Friday, September 21, 2012

Oktoberfest @Widmer

It's September and in Portland that means the beginning of grey skies, chilly nights and...Oktoberfest celebrations! Last year I had the opportunity to go to Mt. Angel for their Oktoberfest (which had a mighty fine pretzel if I do say so myself) and this year my friends and I decided to hit up Widmer's Oktoberfest. This is Widmer's 8th year since they restarted the event. Why did they cancel it for a brief period? Because it rained every Portland. 

This year they hosted it at the beginning of September and the weather was perfect and naturally the beer and pretzels were flowin'.

This is the second time I have had Widmer's pretzels and they rock. For this event they were offering their perfectly soft (and simply salted) pretzels with or without their Swiss cheese and Drop Top Amber Ale fondue sauce. Do you even have to guess which option I chose? This marks the second time I have eaten their house pretzel with fondue sauce and it is unbelievable. Their Gasthaus Pub on Russell Street has the option to choose between a House pretzel with mustard or their house pretzel with the cheese fondue sauce. Normally priced at $4, and $5, respectively from 2:00 P.M - 5 P.M Monday - Friday you can get it for $3 during their Happy Hour.

Fun fact, home brewing was legalized in Oregon in 1979, and Kurt and Rob Widmer opened up the brewpub in 1984. This history is actually pretty fascinating, so if you're not already an expert on the Widmer brother's story, I recommend reading it for yourselves here.

 While this event was a blast I can't help but think that the real Oktoberfest is way better. Fortunately I will get the chance to compare the two in about 2 days! Tomorrow I head for Munich and when I land on Sunday my sister and I will begin our Germany adventure beginning with THE Oktoberfest.

Stay tuned...

4 twists! Swiss Cheese and Drop Top Amber Ale sauce is delectable.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Shotgun Sub Shop is to die for...

This past Labor Day weekend I fully embraced my inner Portlandian. Not only did I go for a run along the waterfront and sign-up for a yoga-hike through Hiking Yoga (highly recommend) but I also hit up some tasty food-carts. Which brings me to the focal point of this post: Shotgun Sub Shop's pretzel baguette sandwich. Located at SW 10th Avenue, Shotgun Sub Shop is only a couple of weeks old and is a part of the Grilled Cheese Grill family.

Before I dive into the dirty details, I must hand it to Matt Breslow, founder of both Grilled Cheese Grill and Shotgun Sub Shop, as he knows what he is doing. From a branding perspective, the design of the food carts align so well together that regardless of whether they are next to each other, if you see one - chances are you can identify who is behind the other. Also, unlike some food carts, which have so many choices it is slightly overwhelming, the menus at Shotgun Sub Shop (and Grilled Cheese Grill) are simple, clever and fun.

With names like The Road Runner or The Miss Ellie you can only imagine how much fun it must have been to create. If you don't want one of their specialty sandwiches you can also create your own in about 5 simple steps. Done and done.

Special thanks to Eater PDX for keeping me up-to-speed on the latest food cart offerings and highlighting Shotgun's Sub Shop's pretzel baguette sandwiches - because it was delicious. I decided to create my own, which happened to be
pretty close to The Bullfrog, with the exception of ham and provolone as a substitute for cheddar. I am a lover of turkey sandwiches so  the result of combining two of my favorite foods? Bingo. What's more is pairing the baguette with their Shotgun Mustard - couldn't have been a better choice.

It might not be a pretzel-baguette, but trying the Jalapeno Popper from Grilled Cheese Grill is definitely on my to-do list.

While I haven't been too strict on my rating system, I am not going to put this pretzel baguette in the same category as my pub pretzels...if you chose to disagree feel free by tweeting your opinion to @PDXPretzels.