olympic provisions pickles are alive in portland

Everyone is posting links to the new comedy show, Portlandia (dear producers, pls. send check for my part in viral advertising now, thanks!), and joking about the “dream of the nineties” still alive in our big sister city.

I am, instead, dreaming of a pickled Portland Christmas, where hipsters demonstrate they are way ahead of old fashioned LA in charcuterie.  Sorry, Cali. Our hipsters may sleep in ’til 11 and unicycle around town, but they craft artisan sausage and pickles before their two-hour shift at the copy shop.  Eat it and weep!

We had a delightful lunch at Olympic Provisions a few weeks ago. Above, two views of a salumi platter from a sushi-style check off menu: black pepper sausage, liver mousse, and pickled cauliflower, zucchini, onions, rhubarb, and cornichons alongside.

We also gobbled down all the vegetable dishes on the lunch menu.  Above, roasted beets and sweetly sour cipollini onions with walnut sauce, and an unusually vibrant brussels sprouts salad with sunchokes and bright green castelvetrano olives.  You can just barely see the braised leeks with pepper-red romesco in the background.

The only unpleasant experience at OP was, indeed, a Portlandia moment, when we were treated to the castanet rhythms of the dude with tree branch ear plugs seated next to us.  I’m not sure if he had pulled them out of a hole in his body, and I didn’t want to know, but repeated clicking is not an appetizing backbeat in any decade.  But we forgive you, Portland, for being so hip, if hipness means pickles.

And Eugene, take note!  Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.  Pickles, not plugs.  We’ll make it out of the eighties yet.

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