Monday, July 26, 2010

A Bite in Review

Saturday, we braved the heat -- at least briefly -- to attend the second Bite of Eugene. There were more people in attendance than I would have expected, given the heat and that the event seemed to sneak up on me with almost no pre-event press. Booths from wine vendors, food vendors, and dessert companies made a neat little J-shaped line of goodness right near the river. Desserts -- including coffee (hard sell on a summer day? Not in Eugene ), Kailua Shaved Ice, Lochmead Dairy Farms ice cream, and Coconut Bliss ice cream from Luna & Larry's -- started things off by the main stage, and then slid easily into a trio of tasty baked goods purveyors: The Divine Cupcake and Holy Donuts! were out for the vegan crowd while The Sassy Cupcake was there for the rest of us.

The Sassy Cupcake may be my number-one favorite discovery of The Bite. They served five flavors of mini cupcake, at $1 a piece, and I went back for seconds. A friend of mine sampled the Peanut Butter Fudge cupcake, which had a fudgy cake base and peanut butter frosting: he called it "intense." I tried, in order, the The Sassy Cupcake -- a buttery, almost pie-crust textured cupcake base with cream cheese frosting/filling and a raspberry on top; the Pink Lemonade Cupcake, which had a lemon cake base and a topping that tasted exactly like the bright, canned pink lemonade of my childhood (in a good way!); and the Smores Cupcake, a graham cracker cupcake with marshmallow filling and a chocolate/fudge icing. C tried the Maple Bacon Cupcake, which was pancake cake with maple frosting and, yes, bacon on top, and said, "I could eat many of these."

It's a commercial/catering only bakery, so there's no danger (yet) of my going on an in-store binge, but through the Sassy Cupcake Facebook Page, I do hear rumors of a cupcakes-by-the-dozen sale. I will be there with bells on, and possibly with Kristen at my side, since she's very good at stabbing others in the name of food defense.

Other tasty nibbles:

  • Belly made an appearance, with a small stand selling $2 pork or veggie tacos, watermelon dusted with chili powder, and strawberry agua fresca. I went with the latter two and was extremely pleased -- will have to duplicate the watermelon trick at home.

  • Cornbread Cafe was also there, next to Belly, in a beautiful fusion of pork smoke hovering over your favorite vegan comfort food stand. The flavor of my southern-fried tofu didn't need that embellishment, though C's cornbread -- a cakey mess that looked more like sweet baked polenta than anything in the bread family -- could have stood a little help.

  • Bates Steakhouse made true believers out of two friends with what looked like a juicy, well-sauced tri-tip sandwich.

  • The line at Kailua Shaved Ice, plus the rapturous faces of those who got a cone, makes me believe that they're doing something very good in there. I can't wait to catch them (with no line!) soon.

  • One culinary oddity: There was a booth promoting pickled potatoes. I have to admit, those little things were surprisingly tasty -- like potato salad on a stick! I realized after typing that sentence that few people in the world have the enthusiasm I do for potato salad, but -- what can I say, world, I love it.

Anyone else make it out there? What do you recommend? What makes it worth the trip next year (or what could be better)?


  1. I think this is my new favorite Eugene event! I do wish there had been more "stuff" vendors to keep me busy between mouthfuls. I got full pretty quick and there was nothing to do while I waited for my stomach to clear, so I ended up going home before I had really tried everything I wanted to. The salmon bite from Bates' Steakhouse was one of my favorites (and a lot of food for $2!!). Smothered in a sweet, berry flavored BBQ sauce, with a delicious rice side. The H-Bomb from Off The Waffle was also superb, and I WILL be going back for another. I'll also mention that I would not have known of this tasty event if it hadn't been for your wonderful blog! Thanks Jenn!!

  2. Yay! I'm glad you liked it, and thanks for the nice comment!

    I totally agree, more non-food would have been helpful, as would a less punishingly hot day. I think I could have stayed a lot longer, listening to the music and hanging out, if it hadn't been for the heat and lack of shade.

    It seems like a successful event in that it definitely made me want to try out several of the vendors' restaurants "for real," based on their samples. Bates seems to have been a big hit! I hope they generate some good business from this.

  3. Sorry about the cornbread - it's most certainly NOT how it's served up at the cafe. We had technical difficulties, as did many folks at the Bite with the electricity, but we were in a pickle. We're Cornbread Cafe and it's weird to not have cornbread. Some people really liked it, thankfully. Glad you enjoyed the Southern Fried Tofu - come to the cafe at 13th & Oak (check facebook for our hours) and I'll give you a free piece of good cornbread (done all the way! ;) and a peanut butter cup too! :) Cheers - Sheree

  4. Thanks for the mention! I would like to clarify, that we are a cupcake biz for all people to enjoy... not just "the vegan crowd!" I'd say the same for Holy Donuts. For us, about 95% of our customers are not vegan or vegetarian... they just love great cupcakes, and appreciate Organic ingredients!
    Have a great day,
    Emily & Thaddeus