Rachel Smith: Editorial Assistant Extraordinaire 2nd edition Food Lover’s Guide to Portland

June 25th, 2014

Oh, just hanging out in the Swiss Alps. Rachel Smith, world traveler and on her DOWN TIME editorial assistant for Food Lover's Guide to Portland 2.0.

I just want to quickly introduce the lovely lady pictured above. I first met Rachel when she interviewed for the fall 2012 internship at Hawthorne Books — the publisher of Food Lover’s Guide to Portland and where I’ve been publicity director and an editor since 2009. Right away, Hawthorne publisher, Rhonda, and I knew that Rachel was in. She’s bright, passionate, always curious, has a great sense of humor and is just a genuine pleasure to be around.

Rachel kicked ass during the 10-week internship and we were sad to see her go. When we decided to do a second edition of Food Lover’s Guide to Portland I was in the thick of completing Toro Bravo: Stories. Recipes. No Bull. and felt a little overwhelmed but knew that the time was ripe and that the book needed an update. I thought about how to best manage my time, how to lessen the stress of another book project as much as possible and then I had the bright idea to hire an editorial assistant. Rachel was my number one choice and she said YES!

During the insanity of updating Rachel did everything from fine-tooth combing all of the contact info. throughout the book and making sure addresses, hours etc. were up to date to interviewing new subjects and writing the respective listings. I couldn’t have done the second edition without her. She was on top of every project every step of the way, and most importantly, she was really fun to work with. Love you Rachel! Without further ado…

Sweet, sweet Rachel Smith on food, travel and working on the second edition of Food Lover’s Guide to Portland:

When I was 6 years old, I used to pretend I was allergic to pizza and spaghetti sauce—not tomatoes—just pizza and spaghetti sauce. I disliked mushrooms, melted cheese, and loathed mustard. Strange textures and peculiar flavors were a no-no. I could barely choke down cooked vegetables. Sausage, meat on the bone, and meat cooked rare made me gag.

Eventually, as it happens for most of us, my taste buds and I began to grow up. Traveling became a priority in my life, and being a picky eater doesn’t go along well with it. I came to learn that one of the best parts of going abroad is experiencing the food. I also realize, when I travel, I desperately miss the food at home, and when I’m home, I crave the food from abroad.

Portland is a food-obsessed city. We know it, we love it, we partake in it. My head could explode thinking of the incredible variety of restaurants we have, the locally sourced vegetables and meats, the microbreweries and markets. As Portlanders, it’s in our veins. Outside of Portland, this isn’t as common—no news flash here. Yet every time I travel, I notice I have forgotten this. What, your bar doesn’t serve food? Your grocery store closes at 6? You don’t have any Mexican restaurants, because I could kill for a burrito right now.

I don’t mean this out of ignorance; I mean it is as a fantastic appreciation of what we have at home. It wasn’t until assisting Liz that I came to understand this even more.

As I write this, I’m on the brink of my third month visiting Switzerland. I’ve been eating melted cheese on the regular, devouring pizzas the size of my face, and obsessively ordering sausage. I recently tried horsemeat (and though it’s a horrendous thought to many people, and I vowed I would only try it once, it was quite good). But my stomach is rumbling at the thought of eating chorizo tacos from Uno Más or fresh sashimi from Bamboo Sushi. The idea of a Painted Hills burger with blue cheese and applewood-smoked bacon is enough to make me weak in the knees. Whining is not part of my intention here—I’m thoroughly enjoying the food and the experience, yet I do miss the access to variety.

Eating well in Switzerland...

Sweet Rachel in France...

Working on the second edition of Food Lover’s Guide to Portland was a reminder of our access and diversity. We have the ability to go straight to the source and pick fruit on Sauvie Island, go crabbing at the coast, or take a drive into wine country. We can feast on Vietnamese, Thai, Cuban, African, or Japanese food any day of the week. And we’re really lucky to have that—not only in restaurants, but in our grocery stores too. Did you know how many ethnic grocery stores we have? Or that Cheese Bar sells raclette so I can get my fix when I’m missing Switzerland?

My point is: the delicious world of food is at our fingertips right here in Portland. We can find just about anything we’re after. And when I’m home in 3 weeks, the first thing I will be doing is hunting down and demolishing the tortilla-wrapped goodness of a marinated pork burrito.

Pre-order the 2nd edition of Food Lover’s Guide to Portland
from Powell’s
Pub. date September 1, 2014
$17.95

Taste of the Nation Portland 2013 — Ticket Giveaway!

May 1st, 2013

Oven & Shaker's meatball sliders were super tasty at last year's Taste of the Nation Portland.

Share Our Strength’s 26th annual Taste of the Nation on Tuesday, May 7th at McMenamins Crystal Hotel and Ballroom is less than a week away and in an effort to help generate last minute ticket sales I’m offering a ticket giveaway here. The bighearted, hardworking folks at Taste of the Nation Portland have donated a pair of VIP tickets ($150 dollars EACH, gen. admission is $85) to me for this year’s event. (Actually, two pairs. I get to go as well.) VIP ticket holders head in to Taste of the Nation and sample select food and drink an hour before everyone else and they also get complimentary valet parking.

I love Taste of the Nation because 100% of ticket sales go toward working to end child hunger via Oregon Food Bank, Klamath-Lake Counties Food Bank, St. Vincent de Paul Food Recovery Program and Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon. Read about last year’s Taste of the Nation here.

This year’s TOTN will showcase food and drink from 30-plus restaurants, 17 wineries, 7 distilleries and 7 breweries. The list is growing daily.

So it’s a VERY worthwhile cause that I highly recommend buying tickets for. You can also try your luck for a pair of VIP tickets here on my blog. I’ve got a number in mind and I’ve written it down and taken a photo of it as proof. That numbered person to comment takes the cake — you get me your name and contact info. Please help me to spread the word about this ticket giveaway and Taste of the Nation on Twitter, Facebook etc. so that we can all help promote and support the event and generate ticket sales. I’m foodloverPDX on Twitter.

So what to comment about? Let me know what sort of food/drink business you’d love to see launch in Portland. It could be a food or drink product, a market, a non-profit, coffeeshop, brewery. It could be something that already exists and you’d like to see replicated in another neighborhood or it could be a business you’ve just always wished existed here that you’ve never seen. Leave a comment and let me know — I’m curious.

I’ll announce the lucky winner this weekend or early next week!

Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation
Tuesday, May 7th, 2013
6:30-9pm
McMenamins Crystal Hotel & Ballroom
1332 W Burnside
Portland, OR 97205
Tickets $85 and up (order by phone 877.26TASTE or online)
www.strength.org/portland

2012 Oregon Brewers Festival

July 23rd, 2012

The 2011 Oregon Brewers Festival, photo taken by Timothy Horn.

The 25th annual Oregon Brewer’s Festival is less than a week away and if you haven’t made plans yet to attend I think you should consider it. I’m really looking forward to this year’s OBF because there are all sorts of tasty beers that I haven’t tried yet on the lineup. This year OBF will host 85 craft breweries from around the country and serve more than 30 styles of beer. The expected attendance is 80,000 so be ready for the madness, 130-plus beers to try and the festival’s debut of a sour beer tent if you like the winky beers.

A few facts about this year’s Oregon Brewers Festival:

The highest alcohol content beer this year will be Dogfish Head’s Positive Contact at 9 percent ABV.

There will be more fruit beers this year — 21st Amendment’s watermelon wheat has been the festival’s top seller for years.

There are six breweries bringing organic beers: Bison Brewing Company, Eel River Brewing Company, Fort George Brewery, Hopworks Urban Brewery, Logsdon Farmhouse Ales, Mt. Emily Ale House and Old Market Pub and Brewery.

Here’s the gist of the festival straight from the press release:

Better known as the OBF, the festival was the brainchild of Art Larrance, co-founder of Portland Brewing Co. Art had traveled to the original Oktoberfest in Munich and knew what a big beer party was like. His goal was to re-create a similar atmosphere here in Portland and bring attention to the resurgence of microbrews.

Art collaborated with craft beer veterans Dick and Nancy Ponzi of BridgePort Brewing Co. and Kurt & Rob Widmer of Widmer Bros. Brewing Co. to produce the first Oregon Brewers Festival in 1988. Despite the limited number of microbreweries nationwide at the time – or perhaps because of that fact– the festival was overwhelmingly successful and has never looked back.

25th annual Oregon Brewers Festival
www.oregonbrewfest.com
July 26-29, 2012
Tom McCall Waterfront Park
Main entrance at SW Oak Street and Naito Parkway

Thursday through Saturday taps are open noon to 9pm; Sunday taps are open noon to 7pm.
Admission to the festival is free.
In order to drink beer you must purchase a $6 2012 mug. Beer tastes are purchased with $1 tokens. 4 tokens gets you a mug of beer and 1 gets you a taste.
Cash only event — ATMs are on-site.
Minors are allowed into the event only if accompanied by a parent.

Grizzly Tattoo Opening Party Redux

June 13th, 2011

So many good eats at Grizzly Tattoo's opening party!

Wow, what a party! My boyfriend Tyler Adams’ new North Williams Ave. tattoo shop — Grizzly Tattoo — opened with a bang a little over a week ago and a lot of you were there, and then some. Hundreds came out to celebrate and I’ve included a few peeks into the night below. (I only took a few photos at the very beginning because it quickly got too crowded. I also wrote about the party here.) Awesome!

We reached out to neighborhood businesses for food and drink donations and holy bleep they rose to the occasion. (Tyler tattoos a lot of food and drink folks in town.)

On the food and drink donation front we had Yaquina Bay oysters on the half-shell hand delivered by EaT Oyster Bar owners Ethan and Tobias; chicken liver sherry mousse, poached almonds, pickled cuke and more from Tasty n Sons, a keg of lager from Hopworks BikeBar, pulled pork sliders and traditional sliders from Che Cafe food cart, all sorts of sweets from Pix Patisserie and Jaime Henderson, secret loveliness from The Bye & Bye, mini pies from Loly LeBlanc, delicious mustards from Creaux Creole Mustard and the list goes on. Wow.

I also made a few things myself — a gallon of pickled asparagus (from our neighbor’s friend’s farm), a gallon of pickled beets and two tapenades — one with anchovies and one vegan. Oh, and Faulkner Short’s photography will be up in the shop for several weeks so stop by and check it out. There are some really nice photos for sale.

Thank you to everyone who donated! Thank you to everyone who came out for the party! Thank you Portland! Go Grrrrrizzly!

Thank you so much for donating food and drink to Grizzly Tattoo's opening party!

More deliciousness from Grizzly Tattoo's opening party!

A few minutes into the party. Got too crowded to take pics shortly after...

I called dibs on the first tattoo at Grizzly Tattoo so Tyler gave me these feathers. Black and blue. Love it.

Grizzly Tattoo
www.grizzlytattoo.com
3949 North Williams Ave.
Portland, Oregon
503.265.8146
tyler at grizzly tattoo dot com

Check out Tyler’s tattoos

Grizzly Tattoo Opening Party Friday, June 3rd 7pm-late

May 30th, 2011

My boyfriend Tyler Adams is opening a new Portland tattoo shop — Grizzly Tattoo — on North Williams (next to Hopworks BikeBar in the newly constructed EcoFlats building) and he’s celebrating with an opening party this Friday, June 3rd 7pm till late that you and all your friends and family (and their friends and family…) are invited to! Hope you can come out and help us celebrate with food, drink, music, a photography show by our friend Faulkner Short, musical styling by our friend Rale Sidebottom and a tattoo giveaway.

Hopworks Urban Brewery has been generous enough to donate a keg of their delicious lager for the event, and Tasty n Sons, The Bye & Bye, Pix Patisserie, Che Cafe food cart and Jamie Henderson are being the best neighbors in the world by donating some of their delicious food. So come on out and eat, drink and be hairy with Grizzly!

I’m so happy that Tyler is in the same neighborhood as the lovely folks at Tasty n Sons, Pix Patisserie, Lodekka double decker dress shop (they’re having a party on Saturday, June 4th!), EaT Oyster Bar, Che Cafe food cart and then some.

Here’s to Grrrrrrizzly! Grrrr!

Grizzly Tattoo shaping up. I took this photo last Friday -- a week before the opening party THIS Friday! No sleep till Grizzly!

Mr. Grizzly

Grizzly Tattoo
www.grizzlytattoo.com
3949 North Williams Ave.
Portland, Oregon
503.265.8146
tyler at grizzly tattoo dot com

Check out Tyler’s tattoos

Taste of the Nation 2011

May 9th, 2011

Celilo Restaurant's (in Hood River) morel and fromage blanc topped crackers were super tasty.

Taste of the Nation truly gets bigger and better every year. We had a fantastic time eating and drinking all sorts of amazing things from Portland area chefs and food/drink folks at this year’s Taste of the Nation at Luxe Autohaus. (Always made much better by the fact that 100% of the proceeds go toward local child hunger relief.) If you don’t know about the event you can read more about it here and here. We paced ourselves a lot better this year so that by the end (and we stayed until the very end — as in tables being folded) we felt full but not roll-out-the-door full.

It’s hard to pick favorites but I think it’s good to give credit where credit is due. SO here are my top five favorite things that I ate at this year’s Taste of the Nation (not to mention all the delicious wine, beer and bubbly) followed by photos…

Top five bites at this year’s Taste of the Nation in no particular order…
La Calaca Comelona’s rainbow chard wrapped masa with pork in a red sauce
Biwa’s braised pork and house pickled vegetable lettuce wraps
Bamboo Sushi’s Oregon albacore carpaccio
Fifty Lick’s coconut lemon saffron sorbet
Davis Street Tavern’s cold carrot fennel soup with sorrel salsa verde

Screen Door's mini chocolate and peanut butter pies were really good. Especially when eaten right after their...

Smoked meatloaf and whipped potato bites topped with crispy shallots. Yeah, pretty genius side-by-side.

Biwa kicked ass as usual with their braised pork lettuce wraps with pickled veggies.

Fratelli was set up right next to Biwa with some yummy rockfish crudo that got topped with yuzu foam seconds after I took this photo.

No, he did not get stuck in the ice cream cooler. 50 Licks' coconut lemon saffron sorbet is incredible.

Andina had a lovely spread of marinated fish in a aji colorado al batan sauce, fava bean salad and okra rellena stuffed with braised oxtail. Top that why don't you.

We hung out with friends until the lights-out end. Another fantastic Taste of the Nation with 100 percent of proceeds going to local child hunger relief organizations. Cheers Portland!

Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation
Monday, May 2nd, 2011
5-9pm
LUXE Autohaus
410 NE 17th Ave.
Portland, OR 97232
Stay tuned for next year’s Taste of the Nation
www.portlandtaste.org

Oregon Culinary Institute Pig Project Dinners

November 5th, 2010

Red Wattle piglets...

In October I got an invitation to attend one of two Oregon Culinary Institute dinners that I’ve been looking forward to ever since. Both dinners sound great but by process of already-have-plans elimination I’m going to the first one next Tuesday night.

What exactly am I talking about? Here’s some info…

Tuesday, November 9th, 7pm @ Oregon Culinary Institute — Suds & Swine five-course fundraiser dinner with beer pairings from Upright Brewing to benefit Chefs Collaborative. MENU & TICKETS.

Wednesday, November 10th, 7pm @ Oregon Culinary Institute — Wine & Swine five-course fundraiser dinner with wine pairings from Chehalem Winery to benefit Ecotrust’s Farm to School program. MENU & TICKETS.

Tickets for each dinner are $75.

Oregon Culinary Institute chefs at Heritage Farms Northwest.

A little background…

In May, OCI purchased three Red Wattle hogs from Heritage Farms Northwest in Dallas, Oregon. Red Wattles are a breed of hog listed on Slow Food USA’s Ark of Taste. According to Slow Food USA, “Red Wattle pork is exceptionally lean and juicy with a rich beef-like taste and texture.” Mmm.

The breed is named for its color and distinctive wattles that hang from either side of its neck — similar to the wattles of some goat breeds. Since May two of the pigs have been pen-raised at Sweet Briar Farms in Eugene and the other pasture-raised at Heritage Farms Northwest. All OCI culinary students were invited to participate in the project.

On November 9th and 10th OCI Chef Instructor Josh Blythe and a crew of students will prepare five-course dinners with each dish featuring side-by-side comparisons of the pasture- and pen-raised pork. OCI Baking and Pastry Chef Instructor Salvatore Hall and his students will prepare dessert. Each course will be tailored to the beverages served that night.

Wealth Underground Farm, an organic CSA farm located on Newberry Rd. off Skyline Blvd. in Portland, is providing produce for both dinners.

All events surrounding this project, leading up to and including the final dinners, are being filmed and edited into a final video production by Actual Industries.

Learn more about the dinners here.
Learn more about the pig project here.

About Oregon Culinary Institute:

Established in 2006 as a division of Pioneer Pacific College, Oregon Culinary Institute offers a complete, practical and affordable culinary arts education where students can earn Associate of Applied Science degrees in Culinary Management, Baking and Pastry Management, and Restaurant Management. The school also offers diplomas in Culinary Arts, Baking and Pastry Arts, and Restaurant Management, Students may also earn a Sommelier Diploma at Oregon Culinary Institute in cooperation with the International Sommelier Guild. OCI’s student-run fine-dining restaurant serves lunch and dinner, most Mondays through Fridays. Reservations are recommended.

In the walk-in until next week's dinners...

Grand Opening Revisited

October 25th, 2010

ATTENTION: My boyfriend, Tyler Adams, no longer co-owns Fortune Tattoo. Visit his North Portland shop — Grizzly Tattoo — which opened June, 2011! For more info. visit www.grizzlytattoopdx.com, 503.265.8146, tyler at grizzly tattoo dot com. Grrrrrrrizzly!

Big night for Fortune Tattoo. So big folks spilled into the space next door...

Last Friday’s Fortune Tattoo grand opening party was awesome — thanks to a lot of you! We knew it would be big but we had no idea how big. Thanks to everyone who came and made it such a special night for shop owners Tyler Adams and Ms. Mikki. And thank you to everyone who donated food, drink, music and elbow grease to get the shop sails up.

I’m posting some photos here — mostly of the food and drink for reasons you all should understand — but if you didn’t make it and want to check out the new shop get in there. Fortune is located between Foti’s Greek Deli and Southeast’s Fire On The Mountain and just a few doors down from EastBurn so if you’re craving any of that stop by Fortune en route. Here are some party pics…

There will be more Fortune parties if you missed this one...

The party spilled into this space nextdoor to Fortune for food, drink and music...

Bluehour's Kenny Giambalvo donated all sorts of fantastic food and stopped by for awhile too.

Thanks Kenny! Amazing...

Toro Bravo's John Gorham also donated a bunch of delicious food...

Got early shots of everything and glad I did because the food was amazing and went fast. Thanks John!

Domaine Serene couldn't have been more generous with their kick ass pinot noir.

And MacTarnahan's rocked with THREE kegs of donated Amber Ale and Hum Bug'r Porter poured by good friends.

Wouldn't have been a Fortune Tattoo party without fortune cookies...

A Week Away…

June 24th, 2010


Food Lover’s Guide to Portland Book Launch Party Invite

A week from today on Thursday, July 1st, from 6-9pm at Fortune Tattoo I hope that you’ll join me in celebrating the launch of my book Food Lover’s Guide to Portland! It’s been a long time coming and I’m more than ready to celebrate with friends and fellow Portlanders. It’s First Thursday after all so if you’re hitting up the galleries head across the river for a bit and celebrate PDX food and drink.

((ATTENTION: My boyfriend, Tyler Adams, no longer co-owns Fortune Tattoo. Visit his North Portland shop — Grizzly Tattoo — which opened June, 2011! For more info. visit www.grizzlytattoo.com, 503.265.8146. Grrrrrrrizzly!))

If you scroll down on the invite above you’ll see some of the fine food and drink folks donating incredible stuff for the party. These are some of my favorite Portland people and I’m so happy that they’re helping me out in this way.

I’m also grateful to my boyfriend Tyler Adams and his business partner Ms. Mikki for hosting the party at their open-since-April-1st tattoo shop — Fortune Tattoo. THANK YOU guys! Toward the end of the night I’ll be giving away a prize to one lucky book buyer that involves needles and ink. I wonder what it is…

Food Lover’s Guide to Portland — Book Launch Party
Fortune Tattoo, 1716 East Burnside St., Portland, OR
Thursday, July 1st — 6-9pm
Food. Drink. Music. Books.

The Cheese Bar Spectacular — Monday, June 21st 6-9pm!

June 17th, 2010

Why I wake up in the morning...

I don’t think that the fact that I LOVE cheese is a secret to anyone who reads this blog. The thought of a cheese-less existence sends shivers down my back. It would be a bleak, cold, tasteless world were there no cheese in it.

Next Monday night Portland’s cheese haven, Cheese Bar, is hosting a rare, wonderful cheese event. From 6-9pm at Steve Jones’ Cheese Bar you can try 101 of Steve’s favorite cheeses. I did not mistype. That is 101. No, not 10.

Steve has partnered up with Adam Berger of Ten 01 to host this awesome event. Along with 101 of Steve’s favorite cheeses you can saddle up with wine selections from Ten 01’s sommelier Jeff Groh, cocktails by Kelley Swenson, and local beers on tap.

Tickets are $39 in advance or $49 at the door and include all the cheese you can taste, two drink tickets for draft beer or wine by the glass, and a $5 voucher for Cheese Bar. There be six wines at $5/glass and local draft beer at $3/glass.

Get your ticket while you still can because they’re going fast at www.brownpapertickets.com. If you want a more exclusive experience, 50 VIP tickets at $59 a pop are available. That gets you a 5-6pm more intimate tasting with sparkling wine and champagne.

If you want to read more about Cheese Bar check this out.

Eat cheese!

Cheese Bar
6031 SE Belmont St.
503.222.6014
www.cheese-bar.com
Tuesday-Sunday 11am-11pm