Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Olympic Provisions - the best kind of "meating" place
Another amazing Portland eatery I must highlight here is Olympic Provisions. It's a unique kind of place that focuses on (you guessed it) high quality meat, most of it in a cured format. I was so impressed by the impeccable execution of everything that I'd be happy to check it out again next time I'm in town. As you can see, Moses, Sonya and I tried it for brunch, but I'd be curious to explore their dinner too.
Reminding me of an industrial area such as LIC, that has been since reinvigorated, the Southeast outpost of Olympic Provisions is set in a similar type of spot. Located in a big industrial warehouse building, it's now a functional office space on top, but houses this fabulous eatery on its ground floor. While the neighborhood feels quite deserted from the outside, you quickly forget where you are when you step inside.
Welcomed by a warm space, both literally and figuratively, you're greeted by something that looks like a cross between an old fashioned salumeria and a newfangled cafe. It all feels very Northwest (and very Portland), as the nonchalant staff prances around the space, pitching in however they can, adorning their intricate food-themed tattoos. I love the open kitchen concept, which not only lets you observe the magic that goes behind this proverbial curtain, but also lets you soak in the amazing smells of their carefully prepared dishes.
We came for brunch, which was highly recommended by a fellow food blogger, Marisa, from Margaritas in the Rain. Since Sonya and Moses both love brunch food, it didn't take much convincing on my part, as were all game to try it.
English Breakfast - I was excited to learn this item was new on the menu and that it quickly became a staff favorite. Given a fair warning that it's a "very large dish" that I should share with someone, I knew Moses would help. However, when it arrived, I realized that I can totally put it down by myself, so no reinforcement was actually needed.
Made up of a heaping plate of hearty ingredients such as kasekrainer sausage, baked beans, confit mushrooms, two beautifully fried eggs and a biscuit on the side, it was no light meal. I loved the juxtaposition of flavors - from the smoky sausage to the earthy mushrooms, and the buttery, flaky biscuit. Even though it offered a bevy of textures and tastes, I thought it all worked really well, resulting in a comforting dish with a touch of sophistication.
Banana Bread French Toast - In the midst of this very filling meal, I was glad to see that the French Toast came in a mini format. Giving us just a little sweetness with our hearty brunch, it totally hit the spot, boasting a slightly golden exterior and a soft (almost custardy) middle. The banana flavor was subtle yet still noticeable, organically incorporated right into the egg batter. Deelish!
Other Dishes - Both Sonya and Moses were really happy with their meals, which consisted of of the Hash with kielbasa and Olympic's special version of an eggs Benedict. Both were delicious and incorporated unique elements such as the layered potato cake that came with the Benny or the crispy lardons and the poached egg on top of the hash. All in all, it's hard to pick something less than scrumptious.
Cocktails - Another big highlight of our experience were the morning cocktails. I love me a good, strong Bloody Mary and I wanted to see how this one would measure up to the one I just had at Tasty n Sons. Strongly preferring the one here, the Olympic Mary was generous in size and came topped with a spear of savory ingredients such as a salami swizzle, a pickled egg, and some pickled jalapenos. It very much reminded me of the unforgettable bloody Mary I had last year at one of my favorite Miami restaurants, Yardbird. If you're a bloody Mary connoisseur, you gotta try it.
Service and Cost:
I can't say I was in love with the service, as we had to wait about 20 minutes to be seated and then were more or less ignored for about 10 minutes after we sat down. Once we got properly acquainted with our waitress, things changed for the better, but overall, I wouldn't call the service stellar.
Costs are on the moderate side, but definitely doable for the ridiculously tasty food and the fun atmosphere. The above mentioned brunch with morning cocktails set us back about $25/person with tax and tip.
For more about Olympic Provisions, I encourage you to explore Marisa's post on Margaritas in the Rain, who's a Portland local. Also for other Portland foodie scoop, check out Sue's latest post on Tastoria.
3 Meaty Mmmms
Olympic Provisions - 107 Southeast Washington Street, Portland OR 97214