O’Connors has been around for 75 years, in some form, fashion, or location. The current incarnation is in cute and quirky Multnomah Village, a neighborhood strip of chops and cafes not far from our domicile.
It was late afternoon and Mrs. BDB and I were feeling a might peckish, but were not predisposed for any particular item or cuisine. I don’t think she had eaten yet that day, and my entire sustenance was comprised of a bevy of Vietnamese foods provided at the open house of our local nail salon. That was good, but not wanting to seem particularly piggish, I demurred in my selections of those delicacies.
After some discussion about our possibilities, we headed out to nearby Multnomah Village, parked the car, and headed to O’Connor’s. As it was early, it wasn’t busy, and we chose a booth away from the bar and televised football matches, and perused the menu, which offers a variety of bar food, Mexican, Louisianan, and regional American dishes.
We agreed on Louisiana BBQ’ed shrimp for a starter, one of our favorites (it is not BBQ’ed at all, but pan-broiled in butter, olive oil, and herbs), and my better 2/3rds went for the Beefeater’s Special Sandwich (Marinated sirloin, grilled rare, served on sourdough with jalapeño jack cheese, red onion and roasted chiles) with hush puppies on the side, and I opted for a traditional New Orleans sandwich, the Muffaletta (pronounced by those in the know as MOOF-a-LOTT-A).
The shrimp were tasty, but very hard to peel. There’s a solution to that, which I would pass on to you here, but I have forgotten it. Oops. Mrs. BDB pronounced her sandwich a success, the serving was ample, she offered me a bite, I thought the meat was similar to pot roast, but the flavor was great.
My muff was quite a variation on the original recipe, which was invented around 1900 in New Orleans. The original recipe calls for a 9″ round loaf of Italian bread, with layers of capicola, salami, mortadella, emmentaler, and provolone, and smeared with olive salad, which is a marinaded blend of olives, cauliflower, celery and carrots.
O’Connor’s version is a chopped pepper and olive salad layered with smoked ham, salami, jalapeño jack and cheddar cheese on a baguette. The baguette was grilled beforehand, and then perhaps put into a panini press to melt all the gooey cheesy goodness together.
Being as Mrs. BDB thinks her husband is the persnickety type and a purist, she wondered aloud whether I was dissatisfied with the sandwich, but I wasn’t, it was tasty in its own right. But then, when isn’t ham, salami, and cheese good? The olive salad was more than fine, not sure if it’s a purchased variety or made in the house. The hand cut fries were reminiscent of In N Out, and were very good, I ate more of them than I should have.
If you want to purchase authentic olive salad, there’s a fairly good one on CajunGrocer. Occasionally you will find a vendor that offers Muffaletta bread, or even sandwiches online, I’ve tried those and not been satisfied. (Maybe, I AM persnickety!)
I have heard about other Muffalettas in Portland, which I have not tried. This one, although not “authentic”, more than satisfied my craving. Being as it’s 5:15 on a Sunday morning, and I’m feeling a might peckish again, I am delighted I brought home half of the muff! To the Bat-refrigerator, BDB!