Portland, OR – Laurelhurst Market

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From the guys who brought us Simpaticaand Viande Meat Market, Laurelhurst is a meat market by day (literally), and a restaurant by night. With one of the most interesting dinner menus around, and access to their own butcher shop, Laurelhurst cooks up some interesting apps and entrees nightly from 5pm. On a Saturday night there was already a sizable line for seating right at opening, so choosing to have an early dinner if you are going is a fine idea.

We were going out for appetizers only, but not being able to make a decision, as usual, we overordered. Mrs. BDB started with the Roasted Marrow Bones, with parsley pistou and toast. Pistou is a cold sauce usually made from garlic, basil, and olive oil, the parsley version is, of course, more closely related to the Argentinian chimichurri, w/o the vinegar.

I went way off the radar for me and started with Suppli Al Telefono, with were braised short rib and mozzarella risotto fritters, with a piquant tomato sauce, decorative greens, and a dozen or so small, cured black olives.

Entree for the Mrs was a dinner-sized chopped beet and pear salad, with walnuts and a vinaigrette.

And me? Why the acclaimed bacon cheeseburger of course, done perfectly to my medium rare order, with shoulder bacon, pimento laurelhurst PNG4cheese, piccalilli, garlic aioli, and fresh cut, lightly salted fries. Piccalilli is not something you see on many menus anymore, it was quite popular in the 30s and 40s, it’s a pickle relish (sometimes green tomatoes), mixed with mayo or creme fresh, kind of like a remoulade. It was a little too sweet for my liking, and it masked the wonderful taste of the superb patty. The bun was closer to a brioche than a hamburger bun, but wonderfully fresh.

It was tough to go for the burger, when Laurelhurst also offers steak tartare, one of my favorite things in the world. But they only have it in an appetizer size, and BurgerDogBoy is a many of large appetites.

My better 2/3rds included a couple of the house specialty “Swoon” cocktails, made with applejack, something else you don’t see on a menu very often. She pronounced them delightful.

Yes, I would return, and often.   If they were open for lunch, they’d sell a lot more burgers, at least to me.

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