Grilled Portland Dip

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February 26, 2021

A completed Portland dip, cut in half.This is my recreation of a sandwich served at a local chain, McMenamins. They have been operating in the Pacific Northwest for many years. Their locations are usually old or historic buildings that have been updated in a fun and whimsical style. Originally, they were simply brew pubs but they have expanded into hotels and musical venues too.


Their sandwich is similar to a French dip, but with turkey instead of beef. It also has sauteed onions and mushrooms and is served with au jus. I had sliced French bread already so we grilled it instead of using a baguette or French roll. It turned out great!


  • sliced French bread
  • thinly sliced turkey
  • Swiss cheese
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced*
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, divided
  • 8 oz. sliced mushrooms
  • au jus (I used store bought but it could also be made from beef broth)
  • special sauce (store bought or a mixture of ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise and horseradish)
  • butter
  • salt and pepper to taste
Ingredients for Portland Dip

*I used two shallots instead of an onion but I think onion will work better and I will use it next time.


  1. Sauté onions, mushrooms and half the garlic in butter. Allow them to caramelize and keep warm.
  2. The cut up vegetables on a cutting board.
    Grilling the shallots in a frying pan.
    Grilling mushrooms and onions in a frying pan.
    A frying pan with grilled mushrooms and onions.

  3. Heat up the bottled au jus with the remaining garlic and allow to simmer for at least 10 minutes.
  4. Heating the au jus with garlic.
  5. Mix up the special sauce. I just eyeballed about 2 Tbsp. ketchup and mayo and about 1 Tbsp. of mustard and horseradish. There are many similar condiments available for purchase so you might have something already in your fridge.
  6. A special sauce for the sandwiches.
    A mixing bowl with ketchup, mayo, mustard and horseradish.
  7. Butter each piece of bread and stack them with the butter sides together. Then assemble the meat, cheese and sauteed vegetables on top. We put the sauce on the bottom piece of bread directly before grilling but you could add it before the meat, if you wish.
  8. Two pieces of buttered French bread.
    Stacking the buttered pieces together.
    Assembling the sandwich.
    Assembling the sandwich.
    Placing the second slice of bread on the sandwich.

  9. Heat up the grill pan and grill press. If you don't have this equipment, you can use a regular frying pan or a clamshell grill. I have even seen people grill sandwiches in a waffle maker if you are feeling adventurous.
  10. Grilling the sandwich using a grill press.
  11. Place the assembled sandwich bottom on the grill, butter side down. Then spread the special sauce on the remaining piece of bread and place it on the sandwich, butter side up. Place the grill press on top and cook for 1 1/2 minutes.
  12. Placing the sandwich on the grill pan.
    Grilling the sandwich.
  13. Flip it over and cook for an additional 1 1/2 minutes. Allow it to cool slightly and then cut it in half.
  14. The grilled Portland dip.
    Cutting the sandwich in half.

  15. Serve the sandwich with the au jus. We also had tater tots with cajun spices, another McMenamins specialty.
  16. The completed Grilled Portland Dip

If you decide to use French rolls instead, I would assemble the sandwiches and broil them to melt the cheese.

In reviewing this recipe, I was amused at all the Portland and Oregon products. Portland City Bread, Portland Ketchup, Beaver horseradish. I even had McMenamins own spicy mustard. I hope you enjoy! I certainly plan to make this sandwich again.

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