I grew up in landlocked Chicago, where clamming is not exactly a popular pastime. So when I was offered the chance to go clamming in Oregon, I jumped. The great outdoors? Check. Fresh seafood? Check. A rare opportunity to wear full-body waders in public? I was totally in.
'Feast Portland' on Serious Eats
With some of the best chefs in the country cooking up food at Feast Portland , one might forget that there were drinks to be had as well. But a town with such a great cocktail, beer, wine, and coffee scene couldn't keep its drinks out of the spotlight for long. Here are a few of the best drinks we tried.
Feast Portland wound down in style with the High Comfort event, which challenged chefs to push comfort food out of the comfort zone.
What happens when some of the best chefs in the country are instructed to make bite-sized portions of internationally-inspired street food? Feast Portland's Night Market. One of the marquee events of Feast, the open-air festival is an opportunity for a mix of local (such as Naomi Pomery of Beast and Expatriate) and national (hello, Christina Tosi of Momofuku Milkbar) restaurants to bring their take on street food to throngs of ravenous attendees.
Feast Portland kicked off its second year with bready bang last night at the Sandwich Invitational, which featured 15 chefs competing for sandwich glory. Here's a look at all of them.
High Comfort featured chefs local and from afar, and from restaurants that are long-established (Portland's Paley's Place) to brand new (Napa's The Thomas). With permission to experiment, some chefs went "simple" with upscale versions of potato pancakes and Oreo cookies. Others did dishes that delivered double-takes, like a breakfast cereal and noodles both made out of pork. And in an apparent thumbing of the nose to California, there was a lot of foie gras.
This celebration of global street food featured some of Portland's most popular chefs (the line for Nong's Khao Man Gai was out of control at times), and fine chefs from around the country and even Bangkok. The night featured skewers of hearts to balls, beef tongue rolls and beef tendon salads, and a crawfish "poutine." See all the bites here.
In true Oregon style, each tasting event at Feast PDX featured an amazing array of locally produced small-batch spirits, wines, and beer. There were new breweries and creative cocktails from Portland's top bartenders, plus plenty of old favorites.
Pork and bread ruled the day, with meaty offerings making it a challenge to eat all 15 sandwiches at the Feast Portland event. But with creativity encouraged, there was a wide variety of bread and fillings. Most restaurants were from the Portland area, though some were from further afield, including Aaron Franklin from Austin's Franklin Barbecue, and Ace of Cakes personality Duff Goldman from Charm City Cakes.