I got an email from Chloe at Little Green Pickle about a food crawl with fellow Portland Bloggers. We would all ride around in a KARAOKE bus and stop at a handful of Portland restaurants I knew I wanted to go. I RSVP'd and waited until the day came. My fellow blogger friends Erin and Jane were also going- but the rest was a mystery.
Let me start by introducing you to the cast of this adventure:
Our amazing hosts and planners of this event from Little Green Pickle:
Then the bloggers:
Erin- Bakery Bingo
Jane- In the Pink and Green
Michelle- Hummingbird High
Pechluck- Pechluck's Food Adventures
Rebekah- PDX Food Love
Renee- What's 4 Dinner Mama
Tiffany and Andrew- Thyme of Taste
Chloe emailed us the day before with the first mystery location- Oso Market. We all arrived at Oso between 5:30-6:30 and the food crawl began!
Location 1: Oso Market- osomarket.com
This is a darling wine bar located right off SE Grand. A very industrial space with charm. It is a combination of wine bar, bottle market and bar. The food was amazing as well. We had a couple smaller plates- but I will definitely be back to try more. If wine is your thing you need to get in this place. The collection is spectacular. The passion and love for what they are producing shows at Oso Market.
Bresaola, Tomato-Mint Jam, Parmesan, Basil, served on Little T Focaccia
Baked Mortadella, Tarragon Mustard, Peperoncinis, Micro Greens served on Little T Focaccia
Cremeux Montadito with fig, honey, arugula and balsamic reduction served on Little T Focaccia
T and T Chorizo-Stuffed Dates Wrapped in Bacon w/ Cumin Honey and Sage Oil
Ratatouille atop Crispy Polenta, Arugula
To drink: Oso Rosso
So…then we got to walk onto the bus…lucky for you I took a little video…behold the amazing-ness
This was the best way to drive from spot to spot on our journey. There was a little hesitancy to jump on the mic..but don't you worry singing ensued! The likes of Backstreet Boys, Cee-lo, and even some George Strait made their appearances. Thank you shout out to Hawks View Cellars Wines for making our ride that much better (and tasty)
Location 2: Levant levantpdx.com
I had never been to Levant, but I had heard rave reviews. First off, let me start by saying that the atmosphere/vibe of the place is RIGHT up my alley. I loved the open hearth and beautiful floor to ceiling L-shaped bar with library latter. The place is stunning. We were given a little back room all to ourselves which was nice because now everyone had a cocktail and networking began! I learned a little about everyones' blogs and overall point of view. It was refreshing and fun to be in a room filled with fun, passionate people. Now to the food. The cuisine is French- Arabesque. Your rich flavors from the Middle East were all represented. I think Levant had my favorite dish… Let's see if you can guess. (hint I think I took about 3 pictures of it. ha!) I am new to some of these flavors, but I have become a fan. The spices and flavors were out of this world in both food and drinks. My drink was equally impressive. I am already craving another. Beautifully done Levant- you were my favorite stop. I can't wait to get back and try the rest of the menu.
Fried Halloumi, Honey, Walnuts
Feta and Armenian cheese 'Cigars,' with dried mint, garlic, lemon zest and Aleppo chili
Grilled beef Kofta with barberries, pine nuts, herb relish and Sumac yogurt
Fava Bean Falafel with zhoug and tahini
my DRINK! most importantly. Root Down Daisy- Cognac, Ginger Liqueur, Carrot Reduction, Lemon, Egg White, Vanilla Salt
On to the next stop!
Location 3: The Bent Brick thebentbrick.com
I had never been to The Bent Brick before. It is a German-style tavern. I loved the look of the space and noticed they had quite a nice patio! (keep that in the back of my head for summmmmmer time). After looking over the menu it seems very welcoming especially if you haven't tested the waters on German foods. It's engaging staff matched with the fact that everything sounds delish added to the overall feel. They make a lot of their own sausages (which looked very intriguing). I also noticed a little gem on the menu "duck fat jojos." Yep that will need to happen here soon. Overall a beautiful space with an inviting feel. Well worth the stop by, and I'll be back to test out that patio.
Meat Board featuring house made country pate, house made coppa rillette, wigwam and Finchville country ham with pickled vegetables
Deep fried beef cheek with fried egg aioli
Rye sourdough Spaetzle pan fried mushrooms and caramelized onion, topped with tabasco pickled shallots
MOST importantly, they had old fashioneds ON TAP. Get out of here. SO good too.
Ahh the final stop ( I didn't want the night to end)
Location 4: Urban Farmer http://urbanfarmerportland.com
It's safe to say Urban Farmer has a sound reputation in Portland and beyond. The space is stunning and the food and staff are second to none. Located in the lobby of the Nines Hotel- the artwork and architecture is breath-taking. I have been here before and it always exceeds expectations. Tonight didn't fall short. The staff all came out to the table to welcome us and explain what the plan for the dessert portion would be. They have an incredible knowledge of all things food and drink. I can speak for everyone sitting around me, the dishes were excellent. The flavors all popped and were expertly matched with our signature cocktail. Let me tell you about these cocktails, they are aged in barrels like wine. i.n.c.r.e.d.i.b.l.e.
Woodblock chocolate pate- olive oil ice-cream, fruit compote, and jacobsen salts
Butterscotch sundae- warm brown butter blondie, seasonal fruit, and toffee chip ice-cream
Honeycrisp apple doughnuts- apple butter and rosemary ice-cream
Seville Orange soufflé with creme fraiche chocolate sauce
Carmella affogato with cremeux and Hairbender Stumptown espresso
To drink: Elixir Bianco- vodka, Calisaya, Cocchi Americano aged thirty days in oak barrels and served up with a lemon twist
To conclude, the night was a complete success. We all made new, lasting friendships and got to share in one of the things that brings us together- food. I am so glad I had the opportunity to join this adventure and hope new and exciting ones are just around the corner.
To LGP Staff: Thank you for all the hard work that went into planning the food crawl. You pulled off a fantastic event that will be talked about and remembered for quite some time. You are all so friendly and kind, I can't imagine a better group of tour guides.
To the restaurants we visited: Your hospitality was so appreciated and your offerings ever so tasty. I am looking forward to return visits and bringing along my own crew of new faces.
To the bloggers: So wonderful to meet the new faces, and to the old- thanks for putting up with my antics. You are all a great group of people. I look forward to future meetings and wild and crazy adventures with you!
Signing off now!
Love, Rachel xo