Local Flavor

Fairhaven Food Fest and Chow Down(town)

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

I’m not sure if the Historic Fairhaven Association and the Downtown Bellingham Partnership (DBP) planned it this way, but both community hubs are featuring food-related events this month that draw attention to the culinary creativity of our city. If you’ve been saving up for a night (or two or three) on the town, now’s the time to crack open the piggybank.

Through Thurs., March 2, the “Fairhaven Food Fest” will see area restaurants offering special prix fixe lunch or dinner options (in addition to their regular menu items). At each venue—including Övn Wood Fired Pizza, Tony’s Coffee House, Skylark’s Hidden Cafe, Shirlee Bird Cafe, Rocket Donuts, Rustic Coffee & Wine Bar, On Rice, Mount Bakery Fairhaven, Magdalena’s Creperie, Keenan’s, Galloway’s, the Filling Station, Fat Pie Pizza, Drizzle, Book Fare Cafe, Colophon Cafe, Zane Burger, the Black Cat, Harris Avenue Cafe, Avenue Bread, and Archer Ale House—diners can get “passports” stamped. Once you’ve accumulated three, you’ll be eligible to enter a drawing for a $100 gift card to a participating restaurant of your choice (no piggybank required).

If you’re reading this after March 2, don’t despair. Hot on the heels of the “Fairhaven Food Fest” comes “Chow Down(town),” a six-day “urban food week” with a similar goal—to showcase local flavors and give restaurants an opportunity to feature new items, highlight their best-known dishes, or showcase a sample of the food they simply love to cook. For further incentive, the prices for all meals will be discounted.

From March 7-12 at Aslan Brewing Co., Bayou on Bay, Boundary Bay Brewery, Brandywine Kitchen, Cafe Akroteri, Casa Que Pasa, Chuckanut Brewery & Kitchen, Ciao Thyme, Culture Cafe, EAT, Goat Mountain Pizza, Hundred North, La Fiamma, the Mount Bakery, NYP Bar and Grill, India Grill, the Local, Old World Deli, the Real McCoy, and Rock and Rye Oyster House, those sitting down to lunch or dinner can choose from prix fixe meals including one appetizer, one entree and one dessert.

For example, starters for a lunch special at Cafe Akroteri include Greek bruschetta or spiced baked feta cheese with pita bread, and main courses feature either seafood pita with prawns and feta wrapped in filo and baked, or Kasseri chicken breast. At the Real McCoy, main courses are a rack of lamb stuffed or Alaskan true cod, and dessert choices include Vie’s apple pie, truffles or Fernet Branca root beer floats with Aslan root beer.

For a look at the scads of other mouthwatering menu items that are intended to please the palate at the 18 other locales, head to Downtown Bellingham Partnership’s website for the particulars. Additionally, a few bars throughout the urban core will feature cocktail specials, a couple of retail shops are hosting pop-ups, and Seifert & Jones will host a Saturday wine tasting.

Unlike the Bite of Bellingham—the former one-day event that saw restaurants, caterers and other food-related businesses vying for awards in a variety of categories—the new event is designed to allow diners to enjoy their meals in a more leisurely manner.

“We’re excited for Chow Down(town) to give locals and visitors alike a new perspective of downtown’s food scene,” DBP Events Director Lindsey Payne says. “We have some very talented chefs in our city who whip out great food—from fine dining to pub classics—and it’s time we celebrated that with our community.”

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