Location: SE 2nd and Oak, The Row
Hours: Daily, 11-am-7pm
As an eater, I am afforded the wonderful opportunity to try so many things and learn about food from different cultural perspectives. Who knew there were 20 different kinds of BBQ in America? Actually, it is probably even more. With Mediterranean cuisine, I learned my lesson early that each country/culture has their own unique flavors and each has pride that sets them apart.
YoYo Nikki & Lefty’s does Greek and I know not to generically refer to it as regional fare – it’s Greek!
YoYo, Lefty and Nikki all started the cart this past summer after contemplating a restaurant. As with many, they discovered that a restaurant wasn’t accessible in this economy, so they secured a cart and outfitted it. Crazy as it may sound, instead of launching in a pod, their first big sales was at The Bite of Oregon down on the waterfront. What other way is there for one to cut their teeth than with a crowd of 10,000 people a day. Since then, YoYo & Lefty’s setup shop on SW 3rd and Stark and have garnered a faithful following with the lunch cart crowd.
In talking with Nikki, I ask for a recommendation, knowing the owner would point me in the right direction. This time however, I had to make my own choice. While I really wanted to try the YoYo Special Gyro she recommended, I had already eaten my weight in fries that week and needed some veggies. It was the traditional Gyro for me that day. The leg of lamb was amazing – cooked medium rare and placed atop a bed of quartered tomatos and crisp red onion with tzatziki sauce. That mix of fresh veggies with the bite of the onion and the tenderness of the lamb was wonderful. A great mix of flavors and textures. Go try this gyro!
This was the first time I had seen pork offered as a choice and Nikki educated me that you see more pork in gyros in Greece than any other meat, though she was proud of the lamb and thought I should try it. I learn something new everyday. Nikki & Lefty’s is now open for lunch during the week and late night on the weekends. Head on down and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.
[Yoyo & Lefty's renamed to Nikki & Lefty's in March 2012]
[Nikki & Lefty's move to SE Portland in January 2013]
- Traditional Gyro: fresh leg of lamb with tzatziki sauce, tomato and red onion – $8; chicken or pork for $7
- YoYo Special Gyro: leg of lamb, tzatziki sauce, feta cheese and fries – $8
- Spicy Chicken Gyro: spicy chicken, lettuce, tomato, red onion, pepper jack cheese, bcon and creamy jalapeno ranch sauce – $7
- Lefty Special Gyro: ground beef patty, lettuce, tomato, red onion, bacon and blue cheese dressing – $7
- Nikki’s Veggie Gyro: cucumber, tomato, red onion, feta cheese, kalamata olives, Greek vinaigrette – $7
- Spanakopita: spinach, feta, spices and onion in flaky phyllo dough – $5
- Y&L Salata: cucumber, tomato, red onion, feta cheese, kalamata olives and greek vinaigrette – sm, $4; large, $6