Living 90 miles from "the big city" makes it difficult for to attend some of the bigger food and wine events, particularly on a weeknight. While Clive can party it up in Seattle until the wee hours of the morning and be up 2 hours later in the office, add an hour and a half drive on to that between Portland and Corvallis and it isn't usually in the cards for me. When I got the invitation to Indulge at the Jupiter and saw it was on a Thursday, I was disappointed until I realized that I had already scheduled the next day off of work -- it would be the perfect end to a long few weeks. Add the opportunity to stay at the Jupiter Hotel after the event and I was sold.
The Jupiter about two hours before Indulge was scheduled to begin and I found myself standing in the lobby of a super-funky retro style hotel, immediately next to the hopping Doug Fir nightclub. A large tent, where the event was held, was set up outside and I was struck by the incredible politeness of the staff at the front desk. They are top-notch and went out of their way to make sure I had a room right next to the action. Upon making my way to my room for the evening, I was really digging the modern-retro feel to the space. Then I saw it. A custom embossed condom, in the wrapper of course, sitting on the night stand in between the beds. That was courteous...and optimistic! The Jupiter probably isn't the best place to stop the family truckster on the a road trip, however, it perfectly meets it's niche of a place to "get a room" after an awesome night out in Portland. And...100 feet from the party tent? I was in heaven.
It was overwhelming but extremely exciting. I felt like we weren't going to be able to try it all in the three hours of the event, but we were going to make a valiant effort.
Deschutes; we sauntered in expecting your traditional 3 ounce sample pour. There are no sample pours at Indulge. A full beer in hand and a big smile on our face, we headed back to the other half of the food vendors. Three more mini-meals and we were ready for some more refreshment; to the Organic Nation room! Yep, pouring full cocktails. Yep, all included in the entry fee to the event.
Typically when I go to an event with a large number of people, I cruise through and am ready to take my leave to a quieter locale. The awesome thing about Indulge, while very well-attended, is that it didn't feel packed. The combination of the tent and all of the individual rooms spread guests out and we rarely needed to wait for food, drink or otherwise. I discovered some restaurants that I definitely want to hit up in Portland such as Tabla, Meat Cheese Bread, and Olympic Provisions. We didn't stumble into the wine room until a few minutes before the event closed, and the proprietors were more than happy to give us a generous taste while packing up.