When I was invited to attend the Feast Portland Grand Tasting this weekend at Pioneer Courthouse Square, I was expecting local restaurants to be there showing off their creations, but it ended up being more about ingredients for chefs than finished product on the food side. Here are a few of the standouts:
Snake River Farms - Slider made from their Kurobuta pork was well prepared and the sauce did not overpower the wonderful pork it was intended to highlight. SNAKE RIVER FARMS American Kurobuta Pork is lean, with small, fine streaks of marbling that make each cut sweet, tender, and juicy. Unlike traditional white pork that can have a tendency to be bland and dry, American Kurbouta Pork is much darker in color and rich in flavor. In fact, the Wall Street Journal has dubbed it "The Other Red Meat". Comparing the weight of loins before and after cooking, American Kurobuta Pork has significantly less weight loss – up to 50% less – than some other varieties. This is the succulent and juicy difference you can taste with SNAKE RIVER FARMS American Kurobuta Pork.
H.U.B. - Hopworks Urban Brewery's Bottle Conditioned Belgian-Style Pale Ale was amazing. Smooth and soothing with a bottle charge that kept it bubbly well after opening. Definately hoppy, without going over the line into IPA territory, it was easily the best beer of the day.
The Pie Spot - kickstarter project trying to get out of the cart and into a store front. Their chocolate hazelnut was messy but delicious, with chocolate chips that were distinct enough to stay suspended in the brown sugar and corn syrup filling rather than breaking down into a gooey mess.
Sasquatch Brewery - Sasquatch brought several beers to the tasting, and I sampled two: The NW Red and Untimely Summer Ale. Summer ale was very pale but with a smooth crisp flavor. The perfect beer for a warm Portland afternoon. The NW Red was sweet and citrus tinged, without the bitterness that sometimes can creep in to the reds from a small brewery. Overall I was impressed with their offerings, and look forward to stopping in and seeing what the Pub is like.