This post is sponsored by my friends at Feast Portland.
It's almost NOVEMBER (which, wait, WHAT, where did 2018 go??) which means I've traded sundresses and cold beers on the patio for sweaters and hot tea on the couch.
I always have a hard time letting go of summer, but for the last few years, I've been using Feast Portland as my official-unofficial fall kickoff event. There's something about a full week of food + chefs + wine + sunshine + amazing friends that just soothes my soul and puts me in the right headspace to close the books on one season and say "oh haiiiiiiii" to the next one.
If you've been following le bloggity blog here for awhile, you may already know that Feast is one of my very favorite annual traditions.
If you're new to my favorite food festival, let me start with the best part (besides the food. because ohhhhhh, the food): Feast Portland raises money to end childhood hunger and fight food waste and insecurity in Oregon.
I have a whooooooole other post comin' atcha tomorrow (seven straight days of shooting = KIND OF A LOT OF PICTURES WE NEED TO GET THROUGH), but for now, come on down the rabbit hole with me to peep the first half of this year's Feast Portland.
TRAVEL OREGON: EXPLORING THE TUALATIN VALLEY
Alright. I grew up in the Tualatin Valley (#WestCoastBestCoast), and I had been to NONE of the places we went with Travel Oregon during this kickoff trip. Shoutout to The Washington County Visitors Association for planning a trip full of firsts!
PS - Heading to Oregon? They'll help you plan your trip, too!
Breakfast cocktails (for, um, research) at one of many hidden bars at McMenamin's Grand Lodge.
If you find yourself in Beaverton, GET THEE TO GLORIA'S SECRET CAFE. I can't believe I made it almost three decades without these pupusas. Also, Gloria was the ACTUAL BEST, and if you're nice, she might tell you the stories behind all the photos on the walls. ALSO also, if you do a little digging, you might also be able to see a snap of yours truly in full obnoxious-food-blogger-mode grabbing the shot above.
Another instant favorite: Oyatsupan (also in Beaverton - photo above). Everything was excellent (and we tried EVERYTHING). Also, I'm going to need you to trust me when I tell you to get the Beef Curry Donut.
(ABOVE) Salmon with succotash in the new private dining room at Ponzi Vineyards. Please, PLEASE book an event here. Because it's stunning and the food was excellent. And then please invite me. I'll bring snacks!
David Hill is another one of my new favorite wineries. Their wines are delicious and they have some of the oldest vines in Oregon.
Bites Restaurant in Forest Grove was another favorite stop. The owners are lovely and everything we tried was delicious (and, again...we tried EVERYTHING). Standouts: Korean BBQ wings, Cucumber Salad, Seoul Dumplings, Coconut Risotto.
Dear Olympia Provisions, I am obsessed with your eggs benedict. Love, Jessie. (PS, if you live near Portland, I'm gonna need you to go get some of this eggs benny liiiiiiiiike, IMMEDIATELY. Please and thank you).
FEAST PORTLAND: 80s vs 90s
This year's main events kicked off with 80s vs. 90s, a head-to-head culinary competition where chefs put their spin on classic childhood foods (think pop tarts, chicken nuggets, hot pockets, corn dogs, and more - but, like, better). The food was delicious, but we all know we were really there for the throwback playlist and the excuse to rock a side pony.
FEAST PORTLAND GRAND TASTING
Feast's annual two-day-long Grand Tasting is the perfect bite-sized intro. to the rest of the weekend. Hallmarks: snacks, chef demos, fireside chats, and more wine than you've ever seen in one place. EVER.
WASHINGTON STATE WINE LUNCH
I snuck away from the Grand Tasting for a few hours to join Washington State Wine for a winemaker's lunch at Enoteca Nostrana, a new wine bar extension of one of my favorite restaurants. Their wine list is, umm, COMPREHENSIVE (just look at their enormous + stunningly beautiful wine cellar in the photo below!) and the food was some of my favorite of the whole weekend.
OOF. Are you hungry yet? Because Iiiiiiiiiiii definitely need a snack. I'll be back tomorrow with the rest of this year's Feast Portland roundup!