Central Provisions, Portland, 6/28/18

entrance
entrance

Central Provisions is a small place with some tables and counter seating.  The main room is on the second level with a street entrance and another entrance is below that leads into a bar and some tables where you can eat the same menu.  The bathroom and check in are upstairs so there’s a fair amount of traffic up and down.  The upstairs is where the open kitchen is and the ambiance is way better than in the downstairs portion.  Windows to the street add to the already adequate lighting for the small, close tables.  Service is friendly but timing of food is uneven at this very casual place.  However, in their defense the place was packed with lots of people standing around waiting for a seat to open up.  We were lucky to get a couple bar stools overlooking the main cooking areas so we got to see lots of the food going out.  There was no interaction with those cooking, though, they were just too busy.  The menu has plates that are ideal for sharing and we did just that so we could sample more items.  

building
building
interior
interior
kitchen
kitchen
stairs from downstairs and lower entrance
stairs from downstairs and lower entrance
interior
interior
menu
menu
beverages
beverages
Frankie offered to help
Frankie offered to help

 

The Bread and Butter is a sourdough bread from the Standard Baking Co. in Portland served with a spinach and green garlic spread and a riesling sabayon spread.  The bread had been cooked on a griddle and was perfectly toasted.  It was chewy and crisp.  The sabayon spread was buttery, rich and creamy.  The spinach tasted of greens and raw vegetables.  They were good individually and mixed together.

bread and butter, spinach, green garlic, riesling sabayon, nutritional yeast
bread and butter, spinach, green garlic, riesling sabayon, nutritional yeast
closer
closer
wine front
wine front
wine back
wine back
kitchen
kitchen

 

The Fried Cauliflower was coated with ras el hanout (North Africa spice) and plated with chickpeas, feta, apples and herbs.  The cauliflower was nicely seasoned and mint was a surprising herb to find that blended quite well.   All the ingredients were nice but the cauliflower didn’t come off as the main one.  It was good not great.

Fried cauliflower, chickpeas, feta, herbs
Fried cauliflower, chickpeas, feta, herbs
closer
closer
detail
detail
IMG_1731
detail

 

Caramelized Sheep’s Cheese was made with Barlett pear and quince saba.   The pear was sliced and placed in a star pattern on the grill then the previously grilled cheese was placed on top of it.   It was crispy on the edge  and gooey in the middle.  It could have used more quince cause it added a nice dimension to the unusual dish.  It was different and fun.

Caramelized sheep's cheese, bartlett pear, quince saba
Caramelized sheep’s cheese, bartlett pear, quince saba
other side
other side

 

inside
inside
"I think therefore I drink"
Chef’s shirt – “I think therefore I drink”
foie gras roll
foie gras roll

 

The Bacon Cheeseburger came with Cheddar, Mayo, Lettuce, Onion and you could add a slice of Foie Gras Torchon for an additional $10, which we did.  It is a double patty with double cheese and a drippy, greasy burger.  The bacon was nicely crisp and it was all on a tasty onion roll.  It was really good, but I’m glad we split it.  We had ordered their CP Frites to go with it but they were forgotten and we were fine with that cause what we had was plenty of food and the atmosphere didn’t make you want to linger over dessert – which we didn’t.

Bacon cheeseburger, cheddar, mayo, lettuce, onion and foie gras torchon
Bacon cheeseburger, cheddar, mayo, lettuce, onion and foie gras torchon
other side
other side
inside
inside
counter action
counter action
other food being readied
other food being readied
Frankie looked it over
Frankie looked it over

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