5027 NE 42nd Ave., 971-255-0167, oldsaltpdx.com.
[MEAT PALACE] A stately Cully
pleasure dome for food, Grain & Gristle’s sister spot Old Salt
encompasses a whole-animal butchery, deli, pastry shop and cooking
school. Its supper club cooks with a hearth and is an intimate affair, a
wood-slatted space that wouldn’t be out of place on Twin Peaks.
The food emphasizes the foraged and fresh; the viandes tend to showcase
the natural flavor of the animal, with produce picked to complement the
flavor of meat as much as cheese is chosen for wine. A recent duck dish
was served two ways, tender confit breast and lightly crisped legs
glazed with sweet Brooks cherries. Flavorful hearth-roasted beef was
served rare and paired beautifully with meaty heirloom tomato. The drink
program is inconsistent, and some appetizers go afield, but Old Salt
nonetheless has the makings of what could become a quintessential
Portland eatery. For now, stick to the entrees, and order the dish that
looks the most boring: pork, roast beef or ham hock. It will not be
boring. It’ll feel like coming home.
Ideal meal: Roll with a meat entree and don’t miss the biscuits. They’re the best in town.
Best deal: Even unaccompanied, the hearty protein entrees sate for a price ($15-$18) that some comparable restaurants would charge for a second course.
Pro Tip: The deli offers $10 full-meal to-go plates on weekdays from 5 to 7 pm.
5 pm-midnight daily. $$.