Sunday, October 16, 2011


(UPDATE: Briskets has closed.)

Briskets is located in the Q-19 food pod near the corner of NW 19th and Quimby in Portland, Oregon. They are known for their scrumptious brisket sandwiches.

The people running Briskets smoke their brisket right in the cart. They also make their own pickles, which come as a side when ordering a sandwich. You can get a regular sandwich plate ($7.50), which comes with one side, or a sandwich platter ($10), which comes with two sides.

Menu (as of late September 2011)

I went with their $7.50 signature wood-smoked brisket sandwich plate: wood-smoked brisket topped with Briskets' Bourbon BBQ sauce and brown sugar pepper bacon on a fresh ciabatta bun. My side of choice...cole slaw! And of course, it came with a small sample of their house-made pickles.

Wood-smoked brisket sandwich, cole slaw, and house-made pickles
Can't forget about the cross-section!
Cole slaw!
So I'm tried to be like one of those eloquent, professional-sounding food critics to express my thoughts about this sandwich, but I gave up. This meal was just freakin' awesome.

The brisket was tender, juicy, and perfectly smoked. The BBQ sauce jolted my taste buds with more flavor. I got some green onion in the sandwich (see the cross-section shot), and my mouth got bombarded with extra happiness. The lightly toasted ciabatta bun was soft, yet firm enough to keep the good stuff inside.

Oh, but then the bacon. Yeah, the food that makes everything taste a zillion times better. When combined with the brown sugar, it transformed into this balanced, sweet-savory meat candy that put my mouth in one of those MMA submission moves. Yup, bacon eleventy billion, mouth 0.

I found out this isn't just ordinary slaw. Nice, refreshing, and colorful here. There were the usual players, such as the cabbage and the carrot. But wait...was that raisins in the slaw? Wow. A little sweetness that played more mind games with me. The pickles were also very good. A bit of sweet and tang at the same time.

The man who took my order was extremely friendly and enthusiastic. He mentioned the mac and cheese side was also one of their more popular items that people get. And on their menu, you could get a "Side Trio" (any three sides with one of their freshly baked biscuits) for around $8.

Briskets also offers several dessert items. They had samples of their chocolate chip cookies at the ordering window, but only by sheer willpower did I stray from taking the entire tray and gorging on that in a nearby corner.

Briskets is the real deal, and I couldn't really find any faults with this one. OK, fine, maybe one "fault": I wanted more food to nosh on. But in all seriousness, another outstanding score here. The only thing stopping a higher rating: I only had two of their menu items (three with the pickles). If their other dishes kick major gluteus maximus like this one, Briskets may be at the very top of my list (and they're already close to it). 9.25/10

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