808 Grinds

dieselboi

 

808 Grinds

808 Grinds

Location: SW 9th and Washington
Hours: M-Sat, 11am-4pmish

The Story:

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.

Kalua Pig and Shoyu Chicken from 808 Grinds

Kalua Pig and Shoyu Chicken from 808 Grinds

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.

Sample Menu:

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

Sushi:

  • 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

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Comments

  1. just wanted to point out that 212 is actually manhattan’s area code…202 is washington d.c.’s. :)

    the food at 808 grinds sounds great! i’ll have to go try it.

  2. I’ve been there five times since they opened, and have tried the shoyu chicken, kalua pig (2x), loco moco and the wings. Everything is excellent, and the portion size for the single items is my ideal for lunch. I can also vouch for the spicy tuna roll, which is great as an afternoon snack, either for one or to share.

    I’m not generally a fan of macaroni salad, either. But theirs is a far cry from the Reser’s or Sysco version that many people may picture. The mac salad here has just enough mayonnaise to bind the salad, but not too much. And I think the mayonnaise has something else to set it apart, or is perhaps made on site. Aside from that, the salad has flecks of carrots, green onions, the black pepper and maybe some ground parmesan or similar cheese — altogether delicious.

    But I have to disagree with one point of the editor’s review:

    “Just like 212 for Washington DC, there are specific area codes everyone knows.”

    The original area code for DC is 202; Manhattan has 212.

  3. dieselboi says:

    You’re right. Corrected. Manhattan is 212. Thanks. Enjoy the food.

  4. Mama & Papa says:

    We’re so proud of you and Kev. The food looks ono. Can’t wait to redeem my free plate lunch.

    Are you ready for a mac salad throw-down with me?

    Love and ALOHA from the 808

  5. best sister ever says:

    808 Grinds!!!!!! whooooo chaaaa represent!

    some ono kine delicious and broke da mouth mean ah da grinds! i like mop those plate lunches up and gobble those sushis down!

    proud of you guys!

  6. Aunty Truds and Uncle Milts says:

    sends our love and aloha to you. best wishes and all the success to both of you!

    keep spreading da (Maui) aloha one plate at a time.

  7. Just had lunch here. The kalua pig is freakin’ amazing. My mouth misses it already.

  8. I’ll start by saying the food is great. If this place were open in a small town, it would be the only restaurant, because nobody would eat anywhere else. I had the fried chicken, and my lunch buddy had the combo. They were both outstanding.
    Here’s the thing, though. I’ve never had a macaroni salad I didn’t immediately spit back out. I finished the whole portion that came with my lunch. You’ve made a convert out of me, 808!

  9. The shoyu chicken and kalua pork so onolicious on a beautiful Fall day! Kev and Jensen, you honor your immigrant great-grandparents by working hard to pursue your dreams. To you two guys and Sushi Dude, only the best and much aloha to you. (And think about offering some multi-cultural saimin as we move into winter!)

  10. Wow! Great Sushi rolls. I tried The Crab roll and the Lava roll both delicious! The Tempura on the Lava was perfect. Next time I want to try the pulled pork sounds great.

  11. Welcome to the 10th/Alder lot! I enjoyed the kahlua pork and the macaroni salad had me revsllinh family gatherings in Hilo.

  12. Maja Emiko says:

    Mahalo for a great lunch! So glad your cart came to my neck of the woods. You just made my lunch hour so much better! GO BEAVS!!!

  13. Nice work! Ate-oh-ate and Hawaiian time got nothin’ on you guys.

  14. Ho dis guys can burn…try get down wit them and they give you lickens you love…everyting on the menu is solid braddah…ono to it all…I’ll be back for more gurans..shootz!

  15. I’ve becomed hooked on Hawaiian Time but when I saw your review about 808, I had to try it since it’s only a couple blocks from my work. They had a late opening today and so didn’t get to try the pork but tried the Shoyu chicken. It was good for sure, and will DEFINITELY go back again. Maybe their late and hectic start this morning made a difference, but I think Hawaiian Time is slightly better. Sorry.

  16. wrote a slightly neg review and your site rejected it… so I guess I see how that works

  17. F, if you are referring to the comment by Frank, it has been approved. To cut down on spam comments, new commentors automatically get moderated. We do our best to watch for those and approve them in a timely manner. Sorry for the confusion.

  18. I would like to try this place out. Not all loco mocos are the same, and it is my Hawaiian duty to try them out. The kalua pig and shoyu chicken looks really ono too, perfect for the cold days we’ve been having in the Pacific Northwest as of late.

  19. Patricia says:

    I had a sample of their kalua pork and macaroni salad at Eat Mobile and it was delicious! Can’t wait to try the plates from the cart!

  20. omg, just had the 808 fried chicken. Great! It’s Japanese style chicken karaage. Yum, I got some sauces on the side… chicken didn’t need it at all! The addition of chopped cabbage was a nice treat to balance out the flavor… just added a bit of shoyu. Mac salad was great too.

  21. Had tried this place at the Bite. Today I had shoyu chicken, whcih was quite good. Portions were big, mac had right amount of mayo, but the rice was a little disappointing. It seemed to be just standard rice and didn’t have that sticky goodness I expect from a Hawaiian plate. Still recommended, would def go back.

  22. Charmaine says:

    OMG. YUM!!! I got the fried chicken- it didn’t need the sauces (however they’re super yummy), and the spam musubi. The mac salad might be the best I’ve ever had. And the boys are uber friendly! Will be back, and will try not to go everyday…

  23. I recently interviewed Kevin, one of the owners of 808 Grinds. Check it out at http://mauiweek.com/2012/06/29/maui-grinds-in-portland/

  24. Bill Parrish says:

    Any Ahi poke on the menu?

  25. Would you share your 808 Fried Chicken recipe with a Haole Boy in So Cal?

  26. Brunson says:

    Aloha,
    So proud of these guys making the local food up in Portland, just use quality ingredients and give da kine hawaiian hospitality.
    Executive Chef Brunson Achiu (McKinley 1971)

  27. Brunson says:

    Send me an E-mail i will send you the recipe

    Mahalo

  28. Hey would u be interested in catering for 150ish people for a wedding reception in March? Email me

Trackbacks

  1. [...] besides watching the new Hawaii 5-O on my DVR, I recently stopped at the food cart downtown called 808 Grinds. I’ve always heard good things about this food cart even though this was only my first visit, [...]

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