The Spud Locker

Jonathan Amato

The Spud Locker

The Spud Locker

Closed as of May 2010

Location: SW 2nd and Stark

Description: Remember the “baked potato bar” craze of the 1970s and 1980s? Shopping malls, all-you-can-eat buffets, and school cafeterias all seemed to bust out with some version or other. One could buy a pre-baked spud, then load up on toppings such as your standard butter and sour cream, goopey melted American Cheese, steamed broccoli, and “ethnic” offerings such as “Fiesta Mexica” (some seasoned beef taco filling and mild canned salsa) or “Pizza Italiano” (marinara sauce, pepperoni and mozzarella). Although the craze didn’t seem to quite become the Starbucks of its era, the baked potato remains a brilliant fast food idea and is perfect cart food since they are easy to prepare, infinitely customizable, quick to serve and fill the gullet on just a couple of bucks each.

The Spud Locker on the site of a former service station on Alberta St recently relocated from Alberta St. to downtown on SW 2nd. The owners have put a lot of effort and thought into the overall concept and design; a nice hand painted mural advertises the cart on the side of the building, . The cart itself is a quirky, tall one-and-a-half story affair, there are painted picnic tables under the covered awning, and everything is done up in shades of gray, orange and green.  Sadly, the awning and picnic tables at the Alberta location didn’t move with them to downtown, so there is no longer any covered seating. Still, it’s a cute and convenient cart for a takeaway lunch or snack.

Spud 3

As stating the obvious, the menu features baked potatoes. But these are no mere cafeteria spuds with processed food toppings. The Spud Locker takes the baked tuber into new territory with menu items such as the Aircraft Carrier ($5.50); a big burrito sized tater stuffed with peanut curry, mixed vegetables, cilantro, sour cream, peanuts and a slice of lime. Or there’s the dairy lover’s Cruiser; described as “Tex-Mex style cheese and broccoli sauce topped with more cheese, tomatoes and Fritos ($5.50).

Those with creative palates can simply choose their own toppings added to a basic baked potato ($3.00). The Float Your Boat section of the menu includes things like chicken or veggie sausage ($1.25 add on); pesto, guacamole, pico de gallo, or cheese (vegan or Tillamook cheddar) for $0.50 each; or other condiments such as avocado, tahini, sauer kraut, baco-bits, corn, onion, chives, etc. ($0.25 each). There are even a couple of sweet dessert varieties, including a sweet potato version with a cinnamon roll like topping.

Drinks are simply sodas or bottled water, but The Spud Locker does serve frozen pink lemonade (16 oz for $2.50) or rotating frozen fruit granitas (16 oz for $3.50).

Spud Locker 4


Sample Menu:

  • Aircraft Carrier – $5.50 – Mildly spicy peanut curry sauce, mixed veggies, topped with cilantro, sour cream. peanuts and a slice of lime
  • Battleship – $5.50 – Three bean chili topped with cheddar cheese, sour cream and salsa
  • Destroyer – $5.00 – Imported English baked beans, topped with cheddar, and vegetarian sausage
  • Cruiser – $5.50 – Tex-Mex style cheese and broccoli sauce topped with more cheese, tomatoes, and fritos
  • Submarine – $5.00 – Cottage Cheese mixed with seasonal fruits and pine nuts
  • Patrol Boat – $3.50 – Sweet potato served dessert style (vegan cinnamon roll topping) or savory style with sour cream and nutritional yeast
  • Float Your Boat (Basic Baked Potato with Butter and Your Choice of…)
  • Admirals ($1.25 each) – Chicken or veggie sausage
  • Officers ($0.50 each) – Pesto, Guacamole, Fritos, Pico de Gallo, Cheese (vegan or Tillamook)
  • Crew ($0.25 each) – Avocado, Sour Cream, Tomatoes, Tahini, Nutritional Yeast, Sauer Kraut, Spicy Mayo, Baco-Bits, Olives, Onion, Corn, Chives

Sea Water
Frozen Fruit Granita – (16 0z. $3.50) – flavors vary
Frozen Lemonade – (16 oz. $2.50)
Soda – ($2.00)
Water ($1.00)

Hours: Monday through Friday, 11am-2:30pm
Email:
info@spudlocker.com
Website:
www.spudlocker.com
Twitter: @SpudLocker Facebook: SpudLocker

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Comments

  1. Kathryn Howard says

    Thanks for covering us Food Carts Portland!!! To clarify hours, we are lunch through late night Friday and Saturday and 11 to 6 Sunday. 11 to 7 Wednesday and Thursday for now, although we may move to evenings then as well.

  2. I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS CART!

  3. Ahem, let me clarify – I’m from old Brit land and baked, or ‘jacket’ as we say, potatoes are a staple and BEANS! and veg sausage??? well, let me just say i am going straight there after work!!!

  4. Definitely survived off cheap “jacket” potatoes in school in England more often than I care to remember. That, chips, and kebabs were pretty much the only street food in Oxford. This place sounds a lot more creative than just beans and “salad” added.

  5. AWESOME!!! I am so excited to see a cart where two can eat for the price of half of the other carts! Yippeee! Curry!!

  6. As another ex-pat and someone who has already visited this cart, I have to say the (real) baked beans and sausage Tater is brilliant. The other flavors are all really good as well but the old standby takes me back to Finchley High Street.

    Good work fellas + gal.

  7. ANDIBELLE says

    Just reading about it makes me hungry. yum!

  8. I don’t think this one is going to make it, I pass by it all the time and never see anyone there. I don’t know, I don’t get excited by baked potatoes.

  9. so psyched to try this next month when i visit portland. sounds amazing!

  10. We just returned from Portland, and we each had a Spud. Really good. We will be returning.

    Russ & Sharona

  11. A sign at the location on Alberta said they thanked local residents for a warm welcome, but that they were moving downtown at least for the winter, as of my visit on the 2nd September.

  12. Kathryn Howard says

    We are moving to 2nd and Stark! Updates on the website soon : )

  13. SW 2nd? I would love it, as this sounds like perfect lunch food (which is when I’m downtown). I live near NE Alberta, but I would only be able to hit them for dinner or on weekends & I generally do more of my cart eating at lunch.

  14. I had a “Submarine” spud last week, and it was super-tasty. But the ingredients were quite different from what’s listed in your menu above. When I had it, it had pesto, cheddar cheese, sour cream and a little bit of fresh rosemary. A nice change from the leftovers I usually bring to work for lunch, lemme tell ya.

  15. I did not expect this to be so satisfying. I remember the stuffed potatoe craze in the 80’s and did a lot of them, but forgot the pleasure of it. Pure comfort food! I had the Cruiser with veggie sausage! Outstanding! And a really cool unique cart too.

  16. Spectacular. The Aircraft Carrier is the bomb. Or has the bombs. Or, yeah, great place.

  17. btw, they are seeking a new owner. takers?

    http://portland.craigslist.org/mlt/bfs/1726042504.html

  18. Still Hungry says

    WEAK PORTIONS!! Six bucks for a potato, expecting to be filled up with starchy goodness. Nope. Dinky little baseball sized potato, bland chili. Blah. Never going back!

Trackbacks

  1. […]  In fact, since Spring, at least seven vegetarian carts have opened: Homegrown Smoker BBQ, Spud Locker, Valhalla Sandwich Co., Wolf and Bears, DC Vegetarian, Sonny Bowl, and Asaase Ital […]

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