SMOKEHOUSE BOARD

S21 pickled platterThink of this pickle platter as a kind of smoked antipasti.

What you’re looking at here are pickled (in beet juice) eggs, pickled collards, pickled collard stems, pickled fennel, pickled portobello mushrooms, pickled pickles and pickled hot link bits.

That’s right: hot, spicy pickled sausage, just like you’d find at some of your finer, way-off-the-beaten-path southern sausage shacks.

The only thing on this plate that’s not pickled are the smoked steelhead, the pimento cheese and (natch) the crackers.

They say pickles open your tastebuds right? Split one of these platters with your friends and let the smoked meats that follow do the rest of the work.

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SHINER RUBY REDBIRD

shiner bockDo you like grapefruit? How about a kicky hint of ginger?

If that’s you, you’re gonna love this canned summer seasonal straight outta Texas.

Shiner’s Ruby Redbird is light, refreshing and not at all bitter. It’s also doesn’t overdo it with the ABV—it clocks in at only 4 percent—which means you can drink one, two and even three without getting all Northwest IPA loopy legless.

And, as you would expect from a Lone Star brew, it pairs quite nicely with some Deviled Eggs, a plate of Pulled Pork, a half Smoked Chicken or, if you’re crazy hungry, all of the above.

SESSION BLACK

sessionWhen the crafty beer makers at Full Sail Brewing Co. launched their red Sessions lines, it was a way to offer an easy to drink “sessionable” beer—the kind your old man would drink after mowing the lawn (and sometimes during).

They even packaged it in nostalgic stubby 12-ounce bottles.

Well, their Black Lager has similar nostalgic roots: think of Germany, where lagers come in all stripes and colors.

Well, Full Sail’s Session Black remains just as easy to drink as its pale cousin, but its maltiness is beefed up with hints of chocolate, making for a much more flavorful, robust beer.

And at, 5.4 ABV, each one is pretty sessionable.

Well, at least by Oregon’s standards. If your pops is loyal to the Big Beer domestics, these little stubbies will sneak up on him and knock him on his ass, which means you’ll have to finish mowing the lawn.

 

SMOKED CORN

smoked cornThey got a little saying down Texas way for the blustery and the braggadocious: Big hat, no cattle.

Well, we got all the cattle, by which we mean brisket.

But if you wanna really tie what should be Texas’ state meat (chile con crane, please) up in pretty lone star state colors, you’ll pair it with a whole ear of smoked corn, which we sprinkle with cotija and Jaconsen’s sea salt after rolling it chipotle and Hatch green chile butter.

But why stop there? Crack open a can of straight outta southeast Texas Shiner Bock and you can practically hear the jangling of your imaginary spurs.

See? Big hat and all the cattle, and all the beer.

RAINIER BEER

rainierSo long Budweiser. You were good and all (we guess), but you ain’t got nothing on Ranier.

Rainier was first brewed in Seattle—11 years before Washington State even became a state.

And while the beer company’s been sold over and over again, and while production has moved from city to city, and while the brewery’s been closed multiple times for multiple years at a time, Rainier simply could not be kept down for long. It keeps coming back like a tenacious zombie.

Does it taste good? It’s fine. But we love it, because it’s ours (even if it’s brewed these days in California).

And so we say farewell to Bud, and welcome to our menu the Scrappy Little Beer that Could.

After all, it’s our homegrown version of the local domestic.

NATIONAL BARBECUE MONTH

brisketAsk any Southerner worth her whalebone petticoat or his shiny seersucker suit what barbecue is, and they’ll tell you what it ain’t: it ain’t grilling.

Grilling is a Yankee pastime that involves firing up the grill and flipping a few burgers between a few cold ones on a warm summer night.

Barbecue, they’ll tell you, is an all-day affair. It means waking up early, rubbing your meats and slow-cooking them in the smoker. And if you don’t have a smoker, you just dig a hole in the ground and cook ‘em in that.

And even we don’t hail from the South (or the Republic of Texas), we do it the way they do it. We get up early. We rub out meats and we smoke them all day—from sun up to sunset—in our indoor and outdoor smokers to make sure that your brisket, ribs, lamb, chicken, fish and pig are tender, juicy and evenly smoked.

PORCH SWING

porch swingBesides a two-finger bourbon and branch (you know: water), the Porch Swing has to be the classic BBQ cocktail.

And it’s kinda magical, too, because you don’t really taste its gin (it’s mos def in there), or its Pimm’s.

What you get is something that tastes a whole lot like what conservatives would call an Arnold Palmer and what liberals would call a Swamp Cooler.

In other words, it tastes like iced tea and lemonade, or, if you will, like a good sit on the porch swing as you watch the sun set itself.

In a way, it’s sorta like drinking a Tom Waits song. You know, one of those pretty, mid-90s nostalgic waltzes.

MARGARITA

margaritaCinco de Mayo. In Mexico—and really, in just one Mexican town—it’s a day for celebration because years ago, the people in that town liberated it, and themselves, from French colonialists.

But north of the border, it’s a day to celebrate…well, no one’s really sure. But it’s probably because clever and enterprising marketers and advertisers simply used that date to promote the sale of imported Mexican beers to unsuspecting North Americans.

As our craft beer menu suggests, we encourage you to skip the yellow fizz that is Big Beer and go local instead.

And most of you are doing so. But if you’re looking to put your thumb in the big eye that’s Big Beer, and you’re truly intent on celebrating Cinco de Mayo (and let’s face it, if you’re jazzed about it, you may simple be looking for an excuse to get legless), have a Margarita instead.

Our is of the classic kind: tequila, triple sec, lime and lemon juices, a splash or orange in a salt-rimmed Mason jar.

So swing by and celebrate with a glass or two. Just make sure you order enough grub to give your tummy a nice meat cushion to absorb all that gullet-falling tequila.

BROCCOLI CHEDDAR CASSEROLE

broccoliFor our new summer side, we take tiny little Bob Ross broccoli trees and steam them.

Ounce they’re steamed, we chop them up into teeny, tiny bits.

Baste them with some cheddar cheese sauce and voilà! Broccoli Cheddar Casserole.

If you like our mac and cheese, but don’t dig the swine with which it comes, you’ll love this.

And to top it all off, and give to it a crispy texture, a sprinkling of housemade air-fluff croutons.

Perfect for kids. And vegetarians.

ASPARAGUS

asparagusGood news for your vegetarian friends—and really, for all you carnivores, too.

We’ve just added a new starter to our menu: asparagus.

We take about dozen tall, green stalks, pan-fry them in butter—smoked paprika butter—and finish them off with slivered ribbons of preserved lemon and a light sprinkling of sea gathered at the Oregon coast.

That’s it. Simple, easy, quick and tasty. Well, preserving the lemons takes time, as does getting all that butter paprika-y.

And sure, by the time you’ve packed away your Pork Cheeks or your Smoked Beef Brisket, your pee’s gonna already start to small funny.

But who cares?* It’s a small price to pay for something that not only tastes good, but that’s really good for you, too.

*Seriously: who cares?