Feast Portland 2017

Today marks one week until Feast Portland 2017 – which is when the equivalent of Foodie Christmas happens. It’s 4 days (Thursday September 14 – Sunday September 17) of 40+ food events celebrating local chefs and local purveyors of food and drink. It’s all for a good cause – partner Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon. Since its inception in 2012, Feast has donated more than $300,000 to help end childhood hunger in Oregon and across the country.

Feast Portland - Grand Tasting Feast Portland - Grand Tasting
Photos from Grand Tasting 2016

There are still tickets available for some Feast PDX events, there are some Feast Collaborations you can access even without a Feast event ticket, and I want to share my tips for those who are attending Feast Portland 2017.
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Bite of Oregon 2017

This year, the Bite of Oregon 2017 food festival, which usually tastes place at Tom McCall Waterfront Park in August, has shifted to this weekend – Labor Day weekend September 1, 2, 3, and 4 – so it can be 4 days and has moved away from the dusty grounds of the park to the Rose Quarter.  The festival is still outside so you are still dining al fresco, but now boasts lots of shade, more tables, and it still benefits the worthy cause of the Special Olympics Oregon. Bite of Oregon  is a huge fundraiser for the Special Olympics Oregon which can help sustain the activities they offer of Special Olympics Athletes all year round.
Entrance of Bite of Oregon 2017 Entrance of Bite of Oregon 2017

As every year, expect to be able to progressively eat through various vendors who offer sample sizes ($4ish) and whole sizes of food you can purchase at Bite of Oregon 2017. With the more compact Rose Quarter location there is now a central area where you can imbibe at the Oregon Wine Pavilion with 7 wineries, 4 distilleries, or 28 beers from 14 different featured local breweries the Craft Beer Garden to enjoy along with your food.
Chicagoland Chicago style deep dish pizza

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Recap of Tastes of Spain, La Ruta PDX 2017

The past 4 days were La Ruta PDX: A Gastronomic Festival celebrating the culinary culture of Spain. It included chefs from Spain and chefs from Portland collaborating together, as well as industry and trade focused events for Spanish and Portland purveyers to share their craft. The 4 days included a film premiere, some private seated dinners, seminars on sidra, sherry, and wine, and the final event was a food festival featuring bites from 19 local and Spanish chefs and artisans and 75-90 (I lost count) beverage tastings from winemakers, brewers, and sidra makers of Spain and Oregon. Here is my photo recap of Tastes of Spain, La Ruta PDX 2017.

Photo Recap of Tastes of Spain, La Ruta PDX 2017, a A Gastronomic Festival celebrating the culinary culture of Spain

I also have a few short videos I had taken for my Stories which are embedded here, though because they were for Stories they will be vertical videos, sorry!
Photo Recap of Tastes of Spain, La Ruta PDX 2017
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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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Feast 2016 Tickets Still Available: Get Some

EeeeeEEeeeeEEEEeee I can’t wait! It’s only one month until Foodie Christmas, otherwise known as the biggest and greatest food festival Portland offers, Feast Portland! Many events sold out in the first day (especially the smaller events), but I snagged tickets to the Filipino Twist dinner using my Feast Ticket Purchase Tips and Strategy which I shared a few days before tickets went on sale. I’ll also be at Night Market, the Grand Tasting, and the Go Get You Some Picnic. Not to worry: there are still some events that you can get into!
Feast Portland

Feast 2016 Tickets still available

It’s not too late! Check out Feast official social media accounts like the Feast Portland Facebok page to enter some of the various giveaways that can yield you some tickets. Some Feast 2016 Tickets still available for purchase also include

  1. The Sandwich Invitational on Thursday September 15th is the kickoff event for Feast, and this year if you buy 2 tickets or more you will get a free one year subscription to Portland Monthly. Update: Now Sold Out This event conflicts with my Filipino Twist dinner so I won’t be attending, but I always have thought this was a huge value of an event because for $85 you get 14 sandwiches (or more, if you can get through the 14 first…), so you will be completely stuffed. And as with all the Feast events, all the liquid libations are included. This year they have moved the venue to the Rose Quarter Commons for more space.
    Widmer Sandwich Invitational at Feast PDX 2015, Photo by Aubrie LeGault for Feast Portland, All rights reserved
    Photo by Aubrie LeGault for Feast Portland Widmer Sandwich Invitational 2015, All rights reserved
  2. If this is your first time at Feast, I always recommend the Grand Tasting at Pioneer Courthouse Square. You can still get tickets still to the Friday (the Saturday event is already sold out!), and it offers four hours of all you can sample of Oregon food and drink from various local producers for only $60. Each booth’s representatives are incredibly knowledgable about explaining how they make what they do and giving you more back story on the process and food/drink item.
    Feast 2015 Oregon Bounty Feast 2015 Oregon Bounty Feast 2015 Oregon Bounty
    During your sampling you can watch shows on the stage like a mini live Food Network channel! Sampling for hours, talking to the vendors, a mini food show- what a bargain!
    Feast Portland Grand Tasting includes a Feast stage with panels and demos and competitions Feast Portland Grand Tasting includes a Feast stage with panels and demos and competitions
  3. A newly added event for Saturday September 16 is a drink crawl! Cocktail Crawl: Drink Like a Pro offers a progressive drinking journey from 1-4 PM visiting cocktail havens well respected by those in the food and drink industry for $75 while being schooled on bartender secrets for all the drinks.
  4. The Drink Tank events I think are one of the hidden secrets of Feast. I have always enjoyed them – for the price you get multiple glasses of the drink being highlighted, be it beer or wine or whiskey or whatever – as well as a great mini-class learning more about that beverage while sitting al fresco in the Portland Art Museum’s Sculpture Hall.
    Feast Drink Tank Feast Drink Tank
    Here are a few photos to give you an idea what the Drink Tank events were like last year that were similar to ones this year…  have you had your continuing education yet this year? This qualifies right?
    Drink Tank Pinot Noir at Feast Portland 2015 Drink Tank Pinot Noir at Feast Portland 2015
    And, the cost of the Drink Tank event is a bargain- ranging from $35 – $55. The drinks came with snacks you share with your tablemates to cleanse your palate as well between sips. Each seat has a flight of what seemed to always be five drinks.
    Feast Portland Drink Tank Bourbon and Beyond: The New World of American Whiskey
    The tickets for Drink Tank events still available for Feast 2016 include

As always, remember that the reason why we feast is to fight against childhood hunger, specifically raising money for Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon  with a concentrated effort on their campaign to raise awareness around school breakfast participation in Oregon schools. Over the last four years, Feast has raised over $230,000 to help end childhood hunger. You can help support by purchasing a ticket to Feast Portland, and you can also make an additional donation on their ticket check out page.

Feast Items Outside Feast Events

If you can’t attend Feast, there are still other ways you can feast and help this worthy cause. Since this is Feast’s Fifth year, they are upping the efforts and the feasting with #FeastFab5 Collaborations where they partner a few local chefs and producers to create special items. Plus, the makers will be donating 10% of net sales to Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon.

These items will be available from August 1st – September 18th, 2016 online and in select retail locations. The yummies for a good cause include

Then, during actual Feast week, two additional makers get in with their products and donating to fight childhood hunger:

  • Wiz Bang Bar from Salt & Straw – featuring a special flavor during the week of Feast at their retail location.
  • Stumptown Coffee Roasters – featuring a special cold brew soda made in-house during the week of Feast in Portland retail cafes, except the Annex.
    Stumptown Coffee Roasters Feast Fab Five special – featuring a special cold brew soda made in-house during the week of Feast in Portland retail cafes, except the Annex.

Are you excited for Feast? What events are you going to or wish you were going to? Which of the special #FeastFab5 items do you think you might look for?

Disclosure: I was granted a Bloggers Pass for Feast Portland 2016, and asked to help promote Feast but I am not otherwise being compensated. I also purchased my own tickets to some Feast events in addition to be given access to a select few events with the Bloggers Pass. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are entirely my own, and I will always provide my honest opinion and assessment of all products and experiences regardless of whether they were complimentary or not. 

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