WHAT'S CURRENTLY ON MY RADAR?

  • FEAST PORTLAND TICKETS

september 14th -17th

Feast Portland is coming around the corner september 14th -17th, 2017, and it's guaranteed to be even better than last year!

the complete lineup and schedule of Feast events hasn't even dropped yet, but if you're holding your breath just like i am then hold no longer, the schedule drops on thursday, june 1st at 9am(pst). then, on friday, june 2nd at 9am (pst) tickets will go ON SALE!

the locations and times for all events are still on lockdown but on june 1st, the entire set of events goes live! so set your reminders and square away which events you are interested in -the day the schedule drops- before tickets go on sale as some events will sell out within hours as each year Feast Portland has increased in popularity!

 

www.feastportland.com

 

if you still don't know what the heck Feast Portland is -then have a look below at my previous coverage of 2015 + 2016




the next thing i am excited about is beer festivals! now that I can drink (you remember i was pregnant last summer), you had better believe i am looking for every opportunity to get my little family outside and to kid-friendly adult events, because i am a real portland mama, and i need beer. the first beer festival of year for me will be the portland fruit beer fest, details below.

  • PORTLAND FRUIT BEER FESTIVAL 

the annual Portland Fruit Beer Festival is back with a new line-up of over thirty different fruit beers, brewed exclusively for the seventh annual festival. beer makers from all over the nation will be showcasing a wide selection from mango and passionfruit to boysenberry and blackberry, and even wheat beers, sours, lagers and barley wines.

date: june 9th - 11th

where: Burnside Brewing Company (se 7th and ne burnside)

the Portland Fruit Beer Festival is an all-ages party under a partially tented space featuring various dj's and portland food vendors. if alcohol isn't  your thing, fear not, non-alcoholic drinks will be available to purchase and the full food and drink menu from Burnside Brewery will be available. tickets are on sale now, don't miss out!

 

portland fruit beer festival 2017

hope to see you out at some the above events! come say hi if you see me!

PINTXO HOUR AT URDANETA

URDANETA

3033 NE Alberta St.

Portland, OR 97211

503-288-1990

pintxo hour: tues - fri, 5-6p

urdanetapdx.com

lots of things excite me, a dozen donuts, fresh bed sheets, surfing, new shoes, sunny days, the list is extensive, but few excite me quite like happy hour plans and basically all things involving spain -you know, the place where i eloped, and honeymooned summer 2014. so with that little personal story spewed at you, let's just say happy hour and spain-anything send me over the happiness edge! imagine my face when i heard that there was a new 'pintxo hour' happening at Urdaneta, a  spanish restaurant located right on the busy, yet hip, alberta street -my heart sang and my jaw dropped.  

last month i was invited on a media preview to scope out the newest addition to Urdaneta's current offerings, a pintxo-inspired happy hour menu featuring traditional tapas-style eats, influenced from the northern basque region of spain.

one question, i and many others had, "if these are tapas, why are they called pintxo's?"

well my friend's, pintxo's and tapas are very much alike, they are small bites, or, rather drinking snacks that are commonplace all over spain. the main and rather perplexing difference with pintxo's or pinchos (depending on regions in spain the spellings are different), is that they are found in the northern part of spain, the basque region, and often have a toothpick or skewer through them to keep the toppings from falling off of the bread foundation. 

pintxo's come from the spanish verb, 'pinchar', meaning 'to pierce,' tapa's come from the spanish verb, 'tapear,' meaning 'to cover.' does that make more sense? tapas are typically found in the southern parts of spain while pintxo's or pinchos are from the basque regions.

from my personal, albeit short experience in northern spain pintxo's are often very hearty, complex in flavor and very satisfying. at some bars the the skewers are not to be tossed until the end of your meal as they are tallied up and used to determine your bill, much like sushi plates at a conveyer belt sushi joint.

Urdaneta is a spanish restaurant in ne portland founded by owner and chef, Javier Canteras.  Urdaneta captures the true essence of spain with a bustingly open-style kitchen where patrons can cozy up to the counter, right next to a leg of iberico ham, and watch their meals be expertly prepared by the master chef himself. by and large Urdaneta is a tapas-style restaurant constructed from Javier's spanish heritage, with the newest addition of pintxo hour highlighting the basque style of tapas -where Javier's roots in spain lay- each pintxo is inspired from traditional basque offerings but presented with a pacific northwest twist. and the iberico ham on the counter is not for looks, it is to be enjoyed, or rather melted in your mouth, a pork candy melt if you will, between sips of sherry. 

upon arrival we were treated to a cocktail off of their regular menu, the bermeo.

  • bermeo: fino sherry, orange liqueur, fresh orange juice, cardamom bitters, allspice dram. 

the drink was named the bermeo, after the city where Javier's family is from

now for the pinxtos, which we now know are cousins to tapas or did i confuse you more?

  • the gilda: house made boquerone, Basque piparra pepper, green olive.

if you like strong briny, salty, and savory flavor profiles, this is the choice for you! plus this is perhaps the most traditional style of pintxo on the menu.

 

if you're looking for a traditional experience, they offer plenty of sherry, vermouth, spanish region wines, and of course cava! seen above is

  • sidra: a tabanco basque cider

a very dry, yet slightly effervescent cider. 

the above pintxo was my full-time favorite of the ones we tried. the juicy sausage on toasted bread, just comfort on a skewer.

  • morcilla: grilled blood sausage, dad's marinated peppers, piquillo jam, piparra, and toasted bread

a close runner-up favorite was the Huevo Diablo, think of the heartiest deviled egg, jam-packed with a semi-sweet tuna filling, served on top of romesco, on top of bread, heaven!

  • huevo diablo: confit albacore tuna deviled egg, romesco, mustard seed caviar, and toasted bread 

for the image above:

  • alcachofa: artichoke gratin, idiazbal, jamon, and fermented radish on bread 
  • crudo: hamachi, sidra compressed pineapple, cucumber salmorejo, marcona almonds, and dill

the above items is seasonal and currently a part of their regular menu offerings.

so next time you have yourself questioning what's the difference between tapas and and pintxo's don't go to google for your answers, head to urdaneta and experience the difference for yourself!


disclosure: i was invited to attend a media preview of Urdaneta's newly launched pintxo hour, while there i received complimentary tastings and beverages. i have previously eaten at Urdaneta on my own dime and will continue to do so. all opinions shared are my own and not in exchange for a positive review.

BUEN PROVECHO!

RECAPPING MY 2016 FAVORITE PLACES TO EAT IN PORTLAND, OREGON

poop! where has the time gone?! we're already into spring of 2017 and i haven't even posted my recap of 2016, shame on me!! so here you go, my list of favorite places i enjoyed all of last year, with the addition of some of my favorite things to order! if you see words in blue, those are links to the menu's, go have a peak and drool with me!

FAVORITE HAPPY HOUR:


  • imperial: cocktails on draft-$5 vieux carre, fried chicken, and artisan cheese plate
  • three doors down: crostini with boquerones egg, and pickled egg, and eggplant parmesan
  • nel centro: duck leg confit on a happy hour menu, please and thank you! $6 house wines, and meatballs!
  • miya moto: the monkey brain and hawaiian tuna poke!

FOOD CART:


  • kim jong grillin': the spicy chicken bibim bowl, all the way!
  • chicken n guns: half a chicken, extra potatoes, and extra aji sauce!
  • guero: which is no longer a cart, but a brick and mortar:) the pollo pabil torta and the frida bowl!

COFFEE SPOTS:


  • kopi koffee: the cardamom coffee is my happy place
  • two strokes coffee: the vibe and friendly staff keep me coming back, oh and their mocha's!
  • water ave coffee: i usually just buy beans here for coffee at home and every once in awhile i'll enjoy their wonderful lite breakfast selections.

SUSHI SPOTS:


  • samurai blue: $3 hand rolls on happy hour, fire in the whole, willamette dragon, and the surf & turf rolls!
  • miya moto: all the usual suspects

BRUNCH:


  • bridges cafe & catering: best egg's benedict in the neighborhood, and the city breakfast with fried eggs is my comfort meal during these soggy winters
  • hunny milk: all of their dishes -and they change their offerings- a 'grown up coffee' and of coure an order of biscuits
  • tasty n sons: burmese red pork stew, chilaquiles,  and always shakshuka

MEAT SWEATS:


  • smokehouse tavern: deviled egg with hot link, and that amazing breakfast burrito! 
  • the people's pig: the pork shoulder sandwich with extra vinegar sauce, and jojo's when they have them!
  • ox: the clam chowder with smoked bone marrow, heirloom hominy with pork belly, and the beef skirt steak:)

so tell me what of my favorites are your favorites, and what of your personal favorites needs to become one of mine?


BUEN PROVECHO!

PORTLAND DINING MONTH 2017

five more days, five, count them! that's five days left to take advantage of over 120 incredibly discounted dining opportunities available across portland during portland dining month 2017.

portland dining month, now in its eight year, is winding down to the last five days as we approach the end of march. if you still don't know what pdm is allow me to break it down some more; basically, march is the best month for food lovers and curious dinners about the city. for the past eight years march has been the month to head out to a new -participating- portland area restaurant or swing by a standby to enjoy a three-course prix fixe dinner offered for only $29 -an incredibly discounted deal.

head to portlanddiningmonth.com to find a full list of participating restaurants and read the menu options available -yes, the guess work has been taken away of wondering who might have the type of meal you seek- as the pdm menu offerings are posted to salivate over! and if just heading out to eat at a discount isn't enough to move you, here's two extra things to make pdm extra awesome: 

  1. these are not just some hole in the wall greasy dinners, or chain restaurants that offer weekly coupons in the sunday prints, some participating restaurants are beyond local recognition and have national recognition with some highly sought after, james beard award nominations, finalists, and winners.
  2. if going to dinner at your favorite restaurant isn't enough of a reason to participate in portland dining month how about knowing that portland dining month has partnered up with the oregon food bank. for every reservation made online through portlanddiningmonth.com links a donation is made to the hunger-relief organization. the oregon food bank collects and distributes food among oregon and our neighbors in clark county, washington. not only does the ofb fight hunger but also works to uncover the root causes of hunger by offering nutrition education, strengthening local food systems and advocating for hunger relief at the local and federal level, visit www.oregonfoodbank.org to learn more!

for the past three years i've been an active diner during portland dining month, usually hitting a restaurant a week. although pdm is the time to try new restaurants there are two that always land as top choices among my list of places; aviary and little bird. my yearly strategy for sorting through all of the restaurant menu's is to look at restaurants that have been sitting in my 'places-to-try' queue and then comb through some of my standby favorite pdm participating restaurants. after writing up a little list of places that i am inspired to try for the month i then go through and re-read the menu's carefully, i like places that offer a choice for all courses, and, of course, those who offer the best looking desserts! places that offer choices is huge, especially when dining with a friend, or friends, more people means more plate options and the possibility of even sharing -the whole reason of having friends, right! and as far as the dessert portion, well if you know me then you may know how hard it can be for me to express the importance of dessert. any place can whip up a quick pot de creme or dish up an ice cream scoop with a hot fudge drizzle, so when a restaurant goes the extra step to make a special dessert land on their pdm menu i go bananas over it. think about this, when was the last time you actually had room for dessert when dining out? i hardly, if ever do. so when i go out for pdm i can justify ordering dessert as it's right there, part of my courses, and how am i going to dismiss my third course? nope, won't do it!

after i square away those dining logistics i then set up reservations using the portlanddiningmonth.com website and start inviting friends to join me, let's just say i have yet to take issue with finding dining companions.

below are my three dining month adventures:


stop #3 AVIARY

this isn't my first time dining at AVIARY, i've dined here twice for pdm and again for dinner outside of dining month. in terms of 'bang for your buck', dining month is the best time to test aviary's offerings as the plates run a bit steep and might not be as fulfilling as a barbeque meal would be but the combination of flavors and textures is meant for taste 

drinks are not included in the pdm menu but make a great addition to the experience.

the dining area is light filled and allows for fresh air when the weather is warm and the big windows are open

first course:

  • steamed manila clams with sherry, guanciale, sugar snap peas and coriander

*my dining companion and i both ordered the first course*

second course options (above):

  • lamb two ways with roasted leg and hoisin-glazed belly, taro tots, scallion and water chestnut gremolata
  • pan seared tasmanian sea trout yuzu with fennel, tamarind and savoy cabbage *my favorite dish from our entire meal*

third course choices:

  • chocolate hazelnut cake with espresso ice cream and passion fruit
  • coconut tapioca with mango sorbed and caramel cremeux *a close second*

departure offered two choices for each of the three courses and each dish was delicious in it's own savory asian influenced and prepared way. 

above photos:

  • first course: chicken tom kha soup with coconut milk, mushroom, galangal, and makrut lime
  • second course: beef noodles with shiitake, chili, and yu choi
  • third course: coconut ash chocolate cake with marionberry and coconut caramel ice cream
  • first course: roasted cauliflower and snow peas with charred lemongrass, chilies, and puffed wild rice
  • second course: shrimp and long bean prik khing curry with white rice
  • third course: frozen passion fruit mouse with kumquat, calamansi, and almond crumble *my favorite dish of the six i tried!*

stop #1 LA MOULE

La Moule did not offer choices for the courses so the following dishes are what was offered on their dining month menu:

  • first course: crispy bay shrimp wedge with snap peas, radish, bacon, with a dill 'ranchovy' dressing. *my favorite of the three courses*
  • second course: manhattan moules with penn cove mussels, tomato, garlic, new potato, celery seed and oyster crackers
  • third course: chocolate pot de creme with hazelnut brittle, frangelicio chantilly cream and candied orange zest.

 

although i have visited three participating restaurants i still have one more to go, my last stop, THE HAIRY LOBSTER! am looking forward to some fried chicken and sticky toffee pudding!


disclosure: i was invited to participate in Portland Dining Month on behalf of my friends at Travel Portland.  i received a complimentary meal at Aviary -my choosing- for myself and a guest. i've eaten at Aviary numerous times on my own dime and will certainly continue to look forward to their portland dining month menu every year!


BUEN PROVECHO!