October Food Cart News

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Here are some updates on Portland’s street food scene:

If you haven’t ventured beyond your favorite food cart pod, there are some new ones that have grown into their own this summer and solidified their spot into Portland’s pod map:

    • Piedmont Station – NE 7th and Killingsworth – Opened in 2015, this lot now hosts 10+ food carts, covered seating and Le Tap, a beer cart with numerous craft options
    • Killingsworth Station – NE Killingsworth and Maryland – the lot here was built in 2014, but never got traction until now. 6 vendors including Salvadoran, Vietnamese, Mexican and Hungarian
    • Kenton Pod – NE Denver and Interstate – this pod, owned and managed by PDC is brand new with 3 vendors including old favorite Killa Dilla
    • Grubbin at Ankeny Square – W Burnside and 9th – a challenged park is now a food cart pod. 2 food carts and a community space
    • NE MLK and Beech – Newly finished, but no food carts as of yet
food cart news

Hungaricana at Killingsworth Station

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Some closures to note:

  • Beech Pod on N Mississippi – Gabagool and Tiffin Asha have closed their carts to move into restaurants. MF Tasty moved to N Williams and Failing
  • Central Eastside Food Cart Pod – closed for development
  • Thick Deep Dish Pizza closed downtown and moved into a food truck. You can find ChicagoLand roaming the streets of Portland serving up Chicago Style Deep Dish pizza

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The Portland Mercado, one of Portland’s best food cart lots with a purpose, suffered significant vandalism this week, shutting down 7 of the 10 food cart and causing approximately $25,000 in damage. The Mercado is a beacon of community development with brick and mortar spaces, a commissary kitchen and vendors selling everything from Peruvian to Cuban to Michoacan and more. A destination spot for many. If you are a fan, plan a visit this week to support the lot and the vendors. They will reopen.

On Wednesday, it was reported that a number of vendors at Carts on Foster were also vandalized. If you have any information about either of these incidents, please contact the Portland Police.

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Thank you for your continue support of Portland’s street food vendors.

Food Truck: The Movie Sneak Preview June 11

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Food Truck movieFirst came the Food Network. Then a race across the country with trucks and even a glossy Hollywood movie featuring a food truck that never broke down. But in all of that, did anyone tell the full story about street food both in Portland and beyond? Not until now. The feature-length documentary, Food Truck: The Movie, will make its World Premiere in Madrid, Spain in July. You get to see it before the Spaniards on June 11.

Documentary filmmaker and Lewis and Clark College Professor Bryan Sebok will present a sneak preview of his film Food Truck: The Movie during a fundraiser event at Rose City Food Park at 5235 NE Sandy Blvd., on June 11. The event will run from 8-11 pm. Live music will begin at 8, followed by the screening at dusk. Q and A with the filmmakers will follow the screening.

Food Truck: The Movie is a deep dive into the global food truck phenomenon through the successes and challenges of the mobile food mecca that is Portland, Oregon. On city streets on every continent, aspiring chefs, entrepreneurs, and immigrants intermingle in the mobile food community. A two billion dollar industry thrives in North America. Yet the significance of street eats is broader. Food Truck: The Movie follows a filmmaker’s immersion as he traces the roots of the scene and its impacts on city life while attempting to eat at a different food truck everyday for a year.

The director, Bryan Sebok is the real deal. When I met up with him for an interview, he had eaten at 30+ vendors. A few months later, over 200. A trooper who has the chops to put together this documentary.

Come on down to Rose City Food Park on June 11 to see the film and enjoy some of the varied offerings at the food cart lot. They have beer and wine available also. See ya there.

Food Truck: The Movie Fundraiser
June 11, 8pm
Rose City Food Park, SE 52nd and Sandy

For more information about the event or if you’re interested in being a sponsor, contact Bryan at bryansebok@gmail.com.

Churros Locos to World Street Food Congress 2016

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world street food congressFood Carts Portland is proud and excited to announce that Brett Burmeister, owner and editor of the website, is heading to Manila, Philippines along with one of Portland’s food carts to attend the World Street Food Congress from April 20- April 24, 2016.

Brett will represent Food Carts Portland. Brett will join Portland food cart owners Daniel Huerta and Isabel Sanchez-Huerta from local favorite Churros Locos to showcase Portland’s thriving street food scene, including providing handcrafted treats to over 100,000 attendees. Portland will be in good company, alongside 30 mobile food vendors from places as diverse as Europe, Asia, Central America and beyond.

If you’re a regular reader of Food Carts Portland, you know Brett has been writing about Portland’s street food scene since 2008. He will speak at the Congress as part of their World Street Food Dialogue April 20-21. Brett’s presentation on the Portland street food model highlights how the City of Portland and Multnomah County have supported mobile food vendors to create vibrant community spaces while at the same time supporting the growth of small, local food businesses.

world street food congress

Churros Locos

The attending Portland food cart will be part of a 5-day street food jamboree in Bonifacio Global City in Manila with street food vendors from around the world. Churros Locos will showcase their specialty, the Churro Sundae while utilizing local ingredients. The World Street Food Congress organizer, KF Seetoh and his team have visited Portland in the past and know the city’s reputation.

About the World Street Food Congress:

The World Street Food Congress (WSFC)  is the first of its kind  to connect and open up fresh ideas and thought leadership in the massive, and growing street food culture and industry throughout the world. It also celebrates and showcases this well loved gastro-culture through a five-day celebration of street food. According to founder K.F. Seetoh, the goals of the WSFC are to “preserve, professionalize and create new possibilities for the world’s greatest culinary phenomena – comfort and street food culture.”

The World Street Food Congress takes place April 20-24 in Manila, Philippines. More details about the event can be found at www.wsfcongress.com.

We wish Portland’s Food Carts a Bon Voyage, and expect on-the-ground updates from Brett and Food Carts Portland and Daniel and Isabel from Churros Locos throughout the event.

Food Cart Pods and News

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News from the food cart world for this February

food cart news

Bites on Belmont

Bites on Belmont opened in January, providing a space for a few of the displaced vendors from Good Food Here which closed in December. Located across the street from the former pod, vendors include Fishbox, Viking Soul Food, Herb’s Mac & Cheese, Hindsight Tap Cart, Aybla Mediterranean, Brazilian House, Kind Coffee and Pablano Pepper Mexican. Pod is open daily and offers covered seating. SE 43rd and Belmont.

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In January, Green Zebra announced their plans for their SE Division location. The developer they partner with has acquired the property next to the building where A la Carts Food Pavilion is located. This week, the owners of A la Carts announced the lot would close at the end of May. Vendors have already found new homes – La Arepa Venezuelan, Pop’s Smokin’ It and Istanbul Delight have moved to Rose City Food Park in NE and TeePee’s Indian Frybread has moved to Beaverton. Second Son Kimbop is opening a space in Oregon City. We’ll keep you posted on where the other vendors end up.

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Pulehu Pizza has taken over the kitchen at The Lumberyard out of NE 82nd. If you don’t know the Lumberyard, it is an indoor BMX track for kids of all ages. Pretty cool. Annebelle and Pierre took over the restaurant and bar with their signature pizza along with beer, wine and cocktails. Kid friendly of course. Pulehu Pizza at The Lumberyard.

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Carte Blanche, one of Portland’s gems, closed in January. The cart was just getting to small for their needs and they are moving towards opening up a restaurant in the near future.

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Churros Locos, Portland’s best mobile churro vendor, will be returning the the 2016 World Street Food Congress in April. This year, the congress takes place in Manila, Philippines April 20-24. A street food jamboree with vendors from all over the globe will showcase Churros Loco’s amazing treats. World Street Food Congress.

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food cart news

Jook Bowl from Jook Joint

Newest food cart find – Jook Joint – on SW 10th and Washington. Offering up Asian Fusion cuisine, I enjoyed a porridge like dish made of chicken and rice and topped with slow smoked beef brisket. You’re welcome.

Portland’s Downtown Food Cart Pods To Close

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Today, The Oregonian reported that the Goodman Family has announced one of their most ambitious projects for downtown Portland. The  Ankeny Blocks will comprise of 11 new towers in and around Burnside to Washington from 6th to the waterfront. 11 towers! Let that sink in for a minute. Where will they all go?

If you don’t know the Goodman family, over the last century they accumulated a vast portfolio of downtown real estate in the form of surface parking lots and built a parking empire named City Center Parking. The land is owned by the family and others, but the parking management company was sold to a Canadian firm a few years ago. The Goodmans now will affect significant change both to the Portland skyline and to the density of downtown. And that means 60-70 food cart vendors will need to find new homes.

Portland Food Carts

5th and Stark Food Cart Pod

The food cart lots at SW 5th and Stark (Portland’s oldest and original food cart pod,) SW 3rd and Washington and SW 2nd and Stark will be no more. The development calls for those lots to become mixed use buildings. It was inevitable in the era of ever increasing development and evolution of this city we call home, I just wasn’t prepared to read on a Saturday morning that 1/2 of the food cart pods in downtown Portland will see their demise sooner than later.

Now I have a call to action. Portland is unique with street food in this country. Most every other city has food trucks who move about in and out of the city center, park and serve their patrons. Portland doesn’t due to an outdated “no business in the right of way” law enforced by Portland Bureau of Transportation. In cities like Boston, Washington DC and Seattle, parking zones in the city center are identified where food trucks are allowed to park and sell for a set amount of hours. If the food cart vendors in downtown Portland want to continue serving the downtown crowd, laws need to be changed. Food cart owners need to come together and get in front of City Council and let them know that Portland street food scene is part of the city fabric. Every city has it, so as we develop, we need to find a way to keep it.

If there are any vendors who want to lead this charge, contact me, Brett Burmeister, and I will help you identify the city codes that need to be discussed and who to talk with.

In the past 3 months, 2 food cart pods have closed as a result of development and 1 more will close soon. While these are on the east side and other food cart pods have opened, it is disturbing to see so many vendors displaced all at once. Portland’s street food scene is now going to experience a change that may portend a sad future for the vendors, employees and eaters. Hopefully, our city leaders can see the value in small business and adjust accordingly.

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