Friday, May 3, 2013

Honeymoon: Olympic Provisions, Portland OR

Friday May 3, SE Portland OR

How to Tell You are in the Correct Location
After begrudgingly leaving Lardo and its wonderful pork sandwiches, Ann had the idea of finding a place to hole up and have a bottle of wine while waiting to check in to our B&B. We started driving around Southeast looking for a place to sit and have some wine, but nothing doing. Very few places are open before 5pm.

I admit that I was getting a bit frustrated (read "bitchy") when Ann hit on the brilliant idea of going to Olympic Provisions' original store in SE. We had already visited the "new" store in NW, where the charcuterie fabrication has now moved, the preceding Sunday on our way from the airport to the beach.

I Want One!
Are you sensing a theme here? What could be better on top of meat than more meat? It's really kind of funny, but in our regular diets, we don't eat much meat. But we do have a crazy fondness for the pig!

When we arrived at the beautifully restored industrial building right on the river, the telltale hambulance was parked beside the building. We meant to get a picture of it when we visited the Thurman St NW store, but we forgot.

We perched ourselves at the bar just opposite the range at the tail end of lunch service and right at the beginning of happy hour and happily chatted away with each other and the staff as they were changing shifts. One thing is very apparent when talking with the people at Olympic Provisions and that is that they are all very proud of the product that they serve and are happy to be working there. As well they should be: their charcuterie is the best I have yet tasted anywhere. I've got a couple of other places I want to check out, but they have it down.

Yeah! Go Meat!

While sitting there, we ordered another bottle of Scott Paul "La Paulée" (the first bottle of which we purchased at OPNW and consumed the previous Sunday). We found this wine a bit disappointing the second time around after we had calibrated our palates to really good Oregon Pinot earlier in the week.

Once Again, Not Quite as Good
After a glass of wine and a few minutes to digest lunch, we ordered a chef's choice charcuterie plate. From the upper left corner clockwise, there was lomo, nduja, pork and pistachio terrine, loukanika, and chorizo andalucia, along with fabulous pickles: celery, bread and butter, and rhubarb.

Chef's Choice Charcuterie
For those of you without a working vocabulary of Italian charcuterie, nduja ("en-doo-ya"; recognize the similarity in pronunciation to andouille?) is a spicy and spreadable Calabrese salame. Nduja is cured in a casing like a hard salame, but it has a soft, spreadable texture because it is made from about three parts of fat to one part of lean, just the opposite of a hard salame.

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