The new Porkchop & Co. is the type of restaurant you’d probably like to see in your own neighborhood, (Ballard and Capitol Hill, do you really need more restaurants?), one that’s refreshingly the opposite of so many new establishments. This one is casual, quiet, and non-pretentious—putting out high quality food at often reasonable prices.
A menu board hangs high above the counter where you place your order. You can survey the scene in the open kitchen; better yet is the chance to chat with chef/owner Paul Osher, who might very well be staffing the counter. Osher’s a down-to-earth guy who’s proud of the earth in which his produce grows and upon which his animals have grazed. He and his staff prepare food that’s at once simple and yet strong in flavor, sometimes rustic and sometimes whimsical.
The sandwiches are the crux of the lunch menu, ranging from the unique Smoked Beet to the namesake, Flintstones-like “Porkchop.” Those same sandwiches are available for weekend brunch (there’s a scrambled egg sandwich available for weekday breakfast, along with a couple of breakfast bowls built around grits), along with other items like kimchi hash and shakshouka.
What deserves special interest, though, is the newly launched dinner service. A few of the lunchtime sandwiches are again available, but you can find real value in the selection of plates like pan-roasted salmon and porchetta roast. The quality of ingredients and preparation is on par with some of Seattle’s fine dining restaurants, where the plates would surely fetch far higher prices. (Some of your savings come from the casual nature of this open-air, pleasant restaurant. Besides ordering at the counter, you go to a station to collect your own napkins, silverware, and water. Porkchop staff will, however, bring the food to your table.) The sides are another great deal, enabling you to enjoy small plates like smoked trout salad, pickles, and chicken cracklins/wings at affordable pricing.
Continue on for some of Porkchop & Co.’s food (and more).
This smoked beet puree was the wake-up call signaling the start of a delicious meal. Fabulous flavors of smoked paprika, garlic, sherry vinegar, and almonds in the puree, which is topped with Point Reyes Original Blue Cheese. (I’ve been inspired to make a version of Porkchop & Co.’s smoked beet sandwich.)
The trout salad contains ikura (salmon eggs), apple, red onion, thyme, and radish.
Highlights of the pickle sampler were the daikon and cauliflower.
Nice combination of chicken cracklins and chicken wings. Good flavor, though they could have been spicier!
A fun dish of chorizo meatballs, with a sampler of hot sauces in the background. You can buy the sauces to go, and I especially recommend the red serrano sauce.
A cauliflower sandwich is the last thing I’d probably ever order. But I recommend both it and the beet sandwich. This sandwich contains a roasted cauliflower “steak” and cauliflower puree, both of which were delicious.
The namesake “Porkchop” sandwich will bring out the beast in any diner. It’s got gem lettuce, pickles, and salsa verde playing off the meatiness of the sandwich.
One of the night’s dinner plates was this pan-roasted salmon with fennel and creme fraiche tzatziki. Well-executed!
A look from the dining room to the counter at Porkchop & Co.
A closer look at the menu.
View from the street.
A glimpse through the window of this casual and charming restaurant.