It didn’t seem right to include this part of my Saturday in the Dalai Lama post, so I made it separate.
Imagine the level of exhaustion I felt after getting up at 6 am, working out, spending nearly 5 emotional hours listening to an idol, walking in the hot sun, sitting through a rock concert and then going out for a night on the town. I felt like the walking dead around 4pm but I powered through it because I was enjoying everything so much! Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining–it was just a LOT of things to do in one day.
I left off with the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Michael and I left our friends who wanted to stay for the rest of the concert and went home to rest a bit before our next outing. I was tired enough to take a nap, but I settled for snuggling with Fat Kitty while watching an episode of Upstairs, Downstairs before heading out.
This is the second Yelp Elite event I’ve been to. The last one was so much fun! Michael and I went with some friends who were also “elites” and ended up making some new friends there. It was a cool event! This second one was no different.
The first hour of the event was only for “elite” Yelpers, for free, and then the rest of the evening was open to anybody. (I’m not sure if there was a cover charge at the door.) The theme was “Poppin’ Tags” –i.e. whatever crazy outfit you could create from thrift store shopping.
It was a two night event. We went to the second night. It was at the Bossanova Ballroom; a place I’ve wanted to check out for years but just haven’t. There are a lot of events held there, including shows, weekly dance lessons and you can rent the space for events and weddings. It was such a cool old building! There was a ballroom with a stage; the upstairs area had three pool tables, arcade games, several bars, a bunch of tables and it overlooked the downstairs area. There were several bar areas on the main level and a few tables set up.
We mingled and checked out the food, all provided by local vendors. One of the things I love about these Yelp events is that there are always a few vendors that are totally new to me, and there’s usually a few that I’ve been wanting to try but haven’t yet.
Lots of drink options! The first one we tried was the Lavishment Vodka with lemonade in it. SO GOOD. I can see this becoming a summer favorite. A little vodka with a splash of your favorite lemonade…perfect on a hot day. (And Saturday it was hot! 87 degrees!)
The second drink we tried that night was the Warship Rum with Joia Pineapple, Coconut and Nutmeg soda. It was fabulous–like a pina colada. I tried the soda on its own and I am in love. I need to find this soda and get some! If you can find it in your neck of the woods, get it!
One of the first things I tried was at the front door, provided by Local Choice Market. It’s downtown in the Pearl District. Michael liked it and said he was going to try and go there for lunch one day. I guess they have a deli and sandwich bar and a juice bar (that’s what I want to try). They had a hummus dish with carrots (the hummus was really good). There was also a tiny bruschetta with roast beef and horseradish mayo. I didn’t hear the horseradish part and it surprised me! I wouldn’t say I’m a huge fan of horseradish (and I also hate wasabi) which is odd because I love spicy food.
The next thing was one of my favorites at the Tamale Boy table. He had several different kinds of tamales (Michael and I split the chicken) to sample. It’s a food truck that definitely deserves a brick and mortar store. I loved the tamale! It was soft and moist (sometimes tamales are a bit too dry for my liking) and the salsa was super spicy.
I’m DEFINITELY going to his food truck!
Next up: an appetizer from Smokehouse 21. This is another place I’ve wanted to check out. I think I will be doing that very soon because I’ve been craving GOOD BBQ lately! The snacks they provided were oyster shooters (which I skipped) and half a deviled egg with a spicy sausage on top. It was messy, it was too big to fit in your mouth at one time but too hard to eat in two bites. And I still loved it! I shoved it in my mouth and just went with it!
Straw and Salt Ice Cream parlor was there and I’m not ashamed at all that the ice cream was one of the first things I ate. They had two samples–the first was Coffee and Bourbon and it was delicious. The coffee taste was pretty mild and the ice cream was creamy and smooth. The second was the Salt and Caramel and it was my favorite. There were chunks of caramel in it that melted in my mouth. This is definitely a must-do soon!
Andina is a fancy restaurant here in Portland that I’ve wanted to go to for years and never really made it there. They were at the Yelp party with two desserts–the first was a mini flan (red wine-caramel flan, served with baked Zamarano cheese, paprika-dusted brazil nuts, and cinnamon-grape sorbet but neither of us liked it) and the second was the “alfajores”. It was a traditional Peruvian cookie, almost like a macaroon with creamy caramel in between the two cookies. It was AWESOME! I ate two of those babies!
I’m still thinking about that cookie. Damn.
Okay, so we mingled around and saw some of the costumes people wore. There were some really crazy things! Lots of people showed up bathrobes or plaid mixed with flannel; lots of crazy wigs and hats. Just to give you an idea:
Michael and I both loved the DJ. He played some great music! We got his card just in case we might need it in the future.
We hung out upstairs and checked out the various local wineries and distilleries that were giving samples. There are a lot of new distilleries that are getting some traction in the market and I’ve had several that were much better than anything I’ve gotten in a traditional liquor store.
Warship Rum was the rum that was in my “pina colada” drink and it was so tasty with that soda. I had a small sampling of that and then a few tastings of the wines:
Most of the wineries were from the Willamette Valley. That’s not usually where I go tasting (Hood River is my favorite) but I should consider giving it another try. I loved the Willamette Valley Pinot Noir Cuvee. It was smooth and mild for a pinot noir.
Lastly I want to leave you with the absolute favorite of the evening, the creme de la creme, the show-stopped. I give you: Kenny & Zuke’s:
Kenny & Zuke’s is a Portland favorite that I’ve never been to. It’s not like I haven’t tried, it was just always packed or the line was too long to get in there for my lunch hour. I mentioned it on my blog a LONG time ago but one of the owners/chefs of Kenny & Zuke’s got the news that he was diabetic and needed to lose weight. He wrote a column for the local paper about his journey to lose the weight to get rid of his diabetes. I was so impressed that I wrote him an email (and he responded!). The restaurant also added some “healthier” options to their menu.
The samples they gave out at the Yelp party were hands down the best of the night. There were two pastrami sandwiches–one with mustard and one with Russian dressing. I got both. The one with Russian dressing was my favorite. I can’t say that I’ve ever had pastrami before and now I can confidently say, I can never eat anyone else’s pastrami after Kenny and Zuke’s. Wow, times ten. The meat was almost like crumbly, soft bacon. That is the best way I can describe the texture and flavor. Holy crap, I WANT ANOTHER SANDWICH. It is was so good. Can you see me drooling??
After a crazy day of good food, friends, epic events and trying new things, we took our tired bodies home and crashed into bed. Luckily I got my clothes off before my head hit the pillow.