What was I thinking, accepting an invitation to dine with carnivore friends at Ox? OK, I'm more a vegetarian with a perchance for bacon and anything that swims. All my dining pals would judge the meat portions. Verdict? This Argentinean/PDX fusion spot is a must-stop standout.
Be prepared to queue up for the gastronomic experience that awaits at this NE meat market. There is a bar out back with ample alcoholic accoutrements. We have friends that went on a Friday night and were pretty greased when seated two hours later.
I believe our table had examples of most meat offerings. From sweetbreads to skirt steak, chorizo to morcilla, ribs to ribeye, the aroma and flavors are downright harrowing.
I succumbed to the perfectly grilled prawns with sides of brussels spouts and risotto, only briefly testing the chorizo and blood sausage as my bacon substitutes. We also had a Spanish beer, Damm Estrella Inedit, which has surprising effects on all the food groups. The place was packed yet there was still an intimacy around our table. The "pit" is the focal point. Iron and brick, part BBQ, part Gates of Hell, producing the tastes of heaven. Ox, implying a large presence, leaves all of that to the food; the space is compact.
Items seem a bit pricey, but you end up eating like an ox and there is a ton of terrific take-out leftover for lunch the next day. There are days when my "no meat" thing is easy to manage and embrace. My trip to Ox wasn't one of them...