Deschutes Brewery

Feast PDX

Michael and I have wanted to check out Feast for a few years now…a huge foodie event here in Portland that attracts chefs from all over the country to come here and showcase their art. Unfortunately it usually fell on a weekend we weren’t available. Like when we were busy getting married. ๐Ÿ™‚

Well for our 2nd wedding anniversary we got tickets to THE event! An evening with Franklin’s BBQ! All the way from Austin, Texas. We went to Franklin’s on our first trip to Austin a few years ago and it was AMAZING. How could we pass up another chance to have it–in Portland AND without standing in line for hours. ๐Ÿ™‚

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My parents came down from Seattle to stay with Logan. Michael surprised me last year for our anniversary with a gift card for the hotel we stayed in on our wedding night, The Paramount. Life got in the way (and a baby) and we didn’t get a chance to use it. This weekend seemed like the perfect time to use it! So for our 2nd anniversary we stayed downtown and ate amazing BBQ. This post is all about our adventure.

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Feast isn’t just a foodie event. Proceeds also go to charity, too, which is a good thing!

The Feast event was “intimate” — about 100 tickets or so. The food, drinks, gratuities, and desserts were all included in the ticket price. We got there a little before it started at 4 on Friday and once we got in we got in the drink line.

The bar offering was small, but that was ok. It was partly sponsored by Buffalo Trace and Deschutes beer and then local wine too.

We both got the IPA beer (it was pretty decent, not my favorite but good) and Michael later got the Session (I did NOT like that at all). It was happy hour for a bit while people mingled and found seats on the picnic tables.

There was also chocolate made with tallow and BBQ spices made by Franklin. I didn’t know it at first. I just grabbed a piece of chocolate and was surprised it was kind of salty and spicy. I liked it a lot and then Michael later told me what it was made with! Shock!

We got seats kind of in the middle and we just chilled and enjoyed our drinks in the sunshine and chatted with our “neighbors”. It was super fun meeting new people and talking about Franklin’s. We made a friend, Patrick, who had moved here from the Philippines for work and he was really friendly and we had a great time talking about food events and the NW.

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The vibe was really FUN! It was sunny, hot, there was a DJ there spinning records of old-timey country music (mixed in with some Willie Nelson and Dolly Parton). It was just a really fun time.

Aaron Franklin was really friendly and outgoing and made the rounds welcoming people, thanking them for coming, asking if we were having a good time. Then he made a quick speech and said “let’s eat!”

We got in line for the food and chatted with people in line with us (just like the experience in Austin where we talked to the people who lived there). At least this time we didn’t have to stand in line for 90 minutes to get food. ๐Ÿ™‚ AND we were guaranteed food so no worry about them selling out like it did in Austin.

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Your food porn photos:

So the dinner was a “sampler” plate but the portions were really generous! It was a lot of food! There was a rib, that if you picked up the bone the meat just melted off (seriously). There was a piece of sauce, some pulled pork (it was the best pulled pork I’ve ever had) and then of course, the melt-in-your mouth brisket that was like eating butter.

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Dream come true! We got to eat Franklin’s BBQ again!

Dessert was provided by Tillamook Ice Cream. There were three flavors:

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Wow were they good. I’m not a coffee ice cream fan but this was so smooth and mild it was absolutely delicious. Even someone who is not a coffee fan would like it. The marionberry custard was the best of the three. It was smooth and creamy and had chunks of marionberries and I think rice krispies in it. Finally, there was the chocolate with chocolate chunks. Also amazing.

Towards the end of the event celebrity chef Hugh Acheson showed up. That was really cool. We’re both fans and love Top Chef so it was cool to see him in person. He was doing one of the other Feast events the next day, apparently.

We got to chat with Aaron and take some photos at the end. That was great. He was so friendly and nice. Michael got to talk to him about Austin and grilling and I got to take pictures. ๐Ÿ™‚

To be continued….

Brews and Queens

After biking 30 miles in the sunshine we decided the next best thing was to drink beer in the sunshine! Michael and I headed downtown to meet up with our friends at the Oregon Brewfest on the waterfront. We parked across the river and walked the 1.25 miles or so across the Hawthorne Bridge and somehow managed to find out posse in the throng of people.

Usually we go to the Brewfest on Friday (it’s always the last full weekend in July) but this year we weren’t going to be able to do that so we bumped it to Thursday. We thought that would be a good idea–beat the crowds! Unfortunately I think everyone else in Portland had the same idea because when we got there it was PACKED. Like Friday evening packed. I was shocked.

Michael was ready to eat someone’s arm so the first thing on the agenda was food. I was happy to oblige because I knew I was teetering on the edge of “Crazy Hunger Freak” too after our 30 mile bike ride. I surveyed the options and got a lamb gyro that was dripping in sauce. It totally hit the spot.

Michael grabbed a hot dog from the Gustav’s tent and I think we ate our lunches in seconds flat. Next up: tasting.

$20 gets you one mug and 14 tokens for beer tasting.

It was so good to hang out with friends! Michael’s old roommate Shoe joined us and it’s always good to hang out with him.

My friend Greg met up with us after he got off work.

Michael’s friend Jeremy was there with us and he brought his friends who were visiting from England and Ireland. His friend Max also brought Voodoo Donuts! He’s definitely a keeper. ๐Ÿ™‚ (Michael and I split a donut.)

I ran into some old coworkers and friends, plus my friend Robyn was there! It was clearly the place to be on a Thursday afternoon! I like it.

So how was the beet this year? This is I think the third year I’ve been going to this event and I think last year was by far the best–we had a great time, lots of friends joined us and the beer was exceptional. This year’s selections of beers didn’t really stand out for me. I can’t name one beer that I MUST TRY AGAIN.


There were a lot of beers that I enjoyed. (Boulder Beer Co Hoola Pale Ale; Eel River Brewing Co Organic IPA; Laurelwood Brewing Co Organic Pale Ale; Mad River Brewing Jamaica Sunrise ESB)

And quite a few that I did not like at all. (Pelican Pub & Brewery Ankle Buster Belgian Ale; Surly Brewing Hell; Anderson Valley Brewing Summer Cream Ale; Bison Brewing Co Honey Basil Ale)

YUCK!

But nothing really caught my fancy.ย I did branch out and try some things I wouldn’t normally try. For example, ESB (Extra Strong Bitters) are not really my thing. But I tried the Mad River Brewing Jamaica Sunrise ESBย  and was surprised at how lovely it was.

After the Brewfest we walked back across the Hawthorne Bridge to get happy hour dinner at Clarklewis. BOY was there a change since the last time we were there. It was only a few months ago and we had such good service and outstanding food. Thursday night? Not so much. The service was lame, the waitress screwed up several of our orders–including not bringing out a friend’s order at ALL and then forgetting to remove the charge from the bill. The food was lackluster at best.

The mac n’ cheese was just okay. The burger was so overcooked I almost didn’t want to finish it, but we didn’t have time to send it back for another. I am so so disappointed. Did they change chefs? What happened to the delicious restaurant we went to in March?!

After dinner we headed to the Roseland on Burnside to see Queens of the Stone Age. Because dinner took longer than expected we missed the opening band, which several of us wanted to see.


The show was really good. The crowd was energetic, the music sounded great. The Queens of the Stone Age are definitely a fun band to see live. And the nice thing about concerts at the Roseland Theatre is that they are very intimate. You can get pretty close to the bands. I’ve seen a bunch of shows there and they are always fun.


Even though the band was great live, the day was fun and the company was nice, I was utterly exhausted by the time we got to the show. 30 miles on the bike, lots and lots of walking and drinking beer in the sunshine = a sleepy Lisa.


So the fact that the show was early and ended by 9:30 was no problemย for me! All I wanted to do was go home and crawl into bed!

QUESTION: What’s your favorite summer beer right now? Are there any annual traditions in your neck of the woods?