Pursuing a higher, saltier power

Welcome to The Meadow. Portland’s own (yet world-renowned) purveyor of the culinary world’s most sacred commodity: salt.

I’m sure you’ve noticed—the same eyeliner-and-scorn-ridden hipsters  that can’t seem to leave their thid-floor studio-walkups for anything resembling a social activity somehow manage to lug their hangovers out at draconian hours every weekend in throngs large enough to create hour-long waits at every hash house in town.

The impetus behind this Sunday morning self-torture is the same as everyone else’s: religion. The religion of delicious food. So in this Mecca of the meal, what could be remarkable enough to be named my Holy of Holies? Hold on to your apéritif glass—it’s not even a restaurant.  

Welcome to The Meadow. Portland’s own (yet world-renowned) purveyor of the culinary world’s most sacred commodity: salt. How seriously do the priestesses at The Meadow take their ministry? They stock more than 70 varieties of salt. From finishing salts like Andes Mountain Rose to artisan salts like Djibouti Pearls—The Meadow is absolutely guaranteed to have something that will send you into salt Samadhi.

There are salts in every price range, so even penniless supplicants making their pilgrimage can leave with something (you are also free to sample anything). My favorites are the Jurassic (which tastes exactly like clean desert air), and the Djibouti Pearls (because nickel-sized balls of salt that occur naturally are pretty damned amazing).  

Besides salt you eat, The Meadow is on the forefront of the Himalayan Salt Block cooking trend, seen on shows like Iron Chef. For the uninitiated, it’s essentially a huge, heavy block of salt that looks like pink glass, which you heat up and cook food on. They are reasonably priced, produce some pretty amazing culinary experiences and are reusable.

But it takes more than utterly amazing salt to gain temple status.  Before go on to chocolate, I must tell you I am a lover of bitters. After sampling the selection at The Meadow, I am an absolute devotee.

On to chocolate: The Meadow offers both locally and internationally forged chocolates for eating, cooking and drinking. Their drinking chocolates are the real deal. No powders requiring milk or water be stirred in, just chocolate shavings or tiny chips that you melt down and drink straight like a glob of gloriousness in a mug.  

There is literally no way to walk in their door and not leave with a gift for someone.

There is more to life than eating and drinking, but really, not a hell of a lot more. Those little details go a long way toward turning your usual drink/dinner ritual into a higher art. So go browse the website or visit their tiny Mississippi shrine in person. Whether you are an acolyte in the temple of food or serve the sacred cult of booze, the meadow has got your devotions covered and then some.


The Meadow

3731 N Mississippi Ave.