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Taste of the Nation PDX

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A few of us PortlandFood.org people went to Taste of the Nation last night. We volunteered and so got free access. I went in the morning and worked up an appetite setting up, then the three of us tore down afterwards. It was actually nice tearing down because I felt like I was working off some of the calories.

Tons of people, tons of great food, tons of wine. A few of my favorites of the night:

* Fennel panna cotta from Tuscany Grill. They had vanilla and pistaccio, too, but the fennel rocked my world. I voted it for People's Choice, even though I was tempted to go with something less likely to get easy votes. The panna cotta was sublimely creamy and had just a hint of licorice flavor. It was topped with candied fennel, I think. Wow. So much better than the panna cotta I had at clarklewis the other day.

* Juniper grove goat cheese baked in a tomato sauce from Genoa. Can't remember the exact title of the dish, but it was excellent. The thing that put it over the top was a finishing kick, probably from chile flakes or something.

* Flank steak from Typhoon in a spicy red sauce. I had a lot of meat that night, and this one was cooked the best.

* Sausage rolls from Pho Van. Basically salad rolls with sausage instead of shrimp. It was quite tasty sausage.

* Cochinita pibil from La Calaca Comelona. I'm a sucker for such things.

* Beer float from Pix. Not my cup of tea, but beer drinkers seemed to love it and it was clever. btw, Cheryl was walking around in hot pink dickies all night and I fear my crush has now been solidified. I'd say, "If only I weren't married," except I know I'm barely worthy to clean the custard from her beaters.

* Viandes meats. Pates, house cured meats, etc. Quite good.

* Higgins had several house cured meats as well. All were excellent.

* The mussells from Ken's. I don't really like mussells, but these seriously had the texture of butter and the sauce, something with chiles, was luscious.

* Taqueria Nueve had these octopus gazpacho pastries, essentially like little choux buns filled with gazpacho and topped with a little octopus and a pico de gallo like concoction, I think. They didn't look like something that would be anything special, but they were. I'm quite glad that I snagged one.

I'm sure there were others, too, that impressed me. I'll have to wait until I see my pics and my friend Leopoldo's pics. Maybe duckduck can chime in, she was there with us.

Anyone else go?

I'll link to my pics when I get a chance to upload them.

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For anyone that didn't go...ya'll really missed out. I think this is one of the year's best events not to be missed. For $60 (or for free if you volunteer for the event) you get to sample the best of roughly 50 restaurants and 30 wineries. We had so many wonderful things wandering all four floors. The pick of the evening for MSG and I...the panna cotta with candied fennel and fennel caramel sauce from Tuscany Grill rocked our world. It was one of the most luxurious things :wub: I've ever put in my mouth. A great time was had by all.

Pamela Wilkinson


Life is a rush into the unknown. You can duck down and hope nothing hits you, or you can stand tall, show it your teeth and say "Dish it up, Baby, and don't skimp on the jalapeños."

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It was at the Portland Center for the Performing Arts. The tables of wine and food wound around each of the four levels. Plus there was a silent auction. It was Monday night.

You can go here:



I'll have pics in a day or so.

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