Feasting

The Krass fam has been holed up in our apartment most of September, which explains the dearth of blog posts lately. Somehow we’ve hit a rainy stretch (blah) and Cooper is struggling through some issues that landed him at the emergency vet (the fantastic DoveLewis) twice in one week, and has kept us in frequent contact with his doggie oncologist, Dr. Cyman. Thickening of the bladder, it sounds? For now, I’m getting a lot of use of my rug steam cleaner, and beach towels are strewn throughout our apartment. Here’s hoping there’s an end in sight with Coop’s ailment – and one that’s not going to cost an arm and a leg along the way.

IMG_1677On a happier note, my very favorite Portland fest was in full swing last weekend, and Jeff and I were in the thick of it. Feast Portland, presented by Bon Appétit magazine, showcases Portland-area culinary talent and Oregon ingredients alongside famous chefs – including quite a few Top Chef and Top Chef Masters alumni – during a four-day celebration. We fell in love with the event last year, the fest’s first year in existence. The moment tickets went on sale this year, I was online booking a couple events.

Feast kicked off Thursday night with the Sandwich Invitational, where 15 bready concoctions went head-to-head in downtown Director Park. The Widmer beer flowed as we bopped from booth to booth, tasting Laurelhurst Market’s smoked beef tongue sandwich; the banh mi-like “Rabbit 7 Ways” ball of yuckiness by Top Chef Season 9 winner Paul Qui; and peanut butter, jelly and bacon sandies from Duff Goldman of Charm City Cakes.

Our faves: the open-faced sweet corn and pork belly “panwich” from San Francisco’s State Bird Provisions, the “hillbilly” fried bologna sandwich from Sean Brock of Charleston’s McCrady’s restaurant, and my personal favorite, Ruby Jewel’s amazing stack of brown sugar cookies, marionberry caramel, hazelnut ice cream, chocolate and cocoa nib cookie, bacon, caramel ice cream and marionberry caramel.

Overall, it was a pretty badass event, although the picky eater in me didn’t partake in as many of the tastes as I’d like. I’ll leave the rabbit pâté and beef tongue to Jeff!

On Saturday, the Oregon Bounty Grand Tasting delivered a close-to-perfect experience, just like last year. Imagine a huge tent full of food and drink purveyors with unlimited samples. And food demos from awesome peeps like Naomi Pomeroy from Beast (and Top Chef Masters Season 3). And five full hours to gorge on food and swill expensive wine and tasty brews. Heaven.

Ready for the duel of the sandwiches!

Ready for the duel of the sandwiches!

The official judges, including Top Chef Masters judge, Francis Lam, and Top Chef Masters alum, Naomi Pomeroy

The official judges, including Top Chef Masters judge, Francis Lam, and Top Chef Masters alum, Naomi Pomeroy

Duff Goldman of Charm City Cakes chatting it up with the ladies

Duff Goldman of Charm City Cakes chatting it up with the ladies

Enjoying the Widmer Brothers brews

Enjoying the Widmer Brothers brews

Darkness falling

Darkness falling

Sandwich-lovers galore

Sandwich-lovers galore

The crowds at Sandwich Invitational

The crowds still hanging strong at the Sandwich Invitational

Spinning some tunes at the Sandwich Invitational

Spinning some tunes at the Sandwich Invitational

One more example of Portland weirdness: shirtless, suspender-ed man, chillin' outside Athleta

One more example of Portland weirdness: shirtless, suspender-ed man, chillin’ outside Athleta

Naomi Pomeroy of Beast welcoming the crowd to her demo

Naomi Pomeroy of Beast welcoming the crowd to her demo

The view of the festival from the outdoor amphitheater steps/seats

The view of the festival from the outdoor amphitheater steps/seats

The rows and rows of vendors at Saturday Oregon Bounty

The rows and rows of vendors at Saturday Oregon Bounty Grand Tasting

Top Chef Season 9 winner Paul Qui in a fishmonger competition

Top Chef Season 9 winner Paul Qui in a fishmonger competition

I love this festival!

I love this festival!

In his element

In his element

Mugging for the Travel Oregon photo booth

Mugging for the Travel Oregon photo booth (I think I had those glasses in fourth grade…)

Goodbye for now, Feast!

Goodbye for now, Feast!

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