Location: SE 43rd and Belmont
Hours: Tues-Sat, 11-9
The other day, I met a great soul in Piper Dixon, owner of Kitchen Dances, and hope to meet more individuals who are as educated and committed to their craft as he is.
Piper is the former owner and head chef at the St. Johns restaurant Proper East and has developed his skills in the kitchen over the years, most recently having a food booth at the Montavilla Farmers’ Market. Piper had been thinking of opening a cart and when approached by Good Food Here, the puzzle pieces fell into place and he was able to launch his amazingly cute little red cart featuring a menu of vegan dishes. I spoke with Piper the day we visited and he struck me as one of those individuals who would share his bread with you even if he hadn’t eaten in days – a kind, gentle person who truly values personal interactions. Throughout his life, he has been influenced by writers, musicians and others who believe in the same farmer-chef-eater relationship. Everything he cooks is either from his own garden or from local farms like Deep Roots, Gathering Together Farm, Frog Meadow, Simplicity Gardens, Two Forks or Groundworks. Supporting local farmers is second nature for Kitchen Dances.
Piper has a robust menu of vegan dishes including sandwiches, raw food dishes and pastries. We chose the golden beet ravioli as I had been introduced to it the previous week when on a different food cart tour. Thin slices of butter golden beet layered with basil-hazelnut pesto, cashew pine nut cheese, and topped with fresh heirloom tomato marinara make up this amazing dish. The pesto and the cheese (which isn’t cheese) add a wonderful texture, both chunky and smooth, to the beet and tomato. I think I could actually taste how fresh the tomatoes were even though we commiserated about how our gardens didn’t do as well as we liked. Everyone at the table, including the meat eaters thought it was one of the most flavorful dishes they had eaten.
Kitchen Dances is open for lunch through dinner at Good Food Here most of the week and into the weekend. The cart in and of itself is enough for you to visit, one with open doors on every side, welcoming you in. Drop on by and try some of Piper’s dishes and let him know Food Carts Portland sent ya.
- Golden Beet Ravioli – golden beets filled with basil-hazelnut pesto, cashew pinenut cheese, fresh heirloom tomato marinara and a side salad – $7
- Raw veggie plate – choice of raw hummus or raw pesto with raw sprouted crackers and seasonal veggies – $8
- Tempeh Reuben – baked tempeh, caramelized onions, creamy reuben sauce and sauerkraut on rye bread served with a side salad – $7.50 – gluten free bread available.
- Nachos – organic blue corn chips, spiced walnut meat, seasonal veggies, and tofu cilantro sour cream – $7
Hours: Tues-Sat, 11-9, Sun