Location: SE 82nd and Harney, Cartlandia
Hours: Mon-Sun, 11am-7, 8pm on Mon, Fri and Sat
The Story: I often receive calls and emails from national and even international media interested in Portland’s wonderful food cart scene. Without fail, they always ask what kinds of foods are available from Portland’s hundreds of carts. Honestly, the answer is, “what don’t we have?” Instead of a seemingly endless laundry list of our city’s boundless and creative food cart menu items, I simply state the few cuisines we seem to be short on. For the longest time, Portland was lacking food from Eastern Europe, Russia and the Eurasian continent. A new vendor, Traditional Russian Cuisine is here to fill that void.
Located in Cartlandia, Portland’s largest food cart lot on the east side, Traditional Russian Cuisine is the work of Lyla and Bella, Moscow natives who want Portlanders to enjoy what their culture has to offer. If you’ve never enjoyed Russian cuisine, you’re in for a treat. I’m a huge fan of dark hearty Russian breads, but at Traditional Russian Cuisine, you can get piroshky, cabbage roles, pelmeni (a type of dumpling), borscht (beet soup) and more.
Piroshky are a simple, yet amazingly flavorful fried buns with different fillings. Here, you can get chicken, cheese and vegetables or salmon, egg and green onion, or what I enjoyed hot out of the oven – a lamb, potato and onion piroshky. So good. Salty, starchy and sweet. Everything I wanted to start the day. Pair piroshky with borscht, a traditional beet soup, and you have a hearty lunch.
At Traditional Russian Cuisine you get a taste of the motherland. Lyla and Bella are welcoming and generous. I luckily remembered some Russian from a past life and was able to tell them how отлично (excellent) their piroshky is. Drop on by if you’re in the neighborhood or if you too have been craving something hearty. Let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.
- Piroshky – meat or vegetable options – $2.49
- Manti – steamed dumplings stuffed with lamb, minced onion and spices – 8 for $$6.99
- Pilaf salad – $4.99
- Cabbage Rolls – $5.99
- Russian Beef Cutlets – $5.99
- Pelmoni – dumplings of fillings wrapped in thin dough – $4.99-$5.99
- Borsch – Russian beet soup – $2.49-$3.99
Website: Traditional Russian Cuisine