Mystical Eats

bulgarian food cart portland

Mystical Eats

Location: N Killingsworth and Maryland
Hours: Tuesday-Sunday, 12am-5pm

The Story: Mystical Eats is a food cart in Portland Oregon serving up Bulgarian cuisine with roasted chicken dishes and an array of salad choices.

bulgarian food cart portland

Mystical Eats

Menu:

mystical eats menu

Tight Tacos

Taco food cart portland

Tight Tacos

CLOSED

Location: SE Caesar Chavez blvd and Belmont (behind 39th Mini Mart)
Hours: Daily, including weekends, 12-7pm

The Story: Rolling down 39th, I needed water, so just south of Belmont, I popped into the 39th Mini Mart, your ever typical corner market filled with chips, candy bars, beer and 4loco. Upon exit, a green haired kid strolled by with a plate of beautiful tacos. Wawawawah? Then I smelled it. Grilled meats. I followed my nose around the corner to find the cute little operation named Tight Tacos.

The cart is adorably tiny with two wide open windows and everything on display. I do enjoy seeing a basket of fresh citrus and onions and the open grill where the different cuts of meat are segregated off, ready to be served. No hiding behind the swinging kitchen door. Also, when I walked up, fresh tortillas grilled happily. Reggie Ballesteros opened food cart earlier this summer bringing California style street tacos to the Rose City.

taco food cart portland

Where the magic happens at Tight Tacos

The menu offers tacos and burritos with options including Al Pastor, Carnitas, Asada, Chorizo (made with Chicken) and event False Pastor made with cauliflower. Being a huge fan of Chorizo, I decided on that and Asada. I picked both with “The Works” which includes guacamole and crema. The star of the party is the thick handmade masa tortilla. Chewy and so well made, it stayed folded in my hand until the end of every bite. When was the last time you ate a taco and it didn’t fall apart before the end? Not here. Each taco left me breathless. The chorizo is creamy and had some kick; the asada, lean and perfectly grilled. Each topped with fresh white onion and cilantro, these are tacos everyone should be eating.

taco food cart Portland

Tight Tacos

When people ask me where to find great tacos, I send them to the east side and Tight Tacos has proven me right. Great execution and a tasty product. Located just behind the mini mart, Tight Tacos offers two tables with tents so you can sit and enjoy your meal. Next time you’re needing your street taco fix, go see Reggie and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Menu:
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Facebook: Tight Tacos

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

Anna Lee’s Korean BBQ

korean food cart portland

Anna Lee’s Korean BBQ

Location: NE 7th and Killingsworth, Piedmont Station
Hours: Daily and weekends lunch and dinner

Korean Food Cart in Portland offering BBQ dishes including BBQ Beef, Korean Short Ribs, Yakisoba and Spicy Pork. Prices range from $6.95 to $10.95.

Diner du Monde

French food cart portland

Diner du Monde

Location: NE 7th and Killingsworth, Piedmont Station
Hours: Wed-Sun, 11:30-9, 8 on Sunday

Diner du Monde is a food cart bringing France to Portland. More details coming soon.

Facebook: Diner du Monde

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

Burmasphere

burmese food cart portland

Burmasphere

Location: NE 7th and Killingsworth, Piedmont Station
Hours: Fri-Sun, 12-8pm

True Burmese food available right here in Portland. More details soon.

Facebook: Burmasphere

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