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Feast Portland 2013


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#1 vrunka

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 02:04 PM

Anyone going to Feast Portland events? I'm going to the Night Market and the Cathy Whims/Stephanie Izard dinner. I'd love to hear reports from any other events people are attending.

 

And in related news: I have two extra tickets to the Night Market and one extra ticket to the dinner. PM me if interested.



#2 Angelhair

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 09:14 AM

We're doing the Night Market as well, along with the Podnah's dinner.  Might do a few other things, but I'm not sure yet what. 



#3 vrunka

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 02:51 PM

excellent! we'll see you at the Night Market!



#4 pwillen1

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 07:29 AM

PM sent re: night market. I'm volunteering at the Saturday tasting.
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#5 FoodKid

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 01:49 PM

Due to Nick's generosity, I was provided an opportunity to stuff my face at last night's Feast Sandwich Invitational. Over the course of nearly two hours, I ate 11 different sandwiches. It was all I could do to waddle back to my car when I was done.

 

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Clan Denton representing Ox.

 

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Ox's sandwich of the evening was duck confit with maple mustard and pickled peach between a cheddar-jalapeno waffle. It was rich and savory with the peach adding a slightly sour sweetness to balance it out. The crispy waffle reminded me a bit of cheese straws, though it became mushy after a short time from sitting against the peach and duck.

 

 

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The ever friendly Adam Sappington invited me to “jump in and eat” this lamb burger with havarti, tomato jam, and slaw. I've always enjoyed the burger at Country Cat, but I wouldn't say this was one of my favs for the evening. The patty was great with a lot juiciness and a firm bite. The havarti wasn't quite sharp enough to effectively differentiate itself from the meat. I didn't much care for the tomato jam in the same way I don't like ketchup; it's just too sweet for me. The slaw kept the burger from feeling heavy.

 

 

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This little gem came courtesy of State Bird Provisions from San Francisco. Their sweet corn and pork belly panwich was a welcome change from the barrage of rich, meaty sandwiches that were on offer from the majority of the stands at the event. The corn was embedded in the mini pancakes that subbed for buns, and it was the star of this sandwich. It lent a gentle sweetness and gave a satisfying pop whenever you bit one of the kernels. Greenery added some texture. There was very little pork belly, with little more than a shaving sitting in the middle to add a kick of fat. I would love to eat this again.

 

 

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Ruby Jewel was tucked back in a corner slinging out these ice cream sandwiches that they called the NW Club. I unfortunately didn't take notes because I was too busy wolfing it down, but I sure hope it ends up on the menu at the scoop shop. There was a lot going on, with brown sugar cookies and magic shell on the outside, hazelnut ice cream, a chocolate wafer and bacon in the middle, and some kind of jam. I think there were more ingredients than just those, but I can't remember. Whatever the case, it was damn good.

 

 

I ate a number of other things that I took pictures of, but since I'm an ape that has trouble operating even the most mundane appliances, my remaining photos are out of focus. One of those blurry images was of the Dungeness crab, pickled fennel, and scallion sandwich from Clyde Common. It had a very fresh tasting chopped crab salad, and the pickled fennel cut through the rich crab flavor very effectively and added an interesting twist. Scallions added a slight peppery hit. Addictive and satisfying without being fatty. This was tied with the State Bird corn sandwich as my favorite of the night.

 

I didn't manage to try everything there. Bunk had a nice looking pastor torta that I was just too full to fit it in. Nick said that I didn't actually have to eat all of every sandwich given to me, but that's a concept I'm incapable of wrapping my head around. Either way, I had a great time, even if I was disgustingly full by the end.



#6 vrunka

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 02:41 PM

nice report -- thanks! I'm not a huge fan of Ruby Jewel, but that sandwich looks awesome.



#7 FoodKid

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 04:05 PM

nice report -- thanks! I'm not a huge fan of Ruby Jewel, but that sandwich looks awesome.

They're available for a short while at their West End scoop shop, but I can't imagine they'll be a regular thing. There was a sign depicting all the elements involved in constructing the sandwich, and I remember thinking "Boy, that must be a pain in the butt to make."



#8 Angelhair

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Posted 21 September 2013 - 10:40 AM

I very much enjoyed the Night Market.  Two negatives: 1.) it was immovably packed/oversold and would have been a total shit show if it had rained, as predicted.  And B.) we waited an hour in line in to get in, so some had run out by the time we got to them.

 

Most of the stands were manned by the chefs/distillers/brewers themselves, which was fun.



#9 FoodKid

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Posted 22 September 2013 - 08:04 PM

For reasons unknown, Nick continues to act as my patron, and as such, deemed it necessary for me to attend High Comfort at the Nines presented by Portland Monthly. I tried to pace myself a little better than at the Sandwich Invitational, so I managed to cram in 15 different treats this time around.

 

 

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This event occupied an entire floor of the hotel, and was broken up among multiple rooms. This is a shot of the main ballroom where the majority of the tables were set up. As you can see, it was very busy. Much of the event space was pretty dark, but I managed to find a corner with at least some illumination for snapping photos(though no tables. Everything had to sit on the floor while I shot it).

 

 

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I started off with a Lamb Tartare with Salsa Verde and Cured Egg Yolk from Lincoln. Rich with a very fine chop to the meat, the spice from the salsa cut some of the richness. The mix was placed atop a small chip. I thought for a second it might be taro, but I can't say for sure since it wasn't much more than a bite. Either way, it was simple yet tasty.

 

 

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Mom's Spaghetti with Wild Boar, Sweetbread, and Pig Trotter Bolognese from St. Jack certainly didn't look like spaghetti, but it was quite good. The sauce was lightly applied, studding the wide, toothsome, nutty noodles with smokey bits of meat. A thin grating of cheese added a little saltiness. It was lighter than I thought it would be.

 

 

I didn't manage to get a picture of the Fermented Rice Porridge with Mushroom, Red Hawk Cheese, and Duck Cracklins from Flour + Water, but as with many of the other offerings on hand, it was very pleasant. The rice was more like a barley, with the grains having a firm exterior yielding to a soft and nutty center. Creamy mushroom and duck added meatiness, with a gentle sourness pervading the whole dish. Very nice.

 

 

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From Ned Ludd came this Creamed Chopped Smoked Salmon. It was served hot with a consistency like whitefish salad. I think I would've preferred it to have more smokiness to the flavor, but it was nice.

 

 

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Little Bird's offering was this Lamb Belly BLT, a piling of thick and smokey lamb, heirloom tomato, and greens atop a crispy pseudo-English muffin. A light green spread sat on the bread that tasted slightly of avocado. The spread had an acidic tanginess to it that countered the rich lamb. It was delicious. The only problem was the lamb was too thick to cut through with the disposable fork, and when I tried to hold the BLT in my hand to take a bite, the bread crumbled to pieces, making a huge mess in my hand that I was forced to lick off.

 

 

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Whoa mama. The Smoked Black Cod with Nasturtium Cream from Castagna was easily my favorite of the evening. Served cool, the black cod was perfectly smooth and rich, possessing a delicate yet firm texture in the mouth paired with a deep smoke flavor that you could easily smell as you bit into it. The nasturtium cream was cold, with a solid yet extraordinarily airy ice cream like consistency that then quickly melted in the mouth to coat the tongue with a light cream texture. If the rest of food at Castagna is like this, I'm an idiot for having not eaten there.

 

 

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I didn't know what to think of the Country Fried Beef from Atera. If you told me there was beef in there, I'd say you were lying. It tasted like the essence of fried chicken skin, with a crispy fried crust that hid what looked like collagen. It was thick and gooey on the inside, and it was extremely rich. The pile of spicy peppers on the side only went part way towards overcoming the insane fattiness of the interior.

 

 

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The Timberline Lodge folks were handing out dishes of this Baked Potato Foam, Smoked Pork Cheek, and Truffled Yoghurt Powder. When tasted separately, the elements of this dish weren't particularly intriguing, but when I put them together in a bite, I found the perfect baked potato. I didn't know you could concentrate a potato's taste, but it happened here along with hits of cheese, sour cream, and bacon. Great balance of traditional flavors in an untraditional package. Awesome.

 

 

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This preparation of Herring Rillettes and Preserved Pepper in Oil on Rye Toast from The Whale Wins fell flat. The herring on its own tasted nice, but its flavor was far too subtle to stand up to the spicy pepper.

 

 

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The line to the table for Tanaka San's Dungeness Crab, Peanut and Pork Sausage, and Kimchi Fried Rice was huge. I don't know that the food necessarily warranted such a line, but it was decent. There wasn't much crab in there, but there was plenty of sausage. The link was somewhat sweet with a coarse grind and big chunks of peanut, and it had a spiciness that came on slow as I chewed and then lingered on my tongue. The kimchi fried rice was actually just sticky rice with a pile of kimchi next to it. Kimchi was good, being somewhat spicy with a bit of funk.

 

 

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Chef Paley was on hand to represent Paley's Place with this rendition of Steak 'n Eggs made with Smoked Elk Tongue, Duck Egg Yolk, and Crispy Potatoes. Really great contrast in textures with this one. Elk tongue was so tender that I could easily cut it with my dull wooden fork, and that tender meatiness paired very well with the crispy, crunchy potato shreds. A sweet brown BBQ-like sauce was drizzled over tongue. The the egg yolk was spread out on the bottom of the plate and acted more like a plating embellishment than a flavor. Despite everything I liked about this, there was a distinct bitter aftertaste to the elk, which made me think there may have been an error in its smoking. I did not care for that at all.

 

 

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A big winner for me was this Oregon Berry and Sweet Corn Pavlova with Jacobson Sea Salt Honey Popcorn from Kristen Murray's recently kickstarted Maurice. I know it's difficult to tell from the yellow picture, but there's a layer of meringue topped with a sweet corn whipped cream that is studded with bits of honey popcorn. The meringue was light, crispy, and just a little bit sticky. The real highlight was the sweet corn whipped cream which had a light corn sweetness that I always find appealing. A small pool of berry syrup sat at the bottom to add an extra fruity element to the corn flavor, and the thin piece of brittle at the top added a bit of crunch. Overall, a great dessert. I hope to see more from Maurice in the future.

 

 

The last thing I ate was a cone from Salt and Straw filled with Oregon Blackberry and Smoked Ham ice cream. In absence of a photo, I'll say that it was quite pretty, with raspberry syrup drizzled over the top that hardened to give a jewel-like sheen. On the other hand, I would describe the flavor as nondescript, if that means anything at all to you. Whatever was in there, it didn't remind me of blackberry or smoked ham or anything else. It tasted sweet, but not like berries. It tasted smokey, but not like ham or any kind of meat. I couldn't tie the flavor to anything. I somewhat enjoyed it at first, but towards the end the smoke flavor became dominant to the point of being cloying. Blech.

 

 

I should probably think about investing in a better camera, or at least avoid events where the available light makes the food look jaundice.



#10 vrunka

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Posted 22 September 2013 - 10:50 PM

Night Market was a lot of fun, but crazy crowded and like Angelhair said, it would have been miserable if it had rained (but maybe people would have bailed and the lines would have been shorter?).
 
overall, it was a fun event and there was definitely a ton of great food, but I think I'm coming to the conclusion that it's better to spend the money on the individual dinners than the big, chaotic, multi-chef events. There are just so many people all jostling each other for the same things, there's no comfortable place to eat, and there's all this anxiety about trying to get to places before they run out. That said, I still had a good time and here are my pics of just a few of the things we enjoyed at the Night Market...
 

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Thai sausage from Night Market (from LA -- and appropriately they were the first stand you saw as you walked in). 

 

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Hoi thawt from Pok Pok.

 

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spicy noodle soup from Smallwares (one of my favorites of the evening). 

 

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Hugh Acheson from Athens, GA made ribeye with kimchi grits -- great-sounding concept, but fell a little flat for me in execution. The textures were great, but I wasn't getting any punch from the kimchi.

 

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The folks from Franklin in Autsin, TX were serving up some amazing brisket. Really freakin' good stuff. They had probably the longest line of the night and with good reason. 

 

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I somehow had totally missed hearing about Quin, a candy shop in the Union Way building. I will make sure to check them out now, though. Jami Curl of Quin made this delightful honey sea foam candy with marshmallow and cocoa salt. It was complex and fun at the same time. 

 

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Bamboo Sushi served a kampachi with squid ink that was a real winner. 

 

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perhaps my favorite bite of the evening was Chris Cosentino's "Beef Tongue and Five Shades of Hay" -- a tongue tartare with sprouts and I forget what the other four shades of hay were, but they were delicious. I would have thought that raw tongue would be a challenge to eat, but it was texturally interesting without being too much of challenge to chew through. Really wonderfully deep flavors from the tongue and the various hays (whatever they were).

 

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 Beef basturma with chicken liver mousse and gribenes, topped with physalis. Delicious, but a real salt and fat bomb. It really needed something to balance out all that richness.  I had this toward the end of the evening and it almost put me over the edge. But I soldiered on. 

 

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Naomi Pomeroy and crew dished out fabulous little Chinese sausage sandwiches. It was a little subtle at first, but the flavors built to be greater than the sum of its parts. A real winner and another highlight of the evening. 

 

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Gregory Gourdet was probably the overachiever of the evening, offering 4 different bites (I was kind of grateful that he was out of one of them by the time I got there). I had the albacore sandwich was easy eating, very enjoyable with just a hint of funkiness and the kuri squash ice cream which was FULL of flavor and very rich. My tastebuds were overloaded before I got there and then after a few bites of that ice cream, I had to sit in a corner and rest for a while. 

 

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Managed to get back into the fray for Rick Ortiz's cheese curds with chili chorizo. This was another fat/salt/spice bomb, but in a delightful, carnival-food kind of way. 

 

 

 

 

 

 



#11 vrunka

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Posted 22 September 2013 - 11:03 PM

Went to the dinner at Nostrana tonight cheffed by Cathy Whims and Stephanie Izard of the Girl and the Goat in Chicago. It was really a phenomenal dinner. The styles of the two chefs seemed to work pretty well together while still being very distinct. And the food was amazing. 

 

I was especially impressed with Cathy Whims's "Reverse Ravioli" which was ravioli stuffed with a tomato conserve and sauced with a goat milk ricotta sauce. Outstanding -- and it really highlighted the clean, bright flavor of the ricotta. 

 

And the centerpiece of the evening and the highlight of the meal was, appropriately, a goat dish: Stephanie Izard's roasted goat neck with pickle okra relish. You know a dish is good when the restaurant goes quiet punctuated by, "Oh my god!" and "Holy shit, that's good!" Yup. Here's a not very good picture of the goat dish, vertebrae and all:

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It was a really enjoyable evening and an excellent meal. Like I said in the post above, I think next year I want to do more of these sit down dinners and less of the manic, huge event dinners. 



#12 vrunka

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 10:19 AM

And the menus:

 

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#13 friedalighthouse

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 02:42 PM

Really nice photos and reports, you guys!