If the inspections stars align, Salt, Fire and Time's Tressa Yellig and her sister, Katie Yellig, will open the doors to Portland's first bona fide bone broth bar by late-June.
Broth Bar will have only a handful of indoor and outdoor seats, but the Yelligs mainly see their upcoming space as more of a grab-and-go shop where paleo dieters and the plain curious can pair a smattering of broths (chicken, beef, lamb, turkey, bison and pork) with add-ins like poached eggs, chicken hearts, beef tongue, hot sauces and salts, including sprinklings of Hawaiian red salt.
Tressa also says that she and Katie plan on offering once-a-week organ burgers, which always come gluten-free and which always get paired with pickled seasonal vegetables. Think lamb patties comprising 30 percent lamb hearts for a richer, more flavorful burger.
Now, for a while, we've been hearing how broths are the next big thing, but whether or not it sticks around depends on whether potential guests see them as restorative elixirs or just the next overpriced, bourgeois fad.
Tressa Yellig says she understands how some might see broth as nothing more than a gussied-up stock, but she says there is, in fact, a difference. Stocks, she says, are made with a focus on flavor. They're often made with meats and vegetables to add even more flavor, and a small batch can be ready in as little as 30 minutes.
And while she admits that stocks are nourishing and tasty, she says bone broths are "exponentially more complex" than their soupy cousins. For their bone broths, the Yelligs slow-cook animal bones over low heat for a great length of time—72 hours, in fact. Doing so extracts the bones' gelatin and marrow, which turns each batch into what Tressa calls a "powerhouse of nutrition."
That's why she sees broth as more of a medicinal supplement that can help you mend when you're feeling sort of icky. They can help restore your strength, she says, because your body won't have to work so hard trying to absorb and digest the animal's protein.
Yes, broths have been around for thousands of years, and yes, they are making a comeback. Whether or not they stick around will all depend on the degree to which we embrace them. You'll have the opportunity to make up your own mind by early-summer.
Broth Bar, 115 NE 6th Ave.