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Porkchop & Co. is run by a former vegetarian, Paul Osher. And by his omnivore-centric menu, he looks like a dude seriously making up for 15 years of veggie eating.

Happy hour features porchetta, pastrami, duck liver mousse and chicken wings served with cracklins. Even his veggie small plate — the smoked beet purée — sounds meaty.

Five years ago, Osher dropped out of a doctorate program at UCLA to become a chef, and evidently not the Kumbaya kind. He smokes and cures his own meats.

Porkchop & Co. sits in the condoland of Ballard, close to the barhopping drag but far enough from it that you can still hear the wheeze of the No. 40 bus.

Opened in March, it doesn’t get the same happy-hour traffic as neighbors Billy Beach Sushi & Bar and El Borracho, but it should.

There are plenty of $3 small plates, from chorizo meatballs to wings, to share on the patio on a dry evening. But the signature porkchop sandwich ($17), unfortunately, is no longer discounted during happy hour. It’s the best thing here — a juicy, Game-of-Thrones-sized, bone-in hunk, pan-fried then fattened further with a bed of pesto and cut with pickled veggies and bitter sage, served on a toasted bun. It’s one of the best sandwiches I’ve had outside of Pioneer Square in recent months.

But the cheapskates can find consolation in the new $8 happy-hour sandwich list, which ranges from a pastrami that pairs nicely with a Reuben’s Imperial IPA to a porchetta served with jus.

Porkchop and Co., 5451 Leary Ave. N.W., offers happy hour 4-6 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday with $3-$8 snacks, $8 sandwiches and $2 off on wine, cocktails and beer (206-257-5761 or

Tan Vinh: 206-515-5656 or On Twitter @tanvinhseattle