Olympia Provisions is a mainstay on the Portland, Oregon food scene. You’ll see their stands at farmer’s markets. You can delve into their Portland Dog at OP Wurst at Pine Street Market, savor a charcuterie plate at Olympia Provisions Southeast or sit on the patio with a cold beer and soft pretzels at their newest restaurant on SE Division Street.
Olympia Provisions Back Story
Olympia Provisions started with the expertise of European trained Salumist Elias Cairo. Elias grew up first generation Greek-American with a father who made charcuterie at home. He returned to the U.S. and created Olympic Provisions, Oregon’s first USDA-approved salumeria, in 2009. Soon after, the name changed to Olympia Provisions and their story continued.
The sausage dog popularity grew from “Frankfurter Friday” offerings at their Olympia Provisions restaurants. Their cooks competed to see who could come up with the most creative, and sometimes crazy, toppings. That’s when Olympia Provisions decided to start a line of hot dog eateries dubbed OP Wurst headed up by their frankfurter mastermind, Victor Deras.
The Popularity of Olympia Provisions Grows
Olympia Provisions provided people in the Portland area with handcrafted sausages made with meats sourced in the Pacific Northwest and seasoned with fresh spices. They do things the old fashioned way. Their cured meats are aged naturally and slowly without being hurried, hot-incubated, cooked or irradiated.
I had the pleasure of visiting the new OP Wurst on Portland’s SE Division Street. It’s one of those neighborhood streets that has become a foodie paradise. Across from the new OP restaurant is Ava Gene’s and Pok Pok PDX. A couple of blocks away you'll find SE Wine Collective, a well-known urban winery. It’s an exciting location.
OP Wurst on Division
OP Wurst on Division has a full bar and features creative cocktails, beer and wine. There is cozy indoor seating with some long community tables and an 80-seat outdoor patio. Diners will enjoy their extensive food menu including Wurst and Beer Flights, Alpine Sausage Plates and their new chicken and beef dishes.
Pair a Portland Sour (Aria gin, Hammer & Tongs,L’Afrique, lemon, lime, sugar, egg white) with a Portland Dog if you dare. The Portland Dog is a pork frankfurter, braised kale and pork belly sprinkled with hazelnuts.
My fav was something a little less daring… the Parsley-Pecorino Sausage with white bean ragu, roasted fennel and parsley. A glass of wine warmed me as the clouds were threatening to let loose of just a little more Portland rain.
A traditional favorite is the Alpine Platter with a choice of bratwurst, kasekrainer, kielbasa, frankfurter, French garlic sausage served with their creamy (excellent) sauerkraut, warm potato salad and grain mustard.
There are offerings for the non meat-eater in your family as well. I loved their soft pretzels with cheese dipping sauce and they have a Vegetarian Platter that includes mixed green salad, warm potato salad, pickled egg, handmade pretzel with the delightful cheese sauce and their grain mustard.
And when you are done, purchase a chorizo sausage or summer sausage at the reception desk to take home to create your own Portland-style meal or charcuterie plate.
Olympia Provisions by Mail
So what do you do if you can’t run down to a Portland area farmer’s market or to OP Wurst? You can order by mail.
I first became intrigued with OP’s mail order business when they were interviewed on the local news. They were offering a lovely “Salami Bouquet,” complete with red tissue paper and wrapped with a red ribbon for someone special.
You can buy their cookbook or subscribe to the sausage of the month club. Their creativity is unending.
When You Go to Olympia Provisions
OP Wurst – Division is located at 3384 SE Division Street in Portland. And, they offer free parking which is a rarity in the Portland neighborhoods.
They are open 11 a.m. to 12 a.m. Sunday through Wednesday and 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Thursday through Saturday. It's easy to see why Olympia Provisions is such a mainstay of the Portland food scene.
Note: As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with a meal for the purpose of review. While it has not influenced this review, the writer believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest.