Sunday, August 12, 2007

Tasty Vittles... Soundtracked by Patti Smith!

I headed out this evening to catch the last night of Portland's current festival, the Bite of Oregon. The Bite used to feature a number of local chefs and restauranteurs, but these days it mostly serves as a showcase of what's going on in Oregon's outside-of-Portland food scene. Here's a shot of the judges announcing this year's winners of the Junior Iron Chef competition, from Bend High School:

And here we see a rather blurry shot of the winning team...

...proudly displaying their prizes... Paring knives??? Am I just crazy, or does it seem like chef knives might have made more appropriate prizes for these girls? Sure, they're demure and dainty and all, but I'd imagine that by now each of these young bad-ass food chicks can handle a real knife... At any rate, I next headed off to find some food, but was distracted by Dr. Theopolis on the second stage:

Riveting as Dr. T's unique brand of white boy funk-hop was, I managed to tear myself away from the spectacle to find me some meat on a stick:

This was unusually good meat on a stick, huckleberry marinated lamb, provided by the fine folks of La Grande's Foley Station:

After finding some napkins to wipe the huckleberry-meat juices from my person, I visited Foley's neighbors, Tamastslikt Cultural Institute's Kinship cafe, of Pendleton, for some Huckleberry smothered frybread (huckleberries are a big deal here in Oregon):

Not having much experience with American Indian culture, I really don't know from frybread, but damn, that was tasty! Next, I tried a crab cake with lemon aioli from Cannon Beach's Newman's at 988:

I've had a crab cake or two in my time, and I can tell you that this was better than most. I was tempted by the many other culinary options, but by this time, I could hear that the headliner, punk rock's poet laureate, Patti Smith, was taking her place on the main stage. I pulled my camera out of my bag, jockeyed my way to the front of the crowd, and bumped into a guy who insisted that he knew me... Did you ever live in Atlanta? No... But you look just like a guy I used to know in Atlanta that carried a camera around all the time! No, sorry, man, I don't know what you're talking about... After spending a few minutes shooting Patti and her band, I began to realize that this guy next to me did look a little familiar... I eventually figured out that he was Justin, a barista from one of my old coffee hangouts. We had a good laugh over that. And for all of my efforts at shooting Patti and her band, only one shot turned out:

Actually, that's not true. I did manage to get the obligatory backstage shot as well:

Patti, along with her longtime collaborator Lenny Kaye and the rest of her band, were clearly not as excited about this show as they might have been in some other, larger, more important city (she struggled with the pronunciation of "Oregon"). But they cranked out a pretty good set of old material mixed with a few covers from their recent Twelve, notably "Are You Experienced" and "Gimme Shelter" (a favorite of mine regardless of who's performing it). And hey, it's freakin' Patti Smith... I don't care if she was phoning it in, it was worth the seven bucks!


Trisha said...


She lived in Michigan, you know we can't pronounce Oregon! Plus , maybe chef knives are against the weapon's code at the young ladies' school!

McAuliflower said...

Fun- I almost saw you (judging on where your photos were taken from).

By the time the Junior Iron Chef winners were being announced, we were slinking back for more corn & salmon chowder. The huckleberries on fry bread were divine.

tommy said...

I may have accidentally spilled some beer on you (I know I spilled some beer on myself)...

Salmon chowder? There was salmon chowder??? Hey, Trisha! There was salmon chowder!!!