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Otto's Sausage Kitchen

4138 S.E. Woodstock, Portland, OR - (503) 771-6714
Posted By Michael Stern on 1/17/2014 8:19:00 AM
Several years ago, we got a note from Diane Chaffin of Portland that said, in part: “When we moved into the neighborhood, we did not have to concern ourselves with good schools anymore, we wanted to live near OTTO'S. If our realtor had said "huh?" we would have fired him for sure. We give directions to our house: just turn left at Otto's, but buy some dogs on your way.”

What a superlative tip that turned out to be! While it is a full-scale meat market and smoke house with sausages of all kinds to take home and cook, it is also a place to eat lunch. When the outdoor grill starts up late in the morning, a smoky sausage aroma perfumes the area for blocks around – an aroma, Diane wrote, that sometimes creates traffic jams along Woodstock Avenue

Whether you choose an ordinary beef-and-pork hot dog (with snap to its skin that is far from ordinary) or an extra-large sausage made from chicken or pork, you might just find yourself amazed, as we do, by just how much better these fresh, homemade tube steaks taste than factory-made ones from the supermarket. The grandchildren of Otto Eichetopf, who opened this neighborhood meat market in 1927, maintain the highest standards of old-world sausage making. The beauty of the links they make for lunch is that you really taste the meat of which they are made. Spices are used to accent, not overwhelm, the primary ingredient. They are served in soft buns with a choice of onions, kraut, relish, mustard, or ketchup for you to apply yourself.

Otto’s appeal has a lot to do with its casual ambiance. Dining facilities are nothing more than a bunch of wooden tables arranged on the sidewalk outside, as well as a handful of places to sit indoors. It’s a neighborhood picnic every lunch hour. And by the way, the beverage coolers contain four or five dozen different kinds of beer, including little-known local and imported brands.

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Scorecard

5 - Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Hot Dog
Smoked Salmon
Beef Jerky
Rachel
German Octoberfest Sausage
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Reviewers Photos [Upload Your Photos]

A close view of a well-dressed chicken sausage, hot off Otto's grill.
"A close view of a well-dressed chicken sausage, hot off Otto's grill."
Michael Stern





The West's best hot dog -- underneath mustard, ketchup, and a heap of sauerkraut
"The West's best hot dog -- underneath mustard, ketchup, and a heap of sauerkraut"
Michael Stern


Three kinds of sausages are cooked on this grill, set up on the sidewalk outside the store: hot dogs, porky German sausages, and chicken sausages.
"Three kinds of sausages are cooked on this grill, set up on the sidewalk outside the store: hot dogs, porky German sausages, and chicken sausages."
Michael Stern


Jerry Eichetopf told us that this salmon had been caught the day before. Here it is seasoned and ready to be smoked.
"Jerry Eichetopf told us that this salmon had been caught the day before. Here it is seasoned and ready to be smoked."
Michael Stern


Otto's is an every-day urban picnic.
"Otto's is an every-day urban picnic."
Michael Stern


The difference between real beef jerky and the processed stuff you get at gas station cash register counters is tremendous. This is the real thing, with a pepper punch and profound beef flavor. What a delicious chaw!
"The difference between real beef jerky and the processed stuff you get at gas station cash register counters is tremendous. This is the real thing, with a pepper punch and profound beef flavor. What a delicious chaw!"
Michael Stern


Otto's is primarily a meat market. In this cool room hang sausages of various kinds as well as big slabs of bacon ready to be sliced.
"Otto's is primarily a meat market. In this cool room hang sausages of various kinds as well as big slabs of bacon ready to be sliced."
Michael Stern


Even though this mural looks like it should be at a Southern BBQ parlor, it fits perfectly here at Otto's.
"Even though this mural looks like it should be at a Southern BBQ parlor, it fits perfectly here at Otto's."
Cliff Strutz


While we tend to think of Otto's as the home of great sausages, it also is the source of good meat of all kinds. Here, house-made pastrami stars in a Rachel sandwich.
"While we tend to think of Otto's as the home of great sausages, it also is the source of good meat of all kinds. Here, house-made pastrami stars in a Rachel sandwich."
Michael Stern


Naked dog, ready to be dressed. Note the little twist of natural casing at the end.
"Naked dog, ready to be dressed. Note the little twist of natural casing at the end."
Michael Stern


Sausage-lover's heaven: a few of the links in Otto's case.
"Sausage-lover's heaven: a few of the links in Otto's case."
Michael Stern



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