Location: SW Washington and 10th
Hours: Weekdays and Saturdays, lunch- late afternoon.
The Story: Grab your passports and your geography books, Kargi Gogo serves a cuisine we rarely see in Portland and they do an outstanding job of it too: The foods of the Georgian Republic. No, this is not fried chicken, grits, okra and peach pie found in the Southern United State of Georgia. This is food from the COUNTRY of Georgia. Located on the Black Sea, nestled under Russia, and surrounded by Turkey, Armenia, and Azerbaijan, Georgia is a culturally and geographically diverse country with a diverse cuisine to match it. In Kargi Gogo’s own words:
Georgians make food that combines elements of Eastern European and Middle Eastern cuisines, resulting in fresh, flavorful dishes.
You’ll find Khachapuri – melted blend of cheeses in a flaky light crust. Then there’s Badrijani – cooked eggplant strips stuffed with ground walnuts, garlic and Georgian spices. Light but satisfying, and vegan and gluten free to boot. Yet, it’s the Georgian dumplings named Khinkali that really win us over. Think of generous fistfull sized tender and boiled wontons stuffed with a mixture of meats, garlic, herbs and broth. They are a Georgian obsession and highly addictive, and pro-tip provided by the owners of Kargi Gogo and the way the Georgians eat them – grab the dumpling by the top, turn them upside down, then bite in. This keeps the hot broth inside the dumplings from exploding all over your nice clean shirt.
Kargi Gogo, literally translates to Good Girl in the Georgian language and their cute little white cart with the quirky cartoon girl logo (the good girl) is a nice introduction to Georgian food. Kargi Gogo has put a lot of thought into their design and menu, including descriptions and photos of their food as well as making sure there are offerings for meat eaters, vegetarians and vegans. They even have some gluten free foods. This commitment to education about their food is really helpful in choosing what mouth-watering treats to try.
A great introduction to sampling Kargi Gogo’s menu is their “Supra Feast”, describe as:
A Georgian supra is an epic feast with an abundance of delicious food. Indulge with a slice of Khachapuri, a slice of Lobiani, two Khinkali, two Badrijani and Peasant’s Salad.
Sean and McKinzie are the two affable young Americans who own Kargi Gogo. They were both stationed in Georgia for two years in the Peace Corps, met there, and decided to introduce Portlanders to this fantastic cuisine. Food Carts Portland salutes Kargi Gogo for their efforts and excellence. Or, as the robust and friendly Georgian people might say, Gemrielad Miirthvith! (Enjoy your meal!)
- Khachapuri – Georgian Cheese Stuffed Bread – $6
- Lobani – stuffed Bean and Onion Bread – $6
- Khinkali – meat stuffed boiled dumplings – $6
- Badrijani – eggplant, garlic and walnut rolls – $6
- Peasant Salad – tomatoes, cucumbers, parsley, onions in a walnut-garlic dressing – $6
- Supra Feast – a large sampler of all menu items – $8
Phone: 503- 489-8432
Facebook: Kargi Gogo PDX