Location: SW 3rd and Washington
Hours: Weekdays, lunchtime
The Story: I have always been fascinated by Cuba. Ever since history class in the 8th grade, I’ve wanted to visit. Alas, I haven’t, yet, through street food, I’ve been able to engage with some great people from Cuba and enjoy their cuisine. El Cubano is a new vendor on SW 3rd serving up traditional Cuban dishes and sandwiches.
Arabella and Alain opened El Cubano in August. So far, after a month, they are happy with the customers they are attracting, especially those who are return eaters. Arabella is from Nicaragua and Alain from Cuba. Both were living in Florida before coming to Portland this year. The actual idea for the food cart came from a relative who just didn’t have the time to execute it, but lucky for us, Arabella and Alain did.
El Cubano brings a large menu of Cuban dishes to downtown Portland. We used to have a couple of other carts offering this cuisine, yet they have since closed as the owners opened a restaurant. What is one to do when you can’t get your tostones or maduros? I was happy to come across El Cubano and picked up a lechon plate with seasoned rice, tostones and a green salad. Lechon is slow roasted pork which, when served, is so full of salty fatty flavor, it is difficult to not just eat it all and ignore the rest. I filled a fork full and layered atop the salty tostones for mouthwatering bliss. The green salad was fresh and a great way to cleanse my palate after enjoying so much pork. Arabella and Aline, don’t just have pork on the menu. If you’re a vegetarian or gluten free, you too can enjoy a dish here.
I’m always happy to see new vendors open and succeed. El Cubano has already garnered a following and with the quality of their food and prices, they will be feeding Portland for awhile. Drop on by SW Washington, just east of 3rd and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.
- Lechon Plate – $6,99
- Ropa Vieja – $6.99
- Chicken Tropichop – $6.99
- Lechon Loco – fried yuca, pork and cabbage – $5.99
- Vegan Tropichop – $4.99
- Yuca Frita with Mojo – $3.50
- Tostones – $3.50
- Maduros – $2.50
- Sandwich Cubano – $6.99
- Pan Con Bistec sandwich – $6.99