I’m just back from Feast 2017, and am trying to find the words to describe my weekend away. Just like last year, I am in awe. I went with an empty belly and one goal: To try as many things as I possibly could. Good goal, right? I had a hunger in me for adventure, food and drink and dear reader, yet again Feast did not disappoint.
Was it the reuben from Tasty N Sons? Was it the Bubbles from A to Z Winery? The well earned French 75 after ending up in an Lyft on an accidental drive 45 mins outside of Portland in an attempt to get to a karaoke bar? Maybe it was the antelope tartar from Nicky Farms at the Grand Tasting, or dancing late into the night to 80’s music with caviar and more pinot noir than you can shake a fist at during an after party.
Whatever it was, and as crazy some of it was, it was perfect. I can show you pictures, I can regale you with tales of late nights, early mornings, and I can walk you through every slurp of perfectly fired oysters, but unless you go a piece of that magic will be missing for you.
So stop what you’re doing, right now, and block out the 13th-16th of September 2018 in your calendar. You’ll thank me later when you’re smiling deliriously from all that you’ll experience.
Let’s chat about what I did, so you know what you’re in for next year! I’ll pop in my disclaimer now: I did receive complimentary tickets to all events, but the opinions are still my own. My belly never steers me wrong!
I rolled into Portland, and immediately made my way to Tasty N Sons for an AMAZING reuben which paired oddly well with a cremant and was the perfect way to start the vacation. Plus, look at my face in that first pic (and the photobomber!) it screams happiness! I ran to a quick happy hour checking out some delicious Oregon pinot noirs before meeting up with a friend for a tour of a few food truck pods and ciders at Schilling Cidery. One of the things I love about Portland is the collection of food trucks and the people watching that come along with them. Happy to see my friend, but ready to get Feast kicked off, I made my way to an opening night happy hour celebrating ham (jamon) and eggs (caviar) and all the 80’s music I could shake it to. There were cocktails served in colorful beakers and blue umbrella adorned rum drinks and I was hell-bent on sampling all of it.
Full and happy, I headed back to my Air bnb, only to be woken shortly by a party that would go on for hours and met by construction an hour after that. I made my way to the Starbucks in the lobby and cursed those damn delicious cocktails, the construction people, and the lack of sleep.
Not to be deterred, I powered through fueled by coffee and a desire to eat even more. I meandered around the city on my way to the Friday Grand Tasting where I would continue to eat. I had the best apple fritters from Nola Doughnuts (sorry, Voodoo), paired along side pFriem Brewing’s Beligian Strong Blonde Ale (you NEED this combo), poke, and so much of the bubbles from A to Z Wineworks. Hours passed, and more calories were consumed, but it was time to make my way to the Night Market.
Flag streamers were strung across each of the paths, with various booths pouring drinks and chefs pushing out plate after plate of food; music blared from speakers above, the bass and beats making people dance, strangers becoming fast friends. Sake was had, along with braised oxtail, and Bulleit Bourbon cocktails adorned with hibiscus flowers flowed well into the night. One more bite, my body begged, as I picked up a bowl of ceviche and a little dish of chilaquiles. My eyes heavy, my heart happy, and my belly full, I knew this was the last stop for the night. There would be no after party, or after-after party. My day was done.
The construction at the Air bnb may have ended, but the late night parties and tweakers screaming had not-after 5 hours of sleep in 2 days, I called it quits, emailed the host at 3:30 and booked a hotel. I made my way to the hotel and crashed out for a few hours-I had 10 hours (at least!) of eating ahead of me and coffee wasn’t going to be enough this time. A few hours later, I woke up grabbed some eggs benedict and a mimosa and I was ready to roll. I went back to the Grand Tasting event to have more wine from Elizabeth Chambers Cellar and Domaine Drouhin Oregon, and some AMAZING antelope tartare from Nicky Farms, and of course, since I was walking by, one more bite of those decadent apple fritters. The night continued, and it was time to hit Smoked.
Walking in, you’re instantly hit with the smell of wood smoke and meat. The air is thick, and your belly grumbles. I grabbed a glass of pinot gris from Archery Summit and made my way over to see the folks serving up Hama Hama oysters, slurping down a few of them before moving on to the next grill station-more oysters were eaten, as well as a chunk of bone the size of my arm (mmm….marrow ). I nibbled on tomahawk steaks like a good carnivore, and salivated at game hens sizzling away over flames. Hours would pass, and more wine would be had. Plates of sausage on polenta with duck fat gravy were passed, spam sandwiches, and more of that marrow, and even more oysters. There was laughter, there were glow sticks and even a party in a tee pee.
The event would come to an end, but the night would go on-more after parties, an after-after party, more talks, more dancing, singing into the night in a failed attempt to find a karaoke bar, eventually slipping into my bed well after 3 am.
And dear reader, that is where the story ends. Full, happy, and ready to do it all over again next year. Won’t you join me?