Archive for September 2nd, 2009

2nd September
2009
written by spd
The ever-changing chalkboard menu at Bunk Sandwiches.

The ever-changing chalkboard menu at Bunk Sandwiches. (img: Sean Patrick Doyle)

On a recent overcast afternoon in Portland, I waited for a drawbridge and walked 25 minutes through a cluster of half-abandoned warehouses to land at a nondescript awning in the middle of the Hawthorne district. Had it not been for the line of twenty people stretching out the door, I might have missed it! What was I searching for? A killer sandwich. I know… what I am I thinking?! I don’t even care for sandwiches half the time. I usually feel that the bun is muffling the taste of the inner stackings, or, worse yet, that the inner stackings wouldn’t even be worthy of a salad if they were stripped of the sauce slathered all over them.

BUT… I was curious to see what the fuss was all about. The rock stars who run Bunk Sandwiches have been plugged in nearly every Portland foodie blog, the NY Times travel section, Diners, Drive-ins and Dives on the Food Network, et al. There’s nothing overly appealing about the setting, and all of there heros are served on pedestrian, brown butcher paper. The ‘Open’ sign doesn’t even hang at a right angle. The sandwiches are allowed to speak for themselves, and, OH, what a fine job they do!

When I first arrived and inspected the ever-changing chalk board menu, I was disappointed that some of the more unorthodox options were absent. What of the Roman-style Tripe with Pecorino? The Bone Marrow and Snails on Toast? The Salt Cod with Chorizo and Black Olive? Still, there were several others to fuel my indecision. I opted for the Pulled Pork Shoulder with Apple-Cabbage Slaw, Pickles and Whole-grain Mustard on a Poppy Bun. Sweet and Sour Perfection! Served with house-made kettle chips and washed down with a lovely iced tea with mint (and yes, they thought to put out simple syrup!). One of the better sandwiches I’ve had in my life. I devoured it in under five minutes, while a friend waiting for her local Albacore Tuna Melt stared in awe. From my outdoor table, I could see a lonely Subway on the next block, and had a hearty chuckle. They really know what they are doing here… and it’s worth the walk.

Pulled Pork with Apple-Cabbage Slaw and Pickles on a Poppy Bun (img: Sean Patrick Doyle

Pulled Pork with Apple-Cabbage Slaw and Pickles on a Poppy Bun (img: Sean Patrick Doyle

Bunk Sandwiches. 621 SE Morrison St., Portland, OR 97214.  ph.  (503) 477-9515