Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Feast Portland: Exploring the Bounty of Oregon Before Feast Begins

All trails do lead to Feast, as they say, so we explored the culinary offerings of southern Oregon before the Feast Portland events. Along the way, we met some folks who would be cooking and exhibiting in Portland and others who invited us to enjoy some locally sourced, farm-fresh foods. Feast Portland designated the hashtag #trailstoPortland for all the food enthusiasts who were traveling in Oregon on their way to Feast.

The Southern Oregon Artisan Corridor

After landing at the Rogue Valley Medford International Airport (less than an hour's flight from Portland) we headed down I-5. Medford, Oregon, near the California border on the I-5 corridor, is known for the famous Harry and David’s gourmet gifts but on our southern Oregon "Trails to Feast" experience, I happened upon a little bit of undiscovered artisan food heaven in the Central Point area just off I-5. They even have a name for it—the Southern Oregon Artisan Corridor.
To die for grilled blue and cheddar cheese from Rogue Valley Creamery
Ledger David hosted a tasting paired with Rogue Creamery cheeses.
It’s a stop that will leave you wanting to linger more in the area but if you only have an hour or two, you can benefit from the co-location of three highly regarded purveyors of gourmet delights—Rogue Creamery, Lillie Belle’s Chocolates, and Ledger David Cellars wines. Actually located in Central Point, part of the Medford metropolitan area, the three businesses share an unlikely location—next to the railroad tracks. But don’t let that deter you. The Artisan Corridor has award-winning treats in store. Read our full story on Wander With Wonder.

The Chateau at Oregon Caves National Monument 

At the soon to be renovated Chateau, we experienced the lodge and coffee shop as travelers in the 1930s might have. This picturesque six-story lodge blends into the forest with its bark-covered exterior. The building extends down into a canyon with a little waterfall and trout pond. The Chateau houses 23 guest rooms, a fine dining room overlooking the canyon, and a quaint 1930s era coffee shop.
The Chateau
We gathered in the Caves Café coffee shop for traditional breakfasts—French toast, eggs, and local sausage, hearty bowls of oatmeal and, of course, coffee. The “Eggs in a Cave” were popular with the eggs being cooked inside a “cave” of Texas toast.
Cave Eggs!

It was easy to want to relax for a while in this old-fashioned café with birch and maple counters and knotty-pine paneling. But, the hearty breakfasts were to prepare us for the much-anticipated entry into the cave, just steps away from the Chateau.  Read our Oregon Caves story on Wander With Wonder.

The Wild Coast Beckons 

Since we were visiting the Oregon Caves, the best way to get to the coast was to take scenic Hwy 199 which dipped into California and gave us a taste of the magnificent redwoods at Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park. If you continued on, you’d end up in Crescent City, California. Instead, we turned north on Highway 101 to explore the southern Oregon coast.

Once we reached the coast we enjoyed a marvelous lunch and then traveled north to Port Orford. We were right along the coast with viewpoints dotting the road. Oregon legislators gave us all a wonderful gift in 1967. The Oregon Beach Act was a piece of landmark legislation in Oregon establishing public ownership of land along the Oregon Coast from the water up to sixteen vertical feet above the low tide mark. This means that people have access and that views are not marred by hotels and developments.

The views and hiking opportunities kept us busy for the afternoon and then that evening we had another marvelous dinner, watched a sunset from the deck of the restaurant, and settled into private luxe cabins in the woods for the night. Read about our wild coast experience on Wander With Wonder.

Experiencing Feast Portland

Once our foodie and fun explorations of southern Oregon were over, it was time to get serious about food. We had arrived in Portland, Oregon, for Feast Portland 2018 and soon it was time to delve into the latest food products from Oregon and beyond, sip a little wine and go to an amazing Feast Portland dinner event.

Read about our Feast Portland 2018 experience on Real Food Traveler. Save the date for year eight of Bon Appétit Presents Feast Portland, September 12-15, 2019. You’ll have plenty of choices if you log on quickly for tickets. If you procrastinate, you can still have fun with the larger tasting events.

Feast On!

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