Taste of the Nation 2011

May 9th, 2011

Celilo Restaurant's (in Hood River) morel and fromage blanc topped crackers were super tasty.

Taste of the Nation truly gets bigger and better every year. We had a fantastic time eating and drinking all sorts of amazing things from Portland area chefs and food/drink folks at this year’s Taste of the Nation at Luxe Autohaus. (Always made much better by the fact that 100% of the proceeds go toward local child hunger relief.) If you don’t know about the event you can read more about it here and here. We paced ourselves a lot better this year so that by the end (and we stayed until the very end — as in tables being folded) we felt full but not roll-out-the-door full.

It’s hard to pick favorites but I think it’s good to give credit where credit is due. SO here are my top five favorite things that I ate at this year’s Taste of the Nation (not to mention all the delicious wine, beer and bubbly) followed by photos…

Top five bites at this year’s Taste of the Nation in no particular order…
La Calaca Comelona’s rainbow chard wrapped masa with pork in a red sauce
Biwa’s braised pork and house pickled vegetable lettuce wraps
Bamboo Sushi’s Oregon albacore carpaccio
Fifty Lick’s coconut lemon saffron sorbet
Davis Street Tavern’s cold carrot fennel soup with sorrel salsa verde

Screen Door's mini chocolate and peanut butter pies were really good. Especially when eaten right after their...

Smoked meatloaf and whipped potato bites topped with crispy shallots. Yeah, pretty genius side-by-side.

Biwa kicked ass as usual with their braised pork lettuce wraps with pickled veggies.

Fratelli was set up right next to Biwa with some yummy rockfish crudo that got topped with yuzu foam seconds after I took this photo.

No, he did not get stuck in the ice cream cooler. 50 Licks' coconut lemon saffron sorbet is incredible.

Andina had a lovely spread of marinated fish in a aji colorado al batan sauce, fava bean salad and okra rellena stuffed with braised oxtail. Top that why don't you.

We hung out with friends until the lights-out end. Another fantastic Taste of the Nation with 100 percent of proceeds going to local child hunger relief organizations. Cheers Portland!

Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation
Monday, May 2nd, 2011
LUXE Autohaus
410 NE 17th Ave.
Portland, OR 97232
Stay tuned for next year’s Taste of the Nation

Bakesale for Japan April 2nd @ Ristretto Roasters & Barista

March 28th, 2011

This Satuday in Portland 10am-2pm!

Giovanna Zivny, Elizabeth Nathan and others have organized Portland’s Bakesale for Japan next Saturday, April 2nd from 10am-2pm at two of Portland’s favorite coffee shops — Ristretto Roasters (Williams) and Barista (Pearl).

Home and professional bakers are grabbing their whisks and cranking up their ovens to raise money for Peace Winds Japan, a partner of Mercy Corps.

This is a nationwide effort (Bakesale for Japan currently has generated 17+ bake sales stretching from San Francisco to NYC) that originated with Oakland chef Samin Nosrat. She raised $23K for Haiti last year with just three bake sale locations. Portland’s Bakesale for Japan has a matching donation lined up from Intel.

If you’d like to bake (amateurs and professionals welcome) or volunteer for Bakesale for Japan contact pdxbakesale@gmail.com.

Here is the amazing list of Portland folks signed up so far to contribute tasty baked goods: Little T American Baker, Alder Pastry & Dessert, Woodlawn Coffee and Pastry, Fleur de Lis Bakery and Cafe, Alma Chocolate, Kir Jensen (The Sugar Cube), Kristen Murray (Paley’s Place), Kim Boyce (Golden Oven), Bakery Bar, Suzette, Random Order Coffeehouse & Bakery, Petunia’s Pies & Pastries, Confectionery, Little Branch Jam, and Bees & Beans.

Portland’s Bakesale for Japan
10am-2pm Saturday, April 2nd @

Ristretto Roasters (N Williams location)
3808 N Williams Ave
Barista (Pearl location)
539 NW 13th Ave

Portland Italian Food Panel @ Elephants Delicatessen Tuesday Night

January 10th, 2011

Darryl Joannides owner of Cork: A Bottle Shop will talk about Italy to Portland wines at Mangia, Mangia!

A few months back Jesse Locker of the Portland Bologna Sister City Association (PBSCA) asked me to be a part of PBSCA’s January Know Bo event at Elephants Delicatessen. I was honored and now here it is mid-January and the event is tomorrow night.

I’ll be hosting the Mangia, Mangia! panel for PBSCA’s monthly Know Bo tomorrow night at Elephants on NW 22nd Ave. from 6-8pm. The event is free and open to the public. There will be minimal food/drink samples but plenty for purchase to eat/drink during from Elephants Delicatessen. I’m the event moderator so I’ll strive to sound smarter than I am about Italian food while asking local experts about everything from red sauce to Italian ristretto style espresso.

Joining me on this Italian food folk panel will be folks featured in my book Food Lover’s Guide to Portland — Cathy Whims of Nostrana, Andrea Spella of Spella Caffe, Patricia DiPrima LeConche of DiPrima Dolci Bakery and Darryl Joannides of Cork: A Bottle Shop. I’m really looking forward to it. The more the merrier. Come on out and mangia, mangia with us.

Andrea Spella will talk all things Italia coffee at Mangia, Mangia! Tuesday night.

Portland Bologna Sister City Association (PBSCA) January Know Bo Mangia, Mangia!:
A food panel about Portland/Italian food hosted by me
@ Elephants Delicatessen
115 NW 22nd Ave., Portland
Tuesday, January 11th 6-8pm
Free and open to the public

Facebook Mangia, Mangia! event page

Portland’s Mississippi Marketplace: The Big Egg food cart

February 22nd, 2010

If only James Beard had a food cart tip jar category...

On Saturday morning my boyfriend and I woke up early by our weekend standards (thanks be to sunshine) and by 8am we were ready for breakfast. We rolled by Por Que No because we’ve been wanting to check out their breakfast but it turns out they are on the Portland lazy hazy weekend schedule and open for brunch at 11am. We drove south on Mississippi and decided to check out what Portland’s newest food cart pod — Mississippi Marketplace — has to offer for breakfast.

There were a few options and we went with The Big Egg saddled in between the newest Garden State outpost and a coffee cart.

We both got the same sandwich to a T — The Portlander ($5, $6 add protein) with two eggs over easy, blue cheese (other choices: cheddar, fontina) and applewood smoked bacon (other choices: ham, veggie sausage). These savory sammies are made with soft and eggy Grand Central brioche. One slice is slathered with punchy whole grain mustard and minced chives and the other with blue cheese and minced chives…

No seat for Goldilocks

Inner workings

Two bites in

It was is good as it looks. The soft brioche sopped up the sunny yolks, the blue cheese melted into the bacon, and we stopped talking for a while. Yum. You can check out The Good Egg’s full menu here.

It’s nice to be at a food cart pod in the early AM if you love food as much as I do. It’s similar to getting early to a big show and watching roadies unload and set up. There just aren’t as many bus tubs of alcohol involved with food cart set up. At least not in plain sight. There were several carts prepping for the day and we even got to sample Southwestern Pizza Company’s breakfast pizza which was delicious.

Just so you know Mississippi Marketplace’s lot is landscaped, there are tents to ward off the rain, there’s loads of seating, plenty of bike parking, and vendors are asked to use recyclable packaging and compost food waste. Here are some other snapshots from our Mississippi Marketplace morning…

We sampled his breakfast pizza and it was tasty. No sauce just lots of butter and bacon.

Sharpen your sweet tooth

Garden State's menu

Vegan food and drink.

Mississippi Marketplace
SW corner of N Mississippi Ave. and Skidmore St.

Dovetail Bakery Open: Extra, Extra!

February 4th, 2010
Tasty vegan treats at Dovetail Bakery's new NE Alberta location

Tasty vegan treats at Dovetail Bakery's new NE Alberta location

In December, I wrote about vegan Dovetail Bakery’s soon-to-be new retail location on Northeast Alberta Street. Well, they’ve delivered on their promise — they’re open for business!

This Saturday, February 6th from 5-8pm Dovetail is hosting its grand opening party with snacks, drinks and all sorts of good folks. According to Dovetail owner Morgan Grundstein-Helvey the more the merrier so head on over for some merrymaking and free tasty vegan drinks and snacks this Saturday.

Dovetail Bakery 

3039 NE Alberta St.

Portland, Oregon


Hours: Tue.-Sun. 8am-6pm

**All photos in this post were taken by Morgan’s friend KC Tarog on Dovetail Bakery’s opening day late January.

Good morning sunshine -- Dovetail's cinnamon rolls

Good morning sunshine -- Dovetail's cinnamon rolls

More Dovetail Bakery vegan sweets. Open for business!

More Dovetail Bakery vegan sweets. Open for business!

Dovetail Bakery vegan scones and muffins

Dovetail Bakery vegan scones and muffins