As I gazed across the Portland skyline from the rooftop patio at Gregory Gourdet’s Departure restaurant, two thoughts flitted through my mind. The first: “this view is absolutely gorgeous.” The second: “I don’t care that there is a man hand-carving beef right now—I can’t chew one more bite of food.”
Feast—this year celebrating four years as THE food festival of the Pacific Northwest—kicked things off with a welcome party this past Wednesday night at Jacobsen Salt Co. There were mini doughnuts, grilled cheese sandwiches, and a massive meat tray from the charcuterie geniuses at Olympia Provisions. Flitting about from station to station only whetted my appetite for things to come.
This year the festival had old favorites—Thursday’s Sandwich Invitational, Friday’s Night Market, Sunday’s Brunch Village—but the Saturday night event was new; the fancy dress affair named High Comfort had been swapped out for Smoked, an event held at the lush venue The Fields. It was a welcome change and my favorite event of the entire weekend.
In addition to all the Feasting during the day, each night had after parties held at various Portland hotspots like Loyal Legion, Bunk Bar, Ned Ludd, Doug Fir and an exclusive Bon Appetit house party that featured a cooler filled with jungle juice that would make even the most jaded frat boy proud and Egg Slut’s Alvin Cailan sweatin’ in the kitchen and churning out amazing egg sandwiches. So, what were some of the best bites? Click through to see.
Jackie Varriano is a Seattle-based food writer who is going to spend the rest of fall detoxing. Keep up with her at @jackievarriano.