Oh my gosh folks! Where have I been for the past couple of months. Great question! The answer is long and winding but mostly involves many a weekend spent eating, drinking and taking photos in Portland, OR (shocker, I know). For the past two years in a row, September has meant Feast PDX- the city’s food festival dotted with celebrity chefs, local makers, artisanal sandwich competitions and an entire evening dedicated to smoked BBQ. Count me in.
I returned for the second year in a row to photograph a few events, co-mingle with some fellow bloggers and of course, eat and drink all of the things.
Where I Stayed:
This time around I settled in at the Hi-Lo Hotel which just opened this year at the corner of SW 4th and Stark. The hotel is housed in the 1910 Oregon Pioneer Building and drew on the talents of local makers to furnish the new space. From Pendleton Wool blankets to Maak Lab’s shampoo and conditioner to reclaimed wood from Pioneer Millworks, the space really highlights some of the best the city and state have to offer.
My personal favourite touch were the swings in the lobby which I sat in every day while sipping on my morning coffee. Well…..that and the MASSIVE shower in my room. Seriously, I could have have fit my entire apartment in the bathroom (ok….not my entire apartment but definitely my kitchen). It was a luxury to come home to after a long day of shooting.
What I Did:
Because I was actually in Portland to photograph events at Feast, most of my time was spent doing just that….not that I’m complaining! Anytime I get to listen to people talk food and drink while sipping on a sampling of local beers and taking the occasional picture, I’m happy as a clam.
This year I photographed three events including a seminar on Beaujolais moderated Bon Appetit Wine Editor Marissa Ross (if you don’t know of her work, look her up! She recently wrote a book and she’s a hilarious human being).
And I wouldn’t be much of a cocktail writer if I didn’t attend a cocktail event, so I did! Demystifying the Cocktail with Daniel Shoemaker (owner of Teardrop Lounge and co-owner of The Commissary/Superjugoso) and Sean Hoard (formerly of PDT, Teardrop and current co-owner of The Commissary/Superjugoso). The two teamed up to teach a barful of eager imbibers how to drink well and how to communicate more effectively with your bartender. We all walked away happy, a bit tipsy and a lot more knowledgeable about how to be a rad bar patron that knows what they want.
Where I Ate:
So the truth of the matter is I didn’t have a ton of spare time to hit up a bunch of restaurants on the trip but even on the busiest of weekends, there are a few spots that can’t be missed.
Little Bird Bistro’s burger is top of my list. On my first night in town, I sidled up to the bar by myself and savoured every bite of their burger ordered L’Americaine with a glass of red selected by the bartender to wash it all down.
I also always make time to visit the fine folks at Bar Casa Vale for a little chorizo-style charred octopus and a gin and tonic. And somehow, amid all of the hustle and bustle of the weekend, I managed to sneak away for a friend brunch at Milk Glass Market- my first visit to the cafe but definitely not my last. Just order anything on their buttermilk biscuits. You won’t be disappointed. I promise.
This is nowhere near an exhaustive list of my favourite spots in the city. I plan to post a more comprehensive city guide in the near future but in the meantime, never hesitate to email me if you’re headed to Portland. There are so many spots that are dear to my heart and I’m always happy to share with folks eager to explore the city! Cheers y’all!