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Espresso Stouts Galore In Oregon

Oregon loves their beer and their microbrews. They love it as much as they love coffee and flannel. So we took advantage of the fact that so many different microbrews were available, from near and far, and drank a whole lot of espresso stouts. We purchased these at whole foods, and the check out girl actually chuckled at us after she rung everything up and was telling us how much it was. You don’t want to know. But hey, when in Oregon! The Overcast Espresso Stout, probably my personal favorite. It was super smooth. I don’t know what the open container laws are like in Oregon, but we drank it in Drake Park anyway. Arrest us, we don’t care!

The only non-stout that somehow snuck into our purchases was the Maui CoCoNut Porter. I think I saw this on tv once. It’s a good beer, but it does not have any kind of coconut taste in it, at all! Slightly false advertising. But a good beer.

Here’s the Laurelwood Espresso Stout, another favorite. J just happened to pour it out into a mug for espresso. It was just a coincidence. Also quite smooth, a bit stronger than Overcast.

Here’s where things start to get not so tasty. These two stouts by Mikkellen, Barrel-Aged Black Hole, are brewed with coffee, honey, and vanilla, and aged in either whisky or wine barrels. We thought these would be amazing. We were wrong. These just tasted strong and bad. And they were freakin’ expensive too. Coffee stout fails!

Dark Truth Stout. Ok, so this one was the worst one. It tasted like ashtray.
The Yeti Imperial Stout from Great Divide Brewing. This one was ok, but really strong, not necessarily in the best way, and just not really drinkable. I mean it wasn’t bad, but it certainly wasn’t great. And there you have it! And no, we did not drink all of these in one sitting. Drink responsibly!

Soba – Bend

So while we roamed Bite of Bend and had a few snacks, towards late afternoon, we needed a proper meal and we needed to get out of the oppressive sun. So we headed for some sit down noodles at Soba. It’s a little mini-chain in the area. They sell various asian style dishes. You’re bound to find something that everybody likes. You can pick rice, noodles, soup, and whatever flavor you want and whichever protein happens to float your boat that day. J got the shrimp yakisoba because he wanted broccoli. It only came with two pieces of broccoli, but otherwise, he was happy with this. It was very mild.
I had the vietnamese chicken rice bowl. It was like a vermicelli bowl, except it was brown rice and the only veggie you got was lettuce. But it was essentially the same nuoc cham sauce. The chicken was perfectly grilled chicken breast and it was delicious. You get plenty of food for a small price. It’s nothing mindblowing, but it’s a nice, cheap, solid meal. You order at the counter and take a number, and then they bring the food out to you. The food came out fairly fast. If you’re not in the mood for pub grub or the really expensive fine dining options on the Bend downtown strip, give Soba a go.

Soba on Urbanspoon

Bite Of Bend

People are going to think that I planned my vacation in Bend on purpose at this time to coincide with Bite of Bend, but I swear I did not. I only found out about it the weekend we arrived in Bend. And it just ended up that we were going to be back in Bend in time for the festivities. Bite of Bend is a local food festival. But really, it’s just an excuse to get drunk outdoors and eat street food. Aren’t all food festivals that? There were food vendors, sellers hocking their wares, live music, a beer and wine tent, and a top chef competition. This one vendor, who was selling sauces, was giving away 25 cent samples of pulled pork on tortilla chips with a little of their sauce on top. All we knew was, they were the cheapest, most filling, and delicious snacks there! We certainly got our $1 worth!

Sushi seems like a crazy thing to be trying to dish out at an outdoor food festival held during the summer. But we weren’t complaining. These ended up being really cheap too. It’d cost you a lot more to go to a restaurant, or even pick this up at a grocery store. And I felt quite comfortable with them being on ice.

The same spot also had little bites of appetizers too – crab cake and skirt steak.

Dumplings too!

Cheap, fresh, street sushi! Come and get it!

Bite of Bend actually was an all weekend affair, so on Saturday night, we did go in for a sneak peek. And since we were hungry for dinner, we did get some of this “thai” food. I’m not sure what about it made it so thai, that’s why I didn’t really consider it thai food. But I love me any street meat on a stick and a plate full of noodles.

Here they are grilling up the sticks. I always wonder what makes these suckers so orange/red. They’re not spicy, so where does the color come from and what purpose does it serve?

Speaking of thai, there were three thai vendors at Bite of Bend. That’s a lot, don’t you think?

Any good food festival has to have bbq, and we had a few here in Bend. Trails End BBQ came from the nearby town of Sisters, and had a pretty impressive setup. Another vendor had a much smaller rig, but they still had a nice pile of meat going on.

These people were selling sourdough scones with honey butter! They looked delicious!

And while there were fancy treats, there were standard treats as well. Little mini donuts! Definitely John Belushi’s favorite vendor of the entire festival!

Wurst, anyone? They even have curry ketchup!

Bend is also starting to have their fair share of food trucks (aren’t they all?). Spork was offering up this variety of options. $2 pork tacos! So cheap!

But the grossest thing we witnessed at Bite of Bend was this stuffed banana vendor. He would core out a hole in a banana and then stuff it with crazy things, like nutella or chick-o-stick. This was a level of decadence beyond me.

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