Feast Portland, the Pacific Northwest's preeminent food festival, celebrated its fifth birthday last weekend with four incredibly food-filled days. The celeb chef–studded festival has always been about celebrating food and drinks with a smile — as evidenced by the Reyka Vodka vending machine pictured above (where everything from pizza slices to sunglasses were hand-delivered after pressing a button) — and this year was no different. From big, signature events like Thursday's kickoff Sandwich Invitational and Saturday's Smoked to Drink Tank tasting panels and new "fun-sized" events, there wasn't an unhappy face or unfilled belly in Portland this past weekend. Read on to see 10 of the best bites we tried in Rose City at Feast.
Fully loaded Mumbai Monte Cristo by Bollywood Theater
This sandwich stunner won "People's Choice" at Thursday's Sandwich Invitational. Topped with a hit of powdered sugar and wrapped in what they called "pakora bread," this sandwich was an incredible welcome departure from the toast that dominated the event.
Ice cream sandwich by Ruby Jewel
The folks at Ruby Jewel kept it incredibly personalized at their booth during the Sandwich Invitational. Not only were you able to choose your cookie/ice cream combination, it could be dipped in either caramel or chocolate and rolled in the sprinkles of your choice (toasted coconut!)
Arancini rancheros by Taylor Railworks
These little bites of deep-fried goodness created a line so long vendors from other booths were popping out to feed people at Friday's night market.
Smoked lime candy by QUIN
QUIN's founder and queen candy maker Jami Curl's motto is "candy is magic," a sentiment that was fully on display with this chewy smoked lime candy — topped with a sprinkle of Tajin spice and served at night market.
This Drink Tank panel was titled "The Day of the Daiquiri: How Rum & Lime Conquered the World." Moderated by Imbibe Magazine's Paul Clark and featuring rum nerds Simon Ford, Jim Romdall and Michael Shea, the panel featured a lively discussion about all the ways to combine rum, lime and sugar (with varying results). Complete with four full-sized cocktails and a 15-year aged-rum chaser, this panel struck the power balance of being incredibly delicious and incredibly informative.
Totopos by Xico
Chef Kelly Myers knocked it out of the park at the Latin-themed night market on Friday with these totopos, with a flavor reminiscent of Nacho Cheese Doritos on steroids and topped with a generous squirt of crema.
Belly ribs with broccoli leaf kimchi by The Country Cat
It was quite the soggy Saturday for the evening's smoked event — but that didn't stop the chefs from turning up the heat. There was great smoked goat curry, an incredible array of offal and even smoked s'mores but one real standout was this tender belly rib complete with tangy broccoli kimchi.
Fried chicken biscuit by Toro Bravo
Brunch Village is one of Feast's most talked about events, and between the Bloody Mary bar and these fried chicken biscuits, this year was another winner. The incredibly flaky biscuit was fortified with Tillamook pimiento cheese and crisp fried chicken.
Fios de ovos by Fat Rice
This was the Chicago hot spot's first showing at Feast, and after one bite of the Thai egg threads with fish sauce, maple syrup and bacon, many are hoping it won't be the last.
Shrimp and lardo tamales by Trove
The pickled shrimp on this lardo tamale from Seattle favorite Trove provided the perfect acid cut in an otherwise rich tamale. Here's hoping the response was good enough to convince Rachel Yang to put it on the Capitol Hill menu.