After four days of Feast-ing, I did not, sadly, achieve a Feast Portland bingo. And although no one’s going to top the recaps of local food mensch and occasional Eater contributor Michael Zusman over at Portland Food and Drink, let’s do this thing: Here are the 2017 highlights — if at times hazily remembered — of the annual Feast Portland food festival:
1. At Thursday evening’s Sandwich Invitational (where the official hashtag features the officially banned-from-Eater-with-good-reason word “Sando”), Lardo’s Rick Gencarelli emerged the victor in the Sandwich “Smackdown,” with his Nashville hot fried chicken sandwich, topped with bacon and honey butter. (Pastrami Zombie earned the “People’s Choice.”) The unofficial award for Most Instagrammed Sandwich of the evening, though, went to this doughnut-and-bologna number by NYC’s Blue Smoke.
2. The best portmanteau of the weekend could be found at a Grand Tasting booth, which served something called Cheeseorizo: chorizo made of cheese.
3. #brands came out in full force during Friday’s Night Market: Bob's Red Mill offered guests the opportunity to spin a wheel of prizes and win a Bob-blehead (get it?); Bulleit brought along a full-on camper where guests could presumably take short naps; and Oregon Berries just gave everyone a free Halloween costume idea. Also, someone get Glad® on the phone; they have an opportunity to get in on the action for next year.
4. Hot Brooklyn restaurant Olmsted, which is near-impossible to get into, had a surprisingly and mercifully short line at the Night Market, where it served a right-off-the-menu crab rangoon.
5. To continue the drinks-in-plastic-bags-theme, the many after-parties took serving drinks in unique glassware to the next level: Test tubes at the “Ham and Eggs” ‘80s-themed event, the Chambong, at Friday’s Bon Appetit Skyline Tavern takeover, and mini milk glass bottles at Eater’s Dear Salty, Stay Sweet event.
6. Speaking of the Eater party, y’all really turned out to drink all our alcohol; the first drink on the Shipwreck pop-up’s festive cocktail menu was 86’ed at 10:26 p.m. Overheard: “I like this, but I kind of want to be hungover in the morning.”
7. But back to the main event: Giant hunks of meat took center stage at Saturday’s Smoked, where Departure chef Gregory Gourdet whipped up 400 pounds of turkey wings and a collaboration between the Country Cat’s Adam Sappington and St. Jack’s Aaron Barnett resulted in tomahawk steaks and bone marrow.
8. Overall, there was great neon-sign action at the Saturday Smoked event, though given the wildfires burning in the Gorge right now, maybe we could’ve skipped the one reading “Burn Baby Burn?”
9. Byron Beck is a national treasure.
10. And now, here’s everywhere the four-person Eater Feast Team ate and drank during four days in Portland: Maurice, Kachka, Hat Yai, Nong’s Khao Man Gai, Wailua Shave Ice, Afuri, Bollywood Theater, Tasty N Alder, Superbite, The Green Room, Pok Pok, Tusk, Boxer Ramen, Stacked Sandwiches, Guero, Pine Street Market, Paymaster Lounge, Brunchbox, Blue Star Donuts, Wiz Bang Bar, Daily Feast, Ford’s Food and Drink, Cacao, Dig a Pony, Genie’s Cafe, Stumptown, Deadstock, Heart Coffee, Nirvana PDX.