03 September 2006

(My) Bite of Oregon Scorecard

Food Festivals can be hit or miss assemblies depending on who’s participating in the production. Here’s my scorecard from the 2006 Bite of Oregon.

Hit - Lobster Quesadilla from La Rosa Authentic Mexican Kitchen. The tortilla was "hand-thrown"—makes all the difference in the world. It tender mouth-feel was something no machine can replicate.

Draw - Clam Chowder from Mo's Restaurant. The soup had a good consistence, but flavor-wise it lacked the richness associated with chowder and tasted a bit flat. They also weren't generous with the clams.

Miss - Seafood Paella from Rafati's Elegance in Catering. The dish lacked structure; the rice was mushy, the seasonings unbalanced and flavors muddled.

Miss - BBQ Pork Ribs from Jackie's Rib. The meat was cold—enough said.

Miss & Miss - Dungeness Crab Cocktail (right) & Cioppino with Dungeness Crab (left) from Salty's on the Columbia. The Cioppino tasted like bad tomato vegetable soup. It was weak and thin with too much celery making the broth bitter. The Dungeness Crab Cocktail was virtually tasteless, and the meat, stringy and soggy.

Apologies to Pacific Northwesterners: I’ve given the Dungeness Crab a chance while living on this (West) Coast, but can’t realize the flavor and texture that gets raves—big chunks of sweet, firm meat. I've been discouraged with all my contacts save them covered in ginger and scallions at Chinese restaurants. I'm a Maryland girl at heart and my love is for the Blue Crab, wholly and completely.

Hit, Big Hit - Marionberry Pie from Hoffman's Dairy. Marionberries are something special, and they're phenomenal in pie. Impossible to find outside of Oregon, they're similar to blueberries, but slightly more tart. I'm a fan of tartness; I welcome it, instantly, in my food. This pie was a real treat.

Hit, Big Hit - HillCrest wines. I tasted all their white wines: Chardonnay, Viognier, and Riesling. They were fabulous; I loved them all. While I sampled different wines from other Oregon wineries in the "wine pavilion", they were by far my favorite. HillCrest is a small, family owned place that doesn't sell outside of Oregon and only distributes to a few Portland restaurants. The public can buy from the winery and online. I bought one bottle of Riesling and would have gotten cases of everything if I could afford it. The winemakers graciously let me take their picture, too.

Scorecard: Misses - 4; Hits - 3 + 2 Bonus Points for the pie & wine 'cause you can only get them in-state, so 5 total; and 1 Draw.

Overall, it was a solid day: a well-spent morning at a nice event to benefit the Special Olympics Oregon. I was happy I went; that's what counts the most—Veni, Vidi, Edi.

La Rosa Authentic Mexican Kitchen
1444 NW College Way # 104
Bend, OR 97701
(541) 318-7210

Jackie's Ribs
2155 Silverton Road Northeast
Salem, OR, 97303
(503) 371-7339

Hoffman's Dairy
6815 S Knightsbridge Rd
Canby, OR 97013


Blogger Jasmine said...


I just tagged you for the "five foods" project at Traveller's Lunchbox.

Hope you can participate :)


9/05/2006 8:08 PM  
Blogger Blue Plate said...

yea, i got tagged. i'm happy to participate. thanks, b p

9/06/2006 12:49 AM  

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