I’m in Portland this weekend for the 3-year-old Feast Portland food extravaganza. Events and dinners were happening all over the city this weekend, and I got tickets to two events. The first was the most fun: the USA Pears Night Market along the city’s South Waterfront area.
The Friday night event was setup in an empty lot with tents under the Ross Island Bridge. About 20 chefs from around the country and more than 25 wineries, breweries and distillers offered up little bites and drinks at the sold-out event. Portland, one of the most exciting dining scenes in the United States, featured several major stars from its own area, including the chef-of-the-moment Andy Ricker of Pok Pok.
But there were other chef luminaries such as Anita Lo of New York, Jon Shook of Animal and Son of a Gun in L.A., and former Top Cheftestant Lee Anne Wong of the Koko Head Cafe in Honolulu. There were long lines for some chefs’ booths, but they made sure everyone was fed throughout the night (except for the popular Pok Pok, which was among the first to run out of food).
My favorite tastes came from Lo of Annisa, who made grilled quail with celeriac and Szechuan pepper, and Johanna Wares of Portland’s Smallwares, who made a masa cake with beef tongue (so tender) with pasilla tomato jam and crema.
Despite the Friday night traffic that made me arrive late, the Night Market was a major success. Everyone looked happy and Portland provided a warm summer night to be outside enjoying good food and drink.
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