Nourishment

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Nourishment

Nourishment

Closed

Location: NE Sandy Blvd between 46th and 47th and the Hollywood Farmers Market

Hours: Tuesday-Friday 7am-noon and weekends at the market

The Story: There are many stories of vendors moving from cart to restaurant or cart to truck, but Nourishment has gone from farmers market to cart and even had a restaurant along the way.

If you’ve ever been to the Hollywood Farmers Market in the last decade, you’ve probably seen the long lines at Nourshiment. Owner and chef Ramona White had a food cart more than 10 years ago, moved to a restaurant, but the market is where they found their niche. Earlier this year though, a beautiful Airstream trailer popped up on NE Sandy around 46th. A bright paint job, cupolas on the top and a wide welcoming service window, it is hard to miss. I asked Daniel, my burrito maker about the cart – it had suffered from a fire that gutted it, so the rebuild (which is stunning) was all done by hand. Wonderful execution.

The Greencard from Nourishment

The Greencard from Nourishment

Since I don’t get to the Hollywood Farmers Market too often, I’m glad the cart is open during the week At Nourishment, they focus on locally sourced fresh ingredients for their breakfast burritos, chilaquiles or bowls. While the lamb chorizo piqued my interst, I decided on the Greencard, a burrito with cheesy-eggs, potatoes, black beans, tomatillo sauce, sour cream and collard greens. Not normally a breakfast burrito fan, this incarnation convinced me I need to revisit that genre. Every bite, juicy and a bit messy, but with the savory flavors from both the beans and the greens, I couldn’t put it down until there was none left. Fresh and well made.

Nourishment is at the Hollywood Farmers Market on the weekends and then the cart is open Tuesday-Friday from 7am-noon. They have meat, vegetarian and vegan options for the burritos and do chilaquiles and bowls as well. For you breakfast fans, you need to get over there and give it a whirl. Let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

All dishes can be burritos, chilaquiles or bowls and come with cheesy-eggs, potatoes, black beans, tomatillo sauce, and sour cream

  • The Standard – nothing else added – $4.75
  • The Mary – + lamb chorizo – $6.25
  • The Greencard – $5.50
  • The Shepard – + lamb chorizo and collards – $6.25
  • The Wilbur – + bacon – $5.75
  • The Green Pig – + bacon and collards – $6.25
  • The Hulk – + bacon, lamb chorizo and collards – $7
  • Vegan – seasoned tofu plus collards – $6.25

 

El Cubano

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El Cubano

El Cubano

CLOSED

Location: SW 3rd and Washington
Hours: Weekdays, lunchtime

The Story: I have always been fascinated by Cuba. Ever since history class in the 8th grade, I’ve wanted to visit. Alas, I haven’t, yet, through street food, I’ve been able to engage with some great people from Cuba and enjoy their cuisine. El Cubano is a new vendor on SW 3rd serving up traditional Cuban dishes and sandwiches.

Arabella and Alain opened El Cubano in August. So far, after a month, they are happy with the customers they are attracting, especially those who are return eaters. Arabella is from Nicaragua and Alain from Cuba. Both were living in Florida before coming to Portland this year. The actual idea for the food cart came from a relative who just didn’t have the time to execute it, but lucky for us, Arabella and Alain did.

Lechon Plate from El Cubano

Lechon Plate from El Cubano

El Cubano brings a large menu of Cuban dishes to downtown Portland. We used to have a couple of other carts offering this cuisine, yet they have since closed as the owners opened a restaurant. What is one to do when you can’t get your tostones or maduros? I was happy to come across El Cubano and picked up a lechon plate with seasoned rice, tostones and a green salad. Lechon is slow roasted pork which, when served, is so full of salty fatty flavor, it is difficult to not just eat it all and ignore the rest. I filled a fork full and layered atop the salty tostones for mouthwatering bliss. The green salad was fresh and a great way to cleanse my palate after enjoying so much pork. Arabella and Aline, don’t just have pork on the menu. If you’re a vegetarian or gluten free, you too can enjoy a dish here.

I’m always happy to see new vendors open and succeed. El Cubano has already garnered a following and with the quality of their food and prices, they will be feeding Portland for awhile. Drop on by SW Washington, just east of 3rd and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Lechon Plate – $6,99
  • Ropa Vieja – $6.99
  • Chicken Tropichop – $6.99
  • Lechon Loco – fried yuca, pork and cabbage – $5.99
  • Vegan Tropichop – $4.99
  • Yuca Frita with Mojo – $3.50
  • Tostones – $3.50
  • Maduros – $2.50
  • Sandwich Cubano – $6.99
  • Pan Con Bistec sandwich – $6.99

 

 

Stix

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Stix

Stix

CLOSED

Location: N Vancouver and Fremont
Hours: Tues-Sat, 11:30am-8pm

The Story: I had the pleasure of attending the World Street Food Congress this past June in Singapore. While there, I enjoyed so many different types of street food, it was difficult to keep track of what was what. One specific item I kept returning for was satay. Beautifully marinated meat on sticks straight from the grill. Stix, a new cart in North Portland has both satay and roots in Singapore. And they are down the street from where I live.

I had the pleasure of chatting with Stix owner Issa who was born and raised in Oregon, yet has a grandmother in Singapore and has visited regularly. Growing up with such rich food traditions, she doesn’t necessarily peg her satay as just Singaporean. She sees her menu as Asian fusion. An example of that is the creamy avocado chimichurri which has Malaysian roots. She recently added an pulled pork dish and plans to add curries and weekly specials. I asked about the famous Singaporean chili crab and she smiled, stating she would be featuring it sometime soon.

If you see photos of Asian street food vendors, there is usually a long wood fired or coal fired grill with hundreds of short skewers of meat roasting away. At Stix, Issa grills them to order, no open coals here. You can get chicken marinated in coriander and spices, beef cooked with coconut milk, garlic, shallots and sweet soy sauce or tofu glazed with sesame teriyaki and kecap manis, a sweet soy sauce. A Bento Box, the cart’s signature, comes with four skewers over basmati rice or a spring mix salad and served with cucumber salad or wasabi slaw. I opted for a mini bento with two beef skewers atop the spring mix. The garlic and shallots accented the seared beef well with a bite of cool cucumber salad mixed in to break up  the salty and savory flavors. The salad bed soaked up the meat juices from the satay to provide an indirect dressing. Issa provided a vinaigrette, yet it wasn’t needed. A small size, but enough to satisfy an eater like me.

Beef Satay bento box from Stix

Beef Satay bento box from Stix

I’m excited to see new vendors come to my neighborhood and see the lot at Fremont and Vancouver continue to evolve and diversify. Having expereinced the rich flavors of Singapore, I’m even more excited to have Stix close to home. Open Tuesday to Saturday for lunch and dinner. Drop on by and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

Bento Box comes with 4 skewers over basmati rice or spring mix salad with sauces and cucumber salad or wasabi slaw. A mini Bento comes with 2 skewers.

  • Chicken – $8
  • Beef – $9
  • Tofu  - $7

Phone: (541) 292-3911
Facebook: Stix Food Cart

Barbeque The Blues

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Barbeque The Blues

Barbeque The Blues

Location: NE 52nd and Sandy, Rose City Food Park
Hours: Wednesday-Saturday, 11:30am-late night

The Story: I never grew up with barbecue culture. Yeah, we grilled, yet what came off the grill was nothing like ribs or brisket or pulled pork I enjoy when I travel to the south or beyond. Whole regions of this country have barbecue in their blood dating back centuries and people will fight to defend their recipe. Here in Portland, we have some wonderful options for que and a newcomer in Barbeque The Blues is here to show you a Texas/Alabama style.

TJ McNabb opened his food truck at the Rose City Food Park earlier this year, yet it hasn’t been till this summer that he’s been able to hit his stride and feed the masses. The truck, a fully outfitted 24 footer is simply beautiful. One of the best looking and best outfitted trucks I have seen. He also has a tow-behind trailer with his grill and smoker, so if you’re looking for barbecue at your next event, he may become your new best friend. TJ has done his time in kitchens for most of his life having classically trained under an amazing chef in France. When he did finally return to the states, he built and opened a few restaurants in southern Oregon. But it was time spent with friends from Texas and Alabama that inspired him to take on the challenge that is barbecue. His meat mentor asked him if he wanted to learn the trade. TJ jumped at the opportunity and after more than a few years, now has his own successful business. TJ put together a nice plate of items for me and we sat around that evening discussing food, the city, history and, well, ribs and brisket.

Ribs, Mac and Cheese and Beans

Ribs, Mac and Cheese and Beans

The menu at Barbeque The Blues is what you would expect with pulled chicken or pork, tri-tip and plenty of sides including mac ‘n cheese, beans and slaw. On Friday and Saturday, TJ rolls out the ribs. Everything is made fresh daily with the meats cooking for hours to perfect the tenderness. Being a rib fan, I dove into the tray of bone in pork ribs. Homemade sauce was provided, yet just pulling off a bit of meat was enough for me to experience TJ’s craft. A bit of caramelizing met my tongue with every bite. TJ smokes the ribs for 4 hours before placing them in foil with some cane sugar and water which creates that simple sweet crust. A side of Sonora sauce is provided for dipping. The sauce is inspired by the Sonoran dessert- evocative of southwestern flavors. Four different heat sources – black pepper, habanero, red pepper flake and cayenne – mixed with the organic apple juice and other spices creates a heat profile that is present, yet not overpowering with a hint of sweetness on the edges. You can enjoy the ribs with or without the sauce and you’ll be a happy eater. Finish off the meal with cornbread with green peppers.

So happy to find a new sheriff in town for barbecue. On Friday and Saturday nights, they do rib dinners and the evening I visited, TJ had leg of lamb on the board. This is a meat lovers’ cart. If you’re in search of some great ribs or brisket or pulled chicken, drop on by Rose City Food Park and try some Barbeque The Blues. Let TJ know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample menu:

Full menu listed on their website.

  • Slow Hand – BBQ Pulled Pork 1/3rd lb sandwich with slaw and pickle – $6
  • Chickin’ Pickin’ – BBQ Pulled Chicken 1/3rd lb sandwich with slaw and pickle  - $5
  • Texas Twang – BBQ thinly sliced tri-tip - 1/3rd lb sandwich with slaw and pickle – $7
  • Power Trio – all three smoked meats – $10
  • Combo Plates – one, two or three meats with sides – range from $7-13
  • Sides: Mac & Cheese, BBQ Beans – $2.50

Website: BBQtheBlues.com
Facebook: Barbeque the Blues

Pi Woodfired Pizza

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Pi WoodFired Pizza

Pi WoodFired Pizza

CLOSED

Location: SE 82nd and Harney, Cartlandia
Hours: Mon-Sat, 12-8pm

The Story: Pizza from food carts has blown up in Portland of late. Just a few years ago, there was a single vendor downtown doing ‘za from a cart and now there are 10+ and they’re good. Pi Woodfired Pizza has been serving up customers at Cartlandia now since spring.

Margherita Pizza

Margherita Pizza

Aubrey and Dallas Berry, the Berry Brothers, are the guys behind this enterprise. The pies are made fresh to order in the truck then taken outside to the black domed wood fired oven powered by cherry wood. A standard 12″ pie takes only a few minutes. The Margherita, a mainstay for me with wood fired ovens, comes with red sauce, mozzarella, basil and a drizzling of olive oil. An uncomplicated yet lucious and flavorful pie. The crust had the required char on the edges which allowed me to pick up piece after piece and fill my belly. The olive oil and fresh basil flavors jumped off the pizza. You could smell it even before taking that first bite. For $7, this large pizza is enough for two. Great food for a great price.

Over the years I have been introduced to some great food cart names. Some subtle, others forthright. For Pi Woodfired Pizza, Pi has so many meanings my mind is a bit boggled. Well played gentlemen, well played. Aubrey and Dallas are at the cart Monday-Saturday for lunch through the dinner hour, so you don’t have any excuse not to drop by. Check out their summer special with fresh squash and walla walla onions while your there and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Margherita – sauce, mozzarella, fresh basil – $7
  • Hawaiian – sauce, mozzarella, ham, pineapple – $9
  • Pepperoni – sauce, mozzarella, pepperoni – $8
  • Cheese – sauce & mozzarella – $6

Phone: 5039533170

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