Steak Frites PDX

Steak Frites PDX

Steak Frites PDX

Location: SE 28th and Ankeny
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 11 am-7 pm , Sunday, noon-5 pm

The Story: I may have found the best dish ever created. New food cart Steak Frites PDX, just the name, defines what this cart does and that makes me a happy eater.

Steak Frites PDX is the latest addition to Pod 28 with some other stellar vendors like The Grilled Cheese Grill, Burrasca, Guero, Wolf and Bear’s and The Captured by Porches Beer Bus. Wow! Owner Sean wanted to do a food cart and was surprised no one had done the Belgian classic steak and fries. He sources prime cuts of beef and hand cuts the fries daily. Pair with one of the beers from Captured and you’re in bliss.

The day I visited, Sean was offering flank, top sirloin and hanger steak. On other days, he has offered teres major, a cut taken from the shoulder muscle. I opted for flank steak with fries and creamy horseradish sauce. Each bite, greasy and for sure against my doctor’s orders, was sublime. Sean sprinkles sea salt on the fries and the steak had a hint of fresh rosemary. Thin slices of flank steak dipped in horseradish paired with an IPA on a cool spring day and all I wanted to do was order a second plate. You can substitute the fries for sweet potato fries and Sean does offer a variety of veggies like asparagus, brussels sprouts and more.

Flank Steak and Fries from Steak Frites PDX

Flank Steak and Fries from Steak Frites PDX

Steak Frites PDX is one of those carts that just launched and yet is selling out daily. Bring something no one else is doing to the scene and do it well and you’ll be the king of the pod. Next time you’re down off SE 28th and Ankeny, drop on by Steak Frites PDX and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu: 

  • Choice of steak and fries with aioli – $8.50
  • Substitute sweet potato fries for extra $.50
  • Add plants – $.50

Facebook: Steak Frites PDX

Spring Food Cart News

The sun is out and the food carts are open. Eat, Eat Now. Some news:

The TOAST Distillers Festival presented by the Oregon Distillers Guild is happening this weekend at the World Trade Center downtown. 120 spirits from across the northwest, the country and the globe will be available for tasting and purchasing. And what’s better to pair with whiskey or rum? Food Trucks! On the patio off 1st and Salmon, trucks will be set up – Bro-Dogs and Burgers, Retrolicious, The People’s Pig, Thrive Pacific NW, Hungry Heart Cupcakes and Freshii. The event takes place April 11, 5-10pm and April 12, 4-10. $25/person. More details here.

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Rose City Food Park has done some remodeling and I love it. Over the last month, they have moved some of the vendors around, brought in a couple of new ones and moved the Beer Barn to the front under a brand new patio. So many great vendors with a diverse range of options and covered seating. Check out the change at the lot daily at NE 52nd and Sandy. RoseCityFoodPark.com

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Artigiano has announced their spring opening date – April 15. Mark your calendars and schedule your next amazing Italian lunch or dinner. SE 33rd and Division.

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Cartlandia has announced the opening of The Blue Room, a full service bar/restaurant located in the building on the lot. They have worked hard for two years to make this happen, even salvaging some items from an 1860′s church for the inside. They will offer local microbrews and cocktails along with live music on Friday and Saturday nights. As with Mississippi Marketplace, food from the food carts is welcome in The Blue Room. Official Grand Opening is April 18 at 6pm, but it is open now. Sports and Portlandia will show on the big screens.

Cartlandia has also added a couple of new vendors – Ooh Pasta!, Melt It, and Bardo’s Grill. Smokin’ Rome’s BBQ has reopened for the season.

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New vendors, changes, and moves:

  • Ole Latte 2 – SW 5th and Harrison by PSU
  • The Bus Stop Cafe – NE 52nd and Sandy
  • Captain Dillies – NE 52nd and Sandy
  • Steak Frites – SE 28th and Ankeny
  • The Whole Bowl has expanded and taken over the Nourishment cart at NE Sandy between 46th and 47th
  • Koi Fusion has setup at Base Camp Brewing with Gonzo at SE 9th and Oak
  • Pizza Box has moved to E Burnside and 9th

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Koi Fusion, one of Portland’s most well known vendors is partnering with Bridgetown Inc every 3rd Thursday of the month for Night Strike. Koi Fusion sets up their truck under the Burnside Bridge downtown and dishes out tacos for Portland’s homeless. Night Strike is an opportunity for members of Portland’s homeless community to hang out, enjoy a hot meal, receive a free haircut, shave, have their feet washed and have their old shoes/clothes/sleeping bags replaced. Volunteers are welcome. Such a great event. Thanks Koi Fusion for being a part of it. More information about Night Strike.

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Spring is here, but some vendors are still transitioning from winter sales numbers, so on those sunny days when Portland gets out and eats, they may sell out. Don’t fret. They’ll reopen the next day with more goodies. Thank you for supporting Portland’s street food scene.

RUA

RUA

RUA

Location: SW 9th and Washington
Hours: Mon-Sat, 11:30-6pm; Sun, 11:30-4pm

The Story: Jason Myers is back with some mouthwatering Vietnamese cuisine at his new food cart Rùa.

Jason Myers first arrived in the food cart scene a couple of years ago with his Sideshow cart serving up beignets, Belgian fries and poutine, sandwiches and his famous fancy burger. Yet, it wasn’t enough for him and one night, the idea of doing Vietnamese inspired cuisine came to him in a dream. He took a couple of weeks last fall and visited Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam to explore and take culinary classes. Upon his return, he closed Sideshow, bought a new cart and in March, launched Rùa. Rùa means turtle.

Saigon Fried Chicken Banh Mi from Rua

Saigon Fried Chicken Banh Mi from Rua

At Rùa, you find Vietnamese and South East Asian inspired food with Jason’s approach.  I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying both the pork meatball and the Saigon Fried Chicken banh mi sandwiches. With a crisp and crunchy baguette from Pearl Bakery, they layer pickled carrots, jicama, cucumber, cilantro and sriracha mayo along with good sized chunks of the Saigon fried chicken which comes out crisp with a sweet and spicy tang. The detail for the sandwich was astounding – the carrots are hand shaved and each leaf of cilantro picked off the stem. The veggies along with the chicken melded together brilliantly with every bite. Oh, and that baguette? A work of art. You can also get the Saigon Fried Chicken as it’s own meal.

Rùa is one of the newest vendors on the block and brings us yet another new taste to the ever evolving street food landscape that is the Alder pod. I’m glad to see Jason’s new concept is gaining followers. Keep an eye out for specials as they tweak the menu and try new things. Drop on by, they’re open every day and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Banh Mi sandwiches – Pork Belly, $8; Saigon Fried Chicken, $7; Pork Meatball, $7; Tofu, $6
  • Saigon Fried Chicken – a la carte, $6; with spicy arugula and cucumber salad, $8
  • Green Papaya Salad – $6

Website: RuaPDX.com
Twitter: @RuaPDX
Facebook
Rua PDX

Eat Mobile – April 27, 2014

HamburgerEat Mobile is back for its 7th year and will take place on Sunday, April 27, 2014. Willamette Week will bring more than 35 of the city’s favorite food carts to OMSI to serve up small bites of their signature dishes. They’ll also be competing for the coveted Carty Award. I have had the pleasure of enjoying Eat Mobile in years past and it is always a great time to meet the vendors, enjoy their dishes and mingle with fellow street food fans. For 2014, the event is changing from Saturday to Sunday and will feature shorter lines as fewer tickets will be sold, so get your tickets early. Tickets for Eat Mobile go on sale April 2. General Admission and VIP tickets (with early entry) will be available.

Get more information about Willamette Week’s Eat Mobile 2014 here.

Buy tickets for Eat Mobile here.

Eat Mobile 2014
April 27, 2014 2:30-6pm
OMSI

Mama Chow’s Kitchen

Mama Chow's Kitchen

Mama Chow’s Kitchen

Location: SW 2nd and Stark
Hours: Mon-Fri, 11am-3pm

The Story: Great food comes from mom. That’s my takeaway from Mama Chow’s Kitchen, a new food cart serving up Mama’s wonton soup and more on SW 2nd and Oak.

Mama Chow’s opened earlier this year in a cedar festooned food cart built locally by PDX Cart Builders. Probably one of the more beautiful carts I’ve seen in the many years I’ve been tracking the scene. Mama Chow’s is the work of Jeff Chow with a little help from his mama Lalie. Jeff is a trained chef having worked in restaurants in Oakland, yet became a bit burned out and came to Portland to try something new. It was when he sat down to enjoy has mother’s wontons that he hatched the idea of opening a wonton cart. Portland doesn’t have one, so Jeff is the first. His mother’s wontons are the toast of the neighborhood, so he worked with her to figure out how to translate her signature recipe into a dish he could replicate daily. A pinch of this and dash of that was transformed into an amazing dish and has garnered Mama Chow’s a solid following.

Wonton Soup from Mama Chow's Kitchen

Wonton Soup from Mama Chow’s Kitchen

At Mama Chow’s Kitchen, Jeff offers up wonton soup with house made broth, baby bok choi and your choice of either chicken or pork and shrimp wontons. I found the wontons to be flavorful and paired nicely with the par-cooked bok choi and broth. Jeff offered up some of his personal spicy sauce which amped up the soup superbly. Beyond wontons, Jeff also throws down lollipop chicken, chicken legs prepared like lollipops. Having never had them, I was intrigued to discover a new delight. Jeff pushes the meat down the bone of the leg and then fries and marinates it. The bone acts as a handle. Oh, and with the marinade and sauce and a dash of sesame seeds and chives, I may have found a new favorite go-to cart.

Lollipop Chicken from Mama Chow's Kitchen

Lollipop Chicken from Mama Chow’s Kitchen

Jeff is keeping it simple with only a few items. He doesn’t want you, the eater, to have to wait to enjoy your dish. Located down off SW 2nd and Stark, Mama Chow’s Kitchen is open Monday through Friday, 11-3. He’s even working on some specials, so visit often for a treat. For wontons and lollipop chicken, this is the cart to visit. Drop on by and let him know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Wonton Soup with baby bok choi and choice of chicken wonton or pork and shrimp wonton – $7
  • Wonton Soup with noodles – $7
  • Lollipop chicken with baby bok choi on a bed of rice – $6

Facebook: Mama Chow’s Kitchen
Twitter:
@MamaCsKitchen

Beech Pod Grand Opening and Beaverton Food Carts

The Beech Pod at N Mississippi and Beech is celebrating its Grand Opening on Saturday, March 22. Vendors on the site include Gabagool, Tiffin Asha, The Doner Haus and Moberi. Each cart will offer $3-4 tasting menu options and a band will entertain guests throughout the day. N Mississippi has become a mecca for food carts with 16 vendors between Fremont and Skidmore. Head on down between 12 and 9pm and welcome the pod to the neighborhood. More details on their Facebook page.

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Beaverton is revisiting their approach to mobile food vendors with a survey. Do you live or work in Beaverton and want to have a say in how the city approaches new regulations? If so, take the survey and let your voice be heard. Find the survey here.

Food Carts to Restaurants and other News

Some morsels of news from Portland’s street food scene:

Carts opening Restaurants:

Nong’s Khao Man Gai announced they are opening a true to form brick and mortar restaurant in the space next to their current commissary kitchen on SE Ankeny. The restaurant will feature 38 seats with both indoor and outdoor seating and Nong will bring in soft serve ice cream. The menu will feature her signature Khao Man Gai chicken/rice dish along with other items from her PSU location like Thai Basketball MoM’s wings and  Coca Cola/cocoa powder-braised pork and rice. And beer – including some from Southeast Asia. Congrats Nong. Watch for opening the first week of April. 609 SE Ankeny.

Cheese and Crack opened their new Snack Shop this week at the former Black Bike Cafe space on E. Burnside. I loved this cart and am excited to visit the new shop which will feature their creative cheese plate, homemade crackers plus other items like charcuterie, pickled goods, and sandwiches. 22 SE 28th Ave. Soft Open Wednesday-Sun, 8am-8pm. (Hat tip to EaterPDX)

Tamale Boy opened their brick and mortar on Friday in the NE neighborhood of Woodlawn on Friday. The restaurant will feature their amazing tamales which were named Yelp’s 2012 Dish of the Year along with other treats. Gluten Free, Dairy Free, GMO Free and delicious. Full bar with cocktails and beer. Find Tamale Boy at 1764 NE Dekum. Open Tuesday to Sunday.

Cultured Caveman, with 3 carts in the city, announced they will take over the former E-San Thai space in the Kenton neighborhood. The 50 seat palio focused restaurant will also feature a small retail space and a revamped menu. They have launched a Kickstarter to raise funds. Watch for an April/May opening.

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A few new vendors have popped up out there:

  • Rift Valley – Ethiopian – SW 3rd and Washington
  • The Leyland Cafe – Breakfast in a double decker bus – NE 52nd and Sandy
  • Rua – Vietnamese – SW 9th and Washington
  • Satay Indonesia – SW 9th and Alder
  • Mama Chow’s Kichen – SW 2nd and Oak
  • Thai Pasta 2 – SW 6th and Columbia
  • Tandoor Indian – expanded to SW 6th and Columbia

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Moberi re-opened their bike smoothie cart in North Portland at the lot at N Mississippi and Beech. They are also setting up shop at NW 23rd and Quimby. Get your smoothie on!

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Enjoy the carts!

PDX Sliders

PDX Sliders

PDX Sliders

Location: 8064 SE 17th, north of Tacoma
Hours: Tus-Thurs, 11am-7pm; Fri/Sat, 11am-close; Sun, 12pm-close

The Story: College introduced me to peers from around the country. I remember a friend asking if I wanted to grab a slider. I honestly had no idea what a slider was and no where in McMinnville offered them, so Safeway sold us ground beef and rolls and we set out to make sliders in the dormitory kitchen. Burned and not that flavorful, a new memory was born. Nowadays, sliders are everywhere and in all shapes and styles. A new food cart – PDX Sliders – is bringing their take on the little burger to southeast Portland.

Ryan Rollins, like many who have dove into the food cart scene in the last few years, had another career in another industry before taking the leap into food service. Granted, his tenure at Dairy Queen as a teen may have stoked the entreprenurial spirit. Ryan’s family, including his wife, have worked or owned businesses in the food industry, creating a support structure for Ryan. The slider concept came about after some time seeing restaurants creating bigger and bigger burgers. Further, there are few businesses who solely focus on the mini-burger. Ryan wanted to do the opposite. Ryan’s wife’s culinary education came into play when crafting the menu and weekly specials come about with the help of friends who both work in the cart and at local restaurants. Truly a collaborative effort between friends and family.

Sellwood Slider from PDX Sliders

Sellwood Slider from PDX Sliders

At PDX Sliders, Ryan and team craft everything from scratch daily. Ryan proudly proclaims they don’t have a freezer. Fries are fresh cut every morning. You can taste the freshness in the burger. On the menu, you find traditional sliders along with cart crafted gems. I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying the Broadway with braised pork, Mamma Lil’s peppers, baby arugula and house maid spicy aioli on a ciabatta bun. Not traditional, yet amazing. On a recent visit, I picked up the Sellwood, a burger with bacon, Beechers Flagship Cheddar, grilled onions, butter lettuce and aioli served on a brioche bun. A juicy, messy treat on a cool winter day. At the prices they charge, why not pick out a couple. There is something for everyone on this menu. The St. Johns is a marinated portabella. The Ross Island, a house-made black bean chipotle patty. Burgers are cooked to medium doneness and you can swap out bread for butter lettuce if you want to make it gluten free.

PDX Sliders is a great addition to the street food scene here in Portland. Located in the Sellwood neighborhood, this is one vendor I hope will expand north. Open every day except Monday for both lunch and beyond, there is plenty of opportunity to pick up some nosh. Drop on by and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

Sliders are $3.50; Fries, $2

  • Sellwood – burger, bacon, Cheddar, grilled onions, butter lettuce on brioche bun
  • Hawthorne – burger, bacon, goat cheese, strawberry preserves on brioche bun
  • Steel – two burgers, bacon, American cheese, grilled onions, aioli on brioche bun
  • Burnside – house made meatballs, roasted romas, Mozzarella on ciabatta bun
  • Ross Island – house made black bean chipotle patty, pepper jack, butter lettuce on brioche bun

Phone: 971 717 5271
Website
: PDXSliders.com
Facebook: PDX Sliders
Twitter: @PDXSliders

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