For 30 years, The Bite of Oregon has rolled out its tents, tables, and stages every summer for a multiday celebration of the state?s food, culture, and residents. Attendees raise their forks to the idea that ?Life Tastes Better Here,? a mantra the festival lives up to by offering a culinary bounty crafted by some of Oregon?s most talented chefs. From small plates to full meals, vendors distribute their creations and, in between bites, regional wines and craft beers splash both new and familiar flavors across palates. As visitors wine and dine, local and national bands provide the soundtrack from multiple stages.
Demonstrating its respect for the community, The Bite of Oregon strives to be a Zero Waste event, each year producing less waste by lining its grounds with recycling stations and hiring unemployed goats to eat everyone?s napkins.
Named Best Homebrew Store by Northwest Brewing News readers five times, FH Steinbart Co. has been outfitting aspiring homebrewers since 1918. A hops-hardened staff runs the oldest homebrew supply store in the country, connecting amateurs and experts with the raw ingredients and equipment to make smooth elixirs. Starter kits can spark a first attempt at fermentation, and resident draft experts can also help transform your fridge into a kegerator. FH Steinbart's extensive brewing classes teach students how ingredients affect the final product and let them witness the rare mating dance between hops and yeast as well as the stumbling walk of shame that follows.
Creativity and sustainability are the guiding principles of the restaurant co-owned by Johnson & Wales food-science professor Lynn Tripp. Mingling the disparate flavors of France, America, and Morocco, chefs treat palates to tapas, cheeses, and desserts in an intimate atmosphere warmly inspired by medieval chateaus. If not sidling up to the 35-seat wine bar or sinking into an Italian-leather sofa, diners feast amid cozily antiqued surroundings trimmed with stone arches and rough-hewn wooden columns. Wine barrels, a large, communal dining table, and romantically lowered lights bring a rustic charm to the storefront to welcome customers more warmly than a bear-hugging doormat.
Eastside Distilling's tasty lineup of spirits draws accolades from fans near and far, with the small-batch outfit taking home hardware including a gold medal at the 2012 MicroLiquor Spirit Awards and SIP Magazine's runner-up in the Best of Spirits section for Best Brown Liquor for their Burnside Bourbon, _Portland Mercury_?s 2011 Readers' Choice award for favorite distillery, and a silver medal from the 2011 World Spirits Competition for their Below Deck Coffee Rum. Within the tasting room, visitors sample libations such as the Portland Potato Vodka, their Below Deck rum line, Cherry Bomb Whiskey or Oregon Marionberry Whiskey.
Each bacon-bedecked Cowboy burger (a $9 value, $7 value during happy hours) ensnares renegade herds of cheddar cheese, barbecue sauce, and chipotle sauce in the crispy loop of an onion-ring lasso. Saddle the western fare with your choice of a side of fries, salad, or tempura green beans at Candy’s chic eatery—its plush seating and regal curtains sweetened with caramel and scarlet-apple accents. Pint-size patrons (welcome until 10 p.m.) can tumble through cyber space's digital jungle gym via the booths' touch-screen computers with Internet access. After 10 p.m. on weekends, late-night imbibers 26 and up surge the dance floor, abandoning half-consumed cocktails and expired absentee ballots on glossy wooden tables. On Wednesdays, karaoke and live acoustic stylings fill the air with floating quarter notes.
Baristadors handcrafts coffee drinks, microbrews, bagel sandwiches, and more, whisking them to visitors' taste buds seven days a week. Take in the egg-and-cheese Hen on a Kettleman bagel ($3.95), or top a scuffin—the love child of a scone and a muffin—with peanut butter, homemade jam, and a college scholarship ($2.95). A cup of freshly brewed Stumptown coffee keeps eyes open through soporific conference calls ($2 for 16 oz.), and a Speed Racer—iced coffee with chocolate, caramel, and two shots of espresso—helps sippers scale shopping-mall escalators in a single bound ($4 for 18 oz.). Diners can also spike a scoop of Prince Pückler's ice cream ($2.50) with a splash of espresso ($0.50) or break the world krumping record after downing a 24-ounce Black Bull shake made of espresso ice cream, coffee-bean shavings, and a double shot ($6.50).