Introducing: Chop

Dig into one of Portland's brand-new secrets.

By Benjamin Tepler December 23, 2011 Published in the January 2012 issue of Portland Monthly

Chop danish sandwich kfmtlr

“The Danish” sandwich at Chop

FROM BEHIND a glass boundary, Chop’s charcuterie shop looks out over the midday madness that is Tasty N Sons. Sated families and jilted foodies faced with a two-hour wait often amble in to Eric Finley and Paula Markus’s meat-and-sandwich haven across the hallway, where they find solace in Chop’s grab-’n’-go menu—a carefully curated list of sammies made with some of the best cured meats around town.

Chop’s eight-month-old, USDA-certified curing facility and retail counter is a tiny space, and sitting is not an option, but you could spend an hour ogling the pâté mosaics and curls of sausages displayed beneath the weathered wooden sign.

“We didn’t want to do the same thing as Olympic Provisions,” says Finley. “So I envisioned what a fat French butcher would make for himself: full-flavored meats made from only the stuff he wants to eat.” Finley and Markus are true to their word: game birds, apples, and chanterelles populate their pâtés and salamis this season.

If you’re feeling more omnivore than carnivore, Chop’s rotating sandwich menu is the ticket. Of the eight options scrawled on Chop’s blackboard, “The Italian” quickly won our hearts. Stacked high with layers of porky variety, its house-cured ham, spicy coppa, thin disks of mortadella, and salty salami slide over roasted red peppers and smoky provolone. “The Rebel” is an ode to the classic deli sandwich, with peppered, fat-marbled pastrami, a swab of subtle horseradish, and pickles sliced thin on rye bread. If you can steer yourself away from the cured meats, “The Frog” is incredible; a melt-in-your-mouth, pork-rich country pâté swirled with bright green slivers of pistachio, all rounded out with pickled red onions on a baguette.

More than just a butcher shop or salumeria, Finley and Markus have earned their chops as a sandwich destination, drawing lines of their own rather than relying on their ever-popular neighbor to bring in the crowds.

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