Location: SW 9th and Washington
Hours: M-Sat, 11am-4pmish
Even when you think a lot is full of carts, it keeps growing. Just last month, the lot at SW 9th between Alder and Washington added eight new carts. One of those carts is a great new addition – Hawaiian food. Welcome 808 Grinds.
808 Grinds gets their namesake from the area code for Hawaii. Just like 212 for Washington DC New York, there are specific area codes everyone knows. Now, if you have a friend in Hawaii, all you need to remember is that there is a great Hawaiian cart in Portland named 808 Grinds and you’ll remember your friend’s area code. Simple as that. The work of Jensen Yip and Kevin Scolfield, the food here offers up those flavors that have influenced Hawaiian food for years like teriyaki, ginger, wasabi and others. I find Hawaiian food very rich, but also almost folksy like a good stew. Whenever I have enjoyed it, I leave satisfied, usually for a low price.
808 Grinds menu consists of traditional Hawaiian dishes like Kalua pig and Shoyu chicken. They also have fried chicken which is something you do not see at many carts. In addition to the meat and rice meals, they also offer up some unique handmade sushi rolls. While I didn’t get any this visit, I saw them in the making and have to say they look awesome. I’m a sucker for Kalua pig, yet picked up the combo plate in order to try the chicken. More food than I should eat in two meals. Heaping portions of shredded Kalua pig, pork butt marinated and slow cooked for hours to present a strong smoky flavor. The Shoyu Chicken was just as good with a sweetness from the marinade mixed with a kiss of ginger. The star of the meal for me though was the traditional Hawaiian macaroni salad. The first bite pulled me in with a hint of black pepper spice that I have never had with that dish. I’m an equal opportunity eater, having bites of everything on the plate throughout the meal so I don’t get to the end of the meal with the huge portion of something I’m not fond of, but that macaroni salad was the first to go.
808 Grinds joins Ninja Plate Lunch as the two Hawaiian carts in Portland. Great food, great people and a great location downtown for the lunch crowd. I’m excited to visit a second time to try some of the sushi rolls and more of the macaroni salad. The cart is located on SW 9th, but on the corner of Washington St. Walk down and meet the guys and enjoy a bit of the islands on a cool wet rainy Portland day. It will lift your spirits. Let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.
All “Grinds” served with white rice and macaroni salad
- Kalua Pig – $6
- Shoyu Chicken – $5
- 808 Fried Chicken – $7
- Loco Moco – $6
- Hamburger Steak – $6
- Combo plate with Kalua Pig and Shoyu Chicken – $8
- Northwest Roll – 6 pcs – $5
- Hot Lava Roll – 6 pcs – $5
- Bruce Lee Roll – 6pcs – $5
- Much more
Hours: Monday-Saturday, 11am-4pmish
Phone: 503 713 8008
Facebook: 808 Grinds