Special Event: Feast Portland Oregon Bounty Grand Tasting

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.

Food Cart Review: Cultured Caveman

The Cultured Caveman food cart at NE 15th and Alberta


The Cultured Caveman food cart in the Alberta 15 foodcart pod (Located just off 15th and Alberta) started as a Kickstarter project. That is where I first learned of their idea, and I am proud to say I was a backer of this unique cart. Since I live on the west side and don't have much cause to be in NE Portland, this was my first chance to visit Joe and Heather and taste their food.

Rainbow Rosemary Fries and Paleo Chicken Tenders....awesome meal!I went with the Paleo Chicken Tenders and a side of Rainbow Rosemary Fries. The first thing to know about food from this cart is that anything fried is fried in Organic, Grass-fed beef tallow. This imparts a flavor all it's own to any food, but also has a lower smoke point, leaving food a little soggier than some would prefer. Remember that the paleo diet is more about a lack of grains and dairy than it is about being low-fat.
The Rainbow fries were great, if a little soggy. A trade off I will take any time for this flavor profile. Served with their own homemade ketchup, the combination is amazing.

Paleo chicken tenders were as good as any I have had with wheat flour. A nice crispy coating while maintaining a nice tender and moist chicken. Cultured Caveman uses organic raised chickens from Draper Valley Farms, "breaded" in a dredge of coconut flour, garlic, white pepper, and salt. Again, the flavor was amazing, and dipped in their southwestern aioli was a delight.

In all the combination of a crowd-sourced startup plan and amazing food make Cultured Caveman a healthy and tasty piece of Fat Boy Heaven. I'll be back to try their other menu items soon.

Kickstarter Food! - Cheese & Crack

One of the things that is an exciting trend in Portland food is the Food Cart, and I've decided to start highlighting new cart ideas that have taken to KickStarter for final funding to get off the ground.  Crowd sourcing technology has been an ever present fact of life, but crowd sourced local food is an idea I love.

The latest idea is Cheese & Crack, a gourmet cheese and cracker box featuring hand-made crackers with local cheese and meat.  A great concept, and one I can't wait to try this summer.  You can find out how to help here, and check out the video for more information.


Henry's Pub and Gril

Carrie and I were out on the town Friday night and were trying to decide where to eat. After stopping at The Commodore Lounge for a drink the closest place was Henry's in the brewery blocks.
We started of with Gorgonzola Fries, one of my favorite appetizers in town.

Gorgonzola Fries, one of Portlands best appetizers.

Osso Bucco, Henry's Special

Orange Chicken from Henry's

Carrie decided on the Orange Chicken, while I opted for one of the specials, a great Ossa bucco. The chicken was good, not too much breading, nice if mild flavor. The Ossa bucco was fabulous. Full of flavor, and falling off of the bone.

Henry's is close to Carrie's office, so we have visited before, but food like this, especially that wonderful mound of waffle-cut fries drenched in Gorgonzola sauce makes it worthy of the designation we love best, Fat Boy Heaven!