Location: SE 28th Pl and Division – Tidbit
Hours: Wed-Sun, 12-3pm, 5:30-8:30pm
The Story: Portland restaurants offer up some of the best burgers and even dedicate an entire week to them. At Earth Burgers, a food cart at Tidbit, they offer up tasty vegetarian and vegan options for burger lovers who don’t want to eat meat.
Earth Burgers opened earlier this year and moved to the Tidbit lot in August. Owners Diane and Stan came to Portland to launch their business after attending the ROAM Mobile Food Conference in 2013. Diane is a graduate of the New York French Culinary Institute and worked in a number of New York establishments to create a stellar resume and understand food and the complexity of flavors. The two of them put together an idea and ran with it, launching Earth Burgers focusing on healthy vegetarian and vegan burgers.
At Earth Burgers, the burgers are handmade with black beans and garbanzo beans from Washington’s Haricot Farms. Grains and flours are from Bob’s Red Mill. All mixed greens and spices are organic. See the theme? They offer Gluten Free buns from Happy Campers in Tigard. The American Graffiti first piqued my interest with a black bean and sweet potato burger, mixed greens, onion, ketchup and mustard. Just what a burger should be. Then I spied the PDmeX which added pickled jalapenos and a tomatillo-avocado salsa. Mix in spice with any burger and I’m sold. The PDmeX started off with great flavors in the burger and bun with the spice from the jalapenos coming in around the halfway mark. Whew, it spiced it up in a good way. What I loved about the handmade patty was it didn’t mush up and fall apart like some veggie burgers. The bun and burger stayed together till the last bite. Looking forward to a return trip to try one of the chickpea burgers.
Earth Burgers is a great addition to our overall burger scene here in the city. At Tidbit they have found a home in one of Portland’s most welcoming spots. Drop on by when you’re craving something new and let Diane and Stan know Food Carts Portland sent ya.
- The Casbah – chickpea burger, cucumbers, tomato, pickled red onions, organic mixed greens, tahini sauce – $8
- Electric Sitar – potato and vegetable burger, caramelized onions, cilantro chutney, organic mixed greens, masala sauce – $8
- PDmeX – $8.50
- Beautiful South – black-eyed pea burger, vinegar based coleslaw, organic mixed greens, bbq sauce – $7.50
- American Graffiti – $7
The ROAM Mobile Food Conference is November 8-9 in San Antonio. Only a few weeks away. If you’re an aspiring mobile food vendor or want to take your existing mobile food business to the next level, this conference is for you. The only professional conference specifically for the mobile food industry. A Food Truck Academy for newcomers will feature national experts focusing on topics including business planning, permitting, equipment, branding, sales and marketing. There will be hands-on activities and plenty of opportunity to ask seasoned veterans questions. The Owner’s Summit the same weekend will feature speakers who have experience growing mobile food businesses whether it is expanding to multiple food trucks or figuring out how to hire the right employees.
- Keith Hill – owner of KHILL BBQ and Executive Directory of San Antonio Food Truck Association
- Warren Hansen – Street Vending Coordinator, City of Madison, WI
- Jennifer Lewis – Small Food Business
- Richard Myrick – Owner, Mobile-Cuisine.com
- Ross Resnick – Founder, Roaming Hunger
- Matthew Geller – CEO, SoCal Mobile Food Vendors’ Association
- Matt Breslow – Owner, The Grilled Cheese Grill
The ROAM Mobile Food Conference may be the single best investment of your year. This week, the conference is offering 50% off registration. Register here and use the code 1/2offRoam.
ROAM Mobile Food Conference
November 8-9, San Antonio, Texas
All Roads Lead To Roam
It seems food cart power cord thefts are on the rise. Just in the past couple of weeks, carts located at Carts On Foster, Mississippi Marketplace and Tidbit have been hit. Thieves or vandals are cutting and stealing the cords. Some vendors have been forced to close for multiple days due to the damage. Cord thefts and vandalism has been an issue for a few years now, yet it seems the past two weeks has seen an increase in activity. The Portland Police are involved in investigating, so if you have seen anything untoward at any of the food cart lots at night, please give them a call. When power is cut, fridges shut down and that is a huge cost to these small businesses. As an food cart fan, head on out to one of these pods and support the vendors when you can.
The Gaufre Gourmet announced this week they are opening a cafe in Hillsdale. GiGi’s will feature a soda fountain and breakfast and lunch options along with their signature Liege style Belgian waffles. So excited for Charlene and Michael. The cart downtown will remain open.
Portland International Airport is getting food carts. Over the past year, the Port of Portland has been reviewing food options at the airport, bringing in new fresh ideas including food carts. The carts will be located in the food court area pre-security and have already been placed. They aren’t open just yet, but so far, Koi Fusion and Pok Pok have their signs up. Watch for more details soon.
Jerry Seinfeld came to Portland this last weekend filming an interview with Fred Armisen of Portlandia and SNL fame. As part of the show Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, they visited Coava Coffee and enjoyed lunch from Wolf and Bear’s at Pod 28 at 28th and Ankeny in southeast. So cool.
The holidays are just around the corner. If you’re looking to have your event catered by a food cart or truck, drop us a line. We work with a number of Portland’s best food trucks who are fully mobile and can come to your location and feed your guests. Email
Events@FoodCartsPortland.com or call 503 896 2771.
Location: SE 28th pl and Division at Tidbit
Hours: Wed-Sun, 12-9pm
The Story: Lefse. A Norwegian flatbread made with potatoes. I’ve probably eaten more than my weight in lefse over the years, a traditional item on the holiday table in my family. Ingrid’s Scandinavian Food is a new food cart making lefse wraps for us Portlanders.
A few years ago, Portland was introduced to lefse from a cart with the opening of Viking Soul Food. This summer, with the launch of the new Tidbit food cart lot on SE Division, Ingrid’s opened, offering up the traditional thin lefse with a range of options. If you’ve never enjoyed lefse, it is large and thin, almost crepe like, yet rolled out instead of a batter. I call it a Scandinavian tortilla much to the chagrin of my mother. I grew up enjoying it with butter and sugar, yet as with any type of bread or wrap, you can do anything with it. At Ingrid’s, they have lefse wraps with meatballs, house smoked salmon, roasted blueberries, or arugula, egg and pear. Something for everyone.
I picked up the Pølse Wrap with smoked sausage and a Norwegian coleslaw with dill mustard. Thin lefse enveloped the two small brats lathered with mustard. Pared with the red cabbage coleslaw’s vinegar whisper, each bite was a smoky and lightly tangy joy. I almost walked overe for a second or to try one of the sweeter wraps. Using lefse with these ingredients is a great choice.
Ingrid’s Scandinavian is now open Wednesday through Sunday at Tidbit which offers covered seating, a firepit and an on site beer cart. Drop on by for a taste of Scandinavia and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.
- Norwegian Meatball Wrap – meatballs with surkal and Gjetost cheese sauce wrapped in lefse – $6.25
- Salmon Wrap – house smoked salmon, egg, cucumber, arugula, chèvre and dill sauce wrapped in lefse – $7.25
- Pølse Wrap – $6.25
- Veggie Pear Wrap – arugula, egg, peer, fete, walnuts, creamy cranberry sauce wrapped in lefse – $5.75
- Roasted Blueberry Wrap – $4
- Deep Fried Meatballs – $4.50
Facebook: Ingrid’s Scandinavian
Location: N Skidmore and Mississippi at Mississippi Marketplace
Hours: Monday/Thursday – 11:30-3; Friday/Saturday, 11:30-8; Sunday, 11:30-7
The Story: I grew up eating pizza from Round Table and Abby’s and in college, the ubiquitous Domino’s. It was only the last couple of decades I was introduced to what really good pizza is and Portland has it. Midwest Pizza Co is a new food cart serving up Chicago and Detroit style pizza.
I remember the first time ordering a Chicago style pizza in Chicago. We were accosted with menus. Told to order quickly as it takes an hour. And then we waited. It was great, yet coming from the west coast where pizza was quick and thin, it was a different experience all together. Here in Portland, at the food carts, the vendors offer the pizza by the slice, so there isn’t the hour long wait. You can still get a whole pie if you want, just call ahead. At Midwest Pizza Co, their goal was to bring to Portland the flavors so you don’t have to endure the 100 degree weather and 100% humidity.
The Chicago Deep Dish starts with the crust. A flaky, buttery bed with slabs of Mozzarella and then the homemade sauce and toppings. The first slice I enjoyed on opening weekend was almost 2″ thick and so much cheese. The Detroit Style originated from baking the pie in spare parts trays giving the pizza a distinct rectangular shape. Caramelization occurs on the edges of the crust and when topped with Mozzarella and Monterey Jack and a few slices of pepperoni, you just can’t go wrong. Lastly, the Classic Chicago Dog. Made with Red Hot Chicago dogs, I enjoyed it “dragged through the garden.” The dog was topped with yellow mustard, onion, sweet pickle relish which glowed green, pickle spears, tomato wedges, sport peppers and celery salt. Each bit was fulfilling with veggies and pickled goodness and, well, hot dog happiness.
Midwest Pizza Co. is a great addition to the food cart scene here in Portland. We now have a number of wood fired pizza vendors and a Chicago style cart in downtown, so I’m glad they located in my neighborhood. Open Thursday-Monday for both lunch and dinner, if you’re in the neighborhood, you should check them out. Also, if you’re from the midwest, they offer other tasty regional treats including Sprecher Root Beer and Faygo. Let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.
Sample Menu (Full menu on MWPizza.com)
- Chicago Dog – $4
- Chicago Dog with all the fixin’s – $5.50
- Chicago Deep Dish – slices are $5.50; whole pies are $15-20.
- Detroit Style – $4-4.50/slice; whole pies are $10-15
Location: SE 13th and Lexington in Sellwood
Hours: Monday-Friday, 11am-7pm; Saturday, 11-8, Sunday, noon-5:30
The Story: Laotian cuisine is foreign to me. I’ve enjoyed Thai, Cambodian, Malaysian, Singaporean and Vietnamese, yet Laotian hasn’t been on the radar. So, when I read a review of Luang Prabang, a food cart on Sellwood’s antique row, I made a beeline to the cart.
Laos is one of those countries who’s cuisine has jumped borders. Matthew Korfhage of the Willamette Week nailed it in their article about the cart. Dishes we know as standard fare at Thai restaurants originated in Laos. In perusing the menu at the bright yellow cart, I recognized dishes that I’ve seen on menus throughout town like Tam Tam Lao, the papaya salad I enjoy. So, if I’ve actually tried some of these dishes, albeit prepared from a different culture’s perspective, how does one choose? Let the owners tell you what they recommend.
After more than a few tasty recommendations from the menu on the side of the cart along with a few from the book of “expanded menu,” I landed on the Larb salad. My lunch mate picked up the Cozy Noodle which is “for feeling good tummy day!” The salad, prepared with beef was insane. A large plate of mixed beef, scallions, mint, cilantro and chopped green onions with a few spicy red and yellow peppers thrown in layered over lettuce leaves. When asked for spice level, I chose medium. Note to self. Lao medium is like Thai hot. I dove in, scooping the salad with a bit of sticky rice onto a lettuce leaf and chowing down. The herbs, especially the cilantro came through exquisitely. The spice was there, melt my face spice, yet flavorful. It didn’t diminish the overall enjoyment of the meal. My buddy’s Cozy Noodle soup was also a treat with thick noodles and one of those broths you know is immediately boosting your immune system.
Luang Prabang is a great addition to the food cart scene here. I just wish it were in my neighborhood. If you visit, chat up the chefs and ask them what they recommend and then return for more. Sellwood is a great place to spend a day exploring and the lot offers covered seating should you need to get out of the weather. Drop on by and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.
Sample Menu (just a small sample)
- Lucky Chicken – Mook Kai – chicken on coconut milk mixed with smushed to a pulp veggies wrapped on banana leaves to steam – $9.00
- Dream Salmon – Mook pha – same as lucky chicken but with salmon – $9.50
- Larb – $9
- Xin Beef – Xin savane – caramelized marinated beef jerky with side of pickled carrots – $9
- Little Town – Lao salad – lettuce, cucumber, hard egg, carrots, cilantro, scallion, jicama, slow cooked chicken, grilled onion and peanut salsa – $8
- Cozy Noodle – Seenht piark – thick noodles cooked with ginger, green onion, cilanntro, dried fried onion, dried garlic, chicken – $7.50
Feast is upon us. An entire weekend of activities featuring Oregon’s Bounty. I call it a weekend of indulgence and joy. So many events featuring the amazing food of Oregon and Portland with top chefs and competitions and opportunities to eat your heart out. If you’re visiting, take a moment to check out Portland’s amazing street food scene while you’re here.
Portland’s Food Carts are congregated in pods throughout the city. These are surface area parking lots with food carts parked and vending out to the public.
- SW 3rd and Stark – 20+ vendors. Many open late night
- SW 5th and Stark – 20+ vendors, mostly lunch – check out Tabor Czech and Real Taste of India, two venerable vendors who have been around 10+ years
- SW 10th and Alder – 60+ vendors – lunch and dinner all weekend – an entire city block of food carts. Check out Nong’s Khao Man Gai, The Dump Truck, Rua, Kargi Gogo (Georgian), The People’s Pig, Grilled Cheese Grill, Sawasdee Thai, Delicious (Romanian) and more. Haggis dinner from The Frying Scotsman may be poignant.
- SW 4th and Hall – 20+ vendors
East side pods and neighborhood pods close in and accessible by public transportation:
- Mississippi Marketplace – N Mississippi and Skidmore in the Mississippi Historical District. Features covered seating and 9 vendors including The Big Egg (breakfast), Minizo (ramen), Native Bowl (vegan), Home Grown Smoker Vegan BBQ, Koi Fusion and Miss Kate’s Southern Kitchen. Bring your food into PROST!, the German pub on site.
- Tidbit – SE 28th Pl. and Division – Portland’s newest pod with 18 vendors including Love Belizean, Timber’s Dog House, Hapa PDX (Ramen), Lodekka (Vintage clothing), Smaaken Waffles and an onsite beer cart. Great for evening relaxation.
- 23rd and Alberta Pod – NE 23rd and Alberta in the Alberta Arts District – 5 vendors including Uncle Tsang’s Szechuan, The Cheese Plate, Garden Monsters and The Sugar Shop. Covered seating, live music on the weekends and beer from the Hoppy Camper.
- Pod 28 – SE 28th and Ankeny. A great little pod featuring beer by Captured by Porches and vendors including Burrasca (Tuscan), Grilled Cheese Grill, Wolf & Bears (falafel and Iraqi street food), Guero and Steak Frites PDX. Covered seating available
- Cartopia – SE 12th and Hawthorne. Portland’s original late night pod stays open until 4am. Vendors include Pyro Pizza, Potato Champion (Begian Fries and Poutine), Whiffies Fried Pies, PBJ’s Grilled and Perierra Creperie.
The east side has over 20 food cart pods to explore with over 200 vendors.
Porltand’s street food scene continues to evolve, so even if you’ve explored in prior years, more than likely, there are new exiting vendors to eat from.
Feast is an amazing event for Portland. For a full list of Feast events, visit FeastPortland.com.
Tidbit, Portland’s newest food cart pod on SE 28th pl and Division is celebrating their official grand opening Saturday September 13 from 12-8pm. If you haven’t been to the lot, you should check it out. Put together in just a couple of months over the summer, it is one of the most welcoming food cart lots I’ve been to in the city. The vendors are setup to surround a seating area replete with a fire place and a beer vendor. Come for food from Aybla, Namu, Pyro Pizza, Love Belizean, Hapa PDX, Buki and more. Fresh produce from Parsons Farms. Get some shopping done at Menagerie, DragonflyMonet or Lodekka. Live music will greet you starting at noon.
Tidbit – SE 28th Pl and Division. Grand Opening September 13 from 12-8pm
- Dogbone Farm – Tidbit
- Stacy’s 65 – Tidbit
- Ingrid’s Scandinavian Food – Tidbit
- Dog Town – Tidbit
- Buki – Tidbit
- DragonflyMonet – Tidbit
- sushiLove – SE 26th and Belmont
- Leo’s Novelty – SW 4th and Burnside
- Pi Squared Wood Fired Pizza – Carts on Foster
- Taqueria Seafood El Morrillo – Cartlandia
- Neue Souther PDX – SE 26th and Belmont
- Lower East Side Deli – SW 3rd and Washignton
- The Spicy Spoon – N Mississippi and Fremont