The Story: Guess what this cart serves? Oh, come on. I bet you’ll never guess it from their name. Ok, give up yet? Surprise, It’s Thai Food!
All joking aside, I know Portland hosts more Thai carts than there are probably roses in our fair Rose City. Or so it seems anyway. PDX is crazy for Thai. And why not? Thai is satisfying any time: quick, super flavorful, filling, and affordable. Thai food makes for great cart eating for lunch, dinner or snacks.
The food at It’s Thai Food is what I call “home cooking Thai” – a bit rustic, total comfort food Thai style, with big portions and lots of standards you see in other Thai carts around town. It’s Thai focuses on dishes such as spring and salad rolls, and plenty of curries.
I tried the Massaman Curry. “Massaman” is the English spelling of an old Thai word for Muslim. And yes, it may seem ironic that many Massaman curries feature beef, but this curry is named not for the religion or its people, but more its aromatic (almost North Indian continent) spicing, as well as hearty coconut milk, potatoes, and peanut flavors. I call it the Thai Beef n’ Potatoes, and it is pure rib sticking comfort food.
Two other menu items grabbed my attention at It’s Thai Food, because they are two of my favorites and you don’t see them served too often from Portland carts. Both are desserts: Sticky Rice with Mango, and a Black Rice with Custard. I tried the Mango with Sticky Rice, and it was just what I needed: creamy, and warm with a generous serving of perfectly ripe, sliced fresh mango on top. A sweet ending to a sweet little cart.
- Salad Rolls. Pork or vegetarian with plum sauce – $3.75
- Spring Rolls. With Pork or Vegetarian – $5.00
- Yellow, Red, Green, or Mussaman Curry with choice of beef, pork or chicken, or tofu. Served with rice – $6.50
- Vegetable Delight Stir Fry, choice of beef, pork or chicken, or tofu. Served with rice – $6.50
- Thai Fried Rice with Cashews and Pineapple, choice of beef, pork, or chicken, or tofu. Served with rice – $6.50
- Sticky Rice with Mango – $5.50
Location: SE 82nd and Harney (Cartlandia)