Link to Owner Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr.



Casual setting for gourmet foods made from scratch available at reasonable prices

The Humble Pig opened last August and proceeded to become a community place for breakfast and lunch. Unfortunately, a family illness and death forced them to close for nearly a month in December, but now they're open again and feeding people gourmet food at reasonable prices.

PMG PHOTO: CAROL ROSEN - Sarah Shanky, left, and Joe Selinger wait on 12-year old Brody Draper, who came in to get some Tuscan Soup for dinner. Brody goes to the Molalla River Academy.

Coowners Sarah Shanky and Joe Selinger are both trained chefs and provide a seasonal menu that accounts for fresh vegetables and fruit. When asked why pork, they noted that it's the one form of protein that isn't really expensive and can be prepared and served in versatile ways.

The two are excited about Molalla and its people. "Molalla is filled with amazing and beautiful people," said Shanky before the interview even started. She has worked everywhere in the Northwest including on a 26-person yacht where she spent five years as a chef. The yacht stayed nearer small islands in the northwest so it could take passengers to islands bigger ships couldn't go to.

Shanky also has worked in Alaska, Montana, Idaho and Washington State and ran Humble Catering for eight years, she said, after leaving Oregon Culinary School. Selinger is not just a barbequer extradenaire, he makes soups, unique sauces and five different kinds of homemade pickles as well as pickling other vegetables and he also makes sausage. He used to work at Podnah's Pit in Portland. He also is a graduate of Oregon Culinary School.

"We'll be doing more barbequing in the spring," Selinger said, because "Molalla responded to barbeque famously," Selinger said. Most of the current menu is sandwiches, everything from a Cuban sandwich to a Vietnamese Banh Mi. They also offer things like an Ultimate Grilled Cheese and a Croque Monsieur to a Southern Gentleman and a Bohemian with The Humble Pig combining fennel pork with grilled ham, thick cut bacon, Swiss cheese, pickled red onions and pesto aioli (mayo) on rustic white bread.

There are four salad meals to choose from as well as home-made deli salads, soup and Rosemary smashed potatoes. There's also a Charcuterie Board that offers different meats and unique cheeses with house-made pickles. Some of the soups are a Tuscan Soup, a Hungarian Mushroom with dill and paprika and a classic clam chowder.

Breakfast is served until 11 a.m. on weekdays and noon on weekends. It offers a number of breakfast sandwiches, along with the lunch sandwiches, salads and soup. There is also there is biscuits with sausage gravy and Rosemary smashed potatoes and can include two eggs and a small house salad.

The couple makes everything from scratch. They offer a special and a different soup every day. "We serve American and European comfort food," she told the Pioneer. Currently, they are typically open for breakfast and lunch on Monday, Thursday, Friday and on weekends.

Shanky loves to bake and learned from her grandmother. She makes a host of desirable desserts from an upside-down apple cake to a Dream sickle cake that tastes similar to the orange and cream popsicles you had as a kid. There also are galletas or small cakes and others to stimulate sugar eaters taste buds.

"We want to bring fine dining to Molalla but make it comfortable with reasonable prices so anyone can come here and be here and enjoy," Shanky told the Pioneer. "We want to offer accessible food that's not pretentious," said Selinger.

"We want this to be a community gathering place, "Shanky added, "that community part is so important. We're a casual setting to get good scratch food."

The two especially want The Humble Pig to be a comfortable space for Molalla, a community gathering place. They call everyone guests not customers and provide quality food and service.

As an example, Shanky has developed loose leaf tea selections, "Providing Molalla with teas," she said. Selinger's favorites tend to run to the lunch sandwiches, roasted meats, the Cuban sandwich and his own green chorizo made with roasted green chilis and cilantro," he said.

They do their shopping on Tuesdays at a variety of stores in Portland and Canby, such as Asian markets, Portland's French bakery and Nicky Farms in Canby.

"We want to grow and be creative here, but remain small and intimate," Selinger said. Once things get really off the ground they may spread out to other areas. But right now, they are just thinking of Molalla.

"We definitely have dreams, but we want to grow here first and are considering our next steps, which might be outdoor events, dinners soon in the spring and other food events and possibly even a super club."

Carol Rosen
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