From hipsters, to hillbillies to clueless “tourist” who just moved here after seeing one too many episodes of Portlandia, Oregonians have one thing in common; we love to eat. Restaurant coupons dominate the local newspapers and unlike other cities, the most popular thing to blog about isn’t sports, but food. The Huffington post recently discovered that Portland ranked fifteen in a list of cities with the most eateries per capita with 7257 restaurants total. Bend, Oregon came in third on the same list.
It is little wonder that all the competition for our dining dollars has resulted in many food festivals though-out the summer. Food festivals are great way to sample the menus of various restaurants without spending too much money or having to get dressed up. It is also a great way for restaurants to advertise while making money instead of just spending money.
August offers a plethora of festivals for hungry Portlanders to enjoy. There are at least ten food festivals in Portland in August alone. No matter how much of an enthusiastic eater you might be, it would be hard to attend every one of them. There are a few festivals that are particularly unique.
Friday, August 7 to Sunday, August 9
This waterfront festival incorporates everything from food carts to fancy restaurants. This year’s theme is “Oregon bounty.” Some of the locally themed fare includes wine slushies from Such a Slush and avocado fries from the Fields Bar and Grill.
Tickets to the bite are $5.00 a day or $15.00 for a weekend pass. The gates open at 11:00 a.m. and close at 10:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Sunday. If you order your tickets in advance you can get an express line pass. Going early in the day is highly recommended as waterfront festivals can get very crowded. You will want to bring plenty of cash because that’s the only form of payment that the vendors will accept.
Friday, August 7 to Sunday, August 9
If you would rather get out of town for the weekend of August 7, you may want to head over to the Garlic Festival at Jessie Mays Community Park in North Planes, Oregon.
The garlic festival was just a regular community food festival until 1997 when a farmer suggested that they center the festivities on locally grown garlic. In addition to having some fabulous vendors selling their pungent wares, there is also live music and a parade.
The parade includes the crowing of a garlic king and queen and many garlic themed floats. There is also a 5 and 10k that will give folks a chance to sweat out all the garlicky goodness they have consumed.
Admission to the festival is free, but the food and souvenirs aren’t so be sure to bring some cash and any vampires you don’t like.
Sunday, August 16,
Although this festival is technically a celebration of Indian culture, the food alone makes it worth the trip. Food is after all, one of the greatest ways that people can develop an interest and an understanding of other cultures.
Indian food is routed in Hinduism, a religion that dictates vegetarianism and suggests that cows are sacred. Milk is considered a nectar of the Gods and much of Indian cookery involves the use of ghee which is clarified butter. The cuisine also incorporates the use of many different spices which, in addition to being tasty are said to quicken the metabolism and aid in digestion.
Patrons of India Festival will be able to enjoy many Indian foods while watching traditional dance and music.
The festival runs from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. in Pioneer Courthouse Square. Admission is free and the food is reasonably priced.
Eliza Gale – PortlandMetroLive.com Contributor
Eliza Gale began her blogging career interviewing aspiring actors and industry professionals on a Los Angeles based website called Curvewire. She started www.elizagalesintervviews in 2012 and has interviewed over three hundred people about their jobs and businesses since then. She has contributed many interviews to 360drinks.com, which is a Portland based happy-hour website. She also writes for Examiner.com and AXS.com.