Creme de la Creme [closed]


[Update 9/2011 – closed]
SE 43rd and Belmont
Hours: Wed-Sat, 11am-7pm

The Story:

Tucked in the back of Good Food Here, I spied an old 1960s school bus with a cool paint job and a great awning to protect us from the sun. Here housed Crème de la Crème, a cart which believes in “food for the people. Fine meats and cheese, butters and bread should be available to all.”

Crème de la Crème is a husband and wife team – Michael and Bianca Benson who adopted the former camper bus from JJ Wandler, a Seattle restaurant owner. Bianca and Michael drove the bus from Montana, I assume camping along the way and have adapted to be a food cart by gutting it and building a commercial kitchen inside. The menu is from the Seattle restaurant Gainsbourg which offers a French inspired cuisine. Bianca plans on adding items to the menu including chicken wing confit. That sounds amazing. By the way, the bus is named Charlotte.

With such a robust menu, it was difficult to choose what we wanted for lunch until I realized they were out of the Onion Tart. Now that was all I could think of. Tarragon Potato Salad; Croque Monsieur; French Dip; Cheesecake. So many great items to choose from, but we opted for the roasted beet salad and a sandwich. Mixed greens were topped with roasted beets, blue cheese, hazelnuts and a grapefruit vinaigrette to create a taste explosion. We fought over the blue cheese crumbles. The sandwich was exactly what I remember from eating lunch in France. A light flaky baguette with creamy Brie and sliced crisp cucumbers brought me back to the coast of Nice 20 some odd years ago. Crunchy veggies and velvety Brie can’t be beat.

Crème de la Crème is the first cart I know serving up Escargot, snails, garlic and butter sauce with sliced baguette. The carts keep raising the bar and redefining the options available. I just wish they were in my neighborhood. Head on down, say hi to Bianca and Michael and the bus Charlotte and enjoy some well prepared French cuisine. Let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Roasted beet salad: mixed greens, blue cheese, hazelnuts, grapefruit vinaigrette – sm $4, lg $6
  • Tarragon potato salad – $3
  • Onion Tart served with over easy egg and greens – $7
  • Escargot – served with baguette – $6
  • Cucumber, Brie and butter baguette – $5
  • Croque Monsieur: black forest ham, Gruyere sandwich topped with béchamel and more Gruyere and toasted. Served with mixed greens – $7

Hours: Wednesday – Saturday, 11am-7pm or later
Twitter: @TheFrenchBus Facebook: Crème de la Crème



  1. My heart is breaking, and I’m sweating with excitement. I can’t wait to hit this place up!

  2. I went there. I ordered a French Dip. It really hit the spot! I notice that’s not on your sample menu, so maybe it was a special that day? Anyhow, it was the perfect amount of meat and the bread was toasted to perfection!

  3. We had Croque Monsieurs and escargot. Oo la la! Tres bien! We’ve been to France and hope to go back, but in the meantime, we’ll be visiting Crème de la Crème often.

  4. The food was amazing. Everything is fresh and perfectly prepared. Michael and Bianca are so welcoming. The bus is really cool too. Loved it!

  5. Went there a week and a half ago and had the Croque Madame (the Croque Monsieur with a fried egg) and it was wonderful. Besides the greens they also threw in a little potato salad and the whole meal rocked it. I can’t wait to try their escargot!

  6. We can WALK here! Joy and joy. The french dip was shared by my 9 y old and myself (he a pdx french dip afficienado). Perfection. Can’t wait to have the au jus with it’s crusty cheesy top soon. This is where you’ll find us all fall long…. Prices are unbelievably reasonable for the quantity and quality of food.

  7. Crème de la Crème makes a delicious French Dip sandwich. The quality is best described as gourmet food from a food cart. The meat, the bread, and (I took the option to have…) cheese added onto the meat were cooked and seasoned perfectly. Be sure to drink up the side cup of the dipping sauce after you have finished eating your sandwich as it is really great French Onion soup. The meal came with a nice amount of salad. Two thumbs up to Bianca and her staff.

    While I have not yet tried the Croque Monsieur sandwich, I’m a food cart regular at this multi-cart pod and many of the other regular customers and other cart owners have spoken highly of this particular sandwich too.

    Be sure to check the days and hours that this cart is open as their open hours are somewhat less than other carts. Enjoy!

  8. I have always been impressed with the food I get from these guys. The french dip is definitely my favorite item on her list, but the croque monsieur and the beat salad are also frequent purchases of mine. I’ll keep coming back again and again and again! Well done, Bianca!

  9. Meet these great people here at the Hotel Molokai, Hula Shores restaurant last night. The food reviews sound good.
    Hope to hit this food place when in Oregon September. It will be our first time to Oregon.
    Aloha from Molokai, Lono.

  10. Herd from the pod last week they are moving to seattle

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.