Smudge Pot Stroll is Medford’s own food crawl

This week, I was asked to suggest an itinerary of Rogue Valley food tourism. My list included farm stays at Pholia Farm in Evans Valley or Willow-Witt Ranch near Ashland, dining at New Sammy’s Cowboy Bistro in Talent and Summer Jo’s in Grants Pass and a Farm to Fork event, in addition all the usual suspects: farmers markets, wine tasting and artisan-food sampling.

And today, I get to experience one of Medford’s latest stabs at food tourism: the Smudge Pot Stroll. It’s part of Pear a Fare, a two-day event devised in 2009 to celebrate local and regional food vendors who present an array of artisan foods, confections, wines, spirits and brews in an enormous, climate-controlled tent.

Last year, organizers added the Smudge Pot Stroll, basically a food crawl around downtown that starts at 5 p.m. I’ll be attending as a judge.

For $30 per person, $50 per couple, participants sample appetizers paired with beverages at 16 eateries. The cost includes an illuminated souvenir glass and map of participating restaurants: Elements, Porters, 38 Central, Habaneros, Havana Republic, Gaetano Ristorante Italiano, Spoons, Downtown Market Co., Bricktowne Barrel House, Misoya Bistro, 4 Daughters, Sunrise Cafe, Howiee’s, Rosso’s, Wamba Juice and Old Farmhouse.

As of Thursday evening, approximately 50 tickets remained, so call 541-621-7160 to reserve for this evening.

If you can’t get in on the stroll, visit the Pear a Fare tent near the corner of Main and Bartlett streets. It’s open from 5 until 10 p.m. Friday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Entrance is free, but to sample food, visitors must purchase an engraved souvenir glass and five taste tickets for $10. See for a list of participating vendors.

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    Sarah Lemon

    Sarah Lemon covers the Rogue Valley’s food scene with an enthusiasm that rivals her love of cooking. Her blog mixes culinary musings and milestones with tips and recipes you won’t find in the Mail Tribune’s weekly A la Carte section. When ... Read Full
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