Location: SE 28th and Ankeny [Updated 10/2012]
It was a dark and damp night in Portland and I was up on Alberta [Moved 10/2012] for a meeting when that craving for some food hit me. As I was leaving the meeting, I mentioned I would wander down the street to check out the carts at Area23 since they stayed open late and a few of my meeting partners decided to join. When we arrived at NE 23rd and Alberta, we found a lively lot with three carts open serving a steady stream of customers. It was the night to try Fuego de Lotus and the lot at Area23, which is the handiwork of Michael Kennet, who has taken an empty lot and made it into a welcoming area replete with lighting, covered seating and three food carts.
Fuego de Lotus specializes in dishes with Venezuelan and Mexican influences. Mike says it is the type of food he and his family have been enjoying for years and he wanted to pass it on to Portland. The cart is an older airstream trailer refitted with a kitchen and awning. The opening is flanked by flaming torches that are lit whenever he is open. I’m excited for spring when they debut a large fire pit for late evening relaxing at the pod.
That cool night, I enjoyed a wild boar arepa – the evening’s special. An arepa is a small Venezuelan sandwich type dish made with white corn masa and filling. My dish had a large helping of the wild boar which was delightful and had the texture of good pulled pork. The boar was topped with chopped red cabbage, some amazing sauces and cotija cheese. It was wonderful. I couldn’t help but share the love with my friends who also loved it. The best part of going to the carts with friends is that if you share your dish, they may share theirs, so I was also able to taste one of Fuego de Lotus’ hand pies which are equally delectable.
Fuego de Lotus offers up a range of dishes both for carnivores and vegetarians. The corn masa is a healthier alternative to bread and offers a wonderful texture to the sandwich dish. Area23 is developing fast. Last fall when Fuego de Lotus opened, I heard they were doing evening movie nights on the neighboring building. They plan to kick that off again soon once they get the 4th cart in place. Area23 is going to become a destination spot for NE Portland residents I predict. If you are up in the area, drop on by and say hello and tell them Food Carts Portland sent ya.
[Fuego de Lotus moved to SE 28th and Ankeny in October 2012]
Arepas with meat – $5; Vegetarian or vegan – $4
-all arepas topped with cotija, a salty white cheese or Tillamook cheddar
- chorizo & plantains
- ham or smoked turkey w/ caramelized onions
- chicken green chili
- black beans & cabbage salad (vegan)
- traditional cheese
- butter & grape jam
- Special of the day- $8.00
- Chile Verde Chicken- another family recipe 7.50
- The Sympatico- everything but the meat 7.00 (vegan)
- green chili & cheese
- Chorizo & cheese
- Black bean & cheese
- Bacon & grape jam
Sweet – $4
- Dulce de Leche with or w/o chocolate
- Chocolate & plantain
- Chocolate (Xocai)
- Cashew cream and pear
- Cashew cream
Phone: 503 753 9167