Happy Grillmore

dieselboi

On Hiatus as of 2/2012
Location:
SW 3rd and Washington
Hours:
Mon-Fri, 7am-2:30pm

The Story:

I chuckled the first time I heard this cart’s name. Happy Grillmore. What a great play on words. When I visited, I learned that Grilly Madison had been an early front runner. Granted, a cart isn’t just the name, but have a catchy name and a well prepared product and you should garner a great following. I think Happy Grillmore may have those two ingredients.

Happy Grillmore is the work of Kryse and Darren. Kryse is the brains behind the menu and Darren works the counter. The cart offers up mostly sandwiches, but they do have specials including kalua pork, spam musubi, tacos and mac and cheese. A broad menu to satisfy even the pickiest eater. Kryse and Darren are also in a prime location for the morning commute and open at 7am to serve breakfast, placing them on that small list of carts who open early.

I visited on the first day they were open and ordered one of their specials, a black bean and chipotle burger. The burger is hand made daily mixing the chopped chipotle peppers into the black bean mixture to make one tasty patty that isn’t too spicy. You may think the chipotle (a roasted jalapeno pepper) would overwhelm the palatte, but it doesn’t, giving more of a smoky flavor than a spicy one. The burger was placed with arugula, avocado and a spicy mayo on roll instead of a bun. What I loved the most was the bitterness of the arugula mixed with the spicy smoky flavors of everything else. A great mix of flavors.

Happy Grillmore is now open weekdays at 7am to feed you. Located between 2nd and 3rd ave, just west of Mother’s Bistro. Kryse and Darren were kind and welcoming and put together a quality product with a bit of humor. If you’re an Adam Sandler fan, check out the menu and play the game of figuring out which movie each sandwich comes from. I think there is a Wedding Singer reference in there somewhere. Drop on by Happy Grillmore if you’re looking for a new sandwich spot and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

Breakfast:

  • the Lucy: Portuguese sausage w/ rice & egg – $6
  • the Nick: Spam w/ rice and egg – $5
  • the Sonny Koufax: fried egg and cheddar w/ arugula – $4

Sandwiches:

  • the Bernice: grilled Nutella and banana – $3.50
  • the Jullian: choice of peanut or almond butter w/ bananas or jelly $3
  • the Georgie: cheddar, havarti & brie grilled cheese – $4.50
  • the Love Stinks: egg salad – $3.50
  • the Chuck: salami and herb roasted turkey w/ havarti and arugula – $4.50
  • the Chubs: 1/3lb Angus beef patty w/ cheddar and arugula – $4.75
  • the Conchata Ferrell: 1/3lb beef and chorizo patty w/ havarti and arugula – $5
  • full menu available at happygrillmore.com

Hours: Monday-Friday, 7am-2:30pm
Phone: 503 369 3981
Email: happygrill@me.com
Website: HappyGrillmore.com
Twitter: @HappyGrillmore Facebook: HappyGrillmore

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Comments

  1. This place is high on my “must try” list. As a Hawaiian living in the Pacific Northwest, any menu that has Portuguese sausage, Spam eggs & rice alongside some quality-sounding sandwiches is okay with me. C’mon, spam, eggs & rice with some avocado on top? Bra, bugga sound ono (malihini translation: “brother, that sounds delicious and tasty”.) Hopefully within a month I’ll try it out.

    The review motivates me even more. Serve PDX well.

  2. Got a burger there last week, and while the quality was good, the size to cost ratio was way off. It needs to be twice as big and come with a side to be a viable option, IMO.

  3. I had the Sonny Koufax there yesterday and it was great! A bit messy with the perfectly runny egg and slightly spicy sauce but the flavor is worth the potential to get egg on your face. Plus, if you ask, you can get a frequent diner card.

  4. ***** I love these guys!!! Must try the super YUMMY fresh juices like cantaloupe and blueberry rosemary so refreshing on these hot days. I also had a burger that was d-lish. Definitely a must try! PS they do breakfast too!

  5. @John Book- still really looking forward to your visit!
    @G2- i’m sorry that you were disappointed in the size of the burger. i’m thinking, though, that 2/3 of a lb. patty may be a bit much. but, hey, to each his own. come on back for a free lg handmade drink of your choice =)
    @Kris- thank you for your input! and because of it, i’ve started giving the option of the “runny egg” or “egg fried hard” …or “medium,” even! hoping to see you back soon..
    @Joslyn- give thanks, lovely! you are awesome =)

  6. Tried to get spam and eggs for breakfast before work…there at 7am…no sign of anyone at all. Disappointing.

  7. Visited HG for the first time on Friday and was quite impressed. The spam musubi was very well done and the Chuck sandwich was fantastic. I’ll definitely be going back to try more.

  8. @Jes- SO SORRY about that! Hoping that this doesn’t discourage you from trying us out. Please, come on down & get $1 off of your breakfast meal of choice.

  9. gary funatake says:

    where did you guy’s go? I miss the Larry and Chuck. if you moved please let me know where you moved to. thanks Gary

  10. dieselboi says:

    Gary, the cart is still on that lot, just now on 3rd between Washington and Stark

  11. Eight months after making the first comment on this page, I finally had my first taste of food at Happy Grillmore. Again, what made me curious was the fact they had some Hawaiian comfort foods. Yet for my first visit, I chose to have “The Chubs”. I’m a hamburger junkie, I cannot deny it, so that’s what I wanted. Seeing it had arugula and spinach moved me even more.

    Upon getting there, the first thing I told Kryse was “I finally got here.” She looked at me inquisitively for a few seconds, and then said my name, as if to ask if I was who I was. That felt nice. I started talking to her and Darren as I waited for my order, and they are very cool and down to Earth. As things were being made, they had Erykah Badu in the background (for you music nerds, it was “Window Seat” from her most recent album). I found out how they love cooking for the people, enjoy Portland a lot, but also get a bit homesick for some of the things that still make Hawai’i “home”. Then I tried the food.

    “The Chubs” had a 1/3 pound angus beef patty, and the quality of it was very good. I had mine medium well, and it’s the type of patty that would taste well if it was mixed up with chili (or as a chili burger). I love ciabatta and it worked well with the arugula and spinach. Upon my first taste, I thought “this seems very simple”, but not in a bad way. Simple as in “wow, this doesn’t have a lot of ingredients but it does quite well with what’s here”. It wasn’t a burger trying to be more than it was, or adding too many extras to cover up the lack of flavor in the burger. The burger along was very flavorful.

    Now, what surprised me at the end was the nice bit of heat that came from (I believe) the sauce that was on there. I was ready to say “this is a nice, clean tasting burger” and it was almost as if that heat was like them saying “ha ha, you will now remember us and come back.” I will, although I have no idea what I will try next. If you look at their menu, the words show that there’s some level of care in the ingredients that they use. It’s care all around, so consider stopping at Happy Grillmore when you make it to downtown Portland.

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