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[pdx] sellwood visit: sellwood public house / curds & whey

patrick | Dec 15, 200507:16 PM

took a little ride today down to sellwood. along with a break from computing, we wanted to check out the much-touted Curds & Whey, and get some lunch somewhere.

I scanned the board and decided that Sellwood Public House seemed like a good place to try. Wow. What an underwhelming experience it was.

We had penne alla vodka, and a slice/salad combo. And I had a beer.

The whole thing was kind of like eating dinner at your friends' house when you were 22. No offense to twenty-somethings, but, I mean, the cooking was like someone just found out how to make pasta. The penne sauce was tomato based and included a lot of oil. I mean a lot of oil. When I was finished with the pasta there was still a pool of oil in the bottom of the bowl. The penne also featured a lot of roughly chopped, nearly raw garlic.

The caesar salad was also pungently flavored with garlic, to the point where it was spicy with the garlic. Again, memories of early-20s cooking experiences. The salad was sprinkled with croutons which came from a box.

The veggie-pizza slice was one of their already-made cheese slices, topped with some raw vegetables "to order" and run through the broiler. It was silly. When you took a bite all the vegetables spilled off the top. Except for the raw onions of course.

I don't usually drink beer with lunch, but I really wanted one when I came in, so I conferred with the waitress as to what beer might be the lowest in alcohol. She didn't know the answer to my question, so she called the owner to find out, and after much discussion we decided on a pilsner. What she brought to the table looked more like a red ale watered down with pilsner...which is also what it tasted like. Again. Just silly.

It felt like the teenagers had taken over the kitchen.

We paid and got out of there, reeking fairly heavily of raw onions and garlic.

Curds & Whey was as great as I've heard. Tons of good cheese, Salumi cured meats, and a wide selection of gourmet yummies such as oils, vinegars, chocolates and crackers. To our dismay they also offer a cheese/meat/fruit plate for lunch. Ha! Next time we know where to go for our food.

I like how they offer samples--first off, the whole cheese cooler is covered with samples in little dishes, of olives, cheese, meats, everything. The first thing they say after greeting you is "Try a sample!" Then of course you can taste whatever you want. Over in the dry goods department, they had even laid out little samples of their chocolates on offer. We managed to cleanse our palates, or at least add a lot of good things to the mix. We bought a tidy bundle of yummies: some oils, two kinds of salami, and a really good Washington raw milk goat/cow/sheep cheese called Estrella.

Short version: Curds and Whey good. Sellwood Public House bad. And cycling to and from Sellwood is always a very pleasurable experience, especially the return up the Springwater corridor next to the wildlife refuge.


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