Posts Tagged ‘Portland Italian Sausage’
Mrs BDB was hitting the road witht he gal pals tonight, which, as you know, means BurgerDogBoy gets a food self-indulgence night. Ok, yeah, you’re right, all my nights are pretty much self-indulgent nights. Even tho I had a pot of left over home made bolognese in my icebox, I had a hankering for Italian that someone else made, because I was exhausted from fooling with a Wii remote for half the afternoon, trying to coax it in to service, so Mrs. BDB and I might sword fight later in the evening.
I fired up Delivered Dish, Portland’s version of the multi-restaurant delivery service, and perused the Italian choices for my zip code. Just down the street from me is a place called “New York, New York”, which I have driven by a thousand times and never been in. My reasons for not trying it in the past are sort of inane, the building’s outward appearance is kind of ramshackle, and the windows, for some reason, give the appearance to the outside world of being absolutely filthy. They had a second location in Tigard, which is now closed, I believe.
I’ve had a number of great meals in my life in places that most people would call pretty disgusting (as I did too), so I shouldn’t have been predisposed not to eat here, I just was.
But I decided to try them out anyway, and went with my usual 3 meat pasta, spaghetti bolognese, with a side of sausage, and a side meatball. It came with a small loaf of warm bread, I ordered cheese bread with black olives, and I also ordered a gnocchi soup that I put in the cooler for Mrs. BDB later. She is a soup hound!
I plated. The pasta was done right, my personal preference would have been for far more meat sauce. It was cooked down from real tomatoes, which were still present, and had that residual watery debris in the pan that comes from cooking tomatoes. The sauce was mild but flavorful.
The meatball ($2.50 each) was the size of a baseball, and surely included the usual meatball fillers of egg and breadcrumbs, some dice onion, not sure what the combination of meat was, onion was the dominant flavor. The meatball was firm to the touch prior to launching into it, but crumbled easily, not a complete crumble, but certainly the sign that the meat was lean. The crumbliest meatball I have ever seen, and I can’t imagine how they are prepared, is at Venezia, an old timey place in New Orleans. Their larger than baseball-sized meatballs come intact when served, but once your fork touches them, they crumble into minced pieces on the plate. They are wonderful.
New York New York’s sausage was the ‘sweet’ Italian kind, again, very mild. The cheese bread was soft and chewy, with gooey real cheese, and canned black olives.
Delivered Dish tacks on a mild delivery charge, and I believe the restaurants jack the prices a little from their regular menus. Soup, bread, pasta with meat-sauce, side of sausage, side of meatball, $30.50 delivered. Spendy? Depends on your priorities. Tonight, for me, it was exactly the right price.
There’s a new Chicago hot dog in town, and it’s a real “wiener!” (Oh, I know, “groan.”). Chicago hot dogs aren’t all that easy to come by in Portland, and Chicago Italian Beef & Sausage combo sandwiches are even rarer. Yes, there is that place across the river run by that cantankerous old coot, but the differences are elementary. Windy City buys all their product from Vienna Beef, the preeminent Chicago vendor, and the “other guy” makes his own.
One could argue the advantage of either method, but if you’ve been to Chicago, or lived there twice, like I have, you get a craving for the “real thing”, and Windy City fills the bill, seemingly ordering all of their provisions (and decorations) from Vienna.
Windy City’s menu (below) covers the full range of Chicago style foods, from the loaded up Vienna hot dog (mustard, relish, chopped onion, tomato, pickle, sport peppers, celery salt on a poppy seed bun), to Italian Beef (with giardiniera or sweet peppers), the Maxwell Street Polish, and sides like cheese fries or chili cheese fries.
Windy City also has burgers on the menu, I’ll have to get back there to sample those, and I’m interested in chowing down on the “Rush Street Lunch”, chili cheese fries topped with a chopped polish and bacon.
Kid’s menu, a couple of beers, and meatball and pastrami sandwiches to boot!
Both the dog and the combo were spot on, exactly as one would experience in Chicago. For my money, (and that’s all that counts with me), Windy City’s Italian Beef is better than the other guys, because it is the familiar Vienna texture and seasoning.
Windy City is at 8680 SW Canyon Rd., call 208-3031 if you’re inclined to place your order ahead of time, or for carry out. Open 11-7 six days.
If you’re so inclined to order Vienna products by the dozen, to party at home, you can buy direct from the manufacturer.
Man, I love Italian Beef. Especially served as a combo, with Italian Sausage, Beef, and juice both. They should fit into some category here. Chicago’s Italian Beefs are the originals, but now you can find one close to home by checking out this directory.
There’s a pretty fine one in Portland, Michael’s, and when I said it was “as good as Chicago,”, the owner (who can be kinda uppity), said “it’s better than any in Chicago.”
OK, then. Hungry for I-Beef at home? It is achievable.
I like lots of different places in Chicago. I like Al’s.
Pic: Michael’s beef /sausage combo (half).
michaels italian beef
Celebrated part of the 4th with the local AAA baseball team, a sell-out with 15,000….fireworks after. Pathetic Italian sausage with peppers and onions, $5.75, and $7 for beers. Made up for the sausage with a copy of Oscar Mayer beefs with kraut and mustard at home tho! More on tap for today! But it was a really, really fun day!