We’ve been hearing scuttlebutt about a new food cart pod down at South Waterfront at the base of the tram. I’ve spoken with a few vendors who are moving there, but the plans weren’t final. Today, Garden Monsters announced they would be closing their cart on NE Alberta in order to move to The Gantry at Zidell Yards. The pod’s name is official. A quick search and they have a Twitter account – @TheGantryZidell. Other vendors who have announced they are moving include Neue Southern, Ash Wood Fired and Scout Beer Garden. The pod will be situated just north of the base of the tram in front of Zidell marine. I can’t wait to hang out under the Ross Island bridge watching the hustle and bustle of trams and MAX and hearing the sounds of ship building a few feet away. According to reports, they are looking at a mid-July open. We’ll keep you posted.
The West Side has a food cart pod. You’re surprised as I am, I know. Some elected officials in municipalities west of Portland don’t necessarily care for food carts or trucks, but it appears Aloha is not one of them. The Eating Place at Aloha Mall came together over the past month and features seven vendors and covered seating. Aloha Mall is located at the corner of SW 185th and TV Highway. The food cart lot takes over a portion of the underutilized parking space behind the mall.
The Eating Place at Aloha Mall features the following vendors:
- Batter Up Waffles – waffle sandwiches
- Mexico Lindo
- Frosty Ribbons – Hawaiian Shave Ice
- Yummy Bubble Tea
- Diva Dogs
- Master Taco
There are a few covered seating areas to get out of the sun and the lot is celebrating their grand opening the weekend of June 27-28. The vendors will offer free samples and giveaways along with activities and even super heroes. More details on the Grand Opening.
Congratulation Aloha for embracing food cart pods. If you live or work out that way, drop on by and see what they’ve created.
The Eating Place at Aloha Mall
Facebook – The Eating Place
18631 TV HWY, Behind Little Caesars
Remember PARKing day? When groups of people would gather early in the morning and stake out parking spots throughout cities and turn them into makeshift parks for the day? Such a cool concept. Yet, these days, in Portland, you find the parking areas throughout the city re-purposed for bike racks or restaurant seating. PSU, though, went all out and created a parklet at the food cart pod on SW 4th between Hall and College. Now you can sit and enjoy your Khao Man Gai while enjoying the hustle and bustle of the city.
The area around the PSU Pod is ever changing with a mix of residential, city services and office space. The pod attracts both students, contractors who are awaiting permitting meetings across the street and office workers from neighboring businesses. Any given day, the sidewalk in front of the carts is crowded with eager and hungry eaters, yet historically, there wasn’t anywhere to sit. The parklet came about from a partnership between the SoMa (South of Market) EcoDistrict, Portland State University’s School of Architecture, Sustainability Neighborhoods Initiative and the Institute for Sustainable Solutions. Other partners included Oregon Pacific Investment and Development, CH2M/Hill, Sustainable Northwest Wood and Green Hammer. The community was also integral in making this happen, helping the group raise $15,000 to pay for materials and other expenses.
The parklet was born out of a design studio course in the School of Architecture in fall 2013, taught by Assistant Professor B.d. Wortham-Galvin. A team of students and partners then presented their design to the city and the project moved forward with completion in spring of 2015. While many will bemoan the loss of a few parking spaces, I find these parklets to be welcoming and a fresh approach to streetscaping.
The SoMa Parklet took over parking at the corner of SW 4th and College right in front of the food carts. Benches and varied height tables offer a respite from the concrete curb often used by eaters. So cool. Now we just need a few at 10th and Alder.
Congrats to the SoMa Ecodistrict and the students and faculty at Portland State University for bringing this to fruition.
More details about the parklet can be found here.
Portland is seeing a growth in food cart pods along with some remodeling of old ones. Here’s the latest:
Los Gorditos now calls The Wet Hen Carwash home after they left their long time spot on 50th and Division. The new lot, on SE 50th, just north of Powell blvd, is The Wet Hen Car Wash which has been converted to a welcoming food cart lot. Planters, picnic tables, umbrellas and a couple of carts create a welcoming scene. Los Gorditos is by far the draw here, being one of Portland’s favorites for so many years. The second cart is Beer Box, which has applied for a beer/wine license, so should be open soon. With Carts on Foster just down the street, the corner may become food cart central for the Foster-Powell neighborhood. I love it that Los Gorditos had no qualms about opening right next to Taco Bell and Taco Time.
If you’re a late night food cart enthusiast, you know the best location for fries or a crepe after hours is Cartopia on SE 12th and Hawthorne. One of the first pods on the east side, it has been anchored for years by Potato Champion. I remember the days at 2am enjoying fries with poutine sitting on old stumps around a fire. A lot has changed since the last decade, including some amazing remodeling at the lot. Over winter, the lot went through some construction to bring in natural gas and underground electrical along with installing a new patio with a giant tent. The vendors then moved their carts to encircle the seating area. While not completely finished, the lot now has planters and is totally welcoming. Vendors include Potato Champion, Pyro Pizza, Tahrir Square, El Brasero, PBJ’s Grilled, Perierra Creperie and newbie Chicken and Guns. They do movie nights every Sunday night at dark all summer. Great work guys.
There are now almost 44 food cart lots throughout the city. And more coming soon. You can find an active map of the pods here.
Clackamas County is getting its first food cart pod in the coming months. The Happy Valley Melting Pot will be located at SE 145th and Sunnyside Rd in Happy Valley and is being designed and built to support up to 26 food carts on site. I love it when developers see an opportunity to create vibrant community space and employ street food. A 4000 square foot Pavilion on site, heated year around, will host 3 carts – Beer & Wine, Sweet & Treats, Coffee & Smoothies – along with 23 food carts enclosed in a food cart pod. A 400 square foot kids play area inside the Pavilion will offer children’s & adult games, free Wi-Fi and much more. Enjoy some street food while the kids wear themselves out. The feel of the large garage doors on the Pavilion will make you feel like your in the Pearl District mixed with Bend, Oregon.
Koi Fusion, A Cajun Life, Mojo Crepes, Operation Wings, Esan Thai and Sok Sab Bai are a few of the carts already signed up! Even Krispy Kreme has expressed interest. They are looking for community carts to add a twist to Happy Valley.
From the photos and the design layout, this pod will be a draw, not just for the immediate surrounding community but for Portlanders out for an adventure. The owners are currently soliciting food carts, so if you’re looking for a new home, please contact them at 541-419-7253 and speak with Valerie Hunter. All utilities are part of the infrastructure. No more having to dispose of your grey water offsite. Utilities except electricity included in the rent. Three onsite bathrooms along with a substantial parking lot, the pod is landscaped with ambient lighting and more!
Clackamas County may end up with the nicest food cart pod in the Metro area.
More details about the Happy Valley Melting Pot can be found on their Facebook Page.
Planned Hours of Operation: Monday- Thursday 10-8pm; Friday – Saturday 10-9pm; Sunday 12-5