Har-B-Q For the Win – The New BBQ Menu at Culmination Brewing!
Yesterday I was given the opportunity to check out the new BBQ menu at Culmination Brewing in Portland, Oregon. I also got to meet and chat with Culmination’s new Chef, Harlan Porterfield.
Let’s tackle the food first. I LOVED the dishes I had. I will mention two of them – The Smoked Brisket “Cheeseburger” and the Loaded Fries.
The Smoked Brisket “Cheeseburger”
I added the quotes to the word cheeseburger above because this is not your typical burger. This is a BBQ sandwich, and it is incredible! If you love cheeseburgers and you are hankering for a cheeseburger – please don’t order this dish as you will likely be disappointed. This wonderful BBQ sandwich is a different experience from a cheeseburger. That being said, if you love a good BBQ sandwich – this smoked brisket sandwich will be right in your wheelhouse.
And get a load of the process this smoked brisket sandwich goes through:
The brisket is added to beef chuck for a 60/40 grind. The 8 oz patty is then smoked until it reaches a temp of 125 degrees and is then finished on the flat iron grill. You taste each of those steps in this mouthwatering meat. Then they take that glorious patty and add American cheese, burger sauce, and serve it on a brioche bun from Portland French Bakery. This Smoked Brisket Sandwich is decadent and delightful!
French Fries Sprinkled with Har-B-Q All Purpose!
I have to say – the French fries that came with my Smoked Brisket Sandwich were stellar! I love French fries and sadly, they often disappoint. These fries had just the right amount of crisp and they were perfectly seasoned. I was able to get Chef Harlan to tell me his secret ingredient; He sprinkles his signature Har-B-Q All Purpose on the fries. If he had been selling this very tasty seasoning salt – I would have purchased some right then and there to take home.
The Loaded Fries Are Dangerous
I had the Loaded Fries yesterday and they have been calling to me ever since. I kind of want to get in my car right now and go get another plate of them and I have felt that way all day. I suspect that I will hear their siren song tomorrow as well. The loaded fries come with house queso, a jalapeno cilantro crema, pickled onions, and pulled BBQ pork. Goodness! These fries are so good, and they go perfectly with beer. I pride myself on my photos and my photos don’t do this dish justice. The black & white checkerboard paper they come in don’t make for the best backdrop.
I need to go back very soon and order more loaded fries to get better photos! Surely, I owe that to my fans and readers.
20 Foot Smoker – Coming Soon
I am told that very soon they will be bringing in a 20-foot smoker to give Chef Harlan more room to work his magic. That bigger smoker means more brisket and rumor has it we might even see a BBQ rib night added to menu sometime this fall.
SakéOne Culmination Collaborations
The beer I had with my meal was the Koji * SakéOne Collab* – a Hazy IPA made with Nelson hops, Huell Melon hops, and Koji rice. Culmination consistently makes amazing beer and this one did not disappoint. I have heard a rumor about a second collaboration between Culmination and SakéOne coming down the pike in the next few weeks.
Joining me on this culinary adventure yesterday was my good friend Andre Meunier. As many of you already know, Andre is the Craft Beer Writer for The Oregonian and he does a great job covering the Portland, Oregon craft beer scene. You can follow Andre on Instagram: @oregonianbeerguy – https://www.instagram.com/oregonianbeerguy/
The Oregon Brews and News Weekly Newsletter
In addition to writing articles, Andre has a weekly newsletter all about the Portland Craft Beer scene. This weekly emailed newsletter comes out every Thursday. I love getting it each week.
I suspect that Andre will soon have the story about that upcoming second Culmination SakéOne collaboration. If you are a fan of the Portland, Oregon craft beer scene I encourage you to sign up for Andre’s newsletter. You can sign up for free right here – https://link.oregonlive.com/join/6fk/signup Once you get to that link scroll down a bit and click on the “Oregon Brews and News” option.
Getting to Know Chef Harlan Porterfield
While I was chatting briefly with Chef Harlan, I learned enough to want to record an episode of the Culinary Treasure Podcast with him sometime soon. Harlan grew up in Bend, Oregon and after High School he moved to Portland, Oregon. Other than a brief foray to San Francisco, Portland has been his home ever since.
Harlan is captivated by BBQ! Currently the style of BBQ that you will find in Central Texas is the one that most resonates with him. As BBQ aficionados know – Central Texas style revolves around simple dry rubs, and meat being smoked for many hours at a low temperature. Some say that Texas BBQ began in Central Texas.
I recently watched Chef’s Table: BBQ season 1, episode 1 about legendary Central Texas Pit Master Tootsie Tomanetz. If you want more info about Central Texas style BBQ this is a great place to start – https://www.netflix.com/title/81292974
Additionally, Texas Monthly has an excellent article about Pit Master Tootsie Tomanetz – https://www.texasmonthly.com/food/meet-legendary-snows-bbq-pitmaster-tootsie-tomanetz/
Chef Harlan also currently has an affinity for North Carolina style vinegar-based BBQ sauces.
As his BBQ journey unfolds it will be fun what style Harlan makes his. Thankfully here in the Northwest we are open minded enough for people to color & cook outside the lines and come up with styles that fit them.
At the Front End of Pursuing a Cherished Dream
One of things that touched my heart while visiting with Harlan and Tomas Sluiter, the Founder of Culmination, was the fact that Harlan has a dream to someday open his own restaurant. I know exactly what it is like to battle for a dream and this kind of journey moves me every time.
Here is the really cool thing –Tomas is 1000% supportive of this dream. I was there when renowned Portland brewery Ruse Brewing started at Culmination, and I saw firsthand how much Tomas loves helping others see their dreams come true.
Culmination had a hand in launching Ruse Brewing and if someday Harlan Porterfield launches his own restaurant, Tomas will surely be there cheering Harlan on.
You can follow Harlan’s journey via Instagram here – @har.bq.pdx https://www.instagram.com/har.bq.pdx/
It was great spending few minutes with you
Below are a few more photos from my visit to Culmination yesterday
Follow Chef Harlan Porterfield
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/har.bq.pdx/
Follow Culmination Brewing