Getting Closer

This week brings us two meaty gems, from new Portland venues reminiscent of the great market halls of Europe. We are truly lucky to live in this town.

Kim and I have fallen in love with Pine Street Market. If you haven’t been there yet, it’s a new food hall at the corner of Second and Pine downtown. Think of it as like an indoor cart pod. John Gorham’s empire has a stall in there called Pollo Bravo, and they sell Bocadillos, the delightful Spanish sandwiches that usually consist of meat and savory toppings on a horizontally-sliced roll (I’d call it a baguette, but I don’t want to annoy my Spanish friends).  Last night I had the Lomo, which has rotisserie pork loin, griddled Manchego, caramelized onions, and romesco. Sure enough, it was superb. The cheese was griddled to crispy perfection, the pork was delicious, and the romesco added a sharp, peppery tang. It was the best sandwich I’ve had all year, and it gets a deserved 9 out of 10. Better yet, they have roast beef and sausage Bocadillos on the menu too. As a wise man once said, I’ll be back.

Providore Fine Foods has been another great discovery. It’s a new multi-vendor food market at the corner of 24th and Sandy. There’s all kinds of good stuff there (I could go on all day about the rotisserie chicken from Arrosto, but that’s another blog), including some outstanding sandwiches from Pastaworks. I recently tried the Shooter, which has skirt steak, mushroom duxelle, Dijon mustard, and Calabrian chili on a toasted roll. It’s like someone took Beef Wellington, added some spiciness, and turned it into a sandwich. It was an excellent lunch, and it would have made an even better dinner paired with a big, hearty red wine. Providore is open until 9, and they have a wine shop where you can get drinks by the glass, so I just might have to give that a shot soon.