Laurelhurst Market also cooks meat from their in-house butcher shop.
In Portland, there seems to be a push towards greater efficiency. Coffeehouses like Coava Coffee Roasters and Sterling Coffee Roasters decided that sharing space with another tenant makes more sense for their respective business model. In the world of meat, Olympic Provisions and Laurelhurst Market operate as butcher shops by day and restaurants by night. They’ve already got the product, space and know-how, so why not use it? We started at Laurelhurst, in an East Portland neighborhood by the same name, to experience food from chef-owners David Kreifels, Jason Owens and Benjamin Dyer, who also own Simpatica Dining Hall and Ate-Oh-Ate Hawaiian Plate Lunch.
My Laurelhurst Market experience started on the patio with a sessionable pint of pale ale from Hood River called Double Mountain Vaporizer ($5). My friends drank cocktails before we transitioned to the dining room and shared plates from a meaty menu that touts a key to different cooking temperatures, ranging from Rare (red cool center) to Well Done (not recommended).
Fried Cardoons ($7) from “your kitchen garden” feature artichoke’s prickly cousin battered and deep-fried, served with tangy green aioli and squeezed lemon juice. These heavy bites of stalk were probably a bit too heavy on batter.
Since we were at a butcher shop, it made sense to trust in the meat. We each took turns dipping into silky Steak Tartare ($11) seasoned with vodka, chives, shallots and farm egg yolk.
Their Shrimp & Grits ($11) was my least favorite version to date, with Gulf shrimp, tart cauliflower chow chow, a centralized spring shoots salad, very few grits, and a dry, unsatisfying scrapple slab.
Sausage Wrapped Pork Tenderloin ($21) turned my meal around, with a juicy mass of pork slathered with salsa verde and plated with plump seared potato gnocchi, fava beans, asparagus spears, and spring onions that all bathed beautifully in pork jus.
A blackboard cow diagram featured the header CUTS AVAILABLE TONIGHT, so of course somebody had to order steak, and it ended up being local coffee pro Ryan Willbur.
Dry-rubbed and grilled Grilled Hanger Steak ($21) came with punchy Fresno chile harissa and sweet grilled spring onions. Willbur opted for medium rare, which had a winning sear.
Roasted Viridian Farms’ Asparagus ($7) paired delicate spears with tangy Portland Creamery goat cheese smears. Braised Local Kale with Housemade Bacon ($6) was another highlight, with hearty greens soaking up the house-cured pork belly’s smoky flavor.
Laurelhurst Market offered several desserts that sounded great, including Black Bottom Cake with blood orange marmalade and pistachios, but people were eager to hit some SCAA parties, so we left sated and satisfied with our main courses and seasonal vegetable flourishes.