Matt Bonner's Sandwich Hunter: Feb. 11, 2010 - Portland
Entry #15 - Flying Elephants Delicatessen: Portland
by Matt Bonner
Rain aside, Portland is one of my favorite NBA cities. It is surrounded by the natural beauty of the mountains and river. The city prides itself on being environmentally friendly and innovative. It is also quite eclectic. There are a ton of really cool independently owned art shops, record stores, antique shops, book stores, and coffee shops. The local music scene is amazing. This is made apparent by the numerous music venues, street bands, and local talent such as M. Ward, The Decemberists, Blind Pilot, Blitzen Trapper, Menomena, and the late Elliot Smith (just to name a few). It reminds me a lot of Austin.
When I was walking to the Flying Elephants Delicatessen, I encountered a street band playing on the corner (see picture). I stopped to hear a couple songs. Halfway through the first song, a homeless man in a trench coat stopped in front of the band. He started dancing wildly to the music. I mean he was getting down… His dreadlocks were whipping around everywhere. The funniest part was that the band was playing a slow sea shanty. The band finished the song and the man clapped and cheered as loud as he could before heading on his way. It was a very bizarre and comical occurrence… only in Portland.
I made it to the deli and it looked promising. There was a large lunch crowd inside and a huge selection of drinks, baked goods, chips, salads and soups. It was quite impressive. I went to the back of the shop where they make the hot pressed sandwiches and observed the menu. There were only 6 different sandwiches and another 2 on daily special. The sandwiches were quite small so I ordered a pastrami rueben and "croque madame sandwich". The reuben consisted of pastrami, sauer crout, and russian dressing on a panini. The "croque madame sandwich" had french ham, gruyere cheese, butter and a hard boiled egg grilled on english muffin bread. I know that sounds like a really weird sandwich but I figured I'd give it a shot. I also got some "New Orleans Market Soup" and a coconut water. I love coconut water. Not many places carry it so I was happy they had it.