Events happening this weekend and OMSI is unveiling their newest exhibit!


Saturday, March 17th and Sunday, March 18th

Paddy's Bar & Grill, the oldest Irish pub in Downtown Portland, Oregon will be hosting their annual two-day St. Patrick's Day Festival fundraiser on Saturday, March 17th and Sunday, March 18th. 

The festivities will kick-off with a tented, family-friendly street party on Saturday, March 17th starting at 11am. Guest can enjoy St. Patrick's Day favorites from the pub, including corned beef and cabbage, Guinness lamb stew, shepherd's pie, and other classic Irish dishes, Guinness and Kilbeggan drink specials. Paddy's signature Irish coffee, and premium Whiskey from Paddy's legendary whiskey wall with more than 600 spirits. Seven live bands, traditional bagpipers, and Irish dancers will serve as the weekend's entertainment. There is a $15 cover fee for guests entering after 2pm (kids 12 and under are free). The event is family friendly until 6pm.

The celebration continues on Sunday with Paddy's opening its pub at 8am, serving up an Irish breakfast to participants of the Shamrock run. The Murray School of Irish Dancing and local band will be the day's entertainment. There will be no cover fee for guests on this day.

visit http://paddys.com/st-patricks-day/ for a full event lineup and additional questions.



Opening day is March 17 at The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. Robot Revolution, supported by google.org, explores how robots will ultimately be our companions and colleagues, changing how e play, live and work together. 

Guests will have the opportunity to interact with robots that are rarely seen by the public, as they step into a visionary world where robots are not just a curiosity, but a vital asset. In attendance will be Yume Robo, the climbing robot that traverses up and down a ladder, to the Recon Scout Throwbot XT that can be thrown into a dangerous situation to collect vital information. Guest will see firsthand the capabilities of these machines.

Robot Revolution will run from March 17 - September 3. Tickets to this exhibit which include general museum admission, are $19.75 for adults, $13.50 for youth ( ages 3 - 13), and $15.75 for seniors ( ages 63+ ). Prices for OMSI members are $5 for adults, $3.25 for youth, and $4.25 for seniors. Guest can purcahse tickets online at www.omsi.edu or in-person at the museum.


Tour OMSI's basement, exhibit shop, and collections at the first ever Adult Sleepover

OMSI is hosting its first-ever adults-only museum sleepover in Portland on April 13. OMSI All Night is a science-fueled evening (and morning) filled with behind-the-scene tours, wacky science demos, laser shows and more, Plus, explore OMSI's latest featured exhibit, Robot Revolution, and enjoy a midnight snack before falling asleep in the darkened halls of one of Portland's most beloved museums. 

Admission includes:

  • Heavy appetizers and drinks at evening reception
  • laser night show
  • Museum tours
  • Trivia
  • Breakfast
  • Admission to the museum on the following day


Space is limited and the event is 21+ only. Tickets are $130 for OMSI members and $150 for non-members. Get Tickets now!



Portland Dining Month returns for it's 9th year with a few newbies on the lineup! Portland dining month presented by Travel Portland is already live and on day five with over 120 participating restaurants, including some local favorites and a few newbies to the group.  If you've not cruised the line-up this year then head over to www.travelportland.com to scroll through all of the amazing pre-fixe three-course options available all month long for $33 dollars. 

Since it's inception in 2009, Portland food lovers have enjoyed dining across the city during the month of March while enjoy three-course-meals at a discounted price. For me, and many others, this is the time of year when we get to pull out our Portland restaurant bucket lists and hit all of the places I've been wanting to indulge in, at a delicious deal.

New to 2018 Portland Dining Month's lineup is Feastly. Feastly is the highly sought-after dining pop-up experience featuring local and global chefs connecting curious dinners with a pop-up dining experience.  Feastly Portland and its community of chefs will throw Portland Dining Month pop-up meals in their dedicated space and through venues around town. For a full list of participating Feasty chefs, menus, and locations visit www.eatfeastly.com/pdxdiningmonth. The Feastly chefs participating in this years' dining month represent a diverse range of cuisines like Guamanian, Ethiopian, Turkish, Filipino, Puerto Rican, and Nigerian cuisines. Another fun reason to eat through Feastly is some chefs will be serving vegan and paleo dinners, which is perfect for those with dietary restrictions. 

Also new to the 2018 roster are participating restaurants like Bistro Agnes, Southfork, and Alto Bajo. And, of course, some of my standby dining month favorites like Aviary, Little Bird, and Departure.

The full list of participating restaurants is available at www.travelportland.com/dining-month/. And, one important reason why we dine is for the participation with Oregon Food Bank. For every reservation made through the OpenTable links on the Travel portland website a donation will be made to the Oregon Food Bank's hunger-relief efforts. Do not skip this detail and reserve your table using those links!

And, in case you didn't catch my post and recap of last year's Portland Dining Month dishes head back to that post to see what a fun treat you can be in for. continue reading to learn about my strategy to sift through all of the overwhelming options of Portland Dining Month. 


2018's Portland Dining Month will be my 4th year participating, and every year since, I have discovered new strategies and tips on how to navigate my way through the menus, the restaurants, and the values. Now, I want to share it with you. The following steps are the very ones I take to cut through the overwhelming list of participants and how I maximize my time and money. These are the things I look for:

Who has been on my "to try" list?:

  • Pull out that never-ending list of restaurants you've had on your phone and cross-reference the entire Portland Dining Month lineup and note which establishments on that list are participating. If ever there was a great time to go for it and dine out, March is the month!

  • Now, if a restaurant strikes your interest and isn't on your list, by all means, write it down. The next few steps will help us discover if this is the month to go try.

  • Some of those restaurants that are on my "to-try" food list are Olympia Oyster Bar, Jack Rabbit, Bistro Agnes, Laurelhurst Market, Jacqueline, Cabezon, Renata, and lucky me, they are all participating in this years' lineup.

Take note of menus with multiple options:

  • This has got to be my favorite part of dining month; multiple options per course. Some restaurants have fun with dining month and allow dinners to make between two and three choices for all three courses. This means one thing, you must bring all of your adventurous dining companions. Bar Casa Vale, one of my favorite restaurants, is offering up a menu featuring two choices between all three courses with items normally found on their menu. Since the items are familiar you can easily slice through a good chunk of their standard menu options with plates like papas bravas or salt cod fritters, citrus salad or kohlrabi, albondigas or fideos. Or, since we're talking multiple choices a place like Farm House Thai Kitchen, one I have not been to, is also offering multiple choices for the second and third courses, and an additional fourth course. This would be the absolute best time to try a little of everything and learn more about the food!

  • Always bring friends that are willing to share or even split the courses. This is the best part of having foodie friends and having course choices. More ways to try it all without the dreaded commitment to a lone dish.

  • Another perk about choices, the second option tends to be a vegetarian-friendly course. A few restaurants follow the veggie-friendly courses including Departure who always offers choices for herbivores and carnivores alike, as well as The Woodsman Tavern (offering two choices on the second entree), Taqueria Nueve, Serrato, Nel Centro, and Renata.

Check who is really producing a deal:

  • This is the heavy work, but it must be done. In order to fully maximize dining month you have got to see who is really putting out the best bargain. I like to do this by reading the menu offerings and comparing the price points to the listed menu prices. Now, this doesn't always work for every restaurant. Some places will be offering special dining month menus so the items offered will not be listed on their website menu. But, remember, $33 is still a little steep when you consider that it's the price-per-head and that's not including cocktails and tip, so make your dining month is worth it. And, if you get a menu with listed prices online and the math just barely makes $34, skip it You're better off going at a time outside of dining month and enjoying the entire menu's offerings.

  • $33 for three-courses sounds like a deal up front but, beware of those places that already offer deals throughout the week, some even better than dining month. I'm looking at you "Monday dinner/ cheap eats."

  • This year's amazing deals that have caught my eye are Fogo De Chao, Ecliptic brewing (where you leave with a $10 gift card, bringing your total to far below $33 once you cash that card back in), Jack Rabit (where the main course covers $30 on the menu), and Headwaters where the main entree's price point does not fall below $18 and the desserts are no less than $9.

Last, and certainly not least, Who is offering the best dessert?

  • Dessert is one of my favorite parts of dining out. whether it be classics like creme brûlée, a hot fudge sundae, or, even, a savory cheese board. Nothing excites me like a treat after finishing a meal. So, with that said, I do like a third course to be a treat course. Now there are a few exceptions like Yakuza, Olympia Oyster Bar, Buckman Public House, where instead of offering a sweet finish have turned course number three into an additional entree. This sounds like an even better deal for those who do not like sweets. Now if you want to know who has the keys to my dessert-loving heart then know that Laurelhurst Market is doing a great job of starting a relationship with their Dulce de Leche semifreddo with roasted banana, chocolate and hazelnuts -just take my wallet and cash savings account; Lechon is dishing out all of the smooth love vibes with a chocolate mousse tart with mango puree, raspberry and quinoa brittle -yep, just going to put my entire dinner in the fridge and go straight for dessert; and then there is Olympia Provisions massaging my heart with a Chocolate peanut butter parfait with creme fraiche and honey-roasted peanuts - Dairy Queen nostalgia with a grown ass attitude; and The Waiting Room is just tossing rose petals on my sheets with this Butterscotch cremeux with caramel, Jacobson sea salt, and Cashew streusel -I think it's safe to say I am in a full blown relationship with all of these desserts now.

  • I will not break or give a second thought to restaurants offering up pot de creme's -a dessert that requires roughly four ingredients, a blender, and refrigeration. I want the words brulee, brittle, streusel, chocolate shavings, coconut ash, passion fruit, and crust to fall somewhere on the dessert description. If you aren't playing, I ain't paying.

Now that we've narrowed down our list where will you be dining?

And, did you know I'm hosting a G I V E A W A Y ? Yep, Head to my Instagram Page @Maxenestrail and follow the requirements to enter and win dinner with me on behalf of Travel Portland!

Remember to book your tables using the the Open Table links on the Travel Portland page to help benefit our community. 

disclosure: I was have been invited to participate in Portland Dining Month 2018 on behalf of my friends at Travel Portland.  Part of my participation involves receiving dining vouchers for personal use and for hosting a giveaway! This post was at my own discretion and not in exchange for a positive review. All opinions shared are my own.


Bar Casa Vale

215 SE 9th Ave.

Portland, OR 97214


Weekend Brunch: Satruday + Sunday 10a -3p

Closed all day Monday

Week day Dinner: 5p - midnight. Friday: 4p - midnight.

Saturday: 10a - midnight. Sunday: 10a -10p


Portland's favorite place for colossal sized Gin + Tonic's, an assortment of sherry and fortified wines, tapas, and wood-fired raciones is now offering Spanish-inspired brunch starting Saturday, February 10th.

Located near the busy bar and restaurant heavy area of SE portland is Bar Casa Vale, easy to miss and hard to find but the extra effort to locate is rewarded with delicious toothsome dishes and boozy cocktails. The space is beautiful, sun-filled, cozy, and a real breath of fresh air while most places are shrouded in dim lighting. Interested in just a drink, hop on a bar stool and sit amongst like-minded company. Want to dine al fresco but covered from the elements, perfect, head to their patio seating near their wood burning fire pit. 

This past weekend I attended a media brunch preview of Bar Casa Vale's new morning offerings, and I wish I could have stayed put all day. The menu is sheer perfection; from the boozy brunch cocktails to the artisanal toast offerings,  no plate was left uncleaned. If you're in the mood for a traditional breakfast you're check out the wrong spot. At BCV you will certainly not find a short stack of pancakes with bacon or a carafe of o.j. to build your own mimosa's. Instead, you will find hearty cuts of bread hiding underneath toppings like Chicken Liver and Pistachio with chocolate, warm cazuela's filled with drippy hearty bites, and please order that warm Cinnamon roll doused with a sweet tangy tangerine curd, it's everything familiar about brunch but better. 

Scroll below to see a few of the dishes I sampled:

Brunch Cocktails: Sparkling Sangria with cava, white port, and citrus in the background, and Agua de Valencia with gin, vodka, citrus, and cava. Both drinks carried citrus notes, ice, and, of course, booze. A perfect balance for all of the savory dishes we were about to try.

Warm Cinnamon Roll: Fluffy, yeasty, topped with tangerine curd and chocolate shavings.

Chicken Liver Toast with thinly sliced apple, endive, parsley, and browned butter. This is one huge hunk of toast and possibly one of my favorite dishes I had tried from their brunch menu. For pete's sake the plate comes with a steak knife, this toast means business!

Chocolate Toast: Crunchy, yet fluffy bread topped with pistachio butter, a generous dose of chocolate and olive oil. This toast isn't your basic coffee shop toast, t

Fried Chicken with churros, honey, and manchego, and chocolate toast with a nice sprinkling of flakey sea salt. 

If seeking a hearty toothsome dish do not skip any of the Cauela's, specifically the Rotisserie Lamb Cazuela baked with artichoke, chickpea, topped with salsa verde, and poached eggs. Have a hangover and need something hearty to fill your stomach, then order a Cazuela. Served piping hot and fresh from the hearth, these round dishes come with perfectly poached eggs, ready to rip and spill open  at the slightest tug. The only thing missing was crusty bread to mop it all up. 

Aside from Bar Casa Vale's Brunch menu is their hearth-centric dinner plates featuring Charred Octopus, Grilled Spot Prawns, and my personal favorite, the Lamb Cazuela. If only in the mood for cocktails and a few small bites, this is your spot. The bar program features many cocktails with a new twist like the PX Old Fashion with Mt. Gay Rum, Pedro Ximenez, and Angostura. And, there are plenty of small plates known as Tapas and Pintxos to nibble one while enjoying your libations. 

What dish are you excited to try?

disclosure: I was invited to attend a media preview of Bar Casa Vale's newly launched brunch offerings. While there I received complimentary cocktails and plates of my choosing. My invite was not in exchange for a positive review, all opinions shared are my own.



February might be a short month but that doesn't mean we are short on ways and reasons to drink and eat this month. To get this month going we have a wine-paired dinner to benefit local charities supporting families and children,  a collaboration with Tony's Chocolonely and Nomad to raise awareness on the ethics behind chocolate, a fun ice cream brand launching on valentines day with a free pint giveaway, and some fun drinking adventures at OMSI's Empirical Theater. Check back often as this will be updated as I learn about new events!


The Spring Winemaker Dinner Series will feature an expanded schedule in 2018 with dinners hosted on the following evenings: Feburary 20-22, 27-28, and March 1. In addition, Class Wines Auction will host its first-ever Spring Winemaker Series Brunch on Sunday, February 25 with The Nightwood Society featuring Division Winemaking Co.

Each Winemaker Dinner offers guest a one-of-a-kind, multi-course menu with curated wine pairings. Top chefs from local restaurants including Dame, Kachka, Can Frong, Headwaters, St. Jack, and Urban Farmer are paired with some of the region's top winemakers including those from Brooks Wine, Crowley Wine, Col Solare, and Owen Roe to created an exceptional menu and pairings. 

Classic Wine Auctions has been consistently recognized as one of the top ten charity wine auctions in the country by Wine Spectator Magazine, the Classic Wines Auction has raised more than $43 million for local nonprofit partners since its inception in 1982. Based in Portland, Oregon, Classic Wines Auction, Inc. is a nonprofit organization dedicated to producing the Classic Wines Auction and related food and wine events to raise funds for local organizations benefiting children and families, including: Metropolitan Family Service (MFS), New Avenues for Youth, Friends of the Children-Portland, YWCA Clark County and Unity Center for Behavioral Health. More at www.classicwinesauction.com.

While some dinners have already sold out, reservations remain for the following events. Tickets can be purchased at WinemakerDinnersPDX.com or by calling 503-972-0194.

Tuesday, Feburary 20:

  • The Nightwood Society with Analemma Wines
  • Urdaneta with Helioterra Wines

Wednesday, Feburary 21

  • Chef Kenny Giambalvo with Anne Amie Vineyards at Hotel Vintage Portalnd
  • Headwaters with Goodfellow Family Cellars
  • Swank Restaurant with Adelsheim Vineyards

Thursday, Feburary 22:

  • Cellar Z at Zupan's Market with Ken Wright Cellars
  • Olympia Provisions NW with Crowley Wines

Sunday, February 25:

  • The Nightwood Society Brunch with Division Winemaking Co. 

Tuesday, February 27:

  • Dame with Vincent Wine Company
  • St. Jack with Montinore Estate
  • Tournant with Brooks Wines

Wednesday, February 28:

  • Verdigris with Illahe Vineyards

Thursday, February 29:

  • Crown Paella with Timothy Malone Wines
  • Chef Carlo Lamagna at Feastly with Golden Cluster and Minimus Wines

OMSI Events:

Science Pub Portland: Urbanism Next: How emerging technologies will change the city as we know it

February 20, 7 p.m.

Location: Empirical Theater at OMSI

$5 advance purchase for guaranteed seats: $5 suggested donation at the door. 

with Nico Larco, Associated Professor of Architecture at the University of Oregon and is the Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Sustainable Cities Initative and Becky Steckler, AICP, Program Manager for Urbanism Next at the University of Oregon. 

Science Pub is a monthly event held in multiple locations throughout the state and is open to all ages. No scientific background is required. Just bring your curiosity, sense of humor, and appetite for food, drinks and knowledge!


For the month of February Tony's Chocolonely has teamed up with Nomad for the latest "Not Just Dessert" collaboration series featuring recipes inspired by their delicious, slave-free chocolate in raising awareness of the issues surrounding human slavery in the cocoa industry.

During February you can expect to find a delightful lavender infused dark chocolate ice cream with poached blood orange and a sprinkle of heather flowers. 



Vice Cream is the unapologetically indulgent premium ice cream brand based out of Boston and launching in all Safeway and Albertsons grocery stores across Oregon. Available in six flavors with punny names including:

  • Breakfast in Bed: Maple ice cream with chunks of sticky bun dough, pecan praline, and a touch of cream cheese frosting.
  • Afternoon Delight: Creamy vanilla ice cream with chunks of cookie dough, salted caramel truffles, and swirls of chocolate fudge and caramel. 
  • Toffee Wife: Peanut butter ice cream mixed with chopped toffee bars, peanut butter cookie dough, and toffee ripple.
  • Choc of Shame: Rich chocolate ice cream with brownie dough chunks, and dark chocolate shavings.
  • Higher Grounds: Dark roast coffee ice cream with swirls of mocha fudge, crunchy chocolate cookie crumbles, and espresso.
  • Bourbon Mash: Vanilla ice cream with whisky bourbon-caramel swirl and chocolate chuk mix-ins.

To celebrate their Oregon launch, Vice Cream will be giving away 500 free pints of ice cream at five select stores in the Portland and Beaverton area on February 14th at 11 a.m.. The first 100 to come into each select store will receive the free pint of ice cream.

Safeway Locations offering free pints of Vice Cream february 14th include:

  • 14555 SW Teal Blvd, Beaverton, OR
  • 4515 SE Woodstock Blvd, Portland, OR
  • 13485 NW Cornell Rd, Portland, OR
  • 1303 NW Lovejoy St, Portland, OR
  • 2800 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, OR

Launched in 2016 to be the most decadent super premium ice cream brand to make fun-humor with eight tongue-in-cheek flavors, and also give back to the cancer community as a central park of its mission. Using decadent mix-ins to create its uniquely rich, creamy ice cream, Vice Cream is unapologetically indulgent for when it's time to indulge.

Vice Cream Instagram / Twitter /  #EFIC - eat freaking ice cream

Come back often or follow my other social trails to learn about new events as they pop up!