SissyMama’s

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gluten free food cart portland

SissyMama’s Food Cart, Welches, OR

Location: 67886 E Highway 26, Welches, Oregon
Hours: Daily, 11-6, yet check Facebook for updates

The Story: Amber, the owner of SissyMama’s, emailed a few weeks ago informing me that Mt. Hood does indeed have food carts – and her’s offers up a Gluten Free menu. I’m aware of summer vendors in Gov’t Camp, but Welches, nope. So, a field trip was in order.

Remember field trips as kids? There was always food whether it be a meal at a topical restaurant or a bag lunch made by mom. I enjoy field trips and get out of the city to visit food carts whenever I get the opportunity. Welches is a cute little village on HWY 26 on the way up Mt. Hood. Just before you get to the single stoplight, Amber has set up her red and white camper trailer – SissyMama’s. With snow blanketing the ground, I pulled up for lunch. Amber trained at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, the world’s largest nutrition school and offers up a menu of Gluten Free and Paleo options. She uses the cart as a means to explore food and create amazing dishes for everyone. Being on the mountain in winter, hot soup is daily treat.

gluten free food cart Portland

Cabbage Roll in a Bowl

The menu is ever changing both with the seasons and at Amber’s whim, yet after trying three dishes, I trust there will always be something on the menu that is delicious. The day I visited offered up roasted cauliflower and potato soup, a vegetarian hand pie and a paleo dish of red cabbage, green pepper and Italian sausage. The hot soup, served in a 16oz cup with no spoon was delightful. Standing in the snow, sipping at the soup while chatting food made my day. Also, it fit perfect in the cup holder for the drive home. The hand pie, a newcomer to the menu and one of Amber’s first melted in my mouth. Gluten free and full of goodies, I even dipped it in the soup. The cabbage roll in a bowl offered up Asian flavors with a dash of sesame seeds. All around, three different items with three distinct flavors and all rather delectable.

SussyMama’s is open daily and offers indoor and outdoor seating. I can only imagine how magical a bowl of Amber’s soup would be on a snowy winter afternoon or a sunny summer afternoon. Either way, next time I’m headed up the mountain, I know I’ll stop. Do check her Facebook page for updates on hours. Next time you’re on the mountain, drop on by and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

See SissyMama’s website for menu options and visit Facebook for daily specials.

gluten free food cart Portland

Hand pie from SissyMama’s

Facebook: SissyMama’s
Twitter: @SissyMamas

Plane Pastries

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Plane Pastries

Plane Pastries

Location: SE 52nd and Foster, Carts on Foster
Hours: Wednesday-Sunday, 10am-3pm

The Story: Portland is ga ga about sweets. We have artisan chocolatiers, organic ice cream, cupcake vendors, pie shops and more. It’s as if we have our own collective sweet tooth. The carts however only have a few who present sweets to the public in one form or another. Plane Pastries is one of the newest vendors to bring cookies, brownies and cupcakes for those who have a soft spot for sugar.

Kris Butler opened the cart this past summer after working for over a year to develop her project. Kris has led an adventurous life up until now. She joined the Air Force at age 17 and spent six years in airborne intelligence. After her honorable discharge, she used her military education benefits to attend Oregon Culinary Institute here in Portland where she learned her craft. After graduating, the adventure continues with helicopter flight training. Yep, this pastry chef knows how to fly helicopters. You don’t find that everyday. The cart and logo are modeled after vintage aircraft and a bit of the pinup motif. Kris has adorned the inside with posters of vintage flying machines including a black and white of Amelia Earhart in front of her Lockheed Electra 10E.

Rice Krispy Treat from Plane Pastries

Rice Krispy Treat from Plane Pastries

Kris is focusing on handmade pastries including cookies, brownies and cupcakes. She even makes her own caramel. While I wanted to sample everything, I opted for one of my childhood favorites, the rice krispy treat. Kris makes it with brown butter and adds in a bit of cayenne to switch things up a bit. It wasn’t spicy by any means, but you could tell this wasn’t mom’s recipe. Creamy and crunchy. Took me back to simpler times.

I really enjoyed chatting with Kris and learning about her life and passions. She’s one of those vendors who brings everything to the table. Kris will be featured on the Food Network show Cupcake Wars Season 3 on November 23rd at 8pm. While the war has already been fought, check out the show to see who won. If you’re looking for something sweet or maybe a nice cup of coffee, drop on by Plane Pastries and let Kris know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • “It’s All Wright” Cookie – $2
  • “Voodoo” Caramel Bar – $4
  • “Black Widow” Brownie – $3
  • “Whirlwind” Rice Krispie – $3

Website: Planepastries.com
Facebook: Plane Pastries
Twitter: @PlanePastries

The Sugar Shop

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The Sugar Shop

The Sugar Shop

Location: NE 23rd and Alberta
Hours: Mon-Sun, 11am-8pm

The Story: Instead of grabbing a gyro or a burger or a bowl of Pad Thai, why not go down the sweet train and get something from The Sugar Shop for lunch. I remember something as a kid about eating dessert first when I was an adult.

The Sugar Shop is one of the few mobile vendors out there serving up sweets and baked goods like cookies, cakes and cheesecakes. Autumn and Shannon attended OCI together where they both studied in the baking and pastry program. After school, in jobs they admit weren’t taking them anywhere, brainstorming over Margaritas on Cinco De Mayo, the cart plan was born. They had the chops to pull it off and the cart is darn cute. Red seems to be the color of sweets.

Peppermint Cheesecake Brownie

Peppermint Cheesecake Brownie

If I lived closer to The Sugar Shop, I would probably gain a few pounds. I’m not the one to order dessert after dinner nor grab a frozen yogurt as a snack, but cookies are my downfall. Put out a platter of well made cookies and I can’t turn away. Here you can get white chocolate stuffed snickerdoodle or oatmeal cranberry or dark chocolate and bacon, cookies mom never made. I asked Autumn and Shannon what their favorites were – cheesecake and anything with caramel. I picked up the peppermint cheesecake brownie, a thin slice of decadence. Chocolate and peppermint and swirl. Just what I needed after spicy Indian. Looking at the menu, they put together flavors that simply intrigue me – salted caramel or whiskey caramel with a pecan crust.

The Sugar Shop isn’t all sweets. They offer savory choices with chicken pot pie or spinach, mushroom and feta hand pies. Open every day from lunch past dinner, there is no reason not to stop by and pick something up to sate that craving you know you have. Drop on by and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

[The Sugar Shop moved to NE Alberta October 2013]

Sample Menu:

  • Cookies – multiple options – $1.50
  • Cakes – $3.50 – bourbon cake w/milk chocolate buttercream; red velvet cake with cream cheese icing, lemon cake with tart lemon glaze and more
  • Cheesecake – $3.50 – classic; housemade Nutella swirl; cheesecake bar with pecan crust and whiskey caramel topping
  • Mousse – $3.50 – chocolate honey; triple chocolate; vanilla honey
  • Brownies and Bars – $3.50 – salted caramel stuffed gooey brownies, lemon bars

Hours: Mon-Sun, 11am-8pm
Website: TheSugarShopPDX.com
Facebook: The Sugar Shop
Twitter: @TheSugarShopPDX

Olé Latte Coffee

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Ole Latte Coffee

Ole Latte Coffee

Location: SW 10th and Alder
Hours: Mon-Fri, 6am-5pm; Sat, 8am-5pm

The Story:

In a city with coffee shops on every corner and almost as many micro roasters as micro breweries, there are few mobile vendors who take on the barista challenge. There are plenty of coffee carts throughout the city for your morning drive, yet if you want a perfectly drawn espresso with just the right crema and be able to sit down and enjoy it, check out Olé Latte Coffee.

Todd Edwards opened his coffee cart earlier this year bringing the number of coffee carts in Portland’s food cart pods to four. Originally, Todd’s passion was wine. With the change of OLCC regulations here in 2012, having a wine cart is a possibility, but for Todd, during his research, he discovered a taste for coffee and dove in, learning that coffee beans and wine grapes are grown in similar climates and both offer complex flavor profiles. Sophia, Todd’s beautiful La Marzocco FB70 espresso machine, was even purchased before the cart.

Todd admits freely that he was a regular at Starbuck’s only six months ago. I think we can all admit that we’ve drank some less than stellar coffee in our day. Heck, I became a fan of truck stop coffee after awhile on a long road trip. In Todd’s coffee journey, he found and embraced Ristretto Roasters, one of Portland’s darlings in the coffee roasting arena. I’m a fan also, so even though it was 4pm, I asked for a single espresso to check out his mad skills. Amazing! A perfect draw with just the right amount of crema. I never thought of coffee having a sweetness until I began tasting different varieties in espresso form. I don’t add sugar. No need. That little ounce has more than enough flavor to satisfy me including a little bit of fruitiness.

Todd is the lone coffee cart on the lot and beyond espresso drinks he brews his own cold pressed coffee and has pastries to pair with your drink. Open daily in the mornings throughout the afternoon, Todd is there to create the perfect drink for you. Drop on by and let him know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

[Ole Latte moved to their new location in 01/2013]

Sample Menu:

  • Espresso – $2.50
  • Macchiato – $3
  • Con Panna – $3
  • Cappucino – $3
  • Americano – $2.50
  • Drip Coffee – $1.75-2.25
  • Latte – $3-4
  • Mocha – $3.50-4.50

Hours: Tues-Sat, 8am-6pm; Sun, 9am-3pm
Phone: 971 221-6318
Twitter: @OleLatteCoffee
Facebook: Ole Latte Coffee

GF Chef

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GF Chef

GF Chef

Location: NE 52nd and Sandy, Rose City Food Park
Hours: Wed-Sat, 7:30am-8pm; Sun, 9am-4pm

The Story:

Over the past few years, the term gluten-free has become more prevalent when discussing food as more people, both young and old, learn they have an intolerance to gluten. Executive Chef Jim Adams and his wife decided to create a food cart that catered to those needs but also served some amazing food and GF Chef was born.

GF Chef opened last summer at the now shuttered Green Castle food pod. After the closure, Jim and his wife Bonnie regrouped and moved the cart to the ever expanding Cartlandia pod. No one likes to move a cart and so it took them a week or so to get situated, but now that they are open, they have garnered a loyal following. Jim is the executive chef of the cart and has his own recipes for most of the items. He bakes three different gluten free breads daily – rye, herb and white – and even has some signature pancakes for the morning crowd. Every week he is coming up with new an interesting baked goods like bagels or biscuits or french bread.

Reuben from GF Chef

Reuben from GF Chef

The rye for the Reuben had just come out of the oven. A hefty loaf with an aroma that began to spread throughout the pod and turn heads. What makes a Reuben special for me is the quality of the corned beef and the Russian dressing. Jim creates his own dressing from an classic German recipe which includes caviar. The bread is first toasted then the Swiss cheese and corned beef are added and finally the sauerkraut and dressing. One excellent sandwich. The bread with a crunch from the toasting melts in your mouth. The dressing, always a treat for my taste buds cemented a memory that I’ll dredge up as a comparison every time I try someone else’s Reuben. The ferment of the sauerkraut topped it off.

Jim and Bonnie are fun to chat with and love what they create and will answer any question you may have. Their focus is to create some great meals gluten free which one would normally not be able to get – including corndogs. Jim has his own batter. GF Chef is open from breakfast through dinner and offers specials daily. If your gluten intolerant or even if you aren’t, check this cart out for some great food and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Breakfast sandwiches with ham, bacon or sausage, egg and cheese – $3.75
  • Pancakes – 2 for $5.25
  • Grilled Cheese – $5.50; add meat, $6.50
  • Turkey, Ham or Corned Beef Sandwich – $7.50
  • BLT – $7.50
  • Reuben Sandwich – $8
  • Corn Dog – $3.75
  • Onion Rings – $4.50
  • Hand Cut Fries, Belgian Style – sm, $3.75; lg, $6

Hours: Wed-Sat, 7:30am-8pm; Sun, 9am-4pm
Phone: 503 927 9880
Facebook: GF Chef

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