evannichols (evannichols) wrote,

What's this taste in my mouth?

Portlanders know about The Bite, the annual food festival in Waterfront Park. Its success spawned other festivals, like the worst-named food festival I know: The Taste of Beaverton. I've seen Beaverton, so when I hear this, I think "Eww! I've got the taste of Beaverton in my mouth!" I've never been drawn to go, but the Taste of Tillamook somehow sounds much better. I think of cheese. I like cheese. So we went.

The parking lot of the local fair grounds was packed, so I was a bit surprised when we walked into the building and the whole event appeared to be in one medium-sized room. I hadn't seen the doorway to the side, which revealed that it was actually spread over two medium-sized rooms. The $5 admission seemed a bit steep for the event, and I had a brief but meaningful discussion with the admissions woman about whether we got a discount for going to both the Crab Races and the Taste of Tillamook. We did not. But she turned out to be Mrs. Tillamook 2004, and she held my hand afterward (briefly, while she put a fish stamp on the back of my hand, but that's the most action I've gotten from a beauty queen in a long time and I'll treasure it).

The best part of the Taste of Tillamook was the samples. Many free samples. There was cheese, naturally, and meat sticks, but the best part was the wine. Now, I don't think of wine when I think Tillamook; I think cows and cow products. Apparently there are many vintners in the county, and they make some right tasty wine. One of the first we sampled was a raspberry, which tasted too much like cough syrup (which I politely didn't announce in a loud voice; some wine makers get testy from such a comparison), but most of what we sampled were quite good. Wine samples were supposed to be 50¢ each, but several of the merchants were none too picky about charging, so we could have easily gotten ripped for the price of admission, but that seemed a bad idea. Instead, we did one circuit around both rooms, and ate some crab salad and chicken-on-a-stick. DrArwenChicken bought a souvenir Taste of Tillamook wine glass, because it had a blue guitar-playing fish on it, which will be mentioned again later. Then we left, only slightly queasy from food-based reaction, so overall it was a success. Go Mooks!

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