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Easy Otter Southern-Inspired Chicken Sandwich to Debut in Downtown Salem

Lindsay Anderson, owner of Easy Otter, with a plate of donuts.

Lindsay Anderson, owner of Easy Otter, with a plate of donuts.

Southern-inspired restaurant The Easy Otter has opened in downtown Salem in the former Icarus Wings & Things space on High Street.

Owner Lindsay Anderson said it wasn’t easy to put everything together, but she is grateful for the positive reception from the community.

She had already raised money to open in South Salem’s Brewery District, but opted to open in the downtown space after it became available in early spring.

The restaurant’s grand opening is scheduled for Friday through Sunday and will be celebrated with Disney-themed days. Anderson said that years ago she made Mickey-shaped donuts. She will bring them back with other themed food items.

Easy Otter is now open in downtown Salem.Easy Otter is now open in downtown Salem.

Easy Otter is now open in downtown Salem.

The brunch and dinner menu includes appetizers, sides, fritters and “fowl games,” which are Southern-inspired fried chicken sandwiches. The menu is entirely Southern-inspired, with donuts from Anderson’s New Orleans days and hot sauces from Nashville. Each of his dishes has its own touch. For example, hush puppies are filled with other herbs and come with a red pepper pesto. Her salmon chowder is also a play on a pot pie and is Anderson’s favorite among the new menu items.

Donuts are offered all day, with coffee and latte offered in the morning. Lunch is offered from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and dinner from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Appetizers and chicken sandwiches are $20 or less. The donuts come in threes and, depending on the flavor, cost between $6 and $8. Dinner specials cost between $20 and $30.

The names of the menu items may seem strange, but they are all based on film and television references, Anderson said. As a movie buff and a “puny person,” she wanted the names to be relatable but still fun. Some of the references are to “Curb Your Enthusiasm”, “The Simpsons”, “30 Rock”, “Robin Hood” and more.

THE "Oo-De-Lally" sandwich with fries, bowl of potato salad and plate of donuts at The Easy Otter.THE "Oo-De-Lally" sandwich with fries, bowl of potato salad and plate of donuts at The Easy Otter.

The “Oo-De-Lally” sandwich with fries, bowl of potato salad and plate of donuts at The Easy Otter.

For those familiar with the space before The Easy Otter, not much has changed inside and it is tastefully, yet playfully decorated.

When you enter, you will see that the left wall features depictions of otters in various costumes and activities. These include otters posed with baseball bats, seated as subjects of historical portraits, submarine operators and much more. Colorful parasols hang from string lights and lanterns above the dining area. Every day, a mix of jazz, Disney music and light rock classics plays over the speakers.

A fun aspect is that the restaurant offers otter-themed coloring sheets with colored pencils, which is something Anderson wanted to offer since she has young children.

Framed illustrations of otters can be found on the wall of The Easy Otter.Framed illustrations of otters can be found on the wall of The Easy Otter.

Framed illustrations of otters can be found on the wall of The Easy Otter.

Beer and wine are available and produced locally, Anderson said. She said she will introduce more spirits later in the year and also plans to add a full espresso bar.

Anderson will reintroduce seasonal donut flavors and Pride waffles to kick off Pride month in June.

“I love the community and I’m grateful for the support I’ve received,” Anderson said. “It’s been a struggle, but they’ve certainly toned it down.”

To learn more about The Easy Otter, visit the website, linktr.ee/easyotter, and Instagram page, @theeasyotter.

Hours: 8 a.m.-9 p.m., Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday; noon to 9 p.m., weekends

Address: 130 High Street SE

Diners eat at Easy Otter in downtown Salem.Diners eat at Easy Otter in downtown Salem.

Diners eat at Easy Otter in downtown Salem.

Em Chan covers food and dining at the Statesman Journal. You can reach her at [email protected] and follow her oncatching up with emily.

This article originally appeared in the Salem Statesman Journal: The Easy Otter will debut in downtown Salem, Oregon.