Portland, Oregon: A Culinary Adventure
A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to explore Portland, Oregon. It was a tasty adventure, touring farms and bustling about Feast Portland events. A delicious adventure!
There are certain towns every food-lover longs to visit, and Portland, Oregon is high on the list.
My first morning in Portland, I headed out on the streets looking for the quintessential Portland breakfast… donuts and coffee.
Although I had heard all about Portland’s flamboyant donut shops, famous around the country, I wanted to visit a donut shop that was considered a local favorite.
Upon opening the door of Blue Star Donuts, I knew I had found exactly what I was looking for.
These donuts needed no kitchy decorations or crazy flavor combinations to make them appealing. They were simple donut perfection.
My favorite was the Meyer Lemon Curd Donut, covered in powdered sugar with homemade creamy lemon curd oozing out.
After breakfast I walked back to the hotel and waited for my ride to Pacific Foods Farms.
Pacific Foods farms boasts 4ooo acres in the Portland area, doing things most farmers say are impossible with large-scale organic farming.
Pacific Foods owner Chuck Eggert believes it’s important to take care of the land, educate other local farmers, and produce food in a clean and wholesome way in order to produce healthier products and a better future.
Chuck is passionate about animal care and researching century-old organic farming techniques that can be brought back in our modern age of farming.
He has also taken great care to turn old farm runoff areas into natural animal habitats, in order to leave the land better off than when he found it.
Chuck surrounds himself with incredible people who share his passion for organic farming.
Laurie Mooney, the head farmer of Pacific Foods Community Store Farm, took us on a tour through the Pacific Foods research greenhouse, where they are experimenting with hydroponic gardening and various natural methods of fertilizing.
She also showed us some pretty cute chickens.
Pacific Foods cultivates the majority of the products they put in their foods, believing that clean healthy ingredients make the tastiest products.
Their goal is to create a closed loop where everything is made and used on their farms, from controlling ground water for better irrigation, to growing their own organic animal feed, to using manure and cover crops to grow the best produce possible.
I’ve been on my fair-share of farm tours, and I was highly impressed to say the least.
After the farm tour, we had lunch at the Eggert family’s winery.
You know… because running one of the largest and most innovative organic companies in the nation is child’s play, and they needed a hobby. *wink*
I had the opportunity to walk around the vineyard before lunch. The view at the Eggert’s Champoeg Wine Cellars was stunning.
As we sat down to eat, it was a satisfying feeling to know everything we ate and drank was produced by this brilliant family.
I even had the opportunity to “help” make wine for a minute or two. It’s harder than it looks!
Once the farm tour was over, I headed back to the hotel and turned my thoughts to taking in as much of Portland as I could in two days.
I wanted to take advantage of the Feast Portland festival because I knew many of the local hot-spots I wanted to visit would be represented, so the festival events were a great way to consume a lot of Portland in a short period of time.
My first event was the Sandwich Invitational Competition, in which many famous restaurants battled to produce the tastiest sandwich. I myself battled, to taste every sandwich entered.
I think I made it to 14 before petering out….
Pacific Foods was also at the Sandwich Invitation with some luxurious chai brownies!
The next morning I took to the streets to taste every bit of Portland I could.
I think I might have walked a 10 mile loop that day (working off the sandwiches.)
Then I walked all over downtown Portland nibbling everything I could get my hands on…
Like food cart snacks and a flight of ice cream from Salt and Straw.
This was gluttony at its finest.
Once my feet were ready to give out, I headed back to the Feast Portland events to finish off my trip with one last hurrah.
I had a chance to catch Duff Goldman from Ace of Cakes, and take in more edible delights at the Feast Grand Tasting.
Then I went to the Night Market event to taste international street food prepared by some of the country’s best restaurants.
Vibrant, exotic and delicious.
When it was finally time to head home, I couldn’t stop thinking about how lucky I’d been to experience a city with such a heart for food.
Not only in palate appeal, but in conscious practices to make the foods we eat safe and healthy.
I love you Portland.
Disclosure: Pacific Foods hosted me on this trip. All opinions are my own.