Eat This!


SW 9th and Washington

The Story:

We received an email the other day about a new cart open at a location I couldn’t picture – SW 11th and Salmon. Initially, I thought they had given me the incorrect location, but then I walked up and found this nice new cart – Eat This!

Eat This! is the craft of James Drinkward, a chef who has spent the last few years at local Fratelli restaurant and decided to venture out on his own. Even the day I visited, he lamented about having to finish his last week of work there. Though, I would assume the hard work is paying off. Eat This! serves up what they refer to as “globally inspired flatbreads.” All I know is what they create is a work of art that will have you coming back for more.

James’ cart is rather large, so when you arrive, it appears there isn’t much equipment inside, but what he has is vast amounts of stainless steel counter space which is key. James makes the flatbread by hand when you order. Little balls of dough made of a whole wheat flour blend are piled at the edge of the floured counter where James does his handiwork. The flatbread then hits the grill along with the fixin’s to make the signature wrap. I thoroughly enjoyed a flatbread with braised beef brisket and Parmesan creamed spinach. Can you say tasty? Whole wheat, unleavened breads like this have a texture unique to themselves that lend to fond memories like when you have a freshly made tortilla. While the flatbread at Eat This! isn’t a tortilla, it had the same mouth-feel I have come to know when wheat flour and water are kneaded together and then grilled. The brisket along with the creamed spinach make this a very memorable treat.

With new carts opening almost daily, a chef needs to distinguish themselves with that all important first impression. James didn’t know we were visiting until after I took my first bite, but treated me like a longtime customer. Everything was handmade right then and there – adding to a memorable experience. If you are downtown, check out Eat This! and enjoy a flatbread. Let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

[Update: December 2010, Eat This moved to SW 9th and Washington]

Sample menu:

  • Handmade flatbread with braised Black Angus beef brisket and Parmesan creamed spinach – $6.50
  • Handmade flatbread with grilled fresh asparagus, homemade Ricotta and balsamic onions – $6.50
  • Handmade flatbread with spice roast chicken, garlicky white beans and homemade bacon – $6.50
  • Handmade flatbread with eggs to your liking and Parmesan and balsamic onions – $6.50

Hours: Monday-Friday, 11am-4pm
Contact: unknown




  1. Brooke Howes says:

    This sounds really good. I wish them well….B.T.G.

  2. Courtney says:

    i had this the other day. they have a pok loin with cinnamon apples that is outta this world!!

  3. I’ve now tried about everything on his menu! I’m hooked; Northwest / comfort food, amazing flavorful blends – what a combo. Last time, I got a six-pack variety for co-workers. Big hit.

  4. Just had the Brisket and loved it. They did say that you can call ahead for large orders or to have your lunch ready when you get there. 503.348.1866

  5. Sounds good, but it wasn’t open when I swung by at 4 PM today…

  6. I enjoyed my first flat bread I had there and can’t wait to go back and try another, maybe the chicken next time. Ciao!

  7. Incredible food! A little off my normal path, but well worth the extra blocks.

  8. Joe Jackson says:

    Say it fast….brown chicken brown cow. Get it? Sexy timez music?

  9. Dear Eat This!-
    I love you.

    Best cart food I’ve ever had. I was hoping his phone number would be posted so I could call him and thank him.

    Split 2 sandwiches with a friend – black angus brisket and pork with cinnamon apples. Amazing.

  10. Stewart says:

    This guy is definitely raising the cart food standard. In my book, good execution trumps novelty value any day.

    The flavor combinations make sense, the seasoning level is perfect, the portion and price is good. This is one of the best lunch carts in Portland right now.

  11. My friend and I made the trek to Eat This and OMG – the sandwiches were simply amazing! We tried the Brisket & spinach and the Eggplant with potato and pesto and shared them. Both were simply out of this world delicious…..the combined flavors were excellent and each bite was relished. We are planning the next trek to include the Pork with Peach salsa which sounds heavenly!!!! Thank you!

  12. Unreal food at this food cart. James is a genius. This is the best food cart experience I’ve ever had in Portland… the food is incredible. So fresh, so delicious, I was blown away.
    So excited to finally have a really good food cart in this part of the neighborhood. Do yourself a favor and check this place out. This is the real deal!

  13. wallflower says:

    Fantastic. What James prepares is utterly delicious and so incredibly tasty. I highly recommend the delicious experience.
    If these carts could be rated, Eat This! would be in the line for first place at least. Thank you James for your fresh, tasty and yummy creations.

  14. I go to Portland State and ventured over there right before summer break started. I had heard about it through the grape vine and not to rip off the allmighty Tina Turner or anything but this cart is simply the best. Its better than all the rest. Seriously. I’m looking forwarrd to fall term to be able to eat at Eat This! every week.

    Its not a suprise that no one had posted anything negative about Eat This! yet. Not suprising at all.

    Thank you James

  15. Wows. Today I visited this cart during lunch for the first time, though I pass it somewhat regularly on my way to/from work. After much consideration (seriously, EVERY combination sounded awesome), I chose the smoked pork with slaw, and was not disappointed. The pork was juicy and really amazingly tender; the combo could have used a bit more slaw for crunch, but that’s a v. small issue – next time I’ll ask for more. The Habanero Peach sauce on the pork was pleasantly sweet and just a touch spicy – enough to leave a very dull burn in my mouth after finishing. The flatbread was really great – chewy yet forgiving when biting into the wrap, and had good flavor all to itself. All in all, I’ll definitely be back; and for $6.50, this is a great amount of food! Totally full still, an hour later. ^_^

  16. I had these on Tuesday and again today. My co-worker and I are hooked! D E L I C I O U S!!!!! Everyone must try it. It is my favorite food cart in Portland right now. The guy who works there is really nice too. Can’t wait for my next visit.

  17. The absolute best vegitarian sandwich that I have EVER had! I am only a “part time” vegitarian but this would convince me to go full time! I had a taste of my co workers pork with slaw and it was really good too. I have to say, though that the broccoli/pepper/onion combo with the brie cheese was so tasty, literally dripping with goodness! I don’t know what they do to the vegatables, but it is hands down the BEST. I would suggest it, even for meat lovers.

  18. This cart was recommended by a friend of James’ and all I can say is all the good comments are well deserved. This cart is DELICIOUS! Everything is incredibly fresh and perfectly prepared. The brisket is incredibly tender and the avacado cream is AMAZING! The pork (couldn’t decide so I got both) is moist and perfectly seasoned and the crispy and creamy slaw is a perfect counterpoint to the tender and juicy pork. I even had a bite of a friends veggie wrap with the broccoli, brie and balsamic onions. As a self proclaimed meat eater, I’ve never been as impressed with a veggie sandwich. I will definitely be returning to this gem many times in the future. Highly recommended.

  19. I wanted to be enthusiastic about this cart based on the previous comments, the description of the fare, and convenient location. I had the beef flatbread (black angus). The beef itself tasted good and was nicely cooked, however there were numerous large chunks of gelatinous beef fat throughout. I know about anybody else, but I don’t find this appealing at all… I hope they will consider trimming their beef cuts in the future. Also, the sandwich was mostly meat… A huge portion of meat and overwhelming the other ingredients in the sandwhich (spinach mix, onions, flatbread). Perhaps a smaller sandwhich option would provide a better balance of flavors and also be digestible in one sitting for those of us who don’t need this hearty of a meal. There was more meat here than if I’d ordered a T-bone steak for lunch (I couldn’t finish it, though after several of the pockets of fat, I didn’t really want to either). It also had several unpleasant hard bits mixed with the meat which at first I thought were bone but on closer examination looked to be char from the grill… as in, flat and scraped off the grill, not from the meat being cooked.
    I was also disappointed that all the other options contained some form of pork (except the eggplant, which I am allergic to… plus I wanted something more filling than most veggie wraps). Perhaps the eggs would have provided a lighter option if this had not been the case. It looks like their menu changes, based on previous comments, so perhaps there will be some improved options in the future.


  21. DAVID MOSSO says:

    We just placed an order for our whole office and EVERYONE was so happy with their choices. Everything from the Meatloaf Sandwich to the Smoked Chicken Sandwich was so good. We will obviously be placing an order for our office again soon!! Delicious!!!


  22. Mark Riesmeyer says:

    Chicken with bacon was amazing, juicy chicken with smoky fatty bacon goodness dressing the fresh spinach and a bit of kick with the mustard aioli. Warning: this is not a tidy sandwich, but for a good reason: the meat is literally spilling out of the bread. This is a full meal (and I eat a lot). Even with a smaller amount of meat, it would be a good buy at $6.50. I don’t recommend this cart if you’re in a hurry, but it’s definitely worth the wait if you’re not.

  23. dieselboi says:

    I had that last week also and it was excellent. So big, I was able to enjoy it for a couple of meals.

  24. Mark from BC says:

    First visit to Portland during the kids’ March Break, and came across Eat This! during a lunch-time scout of the carts. My son had the brisket, and I had the meatloaf. Both were amazing and so filling that I was barely hungry for that evening’s dinner. The only disappointment, when we came back the next day (and the next day after that) with my wife & daughter in tow, it was closed!

  25. I think this cart might be closed… I haven’t seen it open for the last three times I tried to go there. PLEASE say it isn’t so!

  26. Yeah, the cart has closed and the owners are opening a pub on 23rd.

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