Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Portland Restaurant: Life of Pie

What: Life of Pie
Where: 3632 N. Williams Ave
When: 11am-10pm Sun-Wed, 11am-11pm Thurs-Sat
Honeys Heart: $5 Margherita Pizza on Happy Hour 11am-6pm daily (for now, this won't last forever!)

Katie and I walked into Life of Pie's media preview and were immediately welcomed with a glass of house red wine (only $3 on happy hour!) and a bar full of delicious looking arancini and kale salad. Now that's the way to start a tasting!

After doing the typical blogger tasks of excessive photo taking on cameras and phones then posting to Instagram and Twitter, we took plates of Arancini ($6) and Kale Salad ($7) to a two-person table by a wood pile and tried, what ended up being just the beginning, of a series of delicious plates.

Okay, back up, I'm sure the "table by the wood pile" sounds odd, but it worked and created a warm environment that is definitely family-friendly. Life of Pie owner, Jason, stopped by to introduce himself and said that he imagined the wood-fired pizza joint as a place that is casual enough to come on a whim but also offers great food and service. So far, it looks like he's achieved that vision!

Katie and I both loved the arancini and kale salad. The outside of the arancini was crispy with a soft, warm, and cheesy inside. The simplicity of the kale salad was a great accompaniment. Kale salads can sometimes be overly tart with lots of lemon, but this was really well balanced with honey.

First out of the wood-fired oven right behind the counter was a Margherita pizza, which is only $5 on happy hour. Basically I would recommend you quit reading this and go there now. What a deal! And also it was delicious.

Katie and I quickly realized we did not properly pace ourselves. The Margherita pizza was the first of three more that we were able to sample. Next up was Fennel Sausage and Mama Lil's Peppers ($11) which we both really enjoyed. The peppers are pickled which adds a unique tartness.

Following this was the Seasonal Mushrooms with Shaved Pecorino Roman and Truffle Oil ($12). I enjoyed this, but I'm kind of obsessed with mushrooms these days. This was rich though with the truffle oil and mushroom mix!

Okay, at this point we'd had two glasses of wine, arancini, kale salad, and three types of pizza. It was all great, but we surely couldn't eat more. Then the last pizza was walked over and we changed our minds. The special Bacon, Goat Cheese and Oven Roasted Leeks ($12) was last. We both thought we would love this, but it ended up not being our favorite. It was a little sweet and instead of arranging whole slices of bacon on the pizza I would have cut them up and spread it out more. Oh well, can't win them all!

In addition to the abundance of food, we were also impressed with the attentive service. Life of Pie is a counter-service spot, but the servers were very prompt about removing used plates and filling up glasses of wine, which is always appreciated.

Overall a fun night with great food and a very gracious host. Thank you so much for having us!

P.S. The little block of N. Williams that houses Life of Pie is now jam-packed with tasty destinations- you could make a whole night of it without leaving! We'll lay it out for you:

Date Night on N. Williams: 

Drinks at Tin Bucket
- This beer shop boasts state-of-the-art growler fillers but you can enjoy pints in-house too.
Dinner at Life of Pie
- See above 
Dessert at What's the Scoop
- Super creamy ice-cream frozen with liquid nitrogen. The Bourbon Toffee is crazy good.
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Friday, December 6, 2013

2013 Holiday Ale Fest Top Picks

Guest Post by Doug (@douglasfranz/@firstedbrew)
One of Katie's and my favorite parts of the holiday season is Portland’s Holiday Ale Festival. For three years now, we’ve buddled up and battled the crowds at this festive beer event that always manages to be one of the highlights of our imbibing year.

Katie and I checked out the 2013 version of the festival last night and it did not disappoint. With over 40 beers on tap, there can be an overwhelming selection of barleywines, stouts, porters, and generally big beers,but lucky for you, we took good notes and have a few recommendations if you are heading to down to Pioneer Square this weekend. While we weren’t able to try all the beers, we came pretty close. Here are the 5 you cannot miss!

Cherry Diesel- Cascade Brewing  
The best beer of the night. I made sure to go back twice for this one and it was worth it. Known for its amazing barrel aging program, Cascade created a beer that smells like one of their legendary cherry sours but tastes like a deep sweet chocolate stout, full of vanilla and cherry notes. A bit of a bourbon burn and linger of dark chocolate to remind the drinker just how good this brew was.

 High West Whiskey Barrel-Aged Cappuccino Stout- Lagunitas Brewing Co. 
Coming in at 12.5% ABV, the highest percentage of all the selections at this year’s festival, this stout has amazingly balanced flavors of whiskey and coffee. Lagunita’s caffeinated entry is a good way to wake yourself up when you start feeling a little sluggish after all those dark holiday beers.  

Gargantua- Eel River Brewing Co. Of the five on the list, this one got the most mixed reviews from our group. Yes, you have to LOVE vanilla to like this beer and it was a little bit on the sweet side. But this is a beer fest for holiday beer lovers and sometimes the best way to celebrate the season is with a brew that makes you feel like you are drinking a delicious dessert.

McGuinness- Natian Brewery
We all had one last ticket to use for the eve and I had already tried everything on my pre-fest ‘Must Taste’ list when this one caught my eye. Natian, a very small brewery based in the Burnside/Lloyd part of Portland that you rarely see on tap, managed to really nail what a holiday beer should be. Flavors of coffee and Kahlua, nutty, and oh so smooth.

Spiced Unicorn Milk- Stone Brewing Co.
San Diego’s finest, Stone created this just for Portland’s Holiday Ale Festival and I personally want to thank them because this was an amazing beer. It was one of the most complex but accessible beers of the night. It was like drinking chai chocolate milk.
There are plenty others that were tasty too, so pull out your best ugly sweater and head down to the Holiday Ale Festival this weekend!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Lompoc Holiday Ales Now Available!

Kelly and I agree on most drinking-related things. For example:
  • Should we have another drink? Yes.
  • Should we order this cocktail that has whiskey in it? No. 
  • Should we take a tequila shot? Probably not, but we're going to anyway. 
The list goes on and on. Sadly, there is one major drinking point that Kel and I don't see eye to eye on and that is beer.

Yes, friends. Kelly doesn't like beer. Okay, that's a lie. Kelly only likes beer when it's straight out of the pitcher at the T-Room (sorry Kel, you know it's true). 

But to Kelly's credit, she is trying to change her ways and I couldn't be more proud.

Her first step came a few weeks ago when Lompoc invited us to sample their holiday ales in their cozy little Sidebar tasting room.

With 8 beers to get through, I was a little worried, but Kel handled it like a pro. Here's some info about our top picks plus a full list of all of Lompoc's seasonals following. Lompoc's holiday ales are now available on tap at Lompoc Tavern (NW 23rd), Hedge House (SE Division), Oaks Bottom (SE Bybee), and Fifth Quadrant (N Williams).

Holiday Cheer- Vanilla Porter 
I am a huge sucker for a good vanilla porter and even though the sample we had was not fully aged when we tried it, Kel and I loved its rich chocolate and vanilla notes.

Brewdolph- Belgian- Style Red 
There is many a holiday beer that, while being called a "holiday ale", doesn't actually evoke any warm and fuzzy holiday-ness. That is not the case with this red thanks to its slight fruitiness and hint of cloves.

Cherry Christmas- Specialty Blend
Lompoc was still working on the blend when we sampled this one, but Kel and I appreciated that this beer was light yet still very flavorful thanks to the 200 pounds of sour cherries it's brewed with.

Also Available:

Blitzen- Spiced Golden Ale (this one wasn't available for us to sample yet so maybe it's amazing)

Jolly Bock- Lager

C-Son's Greetings- Imperial IPA

Bourbon Barrel Aged Old Tavern Rat- Barleywine 

We also got a super sneak preview of Lompoc's Holiday Ale Fest beer, Revelry Red. It combines Lompoc's whiskey barrel-aged Big Bang Red with port barrel-aged Big Bang Red. I preferred it to the Old Tavern Rat and I'm excited to see what Doug thinks about it when we try it again at the Holiday Ale Fest this weekend.

How about a #TBT pic to Holiday Ale Fest 2011 just cuz?

So good, right?

Big thanks to Lompoc for hosting us! We had a great time! 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Portland Restaurant and Happy Hour: Double Dragon Revisited

What: Double Dragon
Where: 1235 SE Belmont
Happy Hour: Weekdays 3-6pm, Everyday 10pm-Midnight 
Honeys Heart: Miso Disco Fries

Last week, Kel and I were invited to a tasting and Hot Toddy demonstration at Double Dragon. You might remember that Kel and Adam went there for dinner recently and tried the Banh Mi Burger, house chips, and Curried Coconut Ramen. Their meal looked delicious so I was happy to get to try some of Double Dragon's Vietnamese fusion cuisine for myself!

Over blogger small talk (How often do you post? How long have you been blogging? How come we've never seen you at one of these before?*), we sampled a number of dishes. My top three favorites were the Szechuan Burger ($9) with bacon and szechuan peppercorn relish, Miso Disco Fries ($7) with miso bacon gravy and queso fresco, and Kimchi & Bacon-Braised Collard Greens ($3).

Happy to see the burger and the fries are part of the happy hour menu!:

The evening also included a cocktail tasting and demonstration. We tried Double Dragon's Hot Toddy two ways- hot and cold. I was a little skeptical of how the drink would work cold, but with its added absinthe wash, it was really tasty. 

Unfortunately we had to leave before the demonstration (the Blazers were honoring the Winterhawks so you know, #rosebudproblems) but I'm sure it was lots of fun. Looking forward to reading about it on other blogs :)   

Thanks so much to Double Dragon for hosting us! 

*Our loyal readers (hi Mom!) already know the answers to these bloggery questions, but for the newbies:
  • How often do you post? Whenever we damn well feel like it
  • How long have you been blogging? Since 2008, 5 whole years. Yeesh! 
  • How come we've never seen you at one of these blogger events before? What can we say? Sometimes it takes time for genius to be recognized...

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Portland Ice Cream Parlor: Fifty Licks

What: Fifty Licks
Where: 2021 SE Clinton St
When: Sun-Thurs 3-10pm, Fri-Sat noon-11pm
Honey's Heart: Sorbet Cocktails (and Chad)

Katie and I are always flattered when someone wants us to come try their restaurant, bar, or in this case, versatile cocktail-serving ice cream parlor, so when we were invited to come sample Fifty Licks' dessert cocktails (available for $2 off during happy hour- 4-6pm) we jumped at the chance.

Fifty Licks opened its brick and mortar just a couple months ago and so far we are digging what we see. Offering innovative ice creams and sorbets, unique toppings, and our favorite, cocktails, Fifty Licks is essentially an ice cream parlor designed for grown ups. Love it!

We sat down with Chad, the creator, owner, and flavor developer, to try Fifty Licks' four sorbet cocktails while learning more about his vision.

Chad divulged that he has two main goals in mind when creating a new ice cream: The first is, if it's a classic, it must be the very best version of that classic. That's why you won't find a chocolate ice cream on his menu (at least not yet, anyway). As he explained, all the fat in ice cream dulls down the rich flavor of chocolate. So, instead of ice cream, Chad makes a chocolate sorbet as there's no cream to dumb down the flavor. Other classic flavor options include Stumptown Coffee, Tahitian Vanilla, and Blood Orange Creamsicle.

Chad's second goal is that if he's creating a new flavor, it must be utterly delicious in every way, so no novelty flavors for him (looking at you Salt & Straw turkey ice cream). Some of Chad's unique but very tasty creations include Jasmine Tea with Apricot, Toasted Milk, and Passionfruit with Schuan Peppercorns.

Fifty Licks' cocktails came about from Chad's desire to provide a place for people to go after dinner if they just don't feel like going to a bar. Fifty Licks is a great alternative if you want dessert, a drink, or both.

I have to admit, Katie and I were anticipating overly-sweet cocktails, which we are not a fan of. Instead, we tasted four perfectly balanced craft cocktails that would be delicious even without their complementary sorbets- though the combination of cocktail and sorbet was so out-of-this-world that I don't know why you would ever want to separate them.

Here's what we tried: 

Furacao- Passionfruit with Sichuan Pepper sorbet, Madeira, Brryh, bitters

Velvet Shiso- Coconut Lemon Saffron sorbet, plum wine, bubbly, fresh shiso

Nordic Palmer- Frozen Lemonade, iced tea sparkling mead, lemon peal 

Bitter Rose- Grapefruit Rosewater sorbet, Cocchi American Rosa, orange bitters

It's hard to choose a favorite because they were all so good, but we both loved how refreshing the Nordic Palmer was and Furacao really did have a great balance of sweet and bitter.

During our sampling, we also had the opportunity to try a bunch of ice creams and sorbets on their own. One stand-out was Cherry Bourbon (sorry kids, this one is only for adults...) which Katie immediately called it out as Adam's potential favorite. Adam does have a sweet tooth (and a bourbon tooth too) and upon visiting later that week and getting this in the waffle cone, Adam felt confident in stating that it was likely the best waffle cone and ice cream experience he's ever had. I can attest to this as he stated it no less than 6 times while we were there.

We also got to try Chad's Cuban Coffee. It was so good that we both drank two cups... and were up late into the night thanks to our mid-evening caffeine boost. It was worth it though!

The flavors at Fifty Licks are constantly changing and sometimes a flavor doesn't make it up to the board, so don't be shy to ask if your favorite isn't listed.

Plus, Chad just released three amazing-sounding fall flavors: Sweet Potato Toasted Marshmallow, Autumn Harvest (roasted butternut squash with a baked savory-spiced apple ribbon), and Cranberry Cherry Sorbet. Be sure to like Fifty Licks on Facebook so you can stay updated about all the new flavors.

P.S. A huge thanks to Chad for sharing his story and his creations with us. We had so much fun chatting with you!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

HHH's Favorite Drinking Games

Kel and I are big on drinking games. I mean, not that we need an excuse to drink, but they are a great way to get a room warmed up.

We have our favorites from college that we still play occasionally- King's Cup, Asshole, and Hot or Cold- but within the last year or so, we've been introduced to a few new games that have quickly become part of our party repertoire.

Let's learn about them, shall we?

Kai Bai Bo!

Dana and Eric learned this one while they were teaching in Seoul a few years ago. We played it for the first time at Sushi/Sake Bomb/Christmas Sweater night last year and it was so much fun.

- Chopsticks
- Drinks

Where to Play: 
At home

How it Works:
1) Players stand around a table with drinks in front of them.
2) Together everyone chants "Kai Bai Bo!" (or "Rock Paper Scissors!" if you want to do it the boring English way).
3) On "Bo!", everyone points their chopstick at someone else.
4) The person who is "it" shouts a number. Something between 1 and 10 is preferable.
5) Follow the path of the pointed chopsticks from the person who is "it", counting to the number.
6) The person you land on has to drink and now they are "it."


Bonus: You kinda feel like Harry Potter with all that chopstick pointing. I loved it. (Obvs).

Kill Your Friends

This game comes from Lauren (read about her recent trip to Portland on her blog here) and it's pretty simple. It's best played in a crowded bar with friends who like to have a good time and who aren't going to be nincompoops (not that you would have friends like that anyway...).

- Money
- Drinks
- Strangers

Where to Play: 
At a bar 

How it Works:
1) If you buy someone a drink, you get to choose how they "die."
2) The more public, potentially embarrassing, and creative their "death" the better.
3) The drinker must act out their "death" before they can drink their drink.
4) If you bought multiple people drinks, feel free to combine their "deaths." It's more fun that way. 

Confused? Here are some example "deaths" from a recent game played at Rontoms (their patio is the perfect "death" stage, btw).

Doug starts to get sick and slowly turns into a zombie like on The Walking Dead. He tries to attack everyone at the table until Lauren finally shoots him in the head.

Katie and Kelly start lancing from opposite ends of the bar. They run towards each other. Katie knocks Kelly from her horse and Kelly dies, but not before tripping Katie, causing her to fall as well. 

Lauren is wandering all over the bar, holding up her phone trying to get service. Right in the middle of the bar, she is electrocuted by a lightning bolt and dies.

The Game from Pumpkin Beer Night 

So this one definitely needs a new name (can you guess where it was made up?) but we'll get to that eventually. This game is best with a group that holds their liquor well because there are shots involved. We did shots of SinFire (less syrup-y than fireball but still very festive, you should try it) on Pumpkin Beer Night and half shots of tequila at Rontoms.

- Drinks
- Shots
- Cards

Where to Play: 
At home or at a bar  

How it Works: 
1) The dealer places a card face up in the middle of the table.

2) The person to the dealer's left must guess if the next card will be higher or lower. What happens next is based on the card and their guess:
- If they're right, no one drinks
- If they're wrong, they must drink
- If it's the same card, they must pick someone to "Rock, Paper, Scissors" with. The loser drinks.
- If it's a face card, they get to choose someone to drink (in addition to drinking themselves, if they were wrong).
- If it's an ace, they must take a shot.
3) Play continues around the circle until until the deck is finished. 

This game is really just the best when combined with Kill Your Friends because somebody's got to be buying all those shots and the deaths provide a nice break from all the drinking. Fun!

ALSO: Kel and I love to have a good time but we ALWAYS take a cab or walk home after we've been drinking, especially if we've been playing these games, and you should too. K, bye!

Monday, October 28, 2013

2013 Pumpkin Beer Tasting: Elysian Wins Again!

You might remember that Doug and I hosted a little pumpkin beer tasting night last year. It was so successful that we decided to do it again this year... but turn it up a notch.

Last year we had 10 pumpkin beers, 6 people, and only candy corn to snack on.

This year we had 18 beers, 1 pumpkin cider, 10 people, and a whole spread of fall deliciousness. Much better.

Just like last year, we had everyone rank the beers on a scale of 1 to 5 and just like last year, Elysian Brewing from Seattle was the clear leader, with two of their beers coming in 1st and 2nd place. Here's a breakdown of the top five, with the other 14 listed after.

#1 Elysian The Great Pumpkin Ale (Seattle)- Ranked #2 last year

Elysian makes this ale by putting roasted pumpkin seeds in the mash and adding pumpkin to the mash, kettle, and fermenter. Think "pumpkin pie" and that's the flavor of this strong beer.

#2 Elysian Night Owl Pumpkin Ale (Seattle)- Not tasted last year

Brewed with seven and a half pounds of pumpkin per barrel and conditioned with ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice, this pumpkin ale differs from The Great Pumpkin thanks to the addition of ginger and its significantly lower ABV (5.9% vs. 8.1%).

#3 Two Beers Pumpkin Spice Ale (Seattle)- Not tasted last year

Similiar to the Night Owl, Two Beer's Pumpkin Spice Ale is brewed with cloves, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, and pumpkin and has the perfect balance of maltiness.

 #4 First Edition Good Lawdy Miss Gourdy (Portland)- Not tasted last year

Okay, so this is Doug's pumpkin beer that he brewed specially for our event. We both agree that there was not a lot of pumpkin flavor in this and that its high ranking might be because our friends are good at being friends... but it was a tasty fall beer nonetheless, so it's making the list!

#5 Shipyard Pumpkinhead (Maine)- #3 Last year

Pumpkin, nutmeg and cinnamon flavors abound in this very drinkable wheat ale.

#6 Elysian He Said Porter (Seattle)- brewed with 21st Amendment

#7 One Man Show Boooooo Careful (Portland)- Nathan's home brew

#8 Harpoon UFO Pumpkin (Boston)

#9 Epic Imperial Pumpkin Porter (Salt Lake City)- #6 last year

#10 Alaskan Pumpkin Porter (Juneau)

#11 Two Kilts Pumpkin Ale (Portland)

#12 Laurelwood Pumpkin Ale (Portland)- #7 last year

#13 Silver Moon Twisted Gourd Pumpkin Ale (Bend)

#14 21st Amendment He Said Belgian-Style Tripel (San Francisco)- brewed with Elysian

#15 Captured by Porches Undead Pumpkin (Portland)

#16 Tieton Cider Works Smoked Pumpkin Cider (Portland)

#17 Oakshire Big Black Jack Imperial Chocolate Pumpkin Porter (Eugene)- #9 last year

#18 Midnight Sun Brewing TREAT Imperial Pumpkin Porter (Anchorage)

#19 Unita Punk'n Harvest Ale (Salt Lake City)- #8 last year

Doug and I also got a very special surprise this year. Sarah moved back to the Bay Area a few months ago, so when she texted me this photo, I was all "wish you were here to share your beer insights!"

And she was all "look closer at the picture I just sent you." I'm apparently an idiot because I stared at this photo for quite a few seconds before I realized Sarah was standing on our front doorstep! Yep, best surprise ever!

Do you have a favorite pumpkin beer?

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Portland Restaurant: Double Dragon

What: Double Dragon
Where: 1235 SE Belmont
When: 11:30am - Midnight Tues - Sun

With crisp, cool fall days comes sore throats and runny noses. Starting in October (and probably lasting until April) my consumption of soup, ramen, pho, etc., greatly spikes.

Double Dragon serves some "Portland style" Vietnamese Banh Mi using local ingredients as often as possible. Their menu also features some ramen dishes, rice bowls and a few other favorites like the Banh Mi Buger ($9) with painted hill beef, bacon, carrot/daikon pickles, cucumbers, aioli and cilantro.

Of course Adam had to get the side of house made chips ($2 or $3). They were spicy and delicious, and I definitely ate more of them than he did.

I opted for the Curried Coconut Ramen ($10) with chicken and pork broth, coconut milk, kaffir, char siu belly, friend egg, pea shoots and tonkotsu noodles. It hit the spot! 

I probably wouldn't choose it over the ramen noodles at my current obsession, Paadee, on 28th and East Burnside. Double Dragon is more casual and focused on a Vietnamese menu though so I would love to return and try a banh mi and, perhaps, a Stay Classy, Bangkok ($6) with gin, thai tea syrup, lemon and basil.
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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Feast Recap: Night Market, Bloody Marys, and Mermaid Dancing

Having not attended Feast last year, I can safely say that this year's Feast was definitely the best ever. Here's a quick recap:

Night Market:

I thought I was doing a really good job of documenting what Doug and I ate at Night Market, but it turns out I am actually really terrible at taking photos. (Yeah, that photo I posted on HHH Instagram, totally stole that from Doug.)

So instead of posting all my crappy pics, I'm going to direct you to Hummingbird High's post. This is what real food blogging looks like people. Enjoy!

Top 5 Dishes from Night Market:
(According to me and Doug)

1) Franklin Barbeque- Brisket
We beelined for Aaron Franklin's booth the moment we got in and good thing we did because the line was crazy long for the last two hours of the event. Obviously the brisket was amazing.

2) Incanto- Beef Tongue Tartare
Maybe we're suckers for offal, but Doug and I loved this dish. Great combo of textures and the flavors were spot on.

3) Momofuku Milk Bar- Cake Truffles
Christina Tori's Pretzel Cake, Birthday Cake, and Chocolate Chip Cake with Passionfruit truffles were some of the best (and most indulgent) sweets I've had in a while and I'm now obsessed with either a) figuring out a way to get to New York so I can eat more or b) trying my hand at one of her famously complex cake recipes (note: this will never happen).

4) North End Grill- Crab Salad
With all the rich, meat-heavy dishes being served, Doug and I loved Floyd Cardoz's light and refreshing Crab Salad with avocados and grapes.

5) Departure- Sausage Sandwich 
This Chinese sausage sandwich with charred onions and fermented cabbage was my favorite dish of the the night.

Also, here are some more pretty photos of Night Market from Serious Eats.

Bloody Mary Bar at Best Butcher Contest & Fishmonger Face-Off:

Sometimes this little ol' blog does manage to get us some pretty cool perks and one of those perks was the blogger pass we were given for the Best Butcher Contest & Fishmonger Face-Off.

I'm sure the butcher and fishmonger contests were great (we couldn't see the competition area from our table), but Kel and I were slightly more interested in the Bloody Mary Bar waiting for us in the VIP lounge.

We're talking steak, ribs, meatballs, olives, pickled veggies, and more. Such a fun idea and such a generous spread!

Mermaid Dancing:

You guys, I'm not sure what to say about this one other than that if you invite Kel and me to an afterparty with an open bar, we will most likely make the most of it. We will also probably embarrass ourselves when the hosting chef stops by to say hello and we might even do some mermaid dancing, especially if encouraged by some friendly oyster farmers. Hey, we have to work off those extra Feast calories somehow, right?

See you next year, Feast!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Feast Portland! (The Cheap Stuff)

If you live in Portland and you love food, you probably already know about Feast.

If you don't live in Portland, Feast is like, the best thing ever. Basically it's an extended weekend of events featuring locally and nationally renowned chefs and artisans... and it starts tomorrow!
Kel and I didn't attend any events last year because we're poor and the price tag on a lot of these events is pretty hefty.

This year, however, I'm super excited because Doug surprised me with tickets to Night Market for my birthday! Woot! Our game plan is to spend the first two hours eating our weight in Franklin Barbecue (and some other stuff I guess) and then turn our attention to all the breweries, wineries, and distilleries. I'll let you know how it goes.

There are also quite a few free events and some more reasonably-priced unofficial events happening too. Check out our recommendations below (most of which we blatantly poached from Eater and Eat Beat). 

Feast Kickoff Happy Hour
When: Thursday, 5-7pm
Where: SE Wine Collective
What: Complimentary wine flights
Price: Free

Cookbook Social 
When: Friday, 2-4pm
Where: Heathman Hotel
What: Meet & greet with 18 national and local cookbook authors
Price: Suggested $5 donation

Shake Shack Custard
When: Fri-Sun, noon-2:30pm  
Where: Roman Candle
What: Shake Shack pop-up featuring free frozen custards made with Stumptown coffee.
Price: Free

Springwater Farm Farmers’ Market Tasting Menu
When: Saturday, 9am-2pm
 Portland Farmers’ Market, 1717 SW Park Ave.
What: Breakfast, brunch, and lunch sample plates
Price: $4 per plate, $10 for all three 

Whole Foods Market Best Butcher Contest & Fishmonger Face-off
When: Saturday, 11am-2pm
Where: Director Park
What: Butchers and fishmongers compete, free samples from Whole Foods, live music
Price: Free
Bonus: Kel and I will be there :) 

Bushwhacker 3rd Anniversary Party 
When: Saturday, 3-6pm 
What: The party lasts all day, but 2 Towns, Outcider, and Bull Run will be pouring free samples from 3-6pm.
Price: Free 

Cure for the Common Feast Hangover 
When: Sunday, 9am-noon
Where: Pacific Pie Co..
What: Unlimited coffee, a Bloody Mary, a "Pie Floater" (savory pie in split pea soup- what?), and dessert. Proceeds benefit Partners for a Hunger Free Oregon 
Price: $25

Happy Feasting!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Portland Restaurant: Teote

What: Teote Areperia
Where: 1615 SE 12th
Honeys Heart: Pabellon Arepa

A few weekends ago I was challenged with a rare task: plan an evening out for Doug and me. Because Doug usually does the planning I was definitely feeling the pressure, but I was also excited to plan an evening in which breweries or beer play no part. (I love beer, I do- but a girl needs a little variety now and again.)

Teote caught my eye a few months ago when Portland Monthly posted a slideshow featuring the restaurant and I've seen it pop up several other places too, including on Eater's recently-updated HeatMap. Seemed like a safe enough choice.

Teote serves Latin America street food with an emphasis on gluten-free arepas (corn cakes) with various fillings. They offer counter service only, and we were greeted with a pretty decent line when we arrived on a Friday around 7pm. The line definitely didn't move as fast as, say, Por Que No's or Bollywood Theater's but I appreciated that servers walked down the line taking drink orders so our cocktails were waiting for us when we got up to the register to place our food order.

We both decided on spiked Agua Frescas: Watermelon Lime with Rum for Doug and Blackberry Sage with Vodka for me. Refreshing!

Teote's food menu offers a number of appetizer plates like Fried Plantains ($6) and Masa Fritas ($6), but Doug and I decided to stick with their specialty: arepas.

There were 9 different arepas to choose from, so we had a hard time narrowing down our choices. Doug eventually went for the Pabellon ($6), made with shredded flank steak sautéed with peppers and topped with black beans, verde sauce, plantain red chili sauce and queso. That's it below on the right.

I choose the Pernil ($6), made with braised pork roast in a Morita chili sauce, cabbage salad, verde sauce and queso.

Doug definitely won this round. The arepas are served in bowls because there's a lot of sauce going on and for Doug's dish, that felt right. It was basically Teote's take on chili and the crunchy corn arepa was the perfect substitute for what I consider a necessary chili accompaniment: cornbread. This would be the perfect dish for a cold, rainy night.

My dish was much less satisfying. Compared to the bold comforting flavors of Doug's dish, my pork arepa felt bland and a bit uninspired. The sauce was also much thinner than Doug's which meant that the bottom half of my arepa got soggy real quick, and not in a good way

We might be back... but with Lardo and PBJ's so close, it might be hard to drag Doug to Teote when two of our favorites are right there, and that's probably okay with me.  

Friday, August 30, 2013

SALEP Topic: Campari

Another month, another SALEP topic! 

This month, Dana taught us all about Campari! 

Campari (and snacks)

What is it?               

Campari is an Italian liqueur that is characterized by its red color and strong dry, bitter taste.

As an aperitif:
- An aperitif is an alcoholic drink that is served before dinner to stimulate the appetite.
- Aperitifs originated in Italy in the 18th century and are always dry, rather than sweet.

As a bitter:
-  A bitter is consumed to aid digestion and health, thus Campari is also a digestif.
-  Bitters/digestifs are usually drunken straight or with soda water. 

Campari was invented in 1860 by Gaspare Campari and is comprised of a secret combination of herbs, spices, and fruit peels. For forty years, Campari could only be found within Italy.  In 1904, Campari was first exported to Nice, in the French Riviera.  Campari is unique in that it is its own brand; there are no “off” brands of the liqueur. Campari’s distinctive red color is derived carmine, a dye created through the crushing of dried cochineal insects.  Campari’s color was created this way up until 2006. 

Classic Campari Cocktails:

1 oz Campari
1 oz Gin*
1 oz Sweet Vermouth 
Orange peel for garnish 
*for those who want to cut the bitter taste of the negroni, chardonnay can be used instead of gin. 

Campari & Soda
1 part Campari
4 parts soda water

1 oz Campari
1 oz Gin
1 oz Soda Water

Old Pal: 
1 oz Rye Whiskey
1 oz Dry Vermouth
1 oz Campari 

Pouring at:

-  Nostrana (SE Morrison & 14th)

-  Woodsman Tavern (SE 45th & Division)

-  Circa 33 (SE 33rd & Belmont)

Thanks Dana! 

Past SALEP Topics: 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Bend Brewery: Crux Fermentation Project

What: Crux Fermentation Project
Where: 50 SW Division Street, Bend, OR
Honeys Heart: Food that lives up to the beer

A few weekends ago, Brian and Laura invited Doug and me down to Sunriver for the Bend Brewfest. The fest was so fun- not too crowded (at least during the day) and not the drunken bro crowd you get at the Oregon Brewers Festival.

But my favorite part of the weekend (besides speeding through Divergent by the SHARC pool), was our visit to Crux Fermentation Project.

Doug was adamant that we not leave Bend without visiting one of their many breweries, so before we hit up the fest on Saturday we stopped by Crux for lunch and some samples.

Love Crux's version of a sample tray!

Our group's favorite beers included:
  •  Off Leash- cross between a pale and IPA
  • Tough Love- Imperial Stout
  • Mosaic- IPA
  • American Brown Porter
The thing that impressed me the most about Crux though was their food. It's always appreciated when Breweries have food, but usually I don't expect anything more than mediocre pub food. Crux, then, certainly outdid itself with its large selection of tasty eats.

I ordered the Summer Berry Salad with mixed greens, gorgonzola, toasted almonds, balsamic stout vinaigrette, and pickled strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries.

I have never had pickled berries before and these were so, so good- the perfect combo of tangy and sweet. 

Doug ordered the Chicken Bacon Sandwich with ale-marinated chicken, bacon, roasted garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, and asiago cheese accompanied by Barley Bean Quinoa Salad. Yum!

Crux also has a great little patio and lawn area.

Great choice Doug!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Portland Restaurant: Lightbar

What: Lightbar
Where: 1401 SE Morrison St
Honeys Heart: feel-good food

A terrible, horrible thing happened where I sentenced myself to two weeks of no carbs and no sweets. I know, right? Don't worry, I obviously had carbs and sweets during those two weeks but I did have much less carbs and sweets than I would like, so it was still pretty horrible.

Anyway, during my bout of healthiness, Kel and I tried out Lightbar. Located in the same weird little mini strip mall as Nostrana, Lightbar promises "fresh, local food that's house-made from scratch." The menu features a number of different salads and sandwiches as well as a tasty-looking cocktail list.

Kel and I both opted for the Salad Special made with kale, farro, blueberries, flower petals (so pretty!), chevre, beets, and some other stuff too.

I would normally NEVER order a salad as my entree when there are other choices (only exception: the cobb salad at Stephi's on Tremont in Boston), but this salad might end up on that exceptions list too. Yep, it was that good. 

I loved that the farro added some nice chewiness to the dish and even though there were a lot of ingredients going on, they melded together nicely instead of competing.

Kel and I were tempted by some of the cocktails, but it was a no alcohol two weeks too, so that was a no go.

I should also mention that we were the only customers in the restaurant for the full hour and half we were there. Kinda weird. Hope that's not the norm because this place seems cool and it's nice to have healthy dining-out options other than Laughing Planet.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Portland Restaurant: The Picnic House

What: The Picnic House
Where: 723 SW Salmon Street

Rachel and I got together for lunch on Tuesday to celebrate her new job, VP of Membership and Events for the Homebuilders Association! This lady is going to be busy so we had to sneak in a lunch before the craziness began. 

Also, sorry in advance for the horrible picture quality of this post...

So here's the deal with this place. Well, I don't really know what the deal is with this place... I think it's almost cute, but maybe a little tacky. The front part of the restaurant has an outdoor feel with bistro lights, moss, street lamps, tree stencils and the back is more formal with large paintings and a mid-1920's feel. Hmmm.

Well the decor might have fallen just short of being the right thing, but what about the food? The menu is definitely really varied and there are many healthy options. Rachel and I both went for the combination option and got a sandwich and salad for $12. 

Rach got the Buffalo Chicken Salad and the Nutty Brown Rice. The brown rice was mixed in with sweet potatoes, roasted cauliflower, carrots, turnips, and sugar snap peas in a roasted hazelnut vinaigrette. 

I went for the Roasted Turkey with a blueberry glaze, aged white cheddar, apples and arugula. We both got our sandwiches grilled, but the baguette was so thick that it didn't really do anything and the sandwich was totally overwhelmed by bread. It would have been so much better with thinner bread and more panini action. I also got the Farfalla Salad. The pesto was tasty and those roasted carrots were so good. 

Overall, I'm not sure there was anything exceptional, but it was good. It was reasonably priced and offered a lot of options, but I'm not sold on the "vibe" of the place. It could definitely be a convenient lunch option for many people that work downtown so we'll see how this place progresses.