Location: SE 48th and Woodstock
Hours: Wed-Sun, 11-7
The Story: What’s the definition of graffiti? Is it art or mischief? I’ve seen some amazing graffiti out there – a mishmash of styles and colors almost indiscernable as either a word or name or object. At Graffiti Sandwich, the chef takes traditional style sandwiches and paints his own creations.
Travis, the sandwich chef, worked his way up the restaurant food chain from sous chef in Montana to head chef in Idaho to owner of The Tartan in Coeur d’alene before coming down to Portland and building out a superb cart and opening in Woodstock. He and his wife Maureen have known each other since high school and even then were crafty. Fast forward 20 years and the cart was born. Travis needed to get back in the kitchen. Looking at the menu he offers, you see familiar looking sandwiches you may have enjoyed in the past, yet then there are subtle differences and you think to yourself – “I never thought to do that with pork belly”. His Ono Chicken sandwich, for example, started as a Japanese-Hawaiian pasta dish which he tweaked and put on a bun. Fermented black beans mixed with cream cheese and garlic soy marinated chicken. Oh, and the buns from Fluer de Lis bakery here in town are some of the best. I honestly don’t mind getting that light bit of flour from the top of the bun all over my dark shirt.
The Da Nang Pork is Travis’ version of a banh mi. Pork meatballs, Vietnamese slaw, cilantro, sriracha may and hoisin peanut butter make up this creation. The bun is chewy and moist, a perfect delivery device for the savory pork mixed with the spice of the sriracha and the sweet of the hoisin butter. I have enjoyed many traiditional banh mi sandwiches over the years and this modified version stands out. The flavors are so diverse and so well managed, it truly is art, not just someone throwing paint on the wall.
Graffiti Sandwich is a new player in the gourmet sandwich game here in Portland. Why Graffiti? Here is their explanation from their website:
Why graffiti? Well, we both like graffiti. We like the way it sounds. We like its double f’s and every other i and just one t. We like to take pictures of graffiti anywhere from Bushwick to Boyle Heights. And, well, Portland doesn’t really have graffiti. Until now.
Well said. I challenge you to head out to Woodstock and see for yourself the magic Travis does. Open Wednesday to Saturday from 11-7, there is seating in the pod and plenty of parking in the area. Drop on by and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.
- Smoked Ham & Egg: smoked ham, bacon onion jam, chive cream cheese, deviled egg and Tillamook cheddar – $7.50
- Da Nang Pork – $8
- Medianoche: braised pork shoulder, smoked ham, bacon onion jam, Graffiti pickles, Swiss, yellow mustard – $7.50
- Guisado Pork: stewed pork shoulder, caramelized onions, black beans, jack cheese, lime crema and pickled jalapeno – $8
- Dan Nang Cauliflower: spiced roasted cauliflower, Vietnamese slaw, cilantro, sriracha mayo, hoisin peanut butter – $7.50