Fans of charcuterie (the art of turning meat into sausage, paté, rillettes, and so forth) are going to be doing backflips over the revolutionarily good new offerings at the Local. The legendary cruise-ship-sized downtown Irish pub (and restaurant-sister to Kieran’s, the Liffey, and Cooper) hired Minnesota charcuterie master Mike Phillips (formerly of Chet’s Taverna and the Craftsman) to launch a new in-house meat processor called Green Ox. The plan is that Green Ox will supply ham, sausage, and other meat to all of Kieran Folliard’s pubs, and judging by recent visits to the Local, this might be the best thing to happen to local pub dining since the invention of barstools.
The “collared head” headcheese (utilizing the pig’s neck, hence the name) is gelatinous, succulent, sensuous, and luxurious; the cured pork loin is peppery and resonantly meaty; the spicy sopprasetta sausage is historic and spectacular—spicy, lush, and profoundly flavorful. Another Green Ox offering is leek sausages served with homemade mashed potatoes, the quintessentially perfect bar food. The sausages are light and sweet and offer just the right blend of meatiness and seasoning. The potatoes are just like the ones grandmothers are supposed to make, homey and real. Set one of these Green Ox plates next to a pint Guinness or Harp, and you’ll have as good a pub experience as anyone in Ireland—or England or France for that matter. It’s a good time to go green.