Smokin’ Jim’s Bar-B-Que

Food Carts Portland

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Location:
Ala Carts cart pod – SE 102nd and Stark

The Story: Smokin’ Jim is a super friendly, big bear of a man with a big grin and one seriously big BBQ, Bar-B-Que,  Barbecue, or however you want to spell it.  For example, Jim’s smoker, attached to the back of his cart, is the size of a mid-sized automobile. You just know an outfit like this honors the history and culture of the ‘Q.

Needless to say, Jim smokes everything himself including chicken, pulled pork, beef brisket, and pork ribs alongside a whole bunch of smoked sausages such as brats, hot links, smokies, and even hot dogs. Jim loves to smoke stuff. The day I was visiting he also had smoked salmon at $7.95 per package, and you can bring your own meat or fish and he’ll smoke that for you too. Jim is an equal opportunity smoker.

For you BBQ geeks, I can’t say if this is Kansas style, Texas Style, Memphis style, NC Style BBQ or some  hybrid there-of. Sauces are thick, but bright and tomatoey with a bit of sweetness and tang. The meat is tender, smokey and melt-in-your mouth, done the way good BBQ should be. Let’s just call it original Smokin’ Jim’s style BBQ. Sides are simple and fresh, including  baked beans, coleslaw and a house made creamy potato salad. Mexican coke and other soft drinks round out the offerings.

Pulled Pork Sandwich and a side of Jim's Potato Salad.

Smokin’ Jim told me he is proudly Oregon born and raised, but has “been around.” He’s been BBQing for many years, has owned his current cart since 2008, and was the first person to set up on this particular cart pod way back in August, 2009. Jim is a man of spirit and the open road, and he’s a food cart pioneer setting up first where others soon followed. In his off time, Jim loves Harley’s, Howling Wolf Moon T-Shirts and ZZ-Top. We love his BBQ, his folksy wood clad “log cabin” cart, his friendly service, and his big portions for the prices. We also like that Smokin’ Jim’s is open on Saturdays and Sundays, because sometimes you just want someone else to do your weekend BBQing for you. Thanks Smokin’ Jim for bringing your Bar-B-Que to outer SE PDX.

Sample Menu:

Bi Jim’s Rib Specials (come with choice of two sides)

  • Large 5 ribs – 9.95
  • Small 3 ribs (choice of 1 side) – $7.95
  • Rack of Ribs – $20.00
  • Half Rack – $11.00
  • Family Pack of Ribs (1 rack of ribs plus 1 lb BBQ meat of choice. Served with two 16oz sides) – $40.00

Chicken Hind Quarter (served with one side) – $6.50

Sandwiches (Served with one side)

  • Pulled Pork – $5.95
  • Beef Brisket – $6.95
  • Tri-Tip Beef – $6.95

Side Dishes – Large – $4.00, Small – $2.00

  • Baked Beans, Coleslaw, House Made Potato Salad

Meat by the Pound – $9.95 per pound

  • Pulled Pork, Tri Tip Beef, or Beef Brisket

Smoked Bratwurst Sausage on a bun with your choice of condiments – $3.50

Smoked Hotdog – $1.50

Hot Links and Smokies – $2.00

Sample Rib – $1.00 (limit one sample rib per customer)

Hours: Open 1-7 Sundays, 12 -7 Tuesdays through Saturdays.  Closed Mondays. Call first, Jim told me he sometimes runs out of meat and closes early, especially on the weekends.
Phone: 503-679-3981

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Comments

  1. So glad you’ve made it to this pod — there’s a lot of good food here! I’m especially fond of El Cubanito de Palma. As far as I know it’s the only Cuban cart in town.

  2. I’m a life long Portland resident and have tried about every BBQ place Portland has to offer and I was not thrilled to say the least at the food I have experienced..I happened to try Smokin’ Jim’s BBQ one day and was HOOKED!! Everything Big Jim makes is great! My favorite right now is the Tritip!! MELT IN YOUR MOUTH and you can’t beat the flavor!! Way to go Smokin’ Jim’s and I’m glad you have finally brought great “Q” to Portland!!

  3. Good BBQ for the price & portion! Will be a regular for sure this summer!

  4. I just went to Big Jim’s to get my husband’s birthday dinner. We got the family rack of ribs special, with 1# of tri-tip, and coleslaw and potato salad.

    One of the best (if not the best) bbq experiences i’ve ever had. Big Jim is super nice, and he knows what he’s doin’.

    Plus, i love the delicious smoker smell that is still lingering in my hair. So glad we finally tried out this place, and we’ll definitely be going back!

  5. The other day I was driving down stark, driver window down, one of the clear days we had, recently in Portland.

    The smell of barbecue was invading the interior of my van. The invasion was ever so inviting, prompting me to pull over where I noticed it must be coming from. Tweny minutes later I am saying goodbye to Smokin Jim and thanking him for what was a real, true barbecue experience. Not only was Jim friendly, he is a great story teller, his product was sensational, have been looking for good barbecue quite a while.

    It became obvious within minutes that Jim is Old School Portland, wanting to give other Oregonians a great barbecue at a resonable price. Elected to have the ribs, potato salad and beans. The flavor from the ribs and the sauce was the best I have had in the Portland area, and there are some places that I enjoy from time to time.

    If you love barbecue, and like me, your on a budget, please treat yourself to a visit of Smokin Jim’s barbecue, you will come back, I gurantee.

  6. DUDE!!!

    Stopped by with my bros after ball practice.

    Come home and cook for my mom.

    Good Stuff.

  7. I was in Portland visiting family last summer and stumbled upon Smokin Jim’s. In Anchorage Alaska, we have only one good restaurant to get barbecue so needless to say I was looking to get my fix!
    I tried the ribs, with a side of the house made tater salad and was pleasantly surprised. The portion sizes were great for the price. I was so smitten with Jim’s ribs, that I made another trip to the shack before I headed home.
    On my second trip I enjoyed the pulled pork sandwich. It was this meal that did me in. Jim suggested I try it with jalapeños, and I was in LOVE!
    If you are lookin for good bbq, and even better conversation…Jim’s your man! Now I just need to figure out a way to have some of it shipped here to Alaska!!

  8. I finally stopped in the other day and after eating the ribs I had wished I had stopped in months earlier! I loved the beans, he puts pulled pork in them. Yummmm!! I also bought a package of smoked salmon Smokin’ Jim makes himself..Excellent!!! My family will be back for sure!

  9. RICHIE RICH says

    I just want to know if you will ship me some of your ribs to Chicago??

  10. duane johnson says

    hey send me the link for parkrose high school buds. i’m on facebook cant find you there and no email for you. how do i keep in touch online?

  11. james m gray says

    Duane you can find me on facebook with my name or smokinjimsbarbque-

  12. james m gray says
  13. SilverWings says

    Jim’s BBQ is great! Last week, I had the tri-tip beef sandwich, with sides of coleslaw and potato salad, and a natural soda. They were all delicious. Also, I sampled one rib before I left and that was like fantastic. BTW, Jim is a very cool dude. Jim offers a fine combination of quality, quantity, and price.

  14. SilverWings says

    I wrote my review for Jim’s above and his food is great BBQ.

    I’m using this space to review another cart located in the same pod since foodcartsportland does not yet have a review profile of her cart online.

    Thai Garden Food Stand located in the same pod offers delicious Thai. This woman knows how to cook Thai food. I lived in San Francisco 19 years eating Thai weekly from more than 20 restaurants over time. Thai Garden is as good as any SF upscale Thai restaurant. Thai Garden is one of my two favorite places for Thai food in Portland. The other being a cart near PSU on the west side.

  15. JIM AS ALWAYS THE BEST PORK EVER GREAT JOB BUD

  16. Mike Stanislawski says

    I hear the food is really good and Jim is really friendly. I wouldn’t know because he seems to not be there during posted hours every time my wife and I try to eat there. I mean it has been 5 or 6 attempts so far. We are done trying. Why post hours if you are going to close during the middle of what should be the dinner rush?

  17. Alena Conte says

    I just stopped by today for the beef brisket sandwhich on onion bread, side of coleslaw and beans. It was amazing and the portions were huge! I really dug the coleslaw. Just enough “tang” for me. I will be back!

  18. Alena … which cart had the brisket sandwiches ??? MY FAVORITE !!!

  19. FoodPornFan says

    As a recent Portland transplant, I just had my first food cart experience yesterday at the Stark/102nd A La Cart pod.
    Like many have mentioned previously, I had planned to seek out a different meal before the smell of smokey goodness enticed my husband and I over to Smokin’ Jim’s cabin.

    Good gods – his BBQ is the bomb!

    We ordered Smoked Bratwurst on a bun, a Sample Rib and the smoked Corned Beef Ruben special (a HUGE and heavenly deal with 2 sides for only $7) and were impressed with both the quality and quantity of our meal.

    The bratwurst was cooked perfectly; every bite had a smokey, juicy “pop.” The corned beef was superb… BEST I’ve ever had. Smokey, succulent, and melt-in-mouth tender; completely complimented by sour rye, crisp sauerkraut, creamy Swiss cheese and zesty Russian dressing – to die for!

    Believe it or not, the “sample” Rib was the star of the show!
    Spiced and smoked to perfection without a hint of toughness to it. Now, I’m not normally much of a pork spare-rib fan… but Smokin’ Jim had me dreaming about his radical ribs last night 🙂

    Thankfully Jim is now open on Mondays (hubby’s only day off) – we’ll be back for lunch next week and will likely order some additional barbecuey goodness to go!

  20. Went there today. Food was fantastic! The Tri-tip was very tender and nicely smoky. The potato salad was creamy. The 1/2 pound of meat plate was very generous. The meal was $9.00 very good price for the quality of food and the amount on the plate.

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