I met up with Ben Dyer of Laurelhurst Market mid-day on a weekday late last month. I was working on a story all about Portland’s new wave of meatmen for the local alt. weekly Willamette Week and I did double duty asking him questions about his newest meaty venture for my book as well. Laurelhurst Market opened this spring and business has been booming for the butcher shop/restaurant since. Ben and his partners formerly owned Viande Meat Market in City Market in Northwest Portland and are the current owners of Simpatica Catering and Dining Hall.
I felt kind of bad when I joined him at the bar because he’d just sat down for lunch and hadn’t yet taken a bite of his sandwich. I asked him to please eat but he wouldn’t and so during the entire interview we both eyed his housemade roast beef, pickled red onion, zuke pickle, butter lettuce, cheddar and fresh grated horseradish sandwich on Fleur de Lis multi-grain that he’d made. It was difficult.
It was kind of like when you look at something in the bright sun and then look away and the image of that object imprints itself on everything you look at. As I drove home that afternoon I saw roast beef sandwiches with fresh grated horseradish on Music Millenium’s door, the Laurelhurst Theater marquee, at the entrance to Foti’s Greek Deli and walking with some sort of death wish right down the middle of the road.
During the day the butcher shop sells sandwiches — choose your own fillings as well as several daily specials. Most sandwich ingredients are prepared in house including from scratch deli meats, pickled vegetables and soon-to-be housemade cheeses. Although you can’t eat them in the dining room (dinner service only) there are a few covered tables in front of the building.
With four full time employees the butcher shop also sells housemade pates and rillettes, pancettas, foie gras torchon, bacon, andouille, tasso, deli meats, and sausages. In the case whole meats usually include Piedmontese air cured beef and local pork (two of the biggest sellers) chicken, rabbit, buffalo and lamb. There’s also usually one or two items made somewhere else such as hot or sweet sopressata from Claudio’s in Philadelphia.
There’s so much going on at LM that’s it’s hard to know what to include. Some of my favorite things include this…
My favorites from the restaurant so far are the marrow bones and the steak frites.
3155 East Burnside