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Portland Taste of the Nation

Name: Taste of the Nation
Date: April 24, 2006
Location: Oregon Convention Center
777 MLK Jr. Boulevard
Portland, OR
Contact information: www.portlandtaste.org
Cost: $70 advance, $80 at the door, $95 VIP
What is it: An opportunity to snack on treats from many of the best restaurants in Portland

When you get more than 60 Oregon chefs and restaurants as well as 40 plus wineries and microbreweries in one room, it’s kinda like dying and going to foodie heaven.

Monday night was the annual Portland Taste of the Nation – a fundrasier for various fight against hunger groups. In its first year at the Oregon Convention Center, I heard there was more room to spread out than in years past. Tables lined the rotunda and one of the ballrooms.

Although it can be a little hectic, I was able to get around to most of the tables…at least to look, if not to try. A few ran out of items very quickly but most were well stocked up until 8, an hour before closing.

My plan of attack had been to try everything, as I felt like being a glutton. Unfortunately, I soon realized that I was definitely over-ambitious (a rarity when it comes to food) and looking at the circled items on my list, I probably only attempted half of the dishes.

If I had one suggestion, it would be for kitchens to err on the *smaller* side of things. Full croissants stuffed with chocolate and large servings of lemon Swedish creams are nice, but it’s too much if all you’re interested in is a bite.

My top picks included ravioli topped with arugula pesto from Tabla, escargo on baby potatoes from the Heathman and the dungeness crab chowder from Paley’s Place.