JuJu

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JuJu Food Cart

JuJu Food Cart

CLOSED

Location: SW 10th and Washington
Hours: Mon-Fri, 11-3:30pm

The Story: Ever wonder how one cart competes against another when ostensibly they have similar menu items? I personally thing it comes down to the quality of what is served and a smile. A JuJu, a new food cart in the Alder Pod, they have both in abundance.

Ever since they opened a couple of months ago, every time I walk by, smiling faces are leaning out the window. Even on those wet spring days when the crowds were thin – smiles. Initially, the cart launched doing different styles of tacos, but as it has gained a following, they have expanded the menu to include quesadillas, hot dogs and salads. Yes, hot dogs. Just six months ago, one couldn’t find a simple hot dog downtown, but now, JuJu has you covered. Kids love ‘em. The tacos are where I’m at. 1 taco can sate me all day during the summer months. While I’m a fan of tradition, I’m open to new flavors and styles. JuJu offers chicken, beef and tofu, yet also ventures out with fish, chicken katsu and shrimp tempura. I’ve tried both the fish and shrimp tempura and both delighted my taste buds. The crunch of the shrimp tempura mixed with coolness of fresh chopped cabbage, onion, tomato and carrot all mixed with their special sauce – a tasty treat.

Shrimp Tempura Taco from JuJu

Shrimp Tempura Taco from JuJu

JuJu is the bright red cart located on Washington St just west of 10th. Drop on by next time you’re looking for something refreshing and new and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Tacos – chicken, beef, tofu, $3; fish, chicken katsu or shrimp tempura – $3.50
  • JuJu 1/4 lb dog – $5.50
  • Quesadillas with your choice of fillings and protein – $6-7
  • Create your own salad – $5.50-7

Captain Dillie’s Starlite Coach

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Captain Dillie's Starlite Coach

Captain Dillie’s Starlite Coach

closed

Location: NE 52nd and Sandy, Rose City Food Park
Hours: Mon-Tues, 11:30-6pm; Thurs, 11:30-6pm, Fri-Sat, 11:30am-7:30pm; Sun, 11:30-6pm

The Story: Find a vintage panel van, create a unique name and put together a great menu and you got a food truck. Captain Dillie’s Starlike Coach did just that and opened earlier this year at Rose City Food Park offering their version of comfort food.

Captain Dillie’s is the work of Kelsey Olsberg and Dylan Register – aka Captain Dillie, who wanted to get into the food cart scene and have some fun with it. The truck, a vintage, almost ‘Jeepers Creepers’ panel van named Gertrude was sourced, cleaned up and outfitted as a kitchen and then painted aquamarine, the perfect vintage color to go with the theme. They even had one of their friends pose with a captain’s hat for the logo. The goal of the truck is to offer items that remind one of home – comfort food – simple, yet flavorful and well prepared. Every day they offer up something new so regulars don’t get bored. Not a bad idea.

Chicken Salad Sandwich from Captain Dillie’s

The sunny day I visited, a few different sandwiches were offered – ham and swiss, pulled pork, chicken mango chutney and more. They even have a grilled mac ‘n’ cheese sammy. Hmmm. I opted for the chicken salad with arugula on a croissant. A well made chicken salad sandwich will bring me back to any establishment and Captain Dillie’s didn’t disappoint. The croissant –  light and fluffy; the chicken salad – full of herb flavor which paired well with the bitter arugula. I’ll be back for sure.

Captain Dillie’s is one of the newest vendors at Rose City which has moved things around and expanded their beer garden which is now open daily for lunch and dinner. Dillies is open every day for lunch and dinner except for Wednesdays. Everyone needs at least one day off. Drop on by for an enjoyable meal and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu: (changes regularly)

  • Chicken Salad Sandwich – $5
  • Ham & Swiss hot or cold – $4
  • Grilled Mac ‘n’ Cheese  Sandwich – $4
  • Mac ‘n’ Cheese – $2
  • Banana Pudding – $2

Website: CaptainDilliesStarliteCoach.com
Facebook: Captain Dillies Starlite Coach

Sabrosa Barbosa

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Sabrosa Barbosa

Sabrosa Barbosa

CLOSED

Location: SW 9th and Alder
Hours: Monday-Saturday, lunchtime

The Story: To make a truly excellent green chile dish, roasting the chiles is paramount. At Sabrosa Barbosa, owner Cyl hand-roasts pounds of chiles in a cast iron skillet every night. That attention to detail is what garners this new food cart a gold star.

Sabrosa Barbosa opened late last year with a bright red paintjob and bold signs at the ever popular Alder food cart pod. Cyl, chef and owner is originally from LA where she, like many of us in the street food biz, worked 20 years in a different career. It wasn’t until the last few years that she began dabbling and experimenting in the kitchen when her friends and family recognized she had a hidden talent. No formal training, just late nights and attention to the right ingredients and experimentation has led Cyl to open her cart for us Portlanders to enjoy. Most of her dishes are prepared a full 24hrs in advance so flavors can mature and infuse. A celebration of Mexican cuisine made with love.

Pork Chile Bowl from Sabrosa Barbosa

Pork Chile Bowl from Sabrosa Barbosa

The menu at Sabrosa Barbosa offers up dinner plates, bowls, quesadillas and even nachos. The mole is made with molasses and honey, no refined sugars here. Cyl uses Peruvian beans with their mild sweetness and thin skins – the longer you cook, the more buttery they become. The Pork Green Chile Bowl is a treat for anyone looking for a spicy dish. And not just for heat sake, Cyl utilizes both jalapeño and serrano peppers to yield a fruity, smoky and spicy effect. Served over spanish rice, this bowl may compete with the others available on the lot for flavor and excitement.

Sabrosa Barbosa is the newest player on the lot. While some may see their cuisine as similar to other vendors, that is the magic of street food. Everyone does it different and Cyl is no slouch when it comes to flavor. The food cart is just one step in her journey to bring passion for cooking to the masses. Keep an eye out for this one. Drop on by next time you’re up that way and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Chicken Mole Dinner – Peruvian beans, Spanish Rice and tortillas – $8.75
  • Green Chile Dinner – pork or chicken – $8.75
  • Quesadilla Dinner – tortillas, sliced avocado, tomato and cilantro, spicy house crema, peruvian beans, spanish rice – $7.50
  • Chicken Mole Bowl – served over Peruvian beans and Spanish rice- $5.75
  • Fresh Peruvian Bean Bowl – Peruvian beans topped with fresh onion, tomato, cilantro, diced avocado, fresh feta cheese – $4.50

Facebook: Sabrosa Barbosa
Phone: (503) 278-5606

EthelKays Grilled Cheese & Lemonade

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EthyKays Grilled Cheese and Lemonade

EthelKays Grilled Cheese and Lemonade

CLOSED

Location: N Williams Ave between Failing and Shaver
Hours: Wednesday-Saturday, 9am-5pm

The Story: A simple grilled cheese sandwich is a treat for anyone, young or old. Melty is the word I’m thinking of. EthelKays Grilled Cheese and Lemonade is the newest food cart in town serving up delightful little morsels of cheese and bread.

Julie McBee opened the EthelKays food cart in 2013 in the Cully district in NE Portland after many years working in the service industry and restaurants. She always knew she wanted her own business and used the different positions to educate herself in cooking and managing a business. Before the cart was launched, Julie and her former partner had a stand at the Woodstock Farmers Market selling lemonade and grilled cheese – that business is still there named Urban Cheese. Julie moved on, opening the cart and then after a year in NE, moved to N Williams avenue, posting up next to Lodekka and the Hopworks Bike Bar. A prime location for any vendor.

The Tuscan from EthylKays

The Tuscan from EthelKays

EthelKay’s Grilled Cheese and Lemonade focuses on just that – cheese and lemons. Yet, with an extra bit of love. On the menu, you’ll find hot gooey grilled cheese sandwiches made with everything from cheddar to bacon to avocado to fruit and veggie chips. Think of it and she probably has it. Being a fan of tomatoes, basil and balsamic, I chose the Tuscan with buffalo Mozzarella, tomatoes, basil, balsamic and olive oil grilled between two slices of a bolo roll. Toasted just right, the Mozzarella doesn’t get really melty, but the flavors all infuse creating what I refer to as a reverse Margherita pizza. Every chomp –  balsamic and oil blended with tomato juices dripped down my chin. I didn’t mind a bit. A great choice of bread made it even better than expected.

Julie has a great little cart with an amazing menu. Her lemonade is made fresh with wedges of lemon to make it extra tangy. I can’t wait till summer when I can sit on the curb, enjoy one and people watch. Drop on by next time you’re in the neighborhood and let Julie know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Ruthie – como bread, cheddar, sharp cheddar and havartti – $5
  • Pappy – como bread, chaddar, sharp cheddar, havartti, bacon and tomato – $7
  • French Connection – bolo roll, brie, pear, arugula, balsamic, olive oil – $6.50
  • Tuscan – $6
  • Monte Cristo – como bread, swiss, gruyere, black forest ham, dijon, blackberry jam, dipped in egg, grilled and dusted with powdered sugar – $7.50
  • Soups – $3
  • Spicy Peanut Noodles – noodles, cabbage, carrots, broccoli, peapods, peanuts, asian pepper sauce – $4
  • Lemonade – $3
  • Raspberry Lemonade – $3.50

Website: EthelKaysGrilledCheese.com
Facebook: EthelKays Grilled Cheese
Twitter: @EthelKaysCheese

Tastebud Bagels

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Tastebud Bagels

Tastebud Bagels

Cart Closed. Tastebud is opening a restaurant.

Location: SW 10th and Alder
Hours: Daily, including weekends, 7am-2pm

The Story: If you’ve been to a farmers market in Portland, you’ve seen Tastebud and maybe enjoyed their wood fired pizza. Tastebud defined itself by being there for patrons rain or shine with a hot oven and wicked delicious fresh to order ‘za. Now, for the culinary enjoyment of downtowners, Tastebud Bagels brings the goods to SW 10th and Alder.

Everything Bagel with lox from Tastebud

Everything Bagel with lox from Tastebud

Tastebud started as a small farm and CSA many years ago, so has deep roots in the community at large. In a partnership with the Portland Farmers Market, they built the wood fired oven and started feeding market goers pizza. They eventually sold the farm and have been focusing on catering and events ever since. In the past few years,  some have commented about Portland’s bagel wars. I chuckle at that, since for us eaters, we continue to be offered new and exciting options no matter who bakes. Tastebud is known for the Montreal style bagel – rustic, hand formed and wood fired. Boiling them in malt water adds to the flavor. One can enjoy a Tastebud bagel on its own they are that good. Or, try one of their sandwiches. An everything bagel lightly toasted with dill cream cheese, capers, thinly sliced onion, lox and topped with pickle slices. I’ve enjoyed lox and cream cheese before, yet the pickles were an added bonus and provided another layer of salty briny goodness. Served open-faced, the portions were spot on so with each bite, I didn’t have something squirting out the side or spilling. A well made bagel and superb toppings made for a memorable breakfast.

Tastebud bagels offers a number of different flavors including everything, salt, plain, poppyseed and a couple of new ones for me – black pepper or leak. I’m truly excited to try those some day soon. Tastebud bagels can be bought in bulk and saved for a few days, but they recommend eating them fresh. At the cart, they ask you to “put the bagel in mouth for safekeeping.” Love it! Open early every day of the week, so grab some before going to work. Let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Bagels – $1.25 each or $13.75 a dozen
  • Bagel with cream cheese – $3
  • Bagel with hummus and radish  -$4
  • Bagel with goat cheese and autumn slaw – $6
  • Bagel with bacon, jam, cream cheese and arugula – $5.50
  • Bagel with lox etc – $8

Website: Tastebudfarm.com
Facebook: TastebudPDX

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