Location: SE 43rd and Belmont, Good Food Here
Hours: Thurs-Sat 11:47-7:01pm, Sunday 12:47-7:01pm, Monday 11:47-7:01
I actually remember the first time I had tater tots. We were a meat and potatoes and pancakes for dinner family living in deep southeast Portland when my mom came home one evening with this bag of Ore-Ida Tater Tots. When the cookie sheet came out of the oven and those tots were up for grabs, my brother, sister and I dove in. It was the best food we had tasted in our entire lives (I actually remember us exclaiming that while running through the house, screaming.) Now, some 30 odd years later, Tots are making a serious comeback as both comfort food and treats at high end restaurants. When we wrote about a cart serving tots as a side for burgers last year, the Internets blew up with comments. Now, we have a cart that takes tots to the next level – The Dog House PDX.
Timber and Ali, who brought us Yogio last year, knew that their pod in North Portland needed a comfort food cart, so they acquired a stepvan and converted it to serve up dogs and tots and everything in between. When I first heard of the cart, I thought they were just doing a variation on a hot dog cart, but their approach is to put together unique bowls of happy food funtime. You can either have a dog or tots which are then covered with your choice of topping and usually melted cheese. The dog or tots are called the bottom and tops could include gravy, bacon, a fried egg, jalapenos, black beans, chili, pineapple or pretty much anything you can imagine. A great concept that includes what many of us grew up on as children with the tastes we’ve learned to love over the years.
I highly suggest eating whatever you order at the lot instead of getting it to go. Why? Because they serve whatever you order in a great little dog dish and that is just cool. Picture a pile of tots covered with melted pepper jack cheese, onions, jalapenos and topped with a fried egg. Oh and don’t forget the kicker sauce which adds a little spice to the entire dish. Every bit of the dish captures the essences of childhood with the crispiness of the tots and the gooeyness of the melted cheese. While I don’t remember mom ever putting a fried egg on my tots, it worked. I felt like a kid again.
I wasn’t able to visit The Dog House when they first opened at North Station in north Portland. They moved last month to NE Alberta with Yogio to their own pod named Holy Trinity partnering with another cart that sells vintage clothing. I’m so happy to have finally enjoyed some of Timber’s tots and her excellent creations. I can only imagine they sell a boat load of tots once the sun goes down and the bars open up. Drop on by The Dog House, enjoy some tots, relive a childhood memory and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.
[Cart renamed and moved to SE Portland in April 2012]
[Cart moved to SE 43rd and Belmont, October 2012]
Each dish starts with a bottom of either a hot dog, Tater Tots or Fritos – $5.50
- Rip City: pepper jack cheese, onions, jalapenos, kicker sauce, topped with a fried egg
- Trouble in Paradise: bacon, pineapple, pepper jack cheese, kicker sauce, onions
- Heartbreak Hotel: bacon, cheddar cheese, ketchup, onions, topped with fried egg
- Make Up – Break Up: house black beans, chipotle sour cream, onions, jalapenos
- The Big D: house chili, cheddar cheese, onions, mustard
- Bean There Done That: house baked beans, onions, mustard
- Un-Skinny Love: pepper jack cheese, cheddar cheese, chipotle sour cream