Portland, Oregon: We were able to actually sleep last night, but were awakened very early by a charity road-run in front of the hotel to raise funds for breast cancer research... so we can't be too mad... but still not sure why breast cancer research needs a live band and cheerleaders at 7 o'clock in the morning.
Dave and I walked the few blocks from our hotel to Pioneer Courthouse Square, host of the final event of FEAST Portland, hosted by Whole Foods Market - Brunch Village. It was brunch. On steroids. With hundreds of your closest friends. Held in the same venue as Friday's Grand Tasting, this event was not as packed with vendors, so it was possible to actually move around without claustrophobic feelings, and we had time to really talk with the chefs. This event had a lot of booze - and I don't mean wine and beer. Spirits ruled this morning. Bloody Mary's, Moscow Mules, Gin Fizz and all other sorts of "breakfast cocktails".
Guess I will have to buy some Guittard and bake one for him soon? Kite Hill, from the Bay Area, make amazing vegan "cheeses" from nuts. Today they served their vegan (almond-based) cream cheese on a mini-bagel with red onion, capers and "lox" - the lox were smoked carrots. Smoked carrots! The texture and flavor were amazingly like smoked fish. The tongue can trick the mind and the eye can trick the tongue. I had a Moscow Mule made with Reyka vodka from Iceland and some-sort of a bourbon cocktail made from Portland's own Bull Run Distillery with smoked citrus. Never mind it was eleven o'clock in the morning. Chef David Guas of Bayou Bakery in Washington, DC was working for the National Honey Board today, sharing a dairy dessert topped with "fall" granola and honey. Right, Jessica Koslow, of Sqirl in Los Angeles - famed for her imaginative jam creations - had crispy fried rice for guests this morning. Lisa visits her shop often.
Tim Healea of little t baker (Portland) made a Plum Almond Croissant In the Bon Appetit Magazine tent, they were serving Grand Central Bakery toasts with mascarpone cheese, Mama Lil's Peppers, herb salad, Jacobsen Salt and Bee Local Honey. I think this was my favorite this morning. Fresh. Sweet. Spicy. Savory. The longest line all morning was for the Fried Chicken Biscuit with Pimento Cheese from Chef John Gorham of Toro Bravo in Portland. Toro Bravo is a tapas bar. I'm thinking they had more fun than anyone this morning making a Southern US staple.
Time was up. We had to check-out of our hotel room. Go back to reality. Back home and back to my cabinet purging tasks.
When checking-out, we were asked the usual "how was your stay" question. I answered honestly, for once, and explained our bad night Friday, and other problems with the noisy service elevator that seemed to run through our bedroom. The clerk immediately offered to remove one night's stay from our bill! Really? I was so shocked and so happy. Seemed reasonable.
Soon we were home, unpacked and ready to start another week. Very late, we had dinner. Homemade cheese pizza, with fresh basil... made from whatever was in the fridge after four-days away. No doubt, the last cheese or bread will have for a while. I consumed more meat this weekend than I usually eat in a month. After a four-day food and booze fest, we will be eating low on the food chain for a while.
At least we ended the weekend on a high note.
Until my next update, I remain, your over-fed correspondent.