Taste of the Nation Portland 2013

May 30th, 2013

Bollywood Theater's bhel puri with green and tamarind chutneys.

This year’s 26th anniversary Portland Taste of the Nation at McMenamins Crystal Ballroom was incredible as always and rather than type up all of the reasons why I’m going to lay it all out in photos for you. This was the first year Taste was held at the Crystal Ballroom and it’s a great venue although next year they should consider cranking up the air. It got a little toasty. If you weren’t able to make it please consider attending next year. It costs a pretty penny but 100% of proceeds go toward hunger relief in Oregon. Without further ado…

Biwa's soy cured escolar with shaved beets.

Lardo's beautiful porchetta.

Boke Bowl sui mai action.

Craggan hydrating and about to eat a Boke Bowl pork and shrimp sui mai.

Racion's chicharrons topped with tuna? Ahhh, took too long to post this and can't remember exactly but DO remember they were super tasty.

View from the balcony an hour or so into this year's Taste of the Nation.

Our plates of Trigger hot wings and other tasty things with Captured by Porches kolsch.

Anthem Cider's organic hops cider.

Departure's grilled scallop hand roll with coconut miso.

St. Jack's not so pretty but delicious chicken liver mousse with port poached prunes.

Laurelhurst Market's corned beef tongue reubens with a smoky bourbon cocktail. One of my favorites of the night.

And for dessert, 50 Licks soft serve churros and chocolate ice cream.

Stay tuned for next year’s Taste of the Nation! Always delicious and always 100 percent to a great cause.
www.portlandtaste.org

Winner of Taste of the Nation Portland 2013 Tickets!

May 3rd, 2013

Lucky commenter #4 wins two VIP tickets to this year's Taste of the Nation Portland on Tuesday, May 7th! There are still tickets available to purchase.

You know who you are lucky #4 commenter. You’ve won yourself two VIP tickets to this year’s Taste of the Nation on Tuesday, May 7th at McMenamins Crystal Hotel & Ballroom! Drop me a line at info at lizcrain dot com with your name and contact info. and I’ll pass that along to the organizers who are donating the tickets. Your pair of VIP tickets will be available the night of the event at will call.

Thanks everyone for all of your tasty comments. I hope that some of these businesses come to fruition. As for me, I want a soft pretzel cart in my North Portland neighborhood, near my house, or fuck it, in my driveway with all sorts of homemade mustards and sauces.

For those of you who didn’t win tickets there are still tickets available for this year’s 26th anniversary Taste of the Nation. It’s one of the best food events in town and I highly recommend it. In addition to it being delicious and super fun 100% of proceeds go toward ending local child hunger.

Thanks everyone!

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

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

Taste of the Nation Portland 2012

May 14th, 2012

Oven & Shaker fixing up and serving tasty little meatball puccia at the 2012 Portland Taste of the Nation.

This year’s 25th anniversary Portland Taste of the Nation at Jeld-Wen Field was incredible and rather than type up all of the reasons why I’m going to lay it all out in photos for you. If you were there you might see yourself in some of the photos below because I snapped a lot and managed to only drop my camera once. It’s ok. This was the first year Taste was held at Jeld-Wen Field and I think it’s a fantastic venue. You’ll see from the photos. If you weren’t able to make it please consider attending next year. It costs a pretty penny but 100% of proceeds go toward hunger relief in Oregon. Without further ado…

One of the most decadent treats of the night was Gruner's foie gras torchon on toasted brioche topped with riesling pickled rhubarb. One of my favorites of the night and they went fast.

Another favorite only available to VIP ticket holders (spend more on your ticket for several additional tastes and early entry) was Bamboo Sushi's amberjack topped with red jalapeno, cilantro, black flying fish roe and miso vinaigrette.

My friend Craig joined me this year and this is what his tray looked like 10 minutes in. So many tasty treats. And we got to sample a lot of nice wine, beer and spirits as well.

Chop's table was very popular and they had one of the most diverse spreads of any of the partipants. Tried all kinds of delicious salames, proscuittos and pates and had a difficult time leaving that table and moving along...

This was probably about 30 minutes into general admission. Packed but not uncomfortable because of all the natural light and air flow above. Everyone was in great spirits sampling all the food and drink and knowing that all money spent goes to a great cause.

For $25 you could try your luck at restaurant roulette. All sorts of local food and drink gift certificates to be won...

I won these! Anya Spence of Miss Zumstein is a good friend of a friend and looking forward to using both GCs.

Departure was serving up one of my other favorites of the night -- spicy steamed honey chicken bao.

They deserve a close-up -- Departure's spicy chicken bao.

I always look forward to what Andina cooks up for Taste of the Nation. This year they did lomo saltado empanadas and potato, avocado, smoked tomato causitas. Both were delicious as always.

My boyfriend's friend Brewer Dylan Goldsmith of Captured by Porches poured my friend Craig an alt beer right before Mayor Sam Adams gave a speech declaring May 8th officially No Child Hungry Day and at the end thanked Dylan for the tasty IPA he was drinking.

Happy to donate some copies of my book to the silent raffle. My book came with gift certificates to Chop, Nong's Khao Man Gai and Missionary Chocolates. Not too shabby.

Closing shot -- love this one of Irving Street Kitchen's station cooking up potato latkes with gravlax and apple butter. Can't beat cooking in sunglasses...

Stay tuned for next year’s Taste of the Nation!
www.portlandtaste.org

Winner of Taste of the Nation Portland 2012 Tickets!

April 30th, 2012

Congratulations lucky number 6 commenter! Email me so we can set aside two tickets for you at will call!

You know who you are lucky #6 commenter! You’ve won yourself two tickets to this year’s Taste of the Nation next Tuesday, May 9th at Jeld-Wen Field. Drop me a line @ info at lizcrain dot com with your full name and contact info. and I’ll pass that along to the organizers who are donating the tickets. Your two general admission tickets will be available the night of the event at will call. (Don’t worry if it takes me a few days to respond — I’m out of town for work and will be back mid-week.)

Thanks everyone for all of your tasty comments! I hope that some of these businesses come to fruition. If you build it they will come!

For those of you who didn’t win tickets there are still tickets available for this year’s 25th anniversary Taste of the Nation. It’s one of the best food events in town and I highly recommend it. In addition to it being delicious and super fun 100% of proceeds go toward ending local child hunger. Gotta feel good about that.

Thanks everyone!

Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation
Tuesday, May 8th, 2012
6:30-9pm
Jeld-Wen Field
1844 SW Morrison St.
Portland, OR 97205
Tickets $85 and up (order by phone 877.26TASTE, online or at any New Seasons Market)
www.strength.org/portland

Taste of the Nation Portland 2012 — Ticket Giveaway!

April 23rd, 2012

Biwa kicked ass at last year's 2011 Portland Taste of the Nation as usual with their braised pork lettuce wraps with pickled veggies.

Share Our Strength’s annual Taste of the Nation on Tuesday, May 8th at Jeld-Wen Field is just two weeks and a day away and it’s the 25th anniversary of this fantastic event. In the interest of shouting it out loud and clear and getting as many people to come out for it and support it as possible I’m giving away a pair of tickets here on my blog.

I love this event 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 50 restaurants, 25 wineries and 5 breweries — these folks. 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 general admission 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. and there will be a pair of tickets waiting for you at this year’s Taste of the Nation will call the night of May 8th. Please help me to spread the word about this ticket giveaway and Taste of the Nation on Twitter, Facebook etc. 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 — just because I’m curious.

I’ll announce the lucky winner early next week!

Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation
Tuesday, May 8th, 2012
6:30-9pm
Jeld-Wen Field
1844 SW Morrison St.
Portland, OR 97205
Tickets $85 and up (order by phone 877.26TASTE, online or at any New Seasons Market)
www.strength.org/portland

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

Winner of Taste of the Nation 2011 Tickets!

April 25th, 2011

Jamie-lucky-commenter-17 wins two tickets to this year's Taste of the Nation!

You know who you are lucky #17 commenter Jaime! You’ve won yourself two tickets to this year’s Taste of the Nation. Drop me a line @ info at lizcrain dot com with your full name and contact info. and I’ll pass that along to the organizers who are donating the tickets.

Thanks everyone for all of your tasty comments! I’m looking forward to checking a lot of the places out and trying the foods and drinks that you mentioned. I haven’t tried a lot of them which makes me happy. I might just print all the comments out and keep the list in my bag so I don’t forget.

For those of you who didn’t win tickets there are still tickets left for this year’s Taste of the Nation and if you can I suggest you snag them. It’s one of the absolute best food events in town and I highly recommend it. In addition to it being delicious and super fun 100% of proceeds go toward ending local child hunger. Gotta feel good about that.

Thanks everyone!

Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation
Monday, May 2nd, 2011
5-9pm
LUXE Autohaus
410 NE 17th Ave.
Portland, OR 97232
Tickets $85 (order by phone 877.26TASTE, online or at any New Seasons Market)
www.portlandtaste.org

Taste of the Nation May, 2nd 2011 — Ticket Giveaway!

April 18th, 2011

Nuestra Cocina at last year's Taste of the Nation...

Share Our Strength’s annual Taste of the Nation on Monday, May 2nd is just two weeks away and in the interest of shouting it out loud and clear and getting as many people to come out for it as possible I’m giving away a pair of tickets here on my blog.

I love this event 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.

So it’s a VERY worthwhile cause that I highly recommend buying tickets for. You can also try your luck for a pair here. 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. and there will be a pair of tickets waiting for you at will call.

So what to comment about? Let me know your favorite new (to you or truly new) food find in Portland that is not a restaurant. It could be a food or drink product, a market, a coffeeshop, brewery — anything PDX food that’s not a restaurant. Just because I’m curious.

This year’s TOTN will showcase food and drink from these folks:

Restaurants:
Andina
Aviary
Boke Bowl
Davis Street Tavern
Heathman Restaurant & Bar
Metrovino
Ned Ludd
Saint Cupcake
Screen Door
Simpatica
The Gilt Club

LUXE and VIP Gems:
Beast
Castagna
Genoa
June
Laurelhurst Market
Tasty & Sons

Beverages:
Amity Vineyards
Anne Amie Vineyards
Cana’s Feast Winery
Domaine Drouhin Vineyard
Johan Vineyards
Sineann Wines
Willamette Valley Vineyard
Youngberg Hill Vineyards
Dry Fly Distilling
House Spirits
Full Sail
Sierra Nevada
Captured by Porches
Smith Teamakers

I’ll announce the lucky winner early next week!

Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation
Monday, May 2nd, 2011
5-9pm
LUXE Autohaus
410 NE 17th Ave.
Portland, OR 97232
Tickets $85 (order by phone 877.26TASTE, online or at any New Seasons Market)
www.portlandtaste.org