Every time I walk into Tails and Trotters I comment (to myself), “this is a slice of hog heaven, well actually it is not heaven for a hog, but it sure is heaven for a human.” Of course this assumes that you are not vegetarian. And if that is the case, then keep reading!
Pork is nutrient dense and flavorful, not to mention adaptable to different cuisines. Now imagine if those happy pigs were finished off on hazelnuts. I bet you realize that would impart a distinctively complex and rich flavor to the meat. Well that is exactly what you can discover for yourself at Tails and Trotters.
Hazelnut finished pork IS a slice of hog heaven
Aaron and Kelly were inspired by the idea of Iberian pork, where the pigs roam the oak groves and gorge on acorns toward the end of their lives. Thus inspired, they adapted this method to utilize the plethora of hazelnuts in the Northwest. This plays upon the French concept of terroir, as the pigs are feeding on plants that are acclimated with the environmental conditions of the Northwest itself.
There is a lot to love about Tails and Trotters, but what I think is especially fabulous is that they have several businesses happening within one. Their shop is a retail outlet chock full of more pork products than you knew existed. Pork brisket, loins, shoulder, jowl bacon, country pates, salami, smoked ham, sausages, rillettes, and so many other porky products.
They also have a booth at the PSU Farmer’s arket, which makes a nice west side outpost. They specialize in special orders for Christmas and Easter hams. So with a little planning and friends to share with, this is a great indulgence. And if you can’t decide what you want and you want a bit of everything, and you have a chest freezer, then the pork share is the way forward.
My favorite sandwiches in Portland
The sandwich counter at the store gets busy, busy, busy at lunchtime and with good reason. The sandwiches rock and that about it sums it up. They have hot sandwiches, cold sandwiches, grilled sandwiches, and classic sandwiches. I would tell you my favorite, but that seems to change to whatever I am eating at the time. Countless occasions, I have seen people standing at the counter, having a difficult time deciding what to get. Well, I have a suggestion. Come with a friend and get two sandwiches and split them! Repeat, until you have made your way through the hazelnut finished pork menu.
“Wait, I am gluten free.” No worries! They have gluten free bread from New Cascadia Bakery and its taste and texture is superb. But further, you have the option of turning any sandwich into a salad. Kelly and Aaron used to be farmers in Noti, Oregon, so their standard for all their ingredients is high and the veggies they use are organic, and were likely harvested within a day of you eating them. The coleslaw is awesome!
This is the Mortimer sandwich, made into a salad
Come and get your charcuterie
Of course, I couldn’t help but include them on our Portland food tours. While I wish I could have guests on the Vibrant Kerns Hood Food Tour taste some of everything, instead, we indulge in a charcuterie tray or salad that can include some combination of smoked ham, porkstrami or mortadella.
The owners are some of the friendliest and down to earth people out there. And their staff is wonderful. They are enthusiastic and very knowledgeable about their products, giving direction and suggestions if you need. I appreciate service with a genuine smile. It just makes the food taste even better!
This little shop speaks volumes for the Portland food scene, which we can take for granted. Very unassuming from the outside, casual interior, reasonably priced, non-pretentious staff and clientele, and a product that is the best of its kind, pretty much anywhere. Go hazelnut finished pork!
- 525 NE 24th Ave.
- Portland, OR 97232
- (503) 477 8682
The charcuterie platter is ever changing, but the smoked ham is a constant (for good reason!)