STEUBEN — The Meadow’s Takeout co-owner Ryan Roderick doesn’t like to talk. But he likes to cook. So it all works out.
“I do the talking, plenty of talking for the two of us,” quipped Vera Small, who co-owns the eatery with Roderick..
The gregarious Harrington resident and her quiet Milbridge neighbor — who live on opposite sides of the town line — joined forces to bring Portuguese fare to the area in 2017.
“We knew there was nothing around here that was Portuguese, nothing. And this was different,” said Small.
The takeout’s Portuguese menu comes from Roderick’s family recipes. His grandparents were from Portugal and, for about 30 years, they ran a Portuguese restaurant in Provincetown, Mass.
“There’s a lot of stuff we’re not set up to make,” said Small. The Meadow’s operates out of a refurbished truck trailer using a fryer and two different types of grills, including one that is fueled by charcoal. Still, Roderick and Small are able to make a variety of Portuguese dishes, including Portuguese rice, which is served with all the entrees.
The rice is made with linguisa, which is a sweet, smokey sausage, and chourico, which is a savory sausage.
“It’s not spicy hot,” Small said. “It’s spicy savory. The two of them together, it’s delicious, absolutely delicious.”
The Portuguese beef is pan- fried in olive oil with Portuguese seasoning, then cooked in homemade basil and garlic butter and topped with capicola ham.
The same meat is used for the filet mignon kababs, which are so tender they can be cut with a butter knife. The meat is seasoned and grilled along with onions and peppers and served over Portuguese rice.
For those who prefer kababs made with something besides beef, The Meadow’s offers three other kinds — seafood, Key West shrimp and Key West chicken.
Other menu items include chicken Madeira and Portuguese baked stuffed clams.
In addition to Portuguese food, the Meadow’s offers what Small calls “traditional Downeast fare,” which includes burgers and seafood including fried haddock, scallops and coconut shrimp.
“We wanted to prove you can have fresh homemade food at reasonable prices,” Small said. In order to keep portion sizes consistent, Roderick and Small rely on scales.
“Everything is done by weight,” she said. “It’s not just ‘grab a handful or a measuring cup’.”
Oh, and don’t assume Small and Roderick don’t understand the proper use of apostrophes when they came up with the name. Small’s family has owned the adjacent Freeman’s Meadow for years. The apostrophe represents family history, implying the Freeman’s Meadow owns the takeout business, she said.
At the current time, outdoor seating is available on the takeout’s covered porch and on some picnic tables on the grounds. Indoor seating is coming. The Meadow’s owners have installed another truck trailer, which they are refurbishing to serve as a dining area. The new section will also include a deck, which will be tied in with the existing one.
Small and Roderick don’t anticipate changing the menu, which has remained the same since they opened.
“I couldn’t imagine doing anything differently,” Small said. “I love the feel of it. I love the flow of it. I love the people.”