I was beyond thrilled when one of the Portland Blogger organizers, Bee from The Spicy Bee
, worked with local PR company Little Green Pickle
to bring together an amazing opportunity for local bloggers. The Holiday Mingle was slotted as an opportunity for local bloggers to get a chance to meet and connect with some amazing restaurants and food vendors from the area-- right in time for their holiday projects! It was also an opportunity to listen to a panel of PR professionals talk about working with bloggers. Only in Portland can you get competitors working together to create an amazing event that hopefully, in the end, is beneficial to everyone involved.
I'm breaking this post up into two posts because there is just so much to cover... so, now I give you the amazing food and some fabulous companies! I'll be back soon with tips for bloggers from real PR pros!
The restaurant owners and vendors that came out for the Holiday Mingle brought their A-game. I highly encourage you to read on if you are in Portland looking for great places to eat, are planning on traveling to Portland, or are looking for an item or two for your foodie friends and family for the holidays.
I've been impressed with many of these restaurants in the past:
- The Original Dinerant was the site of last year's birthday party (where I had amazing food and excellent service) so getting to try some more of their dessert menu and some seriously amazing deviled eggs was certainly a highlight of my evening.
- The Bent Brick wow'd me back in May with a fabulous Happy Hour selection. They brought their tasty smoked salmon chips (and other tasty menu items) to the Mingle. The only thing missing was their Peat & Peet whiskey drink that I fell in love with on my last visit.
- Besaws is one of my absolute favorite places to go to brunch. The hubs and I usually bring visiting friends or family there over when they are traveling over the weekend. But, did you know they also do dinner!?
- Another place I bring visitors to is Departure Restaurant and Lounge-- not only does it have an amazing deck with a view of the city, but seriously tasty drinks and foods. Chef Gregory Gourdet showed up at the Mingle to pretty much everyone's delight.
- Olympic Provisions is a local salumeria. Their meats make for the best charcuterie platters! I've totally dined on and purchased Olympic Provisions goodies before... but, was completely unaware that they also have restaurants in the area. I can't wait to try them out. (Also, they sell their meats... and, if you didn't know, my birthday is just around the corner!)
- Water Avenue Coffee and I go way, way back. ;) I fell in love with their rich, smooth coffee at a past Portland Bloggers' meet-up. Since then I've visited their shop to also enjoy a great latte, tasty treats, and their laid back atmosphere. Whenever a blogger wants to meet at Water Avenue Coffee for a meeting the answer is always YES.
And, the new-to-me vendors really gave a great first impression:
- Tails & Trotters specializes in Northwest Hazelnut Finished Pork. O.M.G. (I don't use that phrase often.) I couldn't believe that you could actually TASTE the hazelnuts on the pork that we tried. It was amazing and it will end up in one of my holiday dishes this year. I can't wait to start recipe testing! Oh, and if you are in NE Portland then you should stop by and grab a ham sandwich at their sandwich counter!
- Double Dragon's appetizers at the event were the first that I had the opportunity to try. They brought a selection of bites that had the most amazing flavors and spices. I'm pretty sure I had a foie gras pate on bread and a mushroom pate. AMAZING. And, I often frequent the SE area of Portland... I'll be there to try some of their Banh Mi as soon as possible.
- Fishpeople Seafood sent everyone home with packs of their Seafood Entree Pouches that have whole food products and no gross ingredients. I can't wait to try these for dinner or even a quick to make lunch in the office. The ingredient list on the back of the package is the thing that really made me excited. I understand every word on the package and would cook with the ingredients in my own home.
A lot of my readers are from the PNW area and I hope that this list helps bring to light some of the awesome companies we have available. But, even if you aren't from Portland, some of the products above can be shipped! I would be thrilled to find many of these items under the tree or at the holiday dinner table this season!
A big thank you to Macey Snelson & Chloe from Little Green Pickle for photos!
And to these amazing vendors and professionals that donated their time, expertise, and product: