Portland Craft does not permit sandwich travel from The Fish Counter to their establishment. This is due to the fact that they have their very own menu of delicious food to pair with their great tap list. My eagerness to promote an additional place that I enjoy and an opportunity granted to me to do so is how this “This Sandwich, That Beer” blog post came to happen.
The Fish Counter opened up on Main St. right next door to Portland Craft late last year by sustainable seafood pioneers Mike McDermid and Chef Robert Clark. Both Mike and Chef Robert are seafood lovers with a passion for conserving our oceans.
At The Fish Counter you can find a selection of the freshest sustainable seafood, various prepared items as well a full service take out counter serving made-to-order fish and chips, crispy cod tacos, soups and of course po’boy sandwiches. I had been meaning to get to The Fish Counter much sooner than this, but I did finally make it last week to give their Oyster Po’Boy sandwich a try.The Fish Counter’s Oyster Po’ Boy comes with three large battered and deep-fried Sawmill Bay Oysters, arugula, spicy cabbage and chive and dill sauce on a fresh baguette.The oysters have a nice and crunchy outer shell while the oyster in the centre stays flavourful and juicy. The chive and dill sauce is lathered all over the crispy oysters very generously. The spicy cabbage, or kimchi, is a real nice addition to the traditional po’boy, adding a layer of heat and crunch that would be lacking without it. The arugula is a great choice for the greens as its bitterness finds the lemon detected in the sauce and works with the fresh lemon slice that comes to squeeze over the sandwich. This city needs more po’boy sandwiches and they should all look to The Fish Counter for guidance.Portland Craft’s tap list is ever-rotating through a vast selection of awesome beers from Oregon and Washington. This gave me great confidence that I would find something perfect to pair up with the Oyster Po’Boy from The Fish Counter. Knowing that I was having oysters my first thought was a stout, and I stuck with that, although I did consider something a little lighter to go with the deep fried oysters. But that classic pairing of oysters and stout won out when I saw that Portland Craft was pouring Hilliard’s Murdered Out Stout. This dry Irish stout from Seattle, Washington’s Hilliard’s is true to style with the malt being nicely balanced by the hoppy dry bitterness. The stout marries wonderfully with the oysters salt-sprayed flavours, while the mouth feel is crisp and refreshing to balance the deep fried cooking method. I also found that the spicy cabbage and the deep roasted malts made for a surprisingly satisfying taste combination.So if you’re looking for a sustainably sourced Oyster Po’Boy sandwich paired with a classically refreshing dry irish stout then head to The Fish Counter for This Sandwich, and then to Portland Craft, for That Beer.Head to www.thefishcounter.com and www.hilliardsbeer.com for more info and also check out www.portlandcraft.com to see everything they have to offer. Follow @thefishcounter, @HilliardsBeer and @Portland_Craft on Twitter and follow me at @tstb_blog.Also, look for my column in the BC Craft Beer News at your local craft beer focused private liquor store.