Thanks to Steven Shomler and Frank Rinaldi, I was able to attend the Friday Media Tour.
First stop: SE Wine Collective. They had four wines available at the Bite: White Blend, Rose, Pinot Noir, and Big Red Blend. For whatever reason, it was a Rose kinda day for me. Loved it.
Next, Glaser Distillery showcased their line of products: Limoncllo Liqueur, Coffee Liqueur, White Rum, and Vodka.
Kevin from 808 Grinds represented the food carts on this tour. I'm from Hawaii. Their food is legit. Their Kalua Pig and Asian Slaw on Crispy Wonton got the People's Choice award at Eat Mobile 2014.
Gerry Frank's Konditorei (Salem, Oregon) had the gauntlet of cakes out for people to see. If photographers wanted their food porn moment, this was pretty much the spot for it.
The Oregon Bounty Chef's Table featured several local products, ranging from seafood to berries. We got a quick, refreshing sample from the berry booth: Oregon Blackberry and Hermiston Watermelon Salad with Upland Cress, Sweet Onions, and Oregon Raspberry Vinaigrette.
Wine Slush?! The name alone deserved a picture.
The Bite has two beer gardens, one on the north side and one on the south side.
We were guided to the stage, where chefs would be showcasing their talents. I had to get a picture from the stage looking to the rows of empty audience seats.
Portlandia Ice Cream Parlor had several flavors of Unpqua ice cream. I was in a Mt. Blackberry Revel and Espresso Madness mood that day. Great stuff.
After the tour ended, I quickly went to work devouring some dishes from the Chefs' table.
I quickly beelined for the poutine because pandas and Canadians are great friends. Oregon Russet potatoes, and Tillamook cheese curds here. I would have enjoyed this more had the gravy been much warmer and the fries been fresh. This is simply a dish you can't do too far in advance. I didn't think the truffle oil drizzle added much here.
The Duck Confit with Polenta and Blueberry BBQ Sauce was the best of the three dishes I had. Rich duck and creamy polenta, but the sauce (vinegar-based) cut through the richness very well.
Finally, I went to the seafood section and sampled the Oregon Black Sable Cod on yakisoba noodles and a root beer rum BBQ sauce. Just seeing the unique sauce made me want this dish. They smoked a whole cod here, so each portion has a scoop of the fish. Gotta watch the tiny bones as best as you can. Again, I may have enjoyed this dish a little more if it was freshly made. And let's face it, the panda wants huge portions.
The panda washed down all his food with a nice beer.
The Bite of Oregon was awesome. I hope to return next year for more!