Eat Beef Stomach (Tripe) & Octopus in Portland

It is rare that I ingest a truly perfect meal, the last time was while dining at the Ritz Carlton Manzanita Restaurant in Lake Tahoe, but it happened again this tripe infested night at Ox in Portland. The place was recommended by a cook from Olympic Provision, one we met at the Tasty n’ Sons bar. He also recommended drinking beer at the ultimate mans cave, Deans Scene. Any other recommendations Erik? I will follow this foodie to any recommendations for things to do in Portland.

We arrived at Ox on Saturday night at 6:30, sans a reservation, but luckily got the last seat in the house, at the wood-fired grill bar. Perfect. I love to watch other people work.

Ox is an Argentine inspired restaurant that features an impressive wood burning grill. Oodles of grilled meat, fish and vegetable dishes call its menu home.

The seat at the grill was the perfect place for me, who is perpetually cold, belly up to the flames. Any closer and I would have gotten a sunburn. Or fried eyebrows.

Typically, the first thing I do at a new restaurant is scan the menu for any item that is unique, strange or a signature dish. The Spicy Braised Octopus & Beef Tripe was the first to catch my eye.

Of course, I couldn’t survive on beef stomach (aka: tripe), alone. So, the prize meal was padded with a grilled radicchio, corn and arugula salad, along with a sea scallop puttanesca. Both were flavorful and an excellent preface to the main dish.

Blah, Blah, Blah. Bring on the Octopus and Tripe.

Beef Tripe and Octopus

What is tripe?

Tripe is the edible stomach of a variety of farm animals. The Ox version is made from cow. Not sure if that makes it any tastier.

I have had octopus twice before, once in Las Vegas and once on a Caribbean cruise. Not a fan either time. Tripe, on the other hand, I remember my Italian grandmother cooking on several special occasions and me refusing to eat it. This was before my obsession with trying unique foods. Besides I heard it was chewy. I don’t like rubbery food.

The spicy braised octopus and tripe at Ox was almost melt in your mouth soft and the smoky red sauce masked any fishiness of the octopus.

Does tender and tripe belong in the same sentence? At Ox it does.

They had absinthe too. The same hallucinogenic liquor that I missed out on in Spain, but drank at a Savannah Speakeasy. Sounds like a great way to wash down the tripe on my taste buds.

Remnants of my meal lasted for the rest of the evening, all I had to do was take a whiff of my smoke filled hair, which I did on several occasions.

Have you eaten tripe or octopus before? Will it be on your list of things to do?


Portland Bucket List: 45 Quirky & Fun Things to Do in Oregon’s Weirdest City
Weird Food Bucket List: 60 Strange Foods From Around the World
Visit the 611 Foot Multnomah Waterfall in Oregon
Tell a Love Story Through an International Rose Garden
Do a Liquor Tasting at a Portland Distillery
Eat the Old Dirty Bastard at Portland’s Voodoo Doughnuts

5 thoughts on “Eat Beef Stomach (Tripe) & Octopus in Portland”

  1. I'm not a fan of innards, but I don't mind tripe in Vietnamese Pho soup, as the whole dish is soothingly surreal.  While doing a seven-month stint in Japan a while back, I devoured amazing varieties of sometimes tender and sometimes mushy octopus on a regular basis. It's practically a staple over there. I love the presentation of the above dishes.

    • I definitely wouldn’t say I am a fan of offal, but I am a fan of trying offal :)
      I have not had any mushy octopus…yet, but there’s still time!

  2. Keep meaning to boil tripe until tender in salted water with vinegar in it until it reaches my preferred tenderness, then prepare and grill in style of Greek style grilled octopus.


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