Okay… we’ve lived in Oregon for 3 1/2 years. We got here mid-Covid before vaccinations and stayed fairly close to home. And then the world reopened and we stayed fairly close to home – all the while lamenting the lack of a good Italian grocer nearby.

Now… we live in Beaverton –  literally minutes outside of Portland. Just like living in Strafford – 20 minutes outside of Philadelphia. It is utterly amazing how those few minutes – maybe even crossing a bridge – can warp one’s sense of what’s nearby.

I get an email from our local PBS station and it mentioned the produce district in Portland – and all the Italians who made it happen. I did a bit of research and found out that 20 minutes away from our house was a produce district and Italian grocery beckoning us.

On Tuesday I had an appointment at the VA and realized we were a mere 10 minutes away. After my appointment, we went shopping!

Sheridan Fruit Company has been around since 1916 – and owned by the same family since 1946. It’s not huge by grocery store standards but what they lack in size they definitely make up for with a fabulous staff, excellent quality, and great prices! They had fresh broccoli rabe – something difficult to find here in ‘burbia – and other ridiculously fresh produce options. We picked up a few things…

I was in gastronomic heaven!

There was a huge selection of bulk pastas and rices and numerous other bins – all obviously fresh, they have a great turnover – as well as unique mostly Italian but other ethnic products. But I really fell in love with the meat department. They had a selection of store-made sausages that rivaled my go-to favorite Martins in Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia. We brought home a dozen different sausages as well as bone-in chicken thighs that were frighteningly huge.

We filled three shopping bags and still spent less that $100. That’s a deal in my book!

This trip I really focused on those sausages, but I saw steaks and chops and poultry items that I just didn’t have room for at the time, and we had just been to our local produce store, so I couldn’t spend the time there, either, but we figured they will be a monthly trek from now on – and now that I know what to expect, I will plan better.

And as far as the picture goes…

Grilled sausages with broccoli rabe and garlic, onions, and potatoes drizzled with Hot Honey that Victor made right before my hip surgery.

Retirement suits us.