Summer Food Cart News

Portland in summer is always a time to be out and about checking out the latest street food. Here are some updates:

Mississippi Marketplace sold. Dan Hart and his partner in PROST! have purchased the building and property that houses the bar and the food cart lot. Pretty exciting news. If you’ve never been, you should check it out. Mississippi Marketplace opened in 2009, a brand new concept for street food in Portland. While there have always been food cart pods, most were grab and go, whereas, Miss Marketplace offered seating and cover. With PROST now owning the entire lot, I expect some wonderful changes. Can you spell Beer Garden? Mississippi Marketplace is located at N Mississippi and Skidmore and hosts 10 vendors.

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Kingsland Kitchen opening restaurant. Popular downtown cart Kingsland Kitchen announced in July they will close their cart on SW 5th and Oak. They will be opening their restaurant on SW 3rd and Pine soon. Owner’s Chris and Holli Payne will offer breakfast, lunch and dinner at the new location which will open in September.

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The food cart pod on the NW corner of 15th and Alberta will close at the end of summer. Vendors DesiPDX, Gumba, Le-Tap and Bibingka are actively trying to find a new home. Its hard to move a cart and start a new location, especially when winter is coming, so drop on by and show them some love. The lot will close on September 1.

The Gantry on South Waterfront is also closing at the end of August.

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bubble waffles

Bubble Waffles

Bubble Waffles. Usually when new street food comes to town, one vendor hits the ground running and, BOOM! they own the cuisine. This summer’s newest treat is Bubble Waffle cones. Puffle Waffle opened in May in Happy Valley and Fooshion opened in July downtown at SW 9th and Washington. Both use a waffle maker to create a unique bubbly waffle then fill it with ice cream and toppings. Mine had Pocky! So great to have a dessert vendor back in downtown.

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A couple of nasty fires have occurred in Portland, displacing some excellent restaurants. Earlier this year, a fire at Tails and Trotters and neighbors The Pie Spot closed both locations while they rebuild. Lucky for them, there was space to drop in a food cart, so both businesses are open now in the cart at 511 NE 24th. The Pie Spot is in the cart on Sundays and Mondays and Tails and Trotters the rest of the week.

Big’s Chicken closed after a fire tore through their new digs on NE Glisan. Having only been open a few months, it is a tragic blow. Yet, they too have bounced back with a pop up food cart in the parking lot of Laurelhurst Market. Good luck to all.

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With the weather warming up, please take note that some vendors will close due to the excessive heat. When it is 95 outside, it is 130 inside the metal box and equipment starts to fail. Just return the next day and all will be well.

Happy Summer

Food Cart News May 2017

Some tidbits of news for your Food Cart Fans:

Hotel to replace food carts. It was announced on Monday that developers have submitted preliminary plans to build a hotel on the lot at SW 10th and Alder where 12 food carts currently call home. Affected vendors include Nong’s Khao Man Gai, Savor Soup House, Caspian Kabob, The Dump Truck, Ole Latte and more. Some of these vendors have called the lot home now for over 8 years. According to the Willamette Week, any movement won’t be for at least a year, but mind you, vendors won’t want to be left hanging, so you may see changes on that lot sooner than later.

We reported in 2016 that the Goodman family, one of the largest property owners in downtown, had submitted proposals to develop a number of lots which includes the food cart lots we’ve grown to love over the last 30 years. Good luck to all.

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Milwaukie has embraced food carts. The City of Milwaukie will open their own food cart pod on a parcel of land next to the downtown MAX Orange Line at the Milwaukie/Main St station at 11301 SE 21st Avenue. With spots for more than 10 vendors, if you’re looking, you may want to look south. More information can be found at their website. They look to open in May.

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Have you had a Schnitzelwich? One Pound of Pure Joy? Well, if you haven’t, you should visit Tabor soon for your fix. Tabor has been a mainstay of Czech cuisine at the SW 5th and Stark food cart pod for 10+ years. I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Karel and Monica over the years and having them not there as I walk by will be different. They will be serving up their signature sandwich through the end of June. Fear not, in their announcement, they stated the Schnitzelwich will never die, so watch for future endeavors.
Tabor Schnitzelwich - 1

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The Racist Sandwich Podcast visited “Shawarma Square” and live to tell about it. Over the last few years, downtown Portland has seen almost a 100% increase on the number of vendors offering Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine. There are gyros on every corner. Writer Zahir Janmohamed visited the lot at SW 10th and Alder (the entire city block pod) and wrote about the different options for Shawarma. Take a gander.

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The Portland Food Hall has opened. Located at 827 SW 2nd ave, the food hall offers up cuisines from some of Portland’s favorite food carts, but inside. Vendors include Moberi juice and smoothies, Casa coffee, The Whole Bowl, Aiko Ramen (from the Hapa Ramen team,) Boke Dokie and Minibar. Another great option for eating in downtown. Congratulations to the food cart vendors on opening brick and mortar locations.

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Spring finally arrives today with some warm weather. Food carts are the smallest of small businesses, so if you’re itching to enjoy the sun, drop on by one of the many pods throughout the city and enjoy some amazing street food. Thank you for your continued support of Portland’s ever evolving food cart scene.

Wasabi Sushi PDX

sushi food cart portland

Wasabi Sushi PDX

Location: SE 28th and Division at Tidbit
Hours: Sunday-Thursday, 11-7, Friday/Saturday, 11-8

The Story: Over the years, there have been more than a few vendors trying sushi in the food carts. Some succeeded, others did not. I always thought it was an eater’s perception issue with raw fish in a food cart. Yet, with the evolution of street food and the evolution of the eater, we now have numerous options for sushi, including vegan sushi. Wasabi Sushi PDX opened in 2016 and has quickly expanded, including a restaurant to open in 2017. Eaters seem to really enjoy their offerings.

sushi food cart portland

Sushi from Wasabi Sushi PDX

Wasabi Sushi is known for their great sushi, but more for introducing Portland to the Sushi B-Ritto, a large sushi roll similar to a burrito. An excellent modification of the simple roll and filling. The day I visited, I opted for the Treasure Island Roll and the Spider Crunchy Roll. The Treasure Island is tuna, crab, Masago, avocado and cucumber topped with a spicy mayo. Messy, but fresh and flavorful. The mix of the tuna and crab delights the tastebuds. The Spider Crunchy Roll is tempura soft shell crab with avocado, cucumber, lettuce and Masago with a spicy eel sauce. Ooh, spice. Loved the crunch along with the wasabi and a bit of ginger. Tempura soft shell crab is a weakness of mine and I devoured the entire plate without pausing.

Wasabi Sushi PDX is open daily for lunch and dinner at one of Portland’s best food cart pods – Tidbit. The lot offers up seating and a beer cart so you can sit and enjoy your sushi with local craft beers. Next time you’re in the mood for sushi, check out Wasabi Sushi PDX and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Menu
sushi food cart portland

Facebook: Wasabi Sushi PDX

Village Patisserie

sandwich food cart portland

Village Patisserie

Location: SE 11th and Tacoma in Sellwood
Hours: Mon,Wed, Fri, Sat, 9am-7pm; Tues, Thurs – 9am-3pm

The Story: I delight in a great sandwich. In Sellwood, Village Patisserie offers up both breakfast and lunch sandwiches all day from their food cart.

Sellwood now has 2 food cart pods with Piknik Park on SW Tacoma sporting eight vendors including a beer and wine cart. Village Patisserie has been their from the start offering up breakfast and lunch sandwiches along with salads, soups and desserts. Their ginger snap cookie is the bomb, but I digress. After skipping breakfast, I needed something substantial, so opted for The Sellwood, Village Patisserie’s big boy sammy. Turkey, bacon, melted cheddar cheese, mayo, arugula, tomato, and avocado with a drizzle of special sauce is served on a ciabatta bun. Not normally a fan of turkey on sandwiches, yet with the bacon, mayo and avocado, I devoured it. The ciabatta is an unsung hero for a sandwich of this type. It held together unlike some other bread choices. Overall, a great sandwich with all the right flavors.

sandwich food cart portland

The Sellwood from Village Patisserie

Village Patisserie is open at 9am most days and stays open for lunch and into the dinner hour or until they sell out. If you’re down that way, maybe checking out some antiques, visit Piknik Park and let Village Patisserie know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Menu

Facebook: Village Patisserie

Mizu Ramen

Ramen food cart portland

Mizu Ramen

Location: SE 82nd and Harney at Cartlandia
Hours: Tues-Sun, 11:30-3pm; Tues-Fri, 4:30-8pm

The Story: Portland loves ramen, that’s a fact. Just a few years ago, lines wrapped the block at the only ramen joint in town, but now every street and neighborhood sports options ranging from affordable and simple to expensive and rare. I simply love the diversity. Mizu Ramen, one of only a few food carts crafting the magical noodle dish offers their wares up at Cartlandia in SE Portland.

When I first dove into the ramen rat hole, I learned more about the dish than what Top Ramen shilled all those years. Miso, Shoyu, Shio, Tonkotsu, Alkali noodles, soft boiled eggs, chashu, the list goes on. Exploring the differences between the styles has become an obsession and joy. At Mizu Ramen, they keep it simple and straight forward – Miso, Shoyu (soy sauce broth), Shio (salt broth) and vegetarian Miso as options. Each bowl comes with chashu pork, bamboo shoots, spinach, seaweed, 1/2 a soft boiled egg and green onions. The vegetarian option comes with Tofu. For $9, this is one of the more sizable bowls I’ve had. A monster. The chashu pork had just a hint of fat which fit well with the seaweed and spinach. Everything about the bowl, the noodles, the rich broth, the veggies, the pork – spot on. I just wish they were closer to my home so I could enjoy their offerings more.

ramen food cart portland

Ramen from Mizu Ramen

Mizu Ramen is located at Cartlandia in SE Portland which offers covered seating and a bar for you to enjoy your meals out of the rain and cold. Open daily for lunch and dinner, they have a great menu for everyone. Drop on by and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Menu:
ramen food cart portland

Facebook: Mizu Ramen

Papa Lee’s Kitchen

Asian food cart portland

Papa Lee’s Kitchen

Location: SE 11th and Tacoma at Piknik
Hours: Tues-Sun, 11-7

Papa Lee’s Kitchen is one of those carts that will surprise you. While the menu offers a number of fish taco options like ahi or shrimp, it also offers up a double smoked bratwurst sandwich. Normally, vendors focus on one type of cuisine, but Papa Lee takes everything further. The Jaeger Schnitzel Sandwich is a perfect example – a breaded pork loin topped with house made mushroom gravy, jack cheese, veggies and served on a ciabatta roll. Served with a side Caesar salad, this is a hungry man’s meal. Juicy, sweet, savory and more. Papa Lee rocked it.

Asian food cart portland

Jaeger Schnitzel Sandwich

Facebook: Papa Lee’s Kitchen

Stoopid Burger

burger food cart portland

Stoopid Burger

Location: N Vancouver and Fremont
Hours: Mon-Sat, 11-7

Stoopid Burger is North Portland’s answer to the big-ass burger with all the toppings. Need some ham and sausage along with a fried egg? They have it. You can go for a “Boring Burger” for $5 or get the signature Stoopid Burger with bacon, ham, sausage link, fried egg and choice of cheese.

burger food cart portland

Stoopid Burger

Menu

Facebook: Stoopid Burger

The Parmacy

Italian food cart Portland

The Parmacy – Italian

Location: NE 23rd and Alberta
Hours: Wed/Thurs, 12-9; Fri/Sat, 12-10:30; Sunday 12-9

The Story: PARM – Huge lighted letters greet you upon the arrival to The Parmacy, a food cart on NE Alberta serving up New York style Italian favorites.

I sometimes feel we have a dearth of Italian options in the street food scene until I sit down and ruminate all we see at the different food cart pods. The Hoagie. Wood fired pizza. Piadinas. Pasta. Artigiano and Burrasca (now a restaurant) put Portland’s food cart pasta scene on the map with handcrafted noodles and regional flavors from the boot shaped land. Now, The Parmacy makes their mark. With a menu and namesake featuring chicken and eggplant parmesan sandwiches, they also offer additinal New York style Italian dishes while sourcing locally and making it all from scratch, including the pasta, breadcrumbs and tomato paste.

italian food cart portland

Olio Pasta from The Parmacy

Chicken parm, an iconic sandwich. I don’t believe I’ve had a bad chicken or eggplant parm sammie, so on that cold winter day I visited The Parmacy, I needed a change, a creamy dish, and on the lighter side. For pasta, three options – pesto basil, marinara or olio. A wide tagliatelle noodle is the base for Olio which comes with garlic olive oil, chili flakes, breadcrumbs and hand grated parmesan. A delightful dish of creamy pasta with just enough garlic and chili to balance out the parmesan. As a treat, I also devoured a plate of fried olives with marinara. So much for the light lunch.

italian food cart portland

Fried olives from The Parmacy

The Parmacy is a great addition to the street food options on NE Alberta, a street that offers up a diverse set of cuisines both at food carts and restaurants. Sandwiches, pasta dishes, sides, salads. They have it all. Next time you’re craving Italian, drop on by and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

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italian food cart portland

Menu at The Parmacy

Facebook: The Parmacy

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