Despite what locals think, Portland isn’t really an innovation town; what it is good at tho, is taking one small concept and replicating it a hundred times with different names, and exploiting that situation. Kind of like Taco Bell. Portland takes the same old ingredients, mixes them up, relabels their effort, and sells it as something “new.”
Come into the city on any summer weekend, head for the park along the waterfront, and you will undoubtedly run into a festival of one kind or another, whether its the “Craft Beer Festival”, or simply “Beerfest”, “Taste of Oregon”, or “Naked Nesters for Nougat Nirvana.” (OK, made up the last one). Point is, at all of these fests, you’ll find the same participants, exhibitors, food and drink stands.
Such is usually the case with the neighborhood street fairs, which are also as numerous, and tho they have many different names, they are all pretty much the same.
Mrs. BurgerDogBoy and I ventured out to one last night, called “Last Thursday”, which takes place between the 1500 and 3000 block of NE Alberta Street. Those blocks are cordoned off so that local merchants and mobile purveyors of goods can entertain you along with various street performers.
Last nite was cold and rainy, and perhaps many people thought “Last Thursday” really took place “Last Thursday”, because the crowds were nowhere to be found, and there was only a modicum of merchants and mobile merchants participating.
The rain didn’t dampen our enthusiasm, and we frolicked and/or grazed our way through a number of the vendors, starting with a very pleasant meal at Domo Dogs, before moving on to pick up a coffee and some unbelievable bakery treats at Petite Provence, (Mrs. BDB, under the cover of darkness, bought me an olive-encrusted boule to bring home…ENABLER! lol) on to Parker Waffles, for the Nutella, Grilled Banana and Bacon waffle, (oh god, flashbacks of the Amsterdam trip we took for Valentine’s Day!), and ending up at the Koi Fusion truck, where we had the short ribs taco, and the bbq beef tacos. The Korean-inspired tacos were splendelicious, and if you haven’t had a chance to try Koi Fusion, make it a point to “make it so.” Good job, guys.
In between the grazing stops, we poked in a couple of shops, I scored a few bunches of flowers for Mrs. BurgerDogBoy, and we walked and talked, wishing, as we usually do, that we had multiple stomachs. Last nite, as other nites, when we “overdo”, we end up with a lot of styrofoam leftover containers in the frig, which is ok with both of us.
We’re staying in this weekend, grazing our way through leftovers, and things we like to make together. On tap are ceviche, carne asada, and for me, engineering a semi-difficult merger between that French bread, some black forest ham, and baby swiss.
(Photo is from http://community.portlandneighborhood.com/).