Grass Roots Cafe

Grass Roots Cafe

Grass Roots Cafe

3503 N Mississippi, north of Fremont
Hours: Mon-Sat, 12-9pm, Sun, 12-5pm

The Story:

Mississippi avenue is bookended by food carts with venerable elder statesmen FlavourSpot at one end and Mississippi Marketplace on the other. In between, just north of Fremont, a pod has struggled to take shape and keep carts. A new cart, Grass Roots Cafe looks to be one that will be there for awhile.

Grass Roots Cafe is the work of Ellis and his partner who opened the cart earlier this year. While Ellis attended culinary school at Clark College, looking at the menu and chatting with him, the flavors and feeling of the cart have been sitting in his culinary mind for years. Sandwiches, burgers, sliders, mac and cheese – and wings. Yes, chicken wings. We have had a few carts in town doing wings, but at this time, none are open, so if you want wings from a cart, Grass Roots Cafe is your place.

Upon arrival, Ellis was there, leaning out the window welcoming me and telling me about the specials. I was intrigued by the Charles Bronson Chili, but was more in the mood for a sandwich. He offers the “Bro that’s stupid hot” Chicken burger with grilled chicken, chipotle mayo, sliced jalapenos, insane heat sauce, lettuce and tomato. It even has a note that a waiver must be signed. I enjoy spice, so ordered it. Ellis started looking for the waiver. Seriously! I stopped him. I thought it was a joke, but it wasn’t. The sauce is made with habaneros and ghost peppers, some of the hottest on the planet. While I wanted a spicy sandwich, I opted to not include the insane heat sauce and Ellis served the sandwich up with a spicy BBQ sauce instead. The grilled chicken had a wonderful spice rub on it and paired with the chipotle mayo and jalapenos it was enough flavor and spice for my palate. A wonderful mix of flavors.

"Bro that's stupid hot" chicken sandwich

“Bro that’s stupid hot” chicken sandwich

I love it that he has waivers for his hot sauce. That tells me he is proud of the heat. If you’re a heat fan, you should check it out and report back. I know I’ll be returning to try out the chicken wings – maybe on Monday nights when they are only 50c a piece. Drop on by Grass Roots Cafe, say hi to Ellis and try some of his vittles. They have covered seating and he’s open into the evening. Let him know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

The menu at Grass Roots is vast. Here are a few of the items offered.

  • The John Bryant Pulled Pork Sandwich – $6
  • Pedal Power: basil & pesto chicken sandwich – $5
  • “Bro that’s stupid hot” Chicken Burger: chipotle mayo, jalapenos, insane heat sauce, lettuce, tomato – $6
  • Grass Roots Burger – $3.75
  • Chicken and Waffles – $7
  • 2pc Chicken and Fries – $4
  • Chicken wings – range from 6 wings for $4.95 to 48 wings for $38.95 and more
  • Bacon Mac and Cheese – $5
  • Shrooms and Mac – sauteed mushrooms and elbow macaroni – $5
  • Green House Effect Salad – $4.75

Hours: Mon-Sat, 12-9pm, Sun, 12-5pm
Phone: 503 960 2623
Facebook: Grass Roots Cafe



  1. Ellis is a pioneer in food carts on Mississippi. I love his food the quality is there, price is right, and the servers are cool. Can’t go wrong at this cart.

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