Even the steamiest passages involving Christian Grey weren't as hot as the plaid-bedecked crowd of 600+ yelpers, media and indusry insiders that came through YU on Saturday, September 22, 2012 for Yelp's 50 Shades of Plaid Feast After-Party presented by New Deal and Ninkasi! With local food, drink and fun on the menu, there's bound to be plenty of 5-star accolades!
Portland's historic YU building is the setting for this steamy non-fiction tale of early fall fun. Built in 1908, this classic structure got done up all sexy-like for our rad plaid crowd. And what goes better with plaid than a sexy lumberjack theme, embraced wholeheartedly by the hotties from the Oregon Bartenders Guild. These leatherneck 'tenders mixed up a mess of dangerously drinkable punches (six varieties, to be exact) using New Deal's No 3 Gin, Portland 88 Vodka, Hot Monkey Vodka and Mud Puddle Chocolate Vodka, as well as St. Germain and Drambuie. And obviously no punch would be complete without local Orgeat and Grenadine syrups from B.G. Reynolds. And to add just a little sparkle, the Cucumber, Vanilla Bean and Blood Orange Dry Sodas went a long way. Does punch sound pedestrian to you? Well Melvin T will assure that "the punch bowl drinks were actually seriously crafted cocktails." For those inclined to brew, Ninkasi went over the top with the 16oz Radiant ale, a nice end-of-summer sipper that packs enough body to stand up when you need it to. Youngberg Hill was also on-hand with some 2007 Natasha Block pinot noir, and Roaring Lion tossed some energy drinks our way to help keep the party rolling! N/A your thing? There were Dry Sodas for straight sipping as well.
I could talk about the food, but Robert H puts it so eloquently: "Oba had a complex-flavored spring roll with shrimp and a mole-like sauce. Smokehouse 21 had smoked pork sliders with a pickle and tasty deviled eggs topped by a slice of smoky hot link sausage, Local Choice Market had a quiche with a great red pepper sauce garnish. The Heathman Restaurant had a lamb shoulder cassoulet with a rich reduction sauce. Pine State Biscuits made a miniature version biscuit dish [with pork tenderloin], including a chutney garnish. Mayahuel Catering/Tamale Boy had Oaxacan-style tamales with a creamy masa and subtile but tasty spices on their chicken. What's The Scoop? was a star of the evening, with in-field preparation with their liquid-nitrogen-fueled small batch ice creams, including a strawberry mint and a mint chocolate chip ice cream made with mint oil." If you're not drooling yet, you should be.
It wasn't just about the food and drink, though. As Jesse B notes "The entertainment, of course, was the DJ [Atom13] spinning fun tunes in the corner and the ever appreciated photo "booth" [from Tom Maxwell Photography] to add hilarious hats & glasses to snap some memorable pictures. Adding to the entertainment was the various ways people worked plaid into their outfits." Izzy Ventura was on the case as well, snapping sassy candids of the crowd in full party mode.
Mary B sums it up well: "Now this was a party. 50 shades of fantastic!" And thats thanks in HUGE part to Evan Kinkel from New Deal, who had a major hand in planning and executing this event; Morgan and Alison from Ninkasi; Jabriel, Emily and the whole Oregon Bartender's Guild crew (you sexy bartenders, you); Steve, Jenny and Curtis from YU (all amazing to work with); all of the food and drink partners involved (Walt, BJ, Sean, Randy, Megan, Jaime, Jody, Tom… too many names to mention); Tom Maxwell and Izzy Ventura (photographers – beautiful people, beautiful images); KitchenAid and Cryosource; Tables Up (napkins!); Brian and Kelly from Drink-Think (Roaring Lion and Youngberg Hill); Hollywood Lights (Ed, you're a rockstar); Carrie and Jannie and the Little Green Pickle crew; Heather Jones Consulting; The Scene Marketing Group; Watershed Communications; Bette Sinclair; Silent Partner PDX and Tim Parsons (heal up soon, buddy!); our on-site crew Aimee K, Katy H, Kevin K and Chris S; Feast Portland; and of course the Yelp community, without whom none of this would be possible.
Until next time, stay rad in your plaid,
Don "Christian Grey" B.