About four months after opening, a quick operative spotcheck of Olympic Provisions, recently named Best New Restaurant by Forbes, seemed to show that all's been going well with Jason Barwikowski, Nate Tilden, and Elias Cairo's eastside industrial meathead-free meatshop. Owned by the dudes who made Clyde Common the cultural and culinary touchstone that it is and the first place in Oregon to become USDA-certified to cure its own meat, Olympic Provisions has turned out to be the kind of place that's as likely to host Cacao's Aubrey Lindley and Jesse Manis having family time as it is to throw a little pork belly porchetta at a hungry ex-New Yorker. But this is all the inside track. For the real news, let's turn to the interverse.
The Hyperbolic News: "Best sandwich I have eaten in 25 years of dining in Portland. Had the Roasted Tesa (like Pancetta, but not smoked, instead seasoned with garlic, pepper and spices) with escarole, mayo on a warm and wonderful ciabetta. Sublime. Absolutely stunning. Everything coming off the line looks and smells incredible." [Yelp]
The Rhetorically Questioning News: "Olympic Provisions is more than a restaurant. It’s also less. Who ever heard of a restaurant that is closed on Saturday night?...We also tried a rabbit ballantine, a preparation in which the animal is boned, stuffed with pate and rolled up tight, to be sliced in layered rounds. It was a little bland, although it is cleverly served with a sweet carrot salad. (What’s up, doc?)" [Portland Tribune]
The Clearly Biased News: "Olympic Provisions has now been open for close to a month in the beautifully restored Olympic Mills Commerce Center. Not only is the restaurant food close to perfect but this "American Charcuterie" has begun selling their handmade chorizos and smoked meats from the deli case." [UrbanWorks i.e. the real estate agents who handled the deal]
The Recovery-Trope News: "Hello. My name is Marcus and I am a meat eater. I’ve been this way for as long as I can remember and I don’t see kicking the habit any time soon, especially since Olympic Provisions opened recently on Portland’s east side. Olympic Provisions is the first USDA-certified salumeria in the state – making artisan sausages, pâtés, dry-cured salami and other meaty creations by hand – but that’s not all. The restaurant also features delicious sandwiches at lunch and creative entrées for dinner, balancing the tasty meats with fresh vegetables and other ingredients." [Portland Spoke]
The Imperative News: "Their version of the classic grilled cheese sandwich left nothing to be desired. Everything from the perfectly toasted buttery brioche to the succullently melted cheese peppered with sauteed wild mushrooms left me hoping that I would have the opportunity to visit again soon. You should find the time now!" [Urbanspoon]
· All Previous Coverage [EaterPDX]