their rich Baller Grilled Cheese and 'Tomato Soup', a rich three cheese (truffle cheese, manchego, and mahone on Grand Central brioche) and modernist tomato soup sphere with the HUB Xocolatal Xake Up Belgian Style Spiced Quad to wash it down
  • Kim Jong Grillin brought the spice with smoked bo ssäm made with smoked pork, a braised pork in Breakside beer Rye Curious, an apple kimchee, ssämjang sauce made with Breakside Rainbow & Unicorns beer, jalapeno, and green leaf lettuce/ Breakside Brewery cooled it down with Rainbows & Unicorns, their session IPA which also seemed appropriate given that it was Pride Festival weekend in Portland.
    Snackdown 2016 Kim Jong Grillin brought the spice with pork ssam/ Breakside Brewery cooled it down with Rainbows & Unicorns, their session IPA Snackdown 2016 Kim Jong Grillin brought the spice with pork ssam/ Breakside Brewery cooled it down with Rainbows & Unicorns, their session IPA
  • P.R.E.A.M. / Ecliptic Brewing was another favorite pairing of mine, starring a Beef Tartare with flavors of cheeseburger with Ecliptic’s chocolatey and malty Capella Porter
    John Harris brewer of Ecliptic dressed in wrestling costume The Snackdown 2016 P.R.E.A.M. / Ecliptic Brewing was another favorite pairing of mine, staring a Beef Tartare with flavors of cheeseburger with Ecliptic's chocolatey and malty Capella Porter John Harris brewer of Ecliptic dressed in wrestling costume The Snackdown 2016 P.R.E.A.M. / Ecliptic Brewing was another favorite pairing of mine, staring a Beef Tartare with flavors of cheeseburger with Ecliptic's chocolatey and malty Capella Porter Snackdown 2016 P.R.E.A.M. / Ecliptic Brewing was another favorite pairing of mine, staring a Beef Tartare with flavors of cheeseburger with Ecliptic's chocolatey and malty Capella Porter Snackdown 2016 P.R.E.A.M. / Ecliptic Brewing was another favorite pairing of mine, staring a Beef Tartare with flavors of cheeseburger with Ecliptic's chocolatey and malty Capella Porter
  • Biwa gave a special nod toward’s Buoy’s coastal origins by creating Clam Chowder Croquettes while chef Gabe Rosen hilariously posed as Bernie / Buoy Beer poured Rice Rice Baby, a wild rice blond ale using wild rice from Minnesota with rye malt to make a nutty blond that is reminiscent of a saison, a special one off beer for this event and only in limited quantities at their tasting room
    Snackdown 2016 Biwa gave a special nod toward's Buoy's coastal origins by creating Clam Chowder Croquettes / Buoy Beer poured Rice Rice Baby, a wild rice blond ale using wild rice from Minnesota with rye malt to make a nutty blond that is reminiscent of a saison Snackdown 2016 Biwa gave a special nod toward's Buoy's coastal origins by creating Clam Chowder Croquettes / Buoy Beer poured Rice Rice Baby, a wild rice blond ale using wild rice from Minnesota with rye malt to make a nutty blond that is reminiscent of a saison Snackdown 2016 Biwa gave a special nod toward's Buoy's coastal origins by creating Clam Chowder Croquettes / Buoy Beer poured Rice Rice Baby, a wild rice blond ale using wild rice from Minnesota with rye malt to make a nutty blond that is reminiscent of a saison Snackdown 2016 Biwa gave a special nod toward's Buoy's coastal origins by creating Clam Chowder Croquettes while chef Gabe Rosen hilariously posed as Bernie / Buoy Beer poured Rice Rice Baby, a wild rice blond ale using wild rice from Minnesota with rye malt to make a nutty blond that is reminiscent of a saison Snackdown 2016 Biwa gave a special nod toward's Buoy's coastal origins by creating Clam Chowder Croquettes while chef Gabe Rosen hilariously posed as Bernie / Buoy Beer poured Rice Rice Baby, a wild rice blond ale using wild rice from Minnesota with rye malt to make a nutty blond that is reminiscent of a saison
  • Nomad with a frozen barley mousse, anise custard, strawberry, and fennel frond/ Gigantic Brewing with their Holy Oak Whisky Sour beer rounded up snackdown with dessert
    Snackdown 2016 Nomad with a frozen barley mousse, anise custard, strawberry, and fennel frond/ Gigantic Brewing with their Holy Oak Whisky Sour beer rounded up snackdown with dessert Snackdown 2016 Nomad with a frozen barley mousse, anise custard, strawberry, and fennel frond/ Gigantic Brewing with their Holy Oak Whisky Sour beer rounded up snackdown with dessert Snackdown 2016 Nomad with a frozen barley mousse, anise custard, strawberry, and fennel frond/ Gigantic Brewing with their Holy Oak Whisky Sour beer rounded up snackdown with dessert Snackdown 2016 Nomad with a frozen barley mousse, anise custard, strawberry, and fennel frond/ Gigantic Brewing with their Holy Oak Whisky Sour beer rounded up snackdown with dessert

I really hope they bring this Snackdown event back for next year – it was a great value I think since for the price with 10 small dishes from high quality restaurants (some which are harder to get into like Nomad). Also, receiving 10 five ounce pours of beers is a lot – after a while I realized I had to start cutting back on my sipping. Congratulations to Toro Bravo and Hopworks on their win this year!

It was a little haphazard trying to find a place to put a plate and glass down in order to be able to eat – just a few more cocktail tables, even along the side wall by the DJ, could have helped as I saw some people take a gamble by placing glasses on the floor to eat. But, there never seemed to be a line of more than a handful of people to get a pour – a combination of the number of people who came this year I think at a manageble size and each of the stations was well prepared with food plates ready. A checklist sheet listing all the beer and food pairings made it easy to know ahead of time who you wanted to visit in what order and track that you enjoyed all ten teams.

It’s also unfortunate there was no award for best dressed brewer –  Gigantic’s Ben Love went all out, Ecliptic’s John Harris and those fly arm bands and velvet cape, and the cozy PJs with hand drawn hop crest of Ryan Pappe of Portland Brewing were all outstanding and committed to a whole wrestler hero vibe experience. And Herb was perfect as an announcer – everyone was so much fun. The friendly tongue I’m cheek smack talking and friendship between the Brewers and various food crafters I think perfectly embodies the Portland spirit in the food and drink community.

What would have been your vote for best beer and food pairing based on this Snackdown 2016 Recap?

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Dining out For Raphael House

Now in it’s 6th year, the annual Restaurants for Raphael House will take place next Wednesday on May 18, all day. For the event, 40+ restaurants are participating all over Portland where a portion of their proceeds will be donated towards Raphael House. All you have to do is dine out next week on Wednesday at any of those restaurants.


Founded in 1977, Raphael House of Portland is the largest domestic violence shelter in Multnomah County, and is dedicated to fighting the causes and effects of domestic violence. They offer emergency shelter in a confidential location, a 24-hour in-house crisis line, transitional housing and advocacy programs to hundreds of adults and children annually, non-residential advocacy in partnership with the Portland Police Bureau, and also work to bring an end to violence through community outreach and education. Raphael House of Portland has been providing life-saving services to families for more than 38 years.

So please, how about making plans next week on Wednesday for a bite of breakfast and coffee? Or do lunch with a significant other, family, friends or coworkers? And then in the evening, get together with friends after work, or family night out, or date night? There are many restaurants all over to choose from, so it’s so easy to enjoy a good meal and eat for a good cause to help others. Dine out several times May 18th even! 

Every $100 raised during this event will provide one safe night in shelter for an adult or child escaping violence.

Here’s a look at the list: it may still be growing so check at the official Restaurants for Raphael House website.

Southeast

  • Accanto | 2838 SE Belmont St  Serving Italian fare for dinner like handmade pasta, and making the most of lots of local seasonal ingredients. Everything here is good!
    Accanto: potato gnocchi, lamb bolognese, mint and pecorino Accanto: capellini with samphire, garlic, chili, and fennel seed
  • Bazi Bierbrasserie | 1522 SE 32nd Ave Offering Belgian Beers and Food in a kid-friendly atmosphere and has a patio
  • Bread and Ink Cafe | 3610 SE Hawthorne Blvd Roomy, long-lived American restaurant on Hawthorne with a breakfast, lunch, and dinner menu.
  • Chiang Mai | 3145 SE Hawthorne Blvd  Dishing up traditional specialties from Northern Thailand for lunch and dinner,  look for dishes you haven’t seen at a typical Thai food menu like  Gang Hung Lay and Khao Tod Naem Kook and Palo Moo.
  • Farm Spirit | 1414 SE Morrison St Excellent vegan dining experience with a tasting menu that I highly recommend even for those who aren’t vegan, see recaps of my previous experiences dining here in September 2015 and then February 2016.
    Tomato Water, plums, herbs, basil oil, nasturtium capers, cherry tomatoes
  • Fifty Licks Ice Cream | 2021 SE Clinton St One of my favorite ice cream parlors in Portland with traditional as well as nontraditional flavors, including sorbets for the dairy free and cool toppings and the best sffrogato in town. Flavors I’ve enjoyed include Stumptown Coffee, Roasted Milk, Thai Jasmine Rice with Pandan, and toppings of Bee Pollen or Sweet Corn Dust or Potato Chips! Below you can see Jasmine Tea with Apricot with bee pollen topping and then Fifty Licks Buttermilk Fudge Ice Cream with Lime Zest, Peanuts, Candied Ginger, and Shaved bottarga
    Fifty Licks, ice cream samples for our group in little sake cup tasters, this one is Jasmine Tea with Apricot with bee pollen topping Fifty Licks Buttermilk Fudge Ice Cream with Lime Zest, Peanuts, Candied Ginger, and Shaved bottarga
  • Pacific Pie Co. | 1520 SE 7th Ave  Handmade sweet and savory pies (hello Chocolate Bourbon Hazelnut pie, but also Chicken Pot Pie and Shepherd’s Pie and more),  plus other snacks and entrees like polenta with mushroom sauce, sausage rolls, chicken schnitzel, bangers and mash and more for lunch and dinner. I wrote a bit about the Northwest location in this Pacific Pie post here.
    Pacific Pie, Classic Chicken Pot Pie
  • Redwood | 7915 SE Stark St  American restaurant & lounge in Montavilla offering brunch everyday along with lunch and dinner that is a mix of classic (chicken pot pie, mac and cheese, fried brussels sprouts, cheddar and corn fritters) and new (grilled eggplant sandwich, braised tongue sandwich, mussels in house curry).
  • Roost | 1403 SE Belmont St American Bistro offering dinner in the Buckman neighborhood
  • Rose City Coffee Company | 7325 SE Milwaukie Ave Cute coffee house roasting beans daily specializing in fair trade and organic coffees and homemade pastries
  • Ruby Jewel – Hawthorne | 4703 SE Hawthorne Blvd The best ice cream sandwiches with choose your own homemade ice cream and cookies combo in Portland
    Ruby Jewel Scoops
  • Taqueria Nueve | 727 SE Washington St Tasty Mexican food and margaritas with a patio open in the evenings
  • The Country Cat Dinner House & Bar | 7937 SE Stark  Southern food serving brunch (including classic cast iron fried chicken, or chicken fried steak or smoked bbq brisket sandwich) and dinner (from that fried chicken again to a fish fry, duck leg, lamb meatloaf or a dish of whole hog) every day.
    The Country Cat, Portland Oregon, Grilled peaches with Lamb Bacon
  • Ya Hala | 8005 SE Stark St Family owned restaurant specializing in the homey traditional Lebanese cuisine for lunch and dinner.

Northeast

  • Acadia Bistro | 1303 NE Fremont St A New Orleans Bistro with Cajun-Creole food
    Acadia Restaurant Portland, Louisiana Barbeque Shrimp with lemon, black pepper, white wine and butter. I went back to the bowl and spooned the sauce right onto my bread.
  • Altabira City Tavern | 1021 NE Grand Ave #600 Restaurant at the Hotel Eastlund with a fabulous city view rooftop patio offering food and drink right across from the Oregon Convention Center and conveniently close to the Blazers games in Lloyd Center district
    Altabira City Tavern
  • Bella Faccia Pizzeria | 2934 NE Alberta St Funky neighborhood pizza with New York style pizza, including vegan pizza options for lunch and dinner.
  • Beulahland | 118 NE 28th Ave  Coffee and Alehouse offering breakfast, and then beer alongside American eats such as sandwiches & games including pinball or on the TVs (particularly futball/soccer from Europe, as well as local Timbers) during lunch and dinner.
  • Dove Vivi Pizza | 2727 NE Glisan St  Famous cornmeal-crust pizzas, there are also vegan pizza options from 4 PM on. Below are some slices I recently enjoyed, Pesto Pizza with spinach pesto, mozzarella, fontina, ricotta, tomatoes, basil and a slice of Blue Thyme pizza by Dove Vivi with that famous cornmeal crust and blue cheese, mozzarella, caramelized yellow onions and thyme.
    Pesto Pizza with spinach pesto, mozzarella, fontina, ricotta, tomatoes, basil by Dove Vivi with that famous cornmeal crust Blue Thyme pizza by Dove Vivi with that famous cornmeal crust and blue cheese, mozzarella, caramelized yellow onions and thyme
  • Noble Rot Wine Bar & Restaurant | 1111 E Burnside St  Fourth floor restaurant along Burnside Avenue with seasonal ingredients including fro mits own garden and a rooftop patio with city views
  • Pip’s Original Doughnuts & Chai | 4759 NE Fremont St  Fried to order mini doughnuts with chai and coffee beverages open 8 AM – 4 PM
    Pip's Doughnuts One each of their Raw Honey and Sea Salt doughnut and a Meyer Lemon and Pear Butter doughnut, with a sample of either their Smoky Robinson Chai or Heart of Gold Chai
  • Rose and Thistle Public House | 2314 NE Broadway St  Scottish pub drinks and food

North Portland

  • Fino Bistro, Bar & Pizzeria | 8225 N Denver Ave Casual pizza and pasta
  • Las Primas | 3971 N Williams Ave #103  Peruvian eatery serving sandwiches, empanadas & other traditional street food & cocktails for lunch and dinner. I love their happy hour with their pisco sours (the national Peruvian cocktail) and I can’t resist getting the appetizer of Tequeños (Venezuelan Cheese Sticks), a queso blanco filled fried wonton snack served with avocado-lime dip. It’s a popular street food and I see why because they go down very fast. Though it comes with a dip already, I also endorse getting all the little sauces and using this as your vehicle for all of them. Also try the empanada, and a main dish.
    Las Primas Happy Hour, pisco sour (the national Peruvian cocktail) Las Primas addictive appetizer ofTequeños (Venezuelan Cheese Sticks), a queso blanco filled fried wonton snack served with avocado-lime dip. Las Primas addictive appetizer ofTequeños (Venezuelan Cheese Sticks), a queso blanco filled fried wonton snack served with avocado-lime dip. I also endorse getting all the little sauces and using this as your vehicle for all of them
  • Ruby Jewel – Mississippi | 3713 N Mississippi Ave The best ice cream sandwiches with choose your own homemade ice cream and cookies combo in Portland
  • TILT Handcrafted Food Built For The American Workforce, Swan Island | 3449 N Anchor St  Unfussy breakfast fare, cocktails & HUGE juicy burgers for lunch and dinner, all in blue-collar industrial-themed digs on Swan Island. Get a Biscuit or Burger to fill your tummy and share a side of fries. Make sure you save room for pie for dessert.
    Tilt Restaurant, burger Island Trucker includes their fresh ground, 100% natural, local chuck patty, topped then with house baked honey cured ham, beer battered onion rings, grilled pineapple, house recipe teriyaki sauce, swiss cheese, lettuce, mayo on their house recipe bun. Also their beer battered house fries in large

Southwest Portland

  • AQUARIVA | 0470 SW Hamilton Ct Modern dining at the riverfront at the River’s Edge Hotel and Spa
  • GiGi’s Cafe | 6320 SW Capitol Hwy Breakfast and lunch spot offering hashes, scrambles, waffles and sandwiches
  • Mother’s Bistro & Bar | 212 SW Stark St  Cafe and bar with homey decor made a bit more fancy with beautiful chandeliers specializes in hearty comfort-food by moms (traditional, homey, comforting, made from scratch), if your mom really knew how to cook, serving breakfast lunch and dinner. They also serve great Cocktails at the bar, and fabulous French pressed coffee.
    California Avocado Commission and Chef Lisa Schroeder of Mother's Bistro & Bar celebrate June California Avocado Month with an Entree of Grilled Chicken Breast with sauteed onions and peppers topped with avocado and salsa, served with a Macaroni and Cheese with bacon, avocado, tomatoes, cheddar cheese, and topped with cotija cheese and green onions
  • Ruby Jewel – West End | 428 SW 12th Ave  The best ice cream sandwiches with choose your own homemade ice cream and cookies combo in Portland
    Ruby Jewel Scoops
  • Thirst Bistro | 0315 SW Montgomery St #340 Waterfront wine bar and bistro in the South Waterfront area, including a patio right by the river

Northwest Portland

  • Cerulean Wine Bar & Bistro | 1439 NW Marshall St Wine bar and restaurant with an industrial chic setting and a patio
  • Justa Pasta Co. | 1336 NW 19th Ave Offers handmade fresh pasta since 1991
  • Pacific Pie Co. | 1668 NW 23rd Ave Handmade sweet and savory pies (hello Chocolate Bourbon Hazelnut pie, but also Chicken Pot Pie and Shepherd’s Pie and more),  plus other snacks and entrees like polenta with mushroom sauce, sausage rolls, chicken schnitzel, bangers and mash and more for lunch and dinner. I wrote a bit about the Northwest location in this Pacific Pie post here.
    Pacific Pie Food Blogger Event - mini pies! Pacific Pie NW 23rd, Polenta with mushroom sauce, baked polenta with creamy organic crimini mushroom sauce 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
  • The Fireside | 801 NW 23rd Ave gastropub with New American food and per the name, fireplaces
  • TILT Handcrafted Food Built For The American Workforc, Pearl | 1355 NW Everett St  Unfussy breakfast fare, cocktails & HUGE juicy burgers for lunch and dinner, all in blue-collar industrial-themed digs on Swan Island. Get a Biscuit or Burger to fill your tummy and share a side of fries. Make sure you save room for pie for dessert.

Lake Oswego, Happy Valley, Beaverton

  • Chuck’s Place 148 B Ave Suite 200 (Lake Oswego)  Neighborhood cafe with coffee, tea, and baked goods (particularly the scones) in Lake Oswego.Chuckie Pies
  • Chuckie Pies 430 5th St (Lake Oswego) Neighborhood pizzeria offers classic Neapolitan-style pies in Lake Oswego.
  • Petite Patisserie | 16144 SE Happy Valley Town Center Dr (Happy Valley)   Bakery & coffee shop offering European-inspired baked goods, plus crêpes & sandwiches in Happy Valley.
  • MiNGO | 12600 SW Crescent Street Suite 120 (Beaverton) Italian restaurant right at the Beaverton Central Max stop offering lunch, really excellent happy hour, and dinner
  • Pine Shed Ribs and Barbecue | 17730 Pilkington Rd (Lake Oswego) Rustic bbq at outdoor tables

I know I have plans to support them – I hope you can also make it out for breakfast, lunch, or dinner sometime that day. You can make a difference! Post your support on social media using the hashtag #R4RH.

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