If you don't know what a piadina wrap is, here's a rundown: It's an Italian flatbread wrap, served from unpretentious stalls throughout Italy, especially in the Emilia-Romagna region. It's part of a long tradition, too. As a writer from Saveur notes, in as early as the nineteenth century, poets were writing homages to the wrap, praising its smoothness and its often-impressive size.
Nowadays, Americans can get in on the historic trend, and dig into custom piadina wrap of their own at Strada: Street Food of Italy. Stuffed with delicacies from sausage to fried rounds of calamari, the wraps come dressed up in customizable extras, too. Pesto or marinara sauces smother more than 25 toppings, including Mediterranean specialties such as white bean relish, black olives, and spicy arugula. There's gelato for dessert, too, rather than the original frosty Italian treat, frozen pizza.
Functioning as a multifaceted operation, certainly the one thing The Wine Valet knows better than anything else is wine. Part event space, part tasting room, and part tour guide, The Wine Valet hosts one-of-a-kind events for up to 75 and offers tours with transportation that visit local wineries and vineyards. The staff welcomes patrons to sample varietals from different wineries before traveling to Artisanal Wine Cellars to sniff, sip, and listen to vinos. The Wine Valet is so immersed in the regional wine culture that they offer a free Android app for self-guided tours of more than 200 wineries.
Like a rainforest filled with still-undocumented species, Uptown Market stocks so many kinds of beers it feels like some of them haven't even been discovered yet. More than 850 varieties of beer are on display. The selection extends well beyond Oregon borders, with hundreds of microbrews from around the world available in kegs, bottles, and cans. Weekly visits from other various breweries fill Uptown Market's calendar and customers' stomachs with complimentary tastings. On some Sundays, the staffers host home-brewing classes. They have all the equipment required to start brewing your own beer, which is helpful since the government has decided to repeal the 21st Amendment next month.
Since 1998, the instructors at Hula Halau ‘Ohana Holo‘oko‘a—Hawaiian for “School Of Hula Where Everyone Is Family”—have carried on the traditions of their native language, song, and dance by teaching the hula to generations young and old. Hula illustrates a story through dance and music, often accompanied by a ukulele, guitar, or drum. Newcomers start out with the basic hula steps and movements, learning Hawaiian vocabulary and songs to prepare them for advancement to more complicated movements and a steady diet of only poi smoothies. Other classes teach students how to strum the ukulele and dance the tahitian brand of hula.
Videogame aficionados unite at Pixel Battles, where Xbox 360s, Wii Us, PlayStation 3s, Kinects, 3D gaming, and a retro room tempt fingers with the newest digital challenges. One of the only video game venues in the area allows players to cozy up to black leather chairs and plasma TV screens to test their skills. Gamers can settle into the latest games with friends on multiple plasma TV screens. In addition to individual gaming, Pixel Battles also hosts themed birthday parties, special events, and tournaments to help gamers battle in healthy competition.
You'd never spot a cook uncapping a bottle of store-bought salsa or a robot frying up pork carnitas in the kitchen at El Guajillo Mexican Restaurant Bar & Grill. The chefs at this family-owned eatery insist on making their sauces and Mexican specialties themselves, from the pico de gallo to the crispy tortilla chips. When they're not chopping up fresh veggies for these house-made delicacies, they're folding fresh meats and veggies into enchiladas, burritos, and tortas, as well as showering tamales in red and green salsas. These versatile kitchen staffers also extend their culinary expertise towards pizzas, topping pies with homemade tomato sauce and specialty ingredients. To complement the diverse menu, the restaurant's bartenders blend a selection of tangy margaritas and fruity cocktails.