The Future of Downtown Food Carts – Portland City Council – Oct 31

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What: “The Culinary Corridor” — a plan to save downtown’s threatened food carts
When: Wednesday, Oct 31, 9:30 am
Where: Portland City Hall

Downtown food carts were born of the Great Recession. Multiplying across the city’s surface parking lots, they have collectively grown into one of Portland’s great, grassroots success stories. They have fostered, economic opportunities, culinary experimentation, cultural diversity, tourism, and tasty, inexpensive food.

But, soon, downtown’s most iconic food cart “pod”—the full block at SW 10th and Alder, known as Block 216—will be replaced with mixed-use hotel/condo, Portland’s fourth tallest building. The pod’s 55 food carts are poised to be lost next year.
Development of surface parking lots is inevitable. Downtown food carts are endangered species. Portland needs to step up and help them.
In three, back-to-back “communications” to Portland City Council Wednesday, 9:30 am, a trio of food cart advocates will present a concept: “The Culinary Corridor.”
The Culinary Corridor is an anti-business displacement plan. But it’s also a bold urban design move to create an exciting festival street linking downtown’s hippest shopping district, the West End, with the Cultural District. It will re-energize a moribund downtown street with culturally diverse, inexpensive food. It will be a tourist magnet for visitors looking for an authentic Portland experience.
The Culinary Corridor will be the kind of simple, bold, thrifty innovation Portland has long been known for.
 
Come hear our presentation!
Brett Burmeister started FoodCartsPortland.com in 2008. He is Portland’s leading food-cart tour guide and a fierce advocate for their continued health and diversity.
Daniel Huerta started Churros Locos in 2013 after being laid off. He now has two food truck and a catering business. The World Street Food Congress named Churros Locos to the “Top 50 World Street Food Masters.”
Randy Gragg is a longtime Portland writer and urban design advocate. He has been outspoken about food carts since 2009 when he gave a lecture to the Urban Land Institute on them being “the most important new development in downtown.”
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Summer Food Cart News – 4 New Pods

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Some exciting news to report for all you Food Cart Fans:

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You may not know this, but Mississippi Marketplace on N Mississippi and Skidmore is now PROST! Marketplace. The owners of PROST!, the German pub at the lot, purchased the entire space earlier this year and have been making some excellent changes. New vendors include Caspian Kabob Persian, Matt’s BBQ and Little Conejo. The owners of PROST! have also opened two additional carts – BloodBuzz, an option for morning cocktails and coffee; and BreadBox, a breakfast and lunch sandwich cart. With these changes, you can move about most of the lot with a beer or cocktail and grab a seat and enjoy some tasty vittles. PROST! Marketplace is open daily with some vendors opening for breakfast.

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Baerlic Brewing has expanded to NE Portland with a cool new tasting room and food cart pod. The Halsey Beer Hall at the Barley Pod is located at NE 60th and Halsey and hosts eight vendors including Hapa PDX (Ramen), Namu (Korean/Hawaiian), Bam Pow! Burgers, Bing Mi (Chinese crepes) and Smakken Waffle Sandwiches (Dutch-style waffles). Grab a beer and enjoy some great food from some of Portland’s best vendors. Kid friendly and open daily.

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The Village at St. Johns is yet another new food cart pod located at N Chicago and Ivanhoe in St. Johns. Vendors include Fishbox, Highsight Beer Cart, Taste of Casablanca (Moroccan), Sila Thai and Uncle Tsang’s Vegetarian Kitchen. There are so many exciting things happening in St. Johns, go visit.

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BG’s Food Cartel is the newest and largest pod in Beaverton. The owners created a prime food cart location with seating, an event space and a lawn for picnics. 21 vendors featuring Thai, Chicken Wings, Mediterranean, Argentinean, German, Chinese, Italian, Guamanian and more. The lot sports the Speakeasy Bar and indoor and outdoor seating. Located at 4250 SW Rose Biggi Ave, the lot is open daily.

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With all the new lots and changes on the east side, there is change afoot in downtown. At the intersections of SW 10th and Alder there are 60 food carts who will be looking for a new home in the near future. Developers have submitted plans for hotels on both lots that currently house these vendors. If you have a favorite, go visit this summer and support them.

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Happy Summer. Enjoy the carts.

Anthony Bourdain

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Today we learn of Anthony Bourdain’s death at 61. For many in the food industry and beyond, Bourdain has been a force of good for decades, telling us stories from around the globe and showing everyone that food is an adventure beyond the plate. Tony was an advocate for street food. He was integral in the launch of the World Street Food Congress in Singapore, an event that promotes and professionalizes street food. It’s a sad day for all.

Food can be a difficult world for all involved. Hard days and difficult nights. If you or someone you know needs help, 1-800-273-TALK is just a moment away. There is also a crisis text line. For crisis support in Spanish, call 1-888-628-9454. The lines are staffed by a mix of paid professionals and unpaid volunteers trained in crisis and suicide intervention. The confidential environment, the 24-hour accessibility, a caller’s ability to hang up at any time and the person-centered care have helped its success, advocates say.

The International Association for Suicide Prevention and Befrienders Worldwide also provide contact information for crisis centers around the world.

Rest in Peace Anthony Bourdain. We’ll always have your stories.

Pioneer Courthouse Square Food Cart Lot

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pioneer courthouse square food carts

Pioneer Courthouse Square Food Carts in Portland

Portland’s living room now has permanent food carts. As part of the year long renovation of the park in 2016-17, the city decided to create a more active space for street food vendors and attract some rock stars. Prior to the construction, the carts at the square were open-air and had to move any time the square was used for large events. In the new model, three full size food carts have been placed up by Broadway with a fourth vendor (an original) is parked down off Yamhill where they’ve been for years.

The new vendors are some of Portland’s most famous and well known –

Burger Stevens – opened in Hillsdale a few years ago, this cart brought back the simple cheeseburger and does it well. Get it with two patties event and you’re still getting a deal at $9 for all the fixin’s.

pioneer courthouse square food carts

Burger Stevens Double Cheeseburger

The Whole Bowl – After more than a decade and eight locations, including two restaurants and outposts in Cinicnatti, The Whole Bowl is now bringing their signature dish to the square. Just the one bowl has made them famous world wide.

Fried Egg I’m In Love – Fried egg sandwiches were never the same in Portland once Fried Egg I’m In Love opened a few years back on SE Hawthorne. The Yolko Ono says it all – Fried egg, homemade pesto, parmesan, and a hand-pressed house sausage patty.

Steak’s Fifth Avenue – aka Philly Cheesesteaks and Burgers – The last of the original vendors who returned after construction has been around more than a decade feeding Portland some of the best Philly Cheesesteaks in downtown.

According to sources, more vendors are in store, but I kinda like the look and feel of the four currently there along with the large covered seating area above the KGW studios. Come summer, I hope these guys can handle the masses.

pioneer courthouse square food carts

Pioneer Courthouse Square Food Carts

Pioneer Courthouse Square is located in the center of downtown Portland at the cross streets of SW Broadway, Yamhill, 6th Ave and Morrison. Check Vendor links for menus and hours.

January Food Cart News

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Winter in Portland can be challenging for food carts, but event in the cool weather, Portland’s street food vendors are making it rain. Pun intended. Here’s some news to chew on:

 

The Oregonian/Oregonlive brings Portland Dumpling Week February 4-10 with 30 purveyors slinging dough wrapped delights. One of my favorite food carts, Mama Chow’s will participate again this year with Pork & Shrimp Dumplings pan seared with a spicy tangy dipping sauce on a bed of Organic Greens. Mama Chow’s is located downtown at SW 2nd and Stark. More details and a dumpling passport can be found here.

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We’ve all heard the news and see the changes Portland is experiencing with growth and development. Over the past year, a number of food cart pods have closed, mostly on the east side closer in. Now, with an impending Hotel Development, the food cart pod at SW 10th and Alder west of 10th will probably close in the near future. This affects Savor Soup House, The Dump Truck, Korean Twist, Caspian Kabob and Nong’s Khao Man Gai. Nong’s announced last week they are moving into a new restaurant space at 417 SW 13th, just a couple blocks from their original locale. While some have reported they are closing the original cart, Nong’s has stated they will stay open until the cart is “kicked out.” Their location at PSU on SW 4th avenue will remain open. Keep track of opens and closings on Nong’s Facebook.

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Food carts are coming to your neighborhood too! A few new food cart pods have shown up or are coming soon:

    • The Lot @ Scout – SE 50th and Division – food carts from Tidbit moved down Division and have opened at Scout Beer’s new location. Namu, Garden Monsters, Smaaken Waffles and more. Taproom coming soon.
    • Food Cart Heaven – NE 157th and Glisan – 6 food trucks featuring coffee, Mexican, Salvadoran and indoor seating
    • Level Brewing – NE 148th and Airport Way – Brewery and Taproom featuring 2 food carts, indoor seating and beer.

The Parmacy at Growler’s

  • Growler’s Taproom – SE 34th and Hawthorne – 2 food carts including re-located The Parmacy, indoor and outdoor seating
  • Cully Central – 4579 NE Cully Blvd – Coming soon. An indoor bar/taproom with food carts outside.
  • BG’s Food Cartel – In the Round in Beaverton – 30 food carts, a bar and taproom, indoor/outdoor seating and an event space. Wow! Soft opening Feb 2.
  • fopo Food Carts – SE 72nd and Foster – 10 plus carts – coming soon.

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Keep on exploring the amazing street food out there and thank you for your continued support of Portland’s street food scene.

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