Summer Food Cart News

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Portland in summer is always a time to be out and about checking out the latest street food. Here are some updates:

Mississippi Marketplace sold. Dan Hart and his partner in PROST! have purchased the building and property that houses the bar and the food cart lot. Pretty exciting news. If you’ve never been, you should check it out. Mississippi Marketplace opened in 2009, a brand new concept for street food in Portland. While there have always been food cart pods, most were grab and go, whereas, Miss Marketplace offered seating and cover. With PROST now owning the entire lot, I expect some wonderful changes. Can you spell Beer Garden? Mississippi Marketplace is located at N Mississippi and Skidmore and hosts 10 vendors.

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Kingsland Kitchen opening restaurant. Popular downtown cart Kingsland Kitchen announced in July they will close their cart on SW 5th and Oak. They will be opening their restaurant on SW 3rd and Pine soon. Owner’s Chris and Holli Payne will offer breakfast, lunch and dinner at the new location which will open in September.

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The food cart pod on the NW corner of 15th and Alberta will close at the end of summer. Vendors DesiPDX, Gumba, Le-Tap and Bibingka are actively trying to find a new home. Its hard to move a cart and start a new location, especially when winter is coming, so drop on by and show them some love. The lot will close on September 1.

The Gantry on South Waterfront is also closing at the end of August.

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bubble waffles

Bubble Waffles

Bubble Waffles. Usually when new street food comes to town, one vendor hits the ground running and, BOOM! they own the cuisine. This summer’s newest treat is Bubble Waffle cones. Puffle Waffle opened in May in Happy Valley and Fooshion opened in July downtown at SW 9th and Washington. Both use a waffle maker to create a unique bubbly waffle then fill it with ice cream and toppings. Mine had Pocky! So great to have a dessert vendor back in downtown.

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A couple of nasty fires have occurred in Portland, displacing some excellent restaurants. Earlier this year, a fire at Tails and Trotters and neighbors The Pie Spot closed both locations while they rebuild. Lucky for them, there was space to drop in a food cart, so both businesses are open now in the cart at 511 NE 24th. The Pie Spot is in the cart on Sundays and Mondays and Tails and Trotters the rest of the week.

Big’s Chicken closed after a fire tore through their new digs on NE Glisan. Having only been open a few months, it is a tragic blow. Yet, they too have bounced back with a pop up food cart in the parking lot of Laurelhurst Market. Good luck to all.

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With the weather warming up, please take note that some vendors will close due to the excessive heat. When it is 95 outside, it is 130 inside the metal box and equipment starts to fail. Just return the next day and all will be well.

Happy Summer

Food Cart News May 2017

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Some tidbits of news for your Food Cart Fans:

Hotel to replace food carts. It was announced on Monday that developers have submitted preliminary plans to build a hotel on the lot at SW 10th and Alder where 12 food carts currently call home. Affected vendors include Nong’s Khao Man Gai, Savor Soup House, Caspian Kabob, The Dump Truck, Ole Latte and more. Some of these vendors have called the lot home now for over 8 years. According to the Willamette Week, any movement won’t be for at least a year, but mind you, vendors won’t want to be left hanging, so you may see changes on that lot sooner than later.

We reported in 2016 that the Goodman family, one of the largest property owners in downtown, had submitted proposals to develop a number of lots which includes the food cart lots we’ve grown to love over the last 30 years. Good luck to all.

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Milwaukie has embraced food carts. The City of Milwaukie will open their own food cart pod on a parcel of land next to the downtown MAX Orange Line at the Milwaukie/Main St station at 11301 SE 21st Avenue. With spots for more than 10 vendors, if you’re looking, you may want to look south. More information can be found at their website. They look to open in May.

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Have you had a Schnitzelwich? One Pound of Pure Joy? Well, if you haven’t, you should visit Tabor soon for your fix. Tabor has been a mainstay of Czech cuisine at the SW 5th and Stark food cart pod for 10+ years. I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Karel and Monica over the years and having them not there as I walk by will be different. They will be serving up their signature sandwich through the end of June. Fear not, in their announcement, they stated the Schnitzelwich will never die, so watch for future endeavors.
Tabor Schnitzelwich - 1

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The Racist Sandwich Podcast visited “Shawarma Square” and live to tell about it. Over the last few years, downtown Portland has seen almost a 100% increase on the number of vendors offering Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine. There are gyros on every corner. Writer Zahir Janmohamed visited the lot at SW 10th and Alder (the entire city block pod) and wrote about the different options for Shawarma. Take a gander.

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The Portland Food Hall has opened. Located at 827 SW 2nd ave, the food hall offers up cuisines from some of Portland’s favorite food carts, but inside. Vendors include Moberi juice and smoothies, Casa coffee, The Whole Bowl, Aiko Ramen (from the Hapa Ramen team,) Boke Dokie and Minibar. Another great option for eating in downtown. Congratulations to the food cart vendors on opening brick and mortar locations.

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Spring finally arrives today with some warm weather. Food carts are the smallest of small businesses, so if you’re itching to enjoy the sun, drop on by one of the many pods throughout the city and enjoy some amazing street food. Thank you for your continued support of Portland’s ever evolving food cart scene.

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.

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