Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Sandwiches, the Simpler the Better: Part II

Ken's Ham and Asiago on Buttered Ficelle
The thing about that perfect sandwich is that it's only as good as its ingredients.  In fact, the simpler the food, the more possibility for a memorable meal.  Or a total disaster.

These days, at least in Portland, there's no excuse for not enjoying the perfect sandwich.  It seems as if every time I turn around a new bakery is opening, or another shop is curing their own hams.  So if I'm making sandwiches at home, here are my favorite spots for gathering ingredients:

View Sandwiches, the Simpler the Better: Back for Seconds in a larger map

No surprise here, Ken's Artisan is my first choice for bread with brittle crusts that give way to chewy interiors.  But there are plenty of other choices for baguettes in Portland--I'm always happy with Pearl Bakery and Little T's.

When it comes to getting cured meats and pates, I'm lucky enough to live just a few blocks away from Foster and Dobbs, where I can buy Fra'Mani and Salumi products (not to mention a great cheese selection).  But why stop there?  Laurelhurst Market cures its own hams, makes pâtés and rillettes,  and even their own mortadella.  The meat counters at the three Pastaworks locations have all the salamis, bresaola, prosciuttos, and hams you could hope for.  The Hawthorne location has its own in-house butchers--I've already told you about their pickled herring.  The northwest Portland location of Pastaworks is home also to Chop Butchery and Charcuterie--another spot to get your pâtés.

I haven't made it over to Olympic Provisions yet, but I'm excited to try it.  It promises some of the usual suspects (rillettes, house-made hams, and mortadella) but other lesser knowns (such as lyoner, which I understand is similar to cervelas sausage).  They also serve lunch and dinner.  I feel a little giddy reading their menu: beef tongue hash with fried egg, pork rillettes handpie, pork rind, escarole, and chickpea soup? I'm there.

  Addy's Pâté, Addy's Ham and Gruyere
But back to the sandwiches.  It's easy enough to make them at home, but sometimes you want to be able to grab one. Again, Portland delivers.  Ken's bakery has a full sandwich menu, complete with wonderful croque monsiuers.  But they also have a basket on their counter, full of ready-made sandwiches in brown paper bags.  For $4.50, the buttered ficelle sandwich with ham and asiago cheese is a steal.

Addy's Sandwich Bar

This being Portland, the other sandwich spot you need to know about is of course a cart.  Addy's Sandwich Bar is on SW 10th and Alder.  Last time I was there I noticed the Pig-By-the-Tail cookbook on the shelf; I felt right at home.  My favorite here is Addy's cart-made pate with mustard and cornichons.  In fact, she cures and roasts all her meats in-cart.  If you're curious about her ingredients, definitely explore her website--it lists all the ingredients she uses (down to mustard, olive oil, and salt brands).

Now here's the real mystery.  Addy's sandwiches come on generously filled 10-inch baguettes.  They are made with exceptionally good ingredients.  They are served with a smile.  And they cost only $5.50.  I'm pretty sure you'd pay close to that at most chain sandwich shops.  I am so lucky.

Addy's Menu

One of these days I'll write another post about sandwiches. Because there's a few other places in Portland (I'm looking at you, Bunk and Laurelhurst Market) that make fine sandwiches.  Just not that simple baguette and ham and butter one I remember.


h. hart said...

mmm I have been day dreaming about a simple baguette and meat or cheese today--wish I were in Portland to indulge that fantasy...unfortunately I think its quinoa and squash at my cubicle today though.

I have heard so much about you from Sarah, it's lovely to see your (online) space...

Lynn D. said...

The banh mi sandwiches at Binh Minh Sandwiches on SE Powell were an absolute revelation to me. The bread is delicious as are the salty sweet fillings. The Vietnamese have taken the baguette, ham and cornichon sandwich to another level. And do try a muffaletta sandwich in New Orleans and let us know what all the fuss is about.

Giovanna said...

Lynn, I'm going to have to try those banh mi--I'm embarrassed to say I've only had the banh mi at Bunk (which were, of course, delicious)--my banh mi horizon definitely needs some expanding. I suppose they should be available in New Orleans as well, as I there's a large Vietnamese population there.

And of course, I'll try the muffaletta, and let you know...

lshere said...

This all makes me so hungry-no sandwiches like that in Healdsburg but the makings exist here-maybe that will be a dinner soon!

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