Market Guide 2014: Meat



Cason's Fine Meats

8238 N Denver Ave., 285-4533. Closed Sunday.

Nearby carnivores will be drawn to Cason's like space cruisers caught in a tractor beam. They won't be lured by its alluring storefront. Although it's clean and tidy, the shop is as comfortable as a garage, with a concrete floor, chest freezers and refrigerated display cases dripping with condensation. But the aroma of Cason's smoker pervades the entire city block, enticing the most harried shopper to stop and pick up some succulent, juicy ribs on the way home. The meat comes from Oregon Natural or Carlton Farms, and the shop is also a great source for beef bones, fresh neck bones and ham shanks. Call ahead if you need a harder-to-find cut. ADRIENNE SO.

Shopping list: House-smoked turkey necks, half rack of ribs, andouille sausage.

Gartner's Country Meat Market

7450 NE Killingsworth St., 252-7801,

At times—like, say, a day with unseasonable barbecue weather—Gartner's can resemble the DMV, crammed with of people waiting with varying degrees of patience for someone behind the counter to call their number. Unlike traveling into the Ninth Circle of Motor Vehicular Hell, you'll end up appreciating the time to get your head together. Don't bother entering this 50-year-old Cully neighborhood institution with a game plan, as it'll get thrown out the second you press up against the expansive meat case, which stretches practically the entire length of the building. Pacing from one end to the other, you're likely to change your order a dozen times before taking your turn at the counter. Do you go with the smoked bratwurst, the braunschweiger or the jalapeño beer sausage? The pork loin or the beef brisket? Maybe those kebabs lounging in a soaking pool of housemade marinade? Or perhaps one of the miscellaneous meat packs, to take the pressure off making a decision. A trip to Gartner's is an argument for the theory that excessive choice makes humans depressed. Don't worry, though: It's nothing a pound of "butt rub" chicken can't cure. MATTHEW SINGER.

Shopping list: "Butt rub" chicken, jalapeño beer sausage, marinated short ribs.

Laurelhurst Market Butcher Shop

3315 E Burnside St., 206-3099,

Laurelhurst, deep in Portland's moneyed lefty political base, could once be relied on as a somewhat vegetarian neighborhood, a lover of grains. Thank God, that's over. Laurelhurst is a lovely restaurant, but for daily use you needn't get too far past its porn show of a butcher case, with a modern meat lover's predilection for the idiosyncratically farmy grass-fed local beef over the predictable Texas-style corn-fed marbles: It's meat as art, carved with just as much care. Sausages come in a zodiac of styles, they make multiple pancettas and bacons in-house and keep them near the housemade lard and duck fat for the home French cook, as well as the pâtés for the chichi. It is a world of muscle and fat, and it is not cheap, but it is delicious. MATTHEW KORFHAGE.

Shopping list: Get four kinds of bacon and make a bacon salad. You'll be a hit at the fundraiser.

NEW! Old Salt

5027 NE 42nd Ave., 971-255-0167,

Old Salt is a clearing-house for Cully and Beaumont's best ambitions in consumption: an excellent bar, a fine ingredient-forward restaurant, a to-go deli counter with readymade meals and sandwiches, the pastries and coffees of Miss Zumstein's in the same building and the crown jewel that makes it all possible: its whole-animal butchery. Like Laurelhurst Market a bit south, Old Salt favors the fine, grass-fed beef of Hawley Ranch. But its butchery model is more democratic, emulating fine restaurants that keep a burger on the menu for people who won't pay for $20 plates. So Old Salt's uncompromisingly 20-percent-fat ground beef—which will crackle and pop alarmingly on the grill—is priced at $4.49 per pound, a little below New Seasons prices. Meats such as the insanely decadent smoked ham are parked in the midrange of the pricing scale, and for the finest cuts of impeccably sourced and butchered meats, such as $21-per-pound tenderloin, you'll pay a little more. But it will be worth it. MATTHEW KORFHAGE.

Shopping list: Smoked ham, smoked anything, $3 bags of house pork rinds, house-stuffed sausages, housemade slim jims.

Phil's Uptown Meat Market

17 NW 23rd Place, 224-9541, Closed Sunday-Monday.

Four years after its namesake's death, Phil's remains the reflection of founder Phil Mosley, a Bluto-like butcher whose taste for premium beef was matched only by his appreciation for a good pinot. The prodigious meat counter displays a shifting inventory of steaks, sausages, kebabs and seafood options, with adjacent shelves of various rubs and marinades to get your imagination whirring. Whatever you pick, you'll find a bottle to pair it with in the surprisingly well-stocked wine cellar. There's also a deli in the back, where you can grab the Philwich: salami, Swiss and pickled peperoncini on a ciabatta roll—that is, if you make it past the bento cart out front, which alleges to be the first ever in Portland. MATTHEW SINGER.

Shopping list: Stuffed pork chops, Kobe beef hot dogs, tomato Gorgonzola soup.

Western Meat Market

4707 N Lombard St., 283-5174. Closed Monday.

This old-school, all-retail, no-wholesale market has been slinging big, meaty cuts since 1979 at its location just on the cusp of St. Johns. Western makes its own raw and cooked sausages, including hot German, andouille—and all sorts of chicken sausages if you're into that. But most of the case is filled with hefty cuts of beef and pork like London broil, rib-eye, thick pork chops and racks of ribs. It's a good place to stock up for a barbecue because there are prepared sides (dips, twice-baked potatoes, salads) as well as bags of charcoal and mesquite, and all sorts of condiments. LIZ CRAIN. 

Shopping list: Housemade sausage and bacon, Flintstones-looking steaks, baked beans, frozen seafood.


EC Kitchen

6335 SE 82nd Ave., 788-6306, Closed Monday.

When Ho Yun Yue applied for a distiller's license two years ago, he had no intention of getting into the liquor business. He wanted to make sausages. Specifically, sweet sausages of the sort found in China and Taiwan, the production of which requires a high-proof Chinese spirit unavailable in Oregon. So Ho began distilling his own liquor, a crucial spice in the uniquely chewy pork he now serves out of a repurposed yellow house on 82nd Avenue. Talk about commitment. EC Kitchen is less a market than a sit-down restaurant, with a menu that also includes deep-fried pork chops with bok choy, and salty chicken wings. But you can take home vacuum-sealed packages of those great sausages, as well as pork stomach, five-spice beef shank and duck leg. MATTHEW SINGER.

Shopping list: Chinese pork sausage, taro bubble tea.


Halal Meat & Mediterranean Foods

11535 SW Pacific Highway, 293-3020.

This Libyan-owned shop in an office park in which everything recently was broken—from the Coke machine at the owners' neighboring falafel shop to the entire Burger King across the parking lot—has been serving up halal meats for more than two decades now from a lovely case filled with cuts of beef, lamb and goat from steak to heart and kidney. Much of the rest of the store feels a bit like an overage bin—with spare office chairs and boxes stored toward the back—but there's a sterling selection of olive oils from various nations, massive cans of olives and pickled cucumbers, cheap spices, and sangak bread that promises on its packaging to heat up as fresh as the day it was made. Plus, if the butcher flirting with the girl up front is to be trusted, they also offer French lessons. MATTHEW KORFHAGE.

Shopping list: Fresh-butchered fare, Persian flatbread, grape leaves.

International Food Bazaar

11527 SW Canyon Road, 574-2383. 

"Temporarily not accepting food stamps," says the sign on the door. It's not their fault. The brand-new Pakistani owners took over their shop's space from the Iranian-owned Beaverton Halal after everyone there got arrested for food-stamp fraud. Well, consider it your own good luck. The new store has been rearranged and, my goodness, actually organized. The halal butcher counter is still in the back and still beautifully cheap—"mixed Goat" is $5.49 a pound—and there's still an assortment of Canadian-made Iranian cookies from almond to pistachio, plus a wealth of spices and rices. Now, though, there's also Pakistani green chili sauce, which is just about as addictive as Sriracha. MATTHEW KORFHAGE.

Shopping list: Mitchell's green chili sauce, crispy pistachio cookies, fresh-butchered lamb and goat.


Tails & Trotters

525 NE 24th Ave., 477-8682, Closed Sunday.

Like an antimatter version of halal or kosher, Tails & Trotters has maintained its absolutely relentless focus on pork—specifically, pork from Washington pigs that have been truffling down reams of hazelnuts. But it doesn't stop there. Tails & Trotters' space on the side channel of the Ocean food mall at Northeast 24th Avenue and Glisan Street boasts rillettes and pâté, corned pork brisket and smoked ham, coppas and trotters, and lunchtime sandwiches packed with "porkstrami," a dangerously un-PC version of the old-school Jewish deli meat. Note, however: The cured meats are what hit the real sweet spot, and the aged pancetta is the centerpiece. MATTHEW KORFHAGE.

Shopping list: Pancetta, bacon, porkstrami, ham, lardons.


Allick's Sausage Kitchen

18893 SE McLoughlin Blvd., 656-9766, Closed Sunday. Cash or check only.

First opened back when the American Medical Association listed vegetarianism as a mental disorder, Allick's got frozen in time along with your nana's living room. In fact, going to this tiny roadside meat counter in Gladstone feels a bit like taking a day trip to Grandma's house, if Granny kept two big-ass smokers in the kitchen and a jar of humongous jerky sticks on the coffee table. Family photos, including a portrait of patriarch Ed Allick in boxing gear, adorn the walls, and the ham hocks, bacon and signature smokies are served up with enough quaint, countrified warmth to make you wonder just how far out of the city you've traveled. (Adding to the sense that you took a detour to a more rural part of the state, Allick's also processes, smokes and cans game for local hunters and fishermen.) The only modern accoutrement is the ATM. But like Grandma's television, don't always count on it working. MATTHEW SINGER.

Shopping list: Summer sausage, pepperoni sticks, Hawaiian peppered jerky.


735 NW 21st Ave., 221-3012,

If it were in any other city, Chop would loom headcheese and pork shoulders over every other protein-pusher in town. In Portland, the competition is stiffer, but the City Market butcher counter manages to stay—apologies in advance for this—a cut above. Co-owners Paula Markus and Eric Finley shuttered their North Williams Avenue sandwich shop a year ago in order to expand their curing operation, but small-batch production remains its raison d'être. A veritable menagerie of locally sourced meats—Canadian bacon, Spanish chorizo, tandoori lamb, Kobe flank steak—beckon from behind the glass, along with world-beating pâtés. Feeling impatient? The made-to-order porchetta sandwich, available on Fridays and Saturdays, is a monster of immediate gratification, even if it'll take your entire lunch break to finish. MATTHEW SINGER.

Shopping list: Lemon chicken, Iowa-style pork chops ("the porterhouse of pork"), rendered lard, merguez lamb sausage.

Edelweiss Sausage & Delicatessen

3119 SE 12th Ave., 238-4411, Closed Sunday.

This German stop is a beautiful place to pick up a variety of Haribo gummi snacks or Ritter Sport chocolate bars; for such a serious people, the Germans are terrifically adept at all matter of junk food. Processed-food companies like the German-Swiss Maggi are really the gold standard worldwide. But there's a reason Edelweiss puts sausage in its name; it has an impressive assortment in the meat case, from weisswurst (white sausage) for breakfast to liverwurst, braunschweiger, curry sausages and all manner of crazy sliced sausages (like the calicoed Tyrolean and its blend of everything imaginable). MATTHEW KORFHAGE.

Shopping list: German sausage, German sandwich meat, German cheese, German beer, German minced fish and roe in tubes.

Old Country Sausage Co.

10634 NE Sandy Blvd., 254-4106. Closed Sunday.

This store and cafe, tucked away on an unassuming strip of Northeast Sandy Boulevard, is a deeply Teutonic wonderland full of German meatloafs, German meats, German sausage and a nice little collection of imported cheese. Parkrose is a secret enclave of German culture in Portland, and there's a German bakery next door if you need a pretzel with that sausage. Old Country's grocery section, away from the meat and cheese case, features a small collection of German essentials (pickled herring, anyone?) acting as a buffer between the cafe that cooks up the shop's sausage and sauerkraut. MATTHEW KORFHAGE.

Shopping list: That Polish sausage rivals the German. And get some jerky.

Olympic Provisions

1632 NW Thurman St., 894-8136,

Salt and meat go together like Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton on "Islands in the Stream." Olympic Provisions knows this, and so it combines these two ingredients into scrumptious little carnivorous treats. If you've never sampled OP's cornucopia of cured meats, that must be rectified, my friend. Be sure to ask for Saucisson d'Arles. It's just meat and pork. It's the Joe Montana of salamis. Maybe someday science will prove animals have souls and feel all the emotions we feel. I will then regret feasting upon them at Olympic Provisions. Until then, keep the meat mountains coming. JORDAN GREEN.

Shopping list: Saucisson d'Arles, chocolate salami, mortadella, pork rillettes.

Otto's Sausage Kitchen

4138 SE Woodstock Blvd., 771-6714, 

The Eichentopf family has been running this German-style sausage shop for three generations (since 1929), and the sausage-link knowledge seems to have been passed unfettered to the sons and daughters; this is as close as America gets to its own version of Old World cooking. Those links are smoked on wood that comes from the family's property. You can always stop by and try one of the many sausages straight from the cooker outside, but you'll want to bring some home. Biographical detail: My father never has less than a few pounds of Otto's sausage in his freezer, for emergency rationing. The deli case also has plenty of cheeses and salads, and the little grocery will stock up your German needs. MATTHEW KORFHAGE.

Shopping list: You never go wrong with Otto's bratwurst, the spicy mettwurst or the sweet weisswurst.


ABC Seafood

6509 SE Powell Blvd., 771-5802.

Like a cross between a convenience store and an aquarium center, ABC Seafood encourages the childlike impulse to stare hypnotically into tanks bubbling with delicious sea creatures. What they do not encourage is sticking hands into said tanks, as several posted signs warn they are not responsible for crab-related injuries. While some offerings, such as squid and parrotfish, are already prepped and frozen, most of the ocean edibles here remain alive until dinnertime. If you need any accoutrements, a cramped corner stocks a basic supply of produce and canned goods. But that's not why you're here. You're here to buy lobster for $9.99 a pound. PENELOPE BASS.

Shopping list: Tiger prawns, Dungeness crab, lobster, mussels, bombers of Sapporo.

Flying Fish Co.

2310 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 971-258-5212,

The first Flying Fish location, in land-locked Idaho, might have meant its name literally. But by the time the founder's son Lyf Gildersleeve was trucking the food around in a food cart between Division Street and Hawthorne Boulevard in Southeast Portland in 2011, it seemed to refer to mobility of the store.

Well, the fish have settled in. These days, Flying Fish is a pleasant little fish and meat shack at the edge of the year-round tent-city fruit market of Kruger's, with a hand-painted top and a huge slate on the front and side advertising whatever happens to be fresh or cheap that day. The little protein clubhouse applies much the same philosophy to meat that a farm stand applies to fruit. Most of the fish comes in locally, and Gildersleeve sources only fish that can be harvested sustainably—much like Bamboo Sushi, with whom the shop partners to offer classes on sushi preparation. Meanwhile, the shop stocks local products such as Frog Eyes wasabi alongside grass-fed beef and free-range eggs, plus local buffalo meat from Rain Shadow El Rancho.

But the focus is always the fish, whether fresh, flash-frozen or smoked. Recently, this list included an achingly tender smoked steelhead (with smoked mackerel and albacore also available) that the shop had cruelly laid out to sample, which meant my wallet ended up $10 lighter than intended. These days, the fresh catch will include monkfish, ocean-caught salmon, river-caught steelhead, local lingcod and skate wing, Kumamoto and Netarts oysters, and of course Dungeness crab. The prices are comparable to Whole Foods', with plenty of fresh options under $10 a pound, but the trust in who's bringing it to you is priceless. MATTHEW KORFHAGE.

Shopping list: Sushi-grade mackerel and octopus, ocean-caught salmon, seaweed.

Mio Seafood Market

1703 NW 16th Ave., 972-1140,

Right around the corner from Olympic Provisions' ode to dry-cured salamis, the sushi chain with nine other Portland-area locations sells sushi-grade fish to the public at retail prices. The fish stays fresh because it's constantly transported to the various restaurants. The counter sells the various seaweed and noodles native to Japanese fare, and the warehouse also serves up excellent fish and chips for lunch. But the real boon is access to a small but lovely selection of sushi-grade fish. And, hell, the shop's so affordable for its Pearl District-Nob Hill 'hood, the whole shop seems like a public-relations stunt for the sushi chain. Well…it worked. MATTHEW KORFHAGE.

Shopping list: What's there is what's there, though it's one of the rare inland spots where one might find marlin or shark.

OM Seafood

3514 SE 76th Ave., 788-1984,

The first thing anyone notices about this decades-old retail and wholesale seafood mainstay is the smell. This is generally not a good sign at a seafood place, but it's as good as can be expected considering the obscene amount of fresh and frozen seafood available here, and all at fairly decent prices. The standard tanks are full of depressed but delicious-looking crabs and lobsters, and fresh Maine lobster is only $11.50 a pound. Sorry, little friends, at that price you are dinner. The store also carries live steamer clams and oysters, which aren't always easy to find at a market this far from the ocean. Besides seafood, OM stocks a small amount of sundries you might need to prepare or accompany your fishy cuisine: mostly sauces and spices, but also a small selection of teas and juices and some left-fielders like Magical Tales strawberry egg rolls. JENNIFER GILROY.

Shopping list: Live Maine lobster, live crabs, fish, clams, oysters.

Newman's Fish Market

735 NW 21st Ave., 227-2700,

A list of the restaurants buying their seafood from Newman's reads like a who's who of Portland's finest dining: Andina, Clyde Common, the Woodsman Tavern and on and on. Long the gold standard of local fish wholesalers, with a history that stretches back to the late 1800s, the company, which operates a retail counter inside Nob Hill's City Market, stocks its cases with all manner of scaled goods—from Chinook salmon to Alaskan halibut to Hawaiian ahi—and its rotating live tanks with lobster, crab and oysters, much of it flown in soon after it's plucked from whatever body of water it previously resided in. Like the establishments it sells to, Newman's can put a dent in your wallet, but there are few better ways to blow a tax refund than on a top-shelf fish fry. MATTHEW SINGER.

Shopping list: Smoked Chinook salmon, scallops, oysters.

Pacific Seafood

3380 SE Powell Blvd., 233-4891, Closed Saturday-Sunday.

It's not often you get to drop in on the humble beginnings of a fish empire, but here you go: Pacific Seafood's multistate distribution company harks back to here, a little shop with slightly inconvenient hours and every visual cue leading back to the Hoover administration. What other people get in boxes, however, you get fresh. The shop is old school to its DNA, with a knowledgeable staff that can not only explain what you're getting—whether fish, crustacean or bivalve—but what to do with it. It's like taking a trip to Lincoln City. MATTHEW KORFHAGE.

Shopping list: Ask what's fresh and exciting, and they'll tell you. Crab in crab season, oyster in oyster season. You know?

WWeek 2015

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