Devour 2011: Meat & Fish

A.B.C. Seafood Co.

6509 SE Powell Blvd., 771-5802. 9:30 am-8:30 pm daily.

[LIVE FISH] At once cavernous and cramped, this chilly Chinese seafood market is the place to go if you like your fishies alive: Whether you're after clams, abalone or a king crab in all its spidery alien glory, the bubbling tanks at A.B.C. deliver the goods. The larger of the market's two rooms contains a freezer case with fish that don't transport well, like cuttlefish, and a wall of slightly limp produce and fruit, along with a large selection of dried seaweed. (BW)

Shopping list: Feel like a high roller? There's live king crab. For simpler tastes, the clams are cheap.

Chop Butchery

735 NW 21st Ave., 221- 3012; 3808 N Williams Ave., Suite E, 288-1901; NW 21st: 9:30 am-7 pm Monday-Saturday, 10 am-7 pm Sunday. N Williams: 10 am-6 pm Tuesday-Sunday.

[BUTCHER] Chances are, if you're in City Market Northwest, where Chop shares space with PastaWorks and Newman's Fish Market, you have a good idea of what you're looking for: premium, mostly locally produced, small-farm meats and the products derived from them. Can't wait to tear into the pampered proteins behind the glass? Snag a made-to-order deli sandwich. (Anything with porchetta is a sure bet.) Need back fat for sausage-making or leaf lard for pie crusts? Chop has you covered. You won't be able to stretch your meat dollar quite as far here as at your typical megamart, but knowing you're putting your money back into the local economy rather than some agro-business leviathan is worth the premium. (BP)

Shopping list: Grass-fed beef, pâtés, caul fat.

Edelweiss Sausage & Delicatessen

3119 SE 12th Ave., 238-4411, 9 am-6 pm Monday-Saturday.

[GERMAN, MEAT] This efficient, well-organized little slice of Munich, complete with fantastic housemade wieners, will make you homesick for Germany—even if you've never visited the country. House-cured hams, bacon, huge meatloafs and sausages—dried and fresh, from Polish to wienerwurst—nestle in the meat case, while a Bavarian bounty of pickled cabbage, tinned herring and fine chocolates pack the small aisles. Grab a number if you want immediate service, but expect smiles and lots of meat and cheese samples if you're still deciding on your order. Grab a booth and spend hours consuming double bocks and brats. (KC)

Shopping list: Sausage, cuckoo clocks, Fressen breads, Spaten and every type of minced fish or roe you could ever hope to stuff into a toothpaste tube.

Flying Fish Company

Southeast 50th Avenue and Hawthorne Boulevard; 3221 SE Division St.; 260-6552; 11 am-6:30 pm Wednesday-Friday (50th and Hawthorne), noon-7 pm Saturday-Sunday (Division). 

[SUSTAINABLE SEAFOOD] Yes, it's a fish truck. Lyf Gildersleeve, a second-generation fishmonger, sold his mobile fish counter in Park City, Utah, last year and set up shop in a pair of Portland parking lots. The truck is outfitted with a pair of refrigerators and a freezer chest, and deals exclusively in sustainably harvested fish, with some local lamb, beef, buffalo, chicken and eggs thrown in for good measure. On a recent visit, I was offered fresh mahi mahi, cod, sole, halibut cheeks, Oregon shrimp and clams, along with several flash-frozen sushi cuts (I went with the clams, which were excellent). Watch the Twitter feed (@flyingfishpdx) for the latest catch. Gildersleeve doesn't half-ass the sustainability thing. His fish is wrapped on biodegradable foam trays, and you won't find albacore or Chilean sea bass on his chalkboard. (BW)

Shopping list: Dungeness crab, scallops, buffalo steak.

Gartner's Country Meats

7450 NE Killingsworth St., 252-7801, 9 am-6 pm Tuesday-Saturday, 10 am-4 pm Sunday.

[OLD-SCHOOL MEAT] Anxiety (and euphoria) strikes as you survey the football-field-long meat counter and the buzzing hive of attendants and choppers behind it—do you order the porterhouse steak? Or the Polish sausages? Beef ribs? Portland's best butcher shop cures wishy-washiness. There are no bad choices here: top-notch ground beef, world-class chops, marinated chicken, two kinds of house-smoked, nitrate-free bacon, and the best pepperoni sticks (two for a buck) in the galaxy—mostly sourced from Northwest ranchers. Housed in the same outer Northeast Portland location for 50 years, and currently run in part by one of the original owner's granddaughters, the space is utilitarian and often very busy on the weekends. It's worth the wait—the old-school crew will cut roasts to order, patiently explain what head cheese is and slice their excellent house pastrami and other lunch meats to your liking. (KC)

Shopping list: Pepperoni, pastrami, steaks, and smoked cow femurs for the dog.

Halal Meat & Mediterranean Foods

11535 SW Pacific Highway, 293-3020. 10:30 am-8 pm daily.

[HALAL MEAT] Iranian-born Mustafa Elogbi has been offering halal goods—meats butchered according to Muslim customs, much like keeping kosher—for more than two decades. Give a respectful nod to the very fresh-lookin' whole, skinned goat staring up at you from the butcher's case at this small market buried in a Highway 99W office park and load up on beef and lamb cuts (about $4.99 a pound), hearts, tongue and kidneys. Elogbi gets his animals from local farmers every Wednesday and Friday. The market also carries Persian and Mediterranean staples like kefir, olives, cheap spices, Kontos Greek pastries and long, flat, sourdoughish sangak bread. (KC)

Shopping list: Ground goat meat, halva with pistachios, chana flour, date syrup, flatbread.

Laurelhurst Market

3155 E Burnside St., 206-3099, 10 am-8 pm daily.

[ARTISAN MEAT] The city's best new steakhouse is also home to the city's best new butcher shop. The refrigerated case of this converted convenience store, owned by the team behind Simpatica Catering and Viande Meats, holds extraordinary housemade sausages (Spanish-style chorizo, Italian-style lamb, French-style garlic pork), beautiful cuts of dry-aged beef and local lamb, and a rotating cast of feats of butchery (parsley and cheese mixed with pork and wrapped in caul fat; duck confit). A chalkboard lists the larger cuts available in the fridge at the back of the shop and the day's menu of sandwiches. Laurelhurst is one of the few retailers of Tails & Trotters pork. (BW)

Shopping list: One pound sausage, 1 pound bacon, one hanger steak.

Newman's Fish Market

735 NW 21st Ave., 227-2700, 9:30 am-7 pm Monday-Saturday, 10 am-7 pm Sunday.

[FRESH FISH] Newman's wholesales to the likes of Andina, Toro Bravo, Castagna, Bluehour and Paley's Place, and you can get the same sweet and briny goods—often air cargoed in (in 100-pound boxes with gel ice and liners)—at the company's fish counter and live tanks in Nob Hill's City Market. You'll find a wide variety of seafood—salmon, halibut, grouper, rockfish, scallops—and the majority is wild and fresh or frozen at sea. Newman's live tanks are always changing, but a typical selection includes oysters, crab and lobster; the clams and mussels are kept in the back. If you're looking for whole fish as opposed to fillets and steaks, drop by on the weekend when there are usually a few types to choose from. (LC)

Shopping list: Oregon albacore, chinook and coho, crawfish.

Nicky USA

223 SE 3rd Ave., 234-4263, 8 am-3 pm Monday-Friday.

[GAME] Geoff Latham's game-bird and meat shop is mostly a wholesale affair, but consumers with freezers can find far better deals on buffalo, rabbit, goose, quail, squab, duck, goat and venison than ever appear at more conventional meat counters. You do have to meet a $125 minimum order (and provide 8 hours notice), so make sure you've got a crowd coming. (BW)

Shopping list: Whole hog.

Old Country Sausage

10634 NE Sandy Blvd., 254-4106. 9 am-6 pm Monday-Saturday.

[GERMAN DELI] "We make it all here—the sausage, the meats, with none of the shippings," booms Lydia Heredea, a warm-eyed woman with a heavy Romanian accent standing behind Old Country's chest-high case of kielbasa, knackwurst, Hungarian black paprika links, Polish dogs, hot pepper-sprigged bologna and mild wieners ("for dee bay-bies," as she puts it). This Teutonic imports wonderland has been selling its sausages made from local meats and German grocery staples for 25 years (the original owner still drops by to cook every week), but Heredea now runs the shop, making sure locals get their creamy butterkase cheese, pickled herring, and potato-dumpling mixes at a fair price. You're in luck if she's baked a savory, juicy German meatloaf ($4.29 a pound) that morning; gorge on a slice or two for lunch in the small, cheery cafe area and you won't need to eat again for the rest of the day. (KC)

Shopping list: Polish sausage and brats, house-baked Lüneburg country rye bread, Ritter Sport squares.

Olympic Provisions

107 SE Washington St., 954-3663; 1632 NW Thurman St., 894-8136; 11 am-10 pm Monday-Saturday.

[CURED MEAT] Consistently the source of one of the longest lines for samples at the Portland Farmers Market, Olympic Provisions is all about the celebration of the art and craft of meat. Offering locally sourced and produced fare with an obsessive attention to quality, the operation deserves the attention it's attracted from foodies and journalists nationwide. Its cozy restaurant and small deli, in the restored Olympic Cereal Mills building amid the warehouses of the Central Eastside Industrial District, is a stylish way to try out and take home the "American charcuterie" created by salumist Elias Cairo, including three types of chorizo and regional salumi specialties like finocchiona and saucisson d'Alsace. It's always a learning process, and good charcuterie costs a bit more than the stuff you ate on white bread when you were a kid. But once you've plowed through your first cacciatore or kielbasa, your only concern will be when you can get back for more. (CB) Note: Olympic Provisions opened a second, larger processing facility and accompanying "meat bar," offering rotisserie chicken and really good sandwiches, in April. It will be open for dinner soon.

Shopping list: Bacon, kielbasa and any salami variety you've never heard of before.

Original Bavarian Sausage

8705 SW Locust St., Tigard, 892-5152, 9 am-6 pm Monday-Saturday.

[WURSTS] While I can't confirm the originality of this emporium of all things Deutsche just off of 99W, I can say that it is genuinely Bavarian, from the high peaked roof to the jars of Süßer Senf mustard to the piles and rings of wurst in the glass case that runs the length of the room. It's a cavalcade of all things pink and sliceable, from smoked schinkenwurst to teewurst, weisswurst to rotwurst, along with loads of imported candies and housemade pickles. (BW)

Shopping list: Bismarck herring, landkäse, green-tomato pickles, hausmacher leberwurst.

Otto's Sausage Kitchen

4138 SE Woodstock Blvd., 771-6714, 9:30 am-6 pm Monday-Saturday, 11 am-5 pm Sunday.

[WIENERS] There's pretty much nothing better than devouring a spicy, juicy smoked pork link ($3.75) at a picnic table out in front of the Eichentopf family's Woodstock sausage shop (open since 1929!). Just don't be surprised if the whole neighborhood is out there with you, waiting patiently to order up an old-fashioned wiener ($2.75) or chicken sausage at the big black grill that sits belching smoke outside the shop all summer and winter long. Inside, the quaint operation stocks nearly 50 more types of housemade sausages, from kielbasa to chorizo, as well as bologna, salami, lunch meats and smoked salmon. And there's salads by the pound, cheeses, sandwiches, German staples and, of course, a heart attack. (KC)

Shopping list: Bockwurst, potato sausage, six-pack of beer, and a pound of curry chicken salad.

Overseas Taste

4431 SE 64th Ave., 771-7450. 10 am-9 pm daily.

[SLAVIC SMOKED] Many are the joys of this Eastern European market specializing in smoked meats of all shapes and species, though mostly ground and stuffed into sausage casing. We know better than to question the provenance of the meat, but we assure you it is both sanitary and delicious. And cheap—the excellent double-smoked bacon goes for $7.49 a pound. The walls are lined with oils, pickles and canned goods from the East. Don't skip the fresh cheese. (BW)

Shopping list: Hungarian sausage, garlic sausage, smoked herring and Hunter's wieners.

Pacific Seafood

3380 SE Powell Blvd., 233-4891, 9 am-6 pm Monday-Friday.

[FRESH FISH] Pacific Seafood has grown a bit since its humble Portland beginnings seven decades ago. The company remains family-owned, but now manages an extensive seafood processing and distribution empire stretching from Alaska to Texas. The Powell Street Fish Market is a glimpse back to the company's humbler roots. A knowledgeable staff ably assists customers not only in choosing the right fish, crustacean, bivalve, or other desired denizen of the deep, but also explains how to prepare and enjoy it. All this takes place below the observant gaze of mounted giant king crabs on the wood-paneled walls, giving the odd impression that despite the rush of traffic outside on Powell Boulevard, one may actually be aboard a fishing trawler somewhere on the open seas, choosing from the day's catch. For a moment you might actually taste salt in the air. Ahoy! (CB)

Shopping list: Always fresh and changing, but we recommend the cracked crab and wild-caught salmon when it's in.

Phil's Meat Market

17 NW 23rd Place, 224-9541. 10 am-6 pm Sunday-Friday, 10 am-5:30 pm Saturday.

[MUCHO Meat] Three decades in, Phil's still keeps it simple with quality meats cut in-house, a couple shelves of sauces and rubs, an impressive wine cellar and a small deli. The main floor's top attraction is its meat counter, with tenderloin steaks, buffalo kebabs, baby back ribs, meatballs the size of an 8-year-old's fist and a handful of fresh seafood options. Head downstairs for the store's other main source of pride, its cellar filled with an extensive wine selection, including some rare bottles you'd be hard-pressed to find around town. Don't miss the stellar bento cart on your way out. (NB)

Shopping list: Tangy pork kebabs, fresh potato pancakes, homemade applesauce.

Tails & Trotters

[HAZELNUT HOGS] Aaron Silverman sells some amazing pig. Raised on a family farm in Washington, finished on 60 days of hazelnuts and sold with all the delicious fat still attached, Tails & Trotters' pork is the next best thing to raising your own (which, as a Portlander, you are legally prohibited from doing). For now, Silverman is selling at the PSU and Eastbank farmers markets, but a retail location is in the works and expected to open by the end of 2011. (BW)

Shopping list: Pig meat. The loin roasts are outstanding.

Victor's European Meat Market

13500 SW Pacific Highway, Tigard, 684-2580. 10 am-7 pm Monday-Saturday, 10 am-4 pm Sunday.

[KING OF CURES] You can die a happy carnivore in Witold Lunkiewicz's Tigard shop, where the Poland-born butcher grinds, smokes and cures everything from Hungarian, Yugoslavian and Romanian-style sausages to hunks of Danish bacon with the proud flourish of a new father. Just don't ask him which of his children is the best: "Everything I make is best!" he grumbles, running his hand across the top of the fridge case. "It's Polish." (KC)

Shopping list: Kielbasa, Lithuanian garlic sausage, sour cherry jam, sauerkraut, free copy of Romanian Times.

Western Meat Market 

4707 N Lombard St., 283-5174, 9 am-6 pm Tuesday-Friday, 9 am-5 pm Saturday,
9 am-4 pm Sunday.

[BASIC BUTCHER] Western Meat Market isn't pretty. In fact, it's as old school as it gets: painted plywood sign out front, old black-and-white checkered floor, and enough butchered meat (boneless pork ribs, rump roast, marinated pepper steak, etc.) to make you shudder at the thought of a power outage. If you hunt, the Western Meat butchers will cut and wrap your deer or elk for you. They'll also make it into sausage for $3 a pound. (LC)

Shopping list: Meat packs ($59.95-$229.95), housemade spicy Oktoberfest sausages, pork shoulder or tri-tip for the 'cue, a russet potato for vegetarians or vegans.