When's the last time you Indulged?

Thursday night is the last time I indulged. Billed as Portland’s premiere Eastside dining And spirits festival, Indulge at the Jupiter Hotel exceeded all expectations in all five (or six) of my senses.

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.
I arrived at 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.
Unfortunately Rick was unable to join for this event in his hometown [grrr, work], but TOWB Special Correspondent Andrea was happy to attend and partake in the festivities. As we walked into the DreamTENT, I was bombarded with a cacophony of sights, sounds, and smells that all screamed "awesome, awesome, awesome." Around the perimeter of the tent, 12 of Portland's finest chefs had stations set up where they were doling out simply orgasmic fare. Scottish eggs, spam sushi, pork belly burgers, and peanut butter and jelly rice crispy treats...oh my. Our game plan was simple. Start at the first table and proceed counter-clockwise. It was the only way we could be sure to hit all of the amazingness.
According to Andrea:

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.

Well friends, a valiant effort was made, and emerge successfully we did. After hitting half of the food stations and stopping by the Twitter Lounge, my throat was getting a bit parched from talking to all of the amazing chefs. That's right, this was a food and spirits event...where were the spirits? We quickly found out. Outside of the DreamTENT, approximately 8 distilleries and 4 breweries had each taken over a hotel room and set up shop serving guests. Our first stop was 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.
All in all, a simply amazing evening as we Indulged more than I had anticipated. I left with a full belly and a satisfied palate, and was definitely appreciative of the short commute to my hotel room. The event was great, the hotel fit the bill perfectly, and I found the East Burnside neighborhood of Portland to be up and coming as a perfect eclectic getaway. Indulge encapsulated the spirit of culinary excellence in the Pacific Northwest. This is one of those events to add to your "must attend" list next year...if you can get a ticket!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for attending, Josh! We're glad to have you (and that you enjoyed the hotel as a place to crash- definitely needed after such a rich meal and hearty drinks!)We've highlighted your review on our buzz page.

Come by again soon!
Jupiter Lily