Location: SE 32nd and Hawthorne
Hours: Thurs-Sun, 12-7pm
The ubiquitous silver Airstreams that banked so many miles on the byways of America have now carved out a second life for themselves as food carts. Carte Blanche is the newest on the scene with one pretty silver trailer.
Jesse and Ally have been friends since elementary school, so the cramped quarters of the cart don’t phase them. After culinary school, Jesse spent some time in the kitchen at Pok Pok before finding the cart on Craigslist and with the help of a fellow cart owner, got it built out and opened. Her friends and family also participated by crafting the curtains and bringing a bit of home to it. When you arrive, you’re invited under the awning where there are a few chairs and a small table so you can get out of the rain. Such a cozy spot.
The menu at Carte Blanche ranges from sandwiches to bowls and salads and some tasty treats on the side. The day we visited, they were offering samples of their Kale chips which were perfectly crispy and also good for you. The Gromit’s Feed is a lamb and beef burger topped with tzatziki, caramelized onion, feta, tomato and an apple slaw then served upon a rosemary bun. Every bit of the sandwich is a flavor explosion from the burger to the bun to the slaw to the onions. So many unique flavors all put together to create a very special sandwich. I especially enjoyed how the caramelized onions mixed well with the sweetness of the apple slaw and the burger.
Carte Blanche has been open now for about a month at the corner of SE 32nd and Hawthorne with a couple of other carts. When I asked about their hours, they stated they are open till 7 or until they sell out. Be sure to try the Kale chips – something you don’t find on many menus and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.
[Menu changes weekly, so please visit their website for an updated menu]
- Vegetal Situation: house made veggie burger, pesto aioli, Flagship cheese, caramelized onions, diced tomatoes, sesame bun – $7
- Gromit’s Feed Burger: $7
- The Old Pal: glazed sweet potatoes, sundried tomato polenta, Brussels, mushrooms, rosemary walnuts, candied bacon and sour cream – $6.50
- The Ocean Age: crispy calamari or pan-fried tilapia caramelized in lime, garlic and chili. Quinoa, sugarsnaps, crispy shallots, basil, cilantro and radish – $6.50
- Pal of Brutus: Romaine, basil peppercorn Caesar, Parmesan, roasted beats and corn, brown butter croutons and lemon – sm, $3; lg, $5