Bite of Bend mini-review

I don’t get out to many of the local festivals, but we did hit the Bite of Bend last Saturday, so here’s my mini-review. Actually, the one thing I really wanted to see at the Bite of Bend was the Iron Chef competition among six local chefs, and I got to see a bit of that—so this review will probably focus more on that than anything else :).

They had closed off most of the Old Mill District—the main drag between the parking lots at the movie theater and the smokestack building—and even so, we were able to find parking in the theater lot fairly easily. At the time we got there (around 11:30), most of the upper lot (above the theater) was empty, too. That’s pretty good for an event like this, particularly in Bend.

Decent selection of food, too, and just okay on the beer. When you see a sign saying, “Beer garden” I guess you expect more than four beers on tap. Although, in addition to the one wine vendor, the Bendistillery was there serving up hard alcohol. Nice!

Actually, the food selection was more than decent; to me it seemed like a lot and a good variety. There could have been more—Pilot Butte Burgers would have been nice, for instance—but c’est la vie.

Didn’t pay any real attention to the music. That’s about all I can say about that.

Ah, but the Iron Chef competition was fun. I actually only got to wander over to it three times (everyone else thought I was weird to get excited about it), but I managed to see the start of the first contest—secret ingredient (tombo tuna) and all—and come back later to watch the matches in action. I don’t know who won any of the match-ups, though. And I don’t think they had to make more than one dish (unlike the TV show, which requires four or five), but it was still a lot of fun to watch. Interestingly, Standard TV and Appliance had set up a big screen HDTV off to the side and had two camera guys filming the competition up close—so you could watch the details on the TV. I was hoping they were recording it all and would broadcast it on the local cable channel, but I haven’t seen anything about that.

It would have been cool to have someone doing an intelligent (i.e., knowledgeable about food and cooking) running commentary, but I guess not everyone’s as into the Iron Chef thing as I am. Regardless, I hope they do this again. Maybe they could do it at some of the other festivals and not just Bite of Bend…?

Any other Bendites have reviews they’d like to post here?