Brunch Box, Rua and Minizo Closing – Portland Food Cart News

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portland food cart newsUsually, April isn’t the month we hear about closures, but this year, we have a few. April is usually the month for new carts to open and work out the bugs for summer.

Brunch Box announced this week they are being forced to close their food cart. The landlord, City Center Parking, is evicting them due to improper grey water disposal. The story goes deeper than that with a secret video and such, but in the end, the cart is closing. Brunch Box made a name for itself quickly when it opened in 2009 offering hand crafted burgers in a sea of Thai and Mexican on 5th. They expanded to open a restaurant on SW 9th and Alder which simply rocks. Hopefully they can recoup and re-launch a cart, maybe on the east side. The Portland Mercury has the whole story.

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Rua, Jason Meyer’s cart on SW 9th and Washington closed earlier this month. For fans of Jason’s Saigon Fried Chicken or Pork Belly sandwich, don’t fret. Jason is actively working on a restaurant at the Zipper on NE Sandy. All your favorites along with a broader menu will showcase his culinary chops and feed your tastebuds. Watch for an opening later in spring. The cart on Washington will become a new vendor soon.

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Minizo, the pet ramen project of the Shigezo restaurant, announced last week they are closing the cart at the end of the month. Minizo will truly be missed by me since it is in my neighborhood and a go to cart for ramen and noodles. Lucky for me, the restaurant is opening a ramen outpost on NE Russell this year. If you love Minizo, visit soon for that last bowl of Shoyu or Shio Ramen. Mississippi Marketplace on N Skidmore and Mississippi.

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With the closures, opportunities abound. There are currently two carts at the Alder pod on 10th for sale and I’ve heard of others in downtown. If you’re a budding entrepreneur and are interested in owning a food cart, now may be your chance to take the leap.

Eat Mobile 2015 and Food Cart News

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Some tidbits of food cart news for you this first day of April.

eatmobile2015Eat Mobile is going mobile in 2015. Over the years, Eat Mobile has taken place under the Morrison Bridge and over at OMSI, but in 2015, the organizers wanted to shake it up and allow ticket holders to experience Portland’s pods. The event, which takes place the evening of April 29 will take over two food cart pods in SE Portland with shuttle buses transporting attendees back and forth so they can enjoy the different offerings at each. Tickets go on sale April 1 and there are only 400 available, so get them soon. So excited to see the next iteration of one of Portland’s street food festivals. More details at Willamette Week’s Facebook Page.

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downloadThe Portland Mercado celebrates its Grand Opening on April 11, but the food carts on site open on April 1. The Portland Mercado, located on SE 72nd and Foster is a wonderful addition to the SE Portland street food scene. The first Latino Public Market in Portland is a grassroots community development project of Hacienda CDC along with other community partners. Their mission is an economic development project based on Latino cultural heritage that brings together diverse cultures through entertainment, art, and food. As part of the public market, they have brought in a colorful array of food carts which will open April 1 featuring cuisine from Mixteca PDX, Fernando’s, Los Alambres,  5 Volcano’s Pupuseria and more. Indoor vendors will offer shopping. The facility also boasts the Micro Mercantes incubator kitchen and commissary. It has taken a few years to get this project off the ground and I’m eager to experience all that they have to offer. The Portland Mercado is at SE 72nd and Foster.

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Portland has an amazing street food scene. We know that. Did you also know that Portland State University has one of the leading urban development programs in the nation? Every year, city leaders and community development wonks from around the nation come to Portland to learn about how we do things so they can take the lessons learned back to their community. A few years ago, representatives from Waco, Texas were in town and the street food scene blew them away. Within a few months, they had successfully launched a growing food truck scene there and this past weekend hosted their first food truck festival. 20,000 people attended, destroying everyone’s expectations and showcasing how street food is a part of our collective culture. 36 food trucks from around the state including eight from Waco, the event was a huge success. I’m happy to say that Portland’s street food scene played a small part in awakening the food truck scene down in Waco, Texas.

Enjoy April.

Churros Locos Heading to World Street Food Congress

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wsfc2015Food Carts Portland is proud and excited to announce that Brett Burmeister, owner and editor of the website, is heading to Singapore along with one of Portland’s food carts to attend the World Street Food Congress from April 8- April 12, 2015.

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 10,000 attendees. Portland will be in good company, alongside 25 mobile food vendors from places as diverse as Europe, Asia, and beyond.

If you’re a regular reader of this site, 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 8-9. 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.

The attending Portland food cart will be part of a 5-day street food jamboree with street food vendors from around the world. Churros Locos will showcase their specialty, the Churro and Churro Sundae while utilizing local Singaporean 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 ten-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 8-12 in Singapore. More details about the event can be found at www.wsfcongress.com.

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

Cartathlon V – March 1

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willamette_week_logoIt’s time to defy winter weather, race around Portland, and fight for honor, glory, and food cart food! Willamette Week’s Cartathlon V [FIVE] is back March 1. Registration for the competition is now open. Teams of five are welcome, and crazy costumes are encouraged. First place team wins a free food cart tour with Food Carts Portland, valued at $200! Sponsored by AMF Bowl, Naked Grape Wine, Pips and Bounce, humm kombucha and more. Visit wweek.com/cartathlonV.

cartathlon portland

2014 Winters – SoCheese Olympics, Photo by Emma Browne

Details:

Sunday March 1: Registration at noon; Cartathlon starts at 2pm. After party at 6pm.

Registration here.

February Food Cart News – Portland

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Some news from the Cartosphere in Portland.

News broke on Monday morning that the owners of Ren’s Bubble Tea and Chop Chop on SW 10th and Washington were arrested for allegedly purchasing stolen meat. The story has made the rounds on local media including interviews with the owners. KATU has those interviews. The story also details how many other vendors at the Alder pod outright refused to even talk with those trying to sell stolen goods to them. There are always people moving around selling goods that aren’t necessarily on the up and up. It is sad that some vendors felt they needed to save a few bucks while possibly putting their customers at peril.

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gonzo

There are some upcoming cart moves you should know about:

  • Big-Ass Sandwiches is moving from their SE location due to upcoming development and have launched a raffle to raise some funds for the move. Good news is they found a new spot at Carts on Foster on SE 52nd and Foster. The move will take place at the end of the month. More details on the raffle and great prizes can be found here.
  • Gonzo has called Base Camp Brewing home for the last couple years, but is also moving on. They will move to SE 32nd and Hawthorne alongside Fried Egg I’m in Love. The move will take place March 1.
  • Que Sabrosa has moved from N Fremont and Vancouver to 3925 N Williams, just south of Shaver.

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Kevin Cavenaugh and Guerilla Development are opening another branch of micro restaurants just down the street from The Ocean which is home to Slowburger, The Sudra and Uno Mas. The idea of a micro restaurant is to bridge the gap between the cost of a food cart ($20-30,000) and the cost of a full restaurant ($200,000+.) At The Zipper, the goal is to have buildout around $50-70,000. The Zipper is located at NE 28th and Sandy and will be home to multiple new options including Rua, Jason Meyers’ cart from the Alder pod downtown. There will be a bar, a nail salon, pizza and a coffee roaster. Watch for an opening date in April. The Oregonian has a great rundown.

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New vendors out there to feed ya:

  • Hot Box BBQ in Sellwood on SE 13th and Lexington
  • El Fogon Mexican Grill at Cartlandia on SE 82nd and Harney
  • Jada’s Desserts – sandwiches and desserts – Cartlandia
  • Mis Abuelos Barbacoa – Cartlandia
  • Monk’s Sandwiches – SE 43rd and Belmont

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Enjoy the shortest month of the year with visits to food carts every day.

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