Location: SW 2nd and Oak
As my generation grows up, I think we’re rediscovering some of the comfort foods that got us through our childhood – PB&J, Tater Tots, and Mac & Cheese. Portland is lucky to have a restaurant that has been serving up tasty mac & cheese now for 20 some years – Montage. Now Portland can get some tasty mac & cheese from a cart. I give you Starchy and Husk.
Starchy and Husk opened in early April and seems to be doing brisk business at the North Station cart pod. A bright red refurbished sportsman trailer from yore is home to one of the most beautiful stainless steel modern kitchens I have seen in a cart. As I looked in the window, I was blown away at what they had built. Starchy and Husk gets the name from the 1970′s show Starsky and Hutch and the design is around the Gran Torino paint scheme. They even have items on the menu referencing the show – The Gran Torino and Huggie Bites.
I ordered up the Gran Torino meal at the recommendation of Tom, the owner. His statement of “it may have too much pancetta in it…” convinced me. My response was obvious – “how can you have too much pancetta in anything?” The Gran Torino is mac & cheese made with chunks of baked butternut squash, pancetta, 7 cheeses and then baked with panko bread crumbs on top. It is a good portion and the butternut squash gives is a sweetness I have never thought to add to mac n’ cheese. The pancetta was a nice touch and not overwhelming as Tom had been concerned about. The meal I ordered came with a green salad and a piece of cornbread.
Starchy and Husk is serving up mac & cheese at this time with the cornbread acting as the “husk.” As sweet corn comes into season here in Portland and the surrounding area, Tom will have a roaster in order to serve up fresh roasted corn – the “husk.” Such a great idea and a food that pulls at my childhood heartstrings. I will probably be spending some quality time getting to know Starchy and Husk this summer. If you are up in North Portland, look for the bright red and silver cart and enjoy a childhood memory. Let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.
[Update: January 2010, Starchy and Husk moved to SW 2nd and Oak]
- The Gran Torino: 7 cheeses, chunks of butternut squash, pancetta, topped with panko breadcrumbs – $6
- The Classic: made with sharp cheddar and topped with panko – $5
- add side salad and cornbread to either meal for $1
- Huggie Bites: gluten free sweet potato hush puppies – 5 for $2
Hours: Wednesday-Friday, 11am-7pm; Saturday and Sunday, 12-8pm
Phone: 503 708 7819
Facebook: Starchy and Husk