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Montgomery's a meat haven in Central Point

A new retail butcher shop in Central Point does double duty with deli sandwiches and house-smoked meats.

The First Street business underwent a makeover last year and gained a new identity as Montgomery’s Meats after nearly two decades as Jerry’s. New owners Eric and Shawna Montgomery modeled the store after one they also operate in Weed, Calif. In addition to organic, free-range and grass-fed meats available by the pound, custom processing of whole animals raised locally remains the backbone of their operation.

With so much meat on hand, it only makes sense that Montgomery’s loads some into its smoker and sells it ready to eat. Barbecued pork, beef and chicken are available beginning at 11 a.m. daily. Selecting a deli salad and bottled beverage makes the meat into a meal, starting at $7.99 for half a chicken and topping out at $11.99 for a half rack of baby back ribs.

Montgomery’s house-smoked pulled pork and beef tri-tip also get billing as specialty sandwiches. Priced at $7.99 and $8.99 respectively, they come with a choice of bread, cheese and condiments.

Cold deli sandwiches — $6.99 for a whole, $4.99 for a half — are a make-your-own option. The roster of breads, meats, cheeses and condiments includes specialty items such as rye, Black Forest ham, garlic or habanero jack cheese and pepperoncini.

I was intrigued by the “bacon-crusted” turkey sandwich ($7.99), a concept I’d never before seen on a deli menu. Unfortunately, the shop was out of bacon that day, so I opted for the Italian sub ($7.99), one of my longtime favorites.

Although the Italian-style meats — coppa, salami and mortadella — are not made on site, they were freshly sliced for my order. The sub also incorporated black olives and muffaletta mix along with the predictable provolone cheese, lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise on a sourdough roll.

Predictably pleased by baby back ribs, my husband got the half-rack meal with a side of broccoli pasta salad. Also available by the pound are sides of red potato, macaroni and seafood salads, as well as the indispensable coleslaw and smokehouse beans. All of the salads and barbecue sauce are made in-house, says Shawna Montgomery. Perhaps more notably, Montgomery’s also stocks its retail case with freshly prepared, take-and-bake chicken, beef and pork enchiladas ($3.99 apiece).

I also noted Montgomery’s fresh, house-made sausages at the full-service meat counter and harder-to-find delicacies, such as rabbit and pheasant, in the frozen section. The success of The Butcher Shop in Eagle Point bodes well for Montgomery’s, which enjoys the added perk of proximity to artisan-food icons Rogue Creamery and Lillie Belle Farms, which bookend the Ledger David Cellars tasting room, just a block away. Indeed, Central Point’s “artisan corridor” is a convenient venue for enjoying Montgomery’s takeout with a glass of wine or beer.

Until Montgomery’s offers some seating of its own, its menu is strictly a takeout proposition. I skipped purchasing chips and a drink because I planned to shuttle my sandwich home.

Ample quantities of Italian meats were my reward, although the bread was a bit too chewy for my tastes. Next time, I’d ask to substitute pepperoncini for the milder muffaletta, which seemed a bit redundant with the black olives.

My husband appreciated the smoky flavor of Montgomery’s ribs, although he hoped they’d be a bit meatier. The sauce was fairly standard, he said, and the salad a bit on the oily side. Coleslaw might be a better choice next time.

Located at 175 N. First St., Montgomery’s is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Call 541-664-0727.

Baby back ribs and broccoli pasta salad at Montgomery's in Central Point. Photo by Sarah Lemon