Is it just me or does every weekend host a different festival, sometimes several at once, in Bend and surrounding areas? I mean, there was Hullabaloo and Bite of Bend back to back, there was Artisphere before that, and a True North Parenting celebration squeezed in somewhere. Between all of these events, what's a girl with her mind set on a very important birthday to do? Roll it all into a birthday weekend, of course! With food, drinks, festivals and so much to do in the outdoors, I had to take notes on this past weekend's Birthday festivities.
To start, my best friend took me to the new restaurant Tart for a birthday lunch, a great choice with a french-inspired seasonal menu, which, with a bottle of Veuve Cliquot sparkling rose, was delicious. We shared a salad and entree and although the service was a little rushed, the atmosphere (and the bottle) allowed us to take our time. By 3pm, we were clinking cocktails (greyhounds, to be exact) at 900 Wall's stellar happy hour. Groggy but revved up, I ran into my editor at The Source on my way home, promising him I'd write this blog. There was so much to do and not enough time, so I quickly changed my outfit and headed to the Old Mill to shop at O, Mo Mo before meeting my boyfriend and his daughter for dinner. As the clock struck seven, we waltzed into Hola! at the Old Mill, to enjoy a dinner that we were certain would not dissappoint.
Birthday Dinner at Hola!
Seared ahi with two kinds of vibrantly colored, chilled potatoes andguacamole hit the spot. It was one of those birthday dinners that simply could not be beat. My tayberry margarita (a blend of raspberry and blackberry = a third berry, tayberry), with additional pours from a shaker seemed to never end. A shot of Milagro blanco while a giant sombrero adorned my head, added fuel to the fire. After dinner, I headed to Astro with some friends for a drink, but wound up sipping on water while they enjoyed Astro's signature lemon drops.
On Saturday, I shared my birthday with the Redmond Centennial celebration, complete with a pack of PBR, because really, what's a birthday celebration with out it? I ate a perfectly patriotic lunch of chilled summer gazpacho and a slice of watermelon, plus a scoop of Eberhardt's huckleberry swirl ice cream. Yum.
At home that night, we cooked dinner and drank boxed wine, a particular point of interest from a food writer who prides herself on the finer things. Boxed wine is making a leap into the high-end wines or at least drinkable-at-home wines starting with BOTA BOX, which has made headlines for its three varietals. We enjoyed a BOTA BOX shiraz, purchased at Safeway, whereas we might have normally splurged on a $40 bottle of Domaine Serene. The shiraz was drinkable and for the price of a mid-level bottle, the BOTA BOX ($20) was the equivalent of four 750ml bottles of wine. Plus, the wine stays intact and un-vinegared for weeks! BOTA BOX made me a believer.
Sunday began leisurely with another festival, the 4th of July pet parade in downtown Bend. Proud dogs and their prouder owners strutted through town, festively outfitted in red, white and blue. The floating dog, the matching set of poodles with dreds, and the sparkling ponies were some of many favorite attractions. Later that evening, the fireworks show on Pilot Butte, seen from a friend's roof, was spectacular. We cooked outside on the grill--chicken drumsticks, corn on the cob, hot dogs and macaroni salad--and shared notes on our amazing country on Independence day.
Although the festivities continued on Monday when I went for a picnic at Sparks Lake and sled rides down the side of Bachelor, this is a blog, not a memoir, so I'll save it for the next entry! To be continued...
Food as Art: Bend's three sisters and surrounding areas.