Portland Feastin’

Look at that face. Look at it. That's the face of pure, unadulterated bliss after consuming a sensational bite of food. If that doesn't set the stage for my epic recap of my weekend spent at Portland Feast, I don't know what will! 

For those that missed my grand announcement slash blog post last week, Portland Feast is an annual four-day food festival that I had the utter pleasure of embarking on last weekend. For four blissful days I was in my complete happy place. I mean, I didn't even know what my happy place was before Feast! We're talking adult Disneyland, only Disneyland is copious amount of food and alcohol without stroller city or "It's a Small World." To call it a "food festival" isn't even doing it justice. It's so much more than that! 

To recap though, my best friend and I, who also happens to share my love for food (and drink!) had been planning our Feast adventure for quite some time. We were motivated to go for a few reasons: 1) we wanted to eat and drink obscene amounts of food and alcohol with zero judgment 2) Seattle, as great of a food city it is, has nothing remotely like Feast. No, Bite of Seattle doesn't count. Not even close. And 3) we wanted to have an excuse to get out of town for a girls' trip. Obviously! 

I can't wait to share all the delicious deets with you. But first, I wanna just sum it up. So what does make Feast stand out so much? What makes it "the best food festival in the country?" Here are a few of my takeaways of what made it truly one of the best (and tastiest) things I've ever experienced: 

  • It's 21 and over. That's right, your duck confit BLT and basil gin smash can be enjoyed sans screaming children! 
  • Star power! For those of you who adore Top Chef and all of those other foodie shows, you get to rub elbows with some of the greats, like Hugh Acheson, Chris Cosentino, Nina Compton and Andy Ricker, to name just a few. 
  • The sheer quality of the chefs, artisans, distilleries, breweries and wineries is remarkable. Being in close proximity to them is great and all but the best part? You get to eat their food. Refer back to picture of me on the right to give you a visual of what that feels like, or rather what that tastes like! 
  • It's not just about quality, but quantity! We tried to keep a running tally of all the bites we consumed per event. And some "bites" are truly sample size, while others are a few biters that involve a fork and knife. On average, I'd say 15 bites and a handful of beverages were consumed at each event, and that was only just scratching the surface of what was offered. One person can only make so much room!

But to really paint the full picture of why it was one of the best experiences I've had, I just have to dive right in and give you the Feast play-by-play. You ready? Buckle up, foodie friends!! 

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Nommin’ Around in Austin

Get ready for the most epic Nommin' Around post to date! About a year ago really, Cole and I had our sights set on Austin as our next travel destination. Why?  Austin has been popping up left and right as the next hot city, for its food and music culture, which was reason enough to go. But we also really wanted to get our hands on some authentic Texas barbecue. Seriously! So we decided that this was the year we were going to make it happen. And we were not disappointed! We sort of maybe fell in love with it, in fact. 

Here are just a few reasons why we're newly in love with Austin: 

  1. Everyone is SUPER friendly. The Seattle freeze is real and it's quite honestly getting on my nerves! It was so refreshing to go to a new city where everyone was so welcoming and friendly. 
  2. Gas is stupid cheap. It was actually my first observation on our taxi to our Airbnb. When I saw that gas was well under $2/gallon I had to do a double take!
  3. Austin loves beer, and so do I. The end. 
  4. The live music scene is unbelievable. We managed to go to a couple casual bars where a band was playing on just a random week night. We also sought out an actual venue where they had a free happy hour show that ended up being one of the best live shows we both had seen. It was an unforgettable experience! 
  5. There's no shortage of good food and drink. In fact, one of the reasons why I'm now in love with their food scene is that you can get good, quality food at a fraction of the price as you can in Seattle, and from fun and unexpected places! Breakfast tacos from a bus? Restaurant quality breakfast sandwiches from a food truck? You never know what amazing food you'll find without breaking the bank!

And on that note, since we embarked on the ultimate foodie getaway, I knew that this was going to be prime material for the blog. While I was enjoying all of the tasty food and drink I could possibly stuff in my belly, I kept thinking how I couldn't wait to share about my tasty travels with y'all (yep, I just said y'all.)

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Jaunt to San Diego

Who: Cole

Where: Ballast Point Brewing Company, Mexican Fiesta and Pacific Beach Fish Shop

What: Short rib sliders, lots of tasty beer, California burritos and fish tacos: mahi mahi with lemon butter and red snapper with blackened seasoning. 1933844_10207119054486549_3562748159766944991_n

Cole and I had the opportunity to take a whole week off of work to enjoy Christmas time with our families. Lucky for me, Cole is a Cali boy (he would hate that I just said "Cali") and that means taking a trip down to the Inland Empire of Southern California. Riverside, CA to be more specific. 

Our time in Riverside was spent with lots of family, lots of food and lots of chillaxing. I even had the chance to meet Cole's extended family for the first time ever! Turns out, two of his cousins live in beautiful San Diego and happened to recommend we take a day trip down to visit some of their recommended eating and drinking locations. There was absolutely no hesitation. The next day we set out on our jaunt to San Diego! 

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The Benedict Club

Who: Napha and Noel

Where: Bell + Whete

What: Bottomless mimosas, Archbishop Bloody Mary, Housemade Caramel Crepe Cake, Belgian Fries with Ham Aioli, and Dungeness Crab Eggs Benedict for days.

It has been a hot minute since I last wrote a Nommin’ Around post. You’re probably thinking to yourself, “does this girl ever leave her house?” Yes, yes I do. And yes, a blog-worthy, eating/socializing occasion has been long overdue!

Napha and Noel are my good friends that I’ve known since college that I adore spending time with, though it’s been infrequent lately. But the beauty of our visits is I feel like we can pick up where we last left off in an instant. I know I’m going to laugh myself silly with these two, and count on being my full, weird self. These guys are my people.

So I was ecstatic when we finally made a plan to reconnect in my favorite fashion: over brunch. (more…)

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50th Birthday Pug Crawl

20151107_204043Who: Mama and Papa D, Kyle, Chelsie and Cole

Where: La Carta de Oaxaca, Peddler Brewing Company, Reuben’s Brews, Blue Star Cafe & Pub, Bizzarro Italian CafeKing’s Hardware and Skillet (the next morning)

What: What didn’t we eat and drink?

My beautiful, amazing mama turned 50 this past weekend! And she doesn’t even look a day over 35, amiright? To celebrate such a milestone with our favorite person, my family thought only one thing could be fitting: a 50th birthday pug crawl.

That’s no typo. We went on a pub crawl through Ballard with a pug balloon. I’ll admit the idea wasn’t completely original. The last time the Davidsons indulged in a pub crawl in Seattle, we saw a group at one of the breweries with, you guessed it, a pug balloon, with “pug crawl” written in sharpie on the balloon. Naturally my dad and I took note! (more…)

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Mama/Daughter Burger Date

Who: Mama D

Where: Loulay

What: Carafe of house Syrah and two burgers with bacon-shallot jam, Gruyere and duck egg, fries and aioli.

Twas the night before AMPLIFY…and I should’ve been running around with my hair on fire. An 800 person event? In T-minus 10 hours? EEK! But oh no, this was not the case. Of course this wasn’t my first rodeo, and I had a super supportive team at work to help whip things in shape. But the best part? Mama D rode the bus all the way from Olympia to not only be a guest at the breakfast but to help with all the last minute details. She’s the best!

So we found ourselves at 7:30pm at The Sheraton hotel in downtown Seattle, laying down our last name tags and looking at each other like, “so, we’re good here, right? We can go grab a bite, hell, even a glass of wine to cap off the night?” I couldn’t believe it, how could we have been so prepared? But without much further hesitation, this is exactly what this mother-daughter duo did on AMPLIFY Eve. (more…)

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Friday Night Margs

Who: Cole

Where: Cactus, South Lake Union

What: Two Cactus margaritas, chips and guacamole, spiced caesar with shrimp, spicy Ahi tacos and apple wood smoked chicken flautas.

Cole and I started this new tradition of Friday night date nights. Living together means every night is essentially date night. And while I’m perfectly content to stay home in my comfies and chill any night of the week, it’s nice to spice it up every so often and also have a weekly tradition you can look forward to. On this weekly date night, not only was I looking forward to spending time with my Cole over drinks and food as always, but I was seriously looking forward to having a moment to toast an end of a busy week and kick off the start of another.  (more…)

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Escape to the Coast

Who: Cole

Where: Bowpicker, Fort George Brewery and Pickled Fish (x2)

What: Albacore fish and chips, 1811 lager, Fresh IPA, El Burro, Cranberry + Bubbles, Steamer Clams, Roasted Brussel Sprout + Radicchio, Fennel Sausage Wood-Fired Pizza, Herb Gnocchi, Caramel Bread Pudding, Oatmeal Cranberry Skillet Cookie, Pancetta Eggs Benedict and Breakfast Sandwich.

 

I actually uttered the words, “I hate food” to Cole. I know, it’s painful for me to even tell you this. Of course I said this after we walked in the door after returning home after a 24 hour eating and drinking marathon.

Ok, I could NEVER hate food (I was eating pho approximately 2.5 hours after this statement was uttered.) But when Cole and I go on a vacation or a weekend getaway, that’s code for “let’s go somewhere so we can eat a lot of food and drink a lot of beer without any guilt.” That’s kind of why I like him.  (more…)

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No Meat Left Behind

Who: Elaine

Where: Frelard Pizza Company and Reuben’s Brews

What: Pitcher of Fremont Summer Ale, Caesar salad, two slices of roasted garlic and butternut squash pizza, mixed salumi board and an American Rye, American Brown, Crikey IPA and Imperial Oatmeal Stout

Let me tell you about Elaine. Elaine and I have been friends for over six years and were neighbors in the UW dorms, then soon after house roommates. To describe our relationship would be recount the many crazy Husky tailgate and hockey party stories, late night drives around Seattle, trips to Olympia, Golden Gardens picnics, happy hour hopping, walks around Green Lake (LTJ!) and countless memories we made at our Sunnyside house. Something else you should know about Elaine: she is my food soul mate. We get hungry at the same time, we crave the same foods, we never differ on what to order when going out and we have the same taste in restaurants. It’s a rare find! So when Elaine and I get together, not only can I count on laughter and shenanigans, but I know some good food and drink will be consumed.  (more…)

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Bizzarro, Or Else.

Who: Cole

Where: Bizzarro Italian Cafe

What: Diablo Prawns, homemade focaccia bread, starter salads, The Forest Floor Frenzy and the Lasagna.

My person and I just recently celebrated three years of dating together. Eek, I know – kind of a big deal right?! What better way for us to celebrate three years than with some of our favorite foods and a classic Ali and Cole date night.

Bizzarro Italian Cafe has been one of my favorite Seattle restaurants since I started living here seven years ago, and is my idea of the perfect date night spot. Unlike most Seattle establishments these days, Bizzarro still has a unique, quirky flavor all its own and, not only has some of the best handmade pasta I’ve ever had, but comes at a fairly reasonable price. Of course we weren’t trying to skimp on such an occasion but why would we go anywhere else when we happen to just LOVE Bizzarro? (more…)

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