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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The Pie Spot

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The Pie Spot

The Pie Spot

Cart Closed – now restaurant

Location: 521 NE 24th – The Ocean
Hours: Wed-Sun: 12pm-8pm | Closed Mon & Tues

The Story:

Everyone loves pie. When someone mentions pie in a crowded room, heads turn and tongues salivate. In Portland, we’re blessed with some great pie makers and even a pie-off and with The Pie Spot, we have pie makers making pie holes.

The Pie Spot is the work of Ashley and Jessica and is housed in a vintage trailer at the D-Street Noshery in southeast Portland. Both Ashley and Jessica have loved pie their entire lives and with culinary arts degrees and 12-15 years in the business, they know what they’re doing in the kitchen. Jessica, the pie whisperer, has achieved that point where she knows exactly when the pie crust is done based on the smell. Not a bad skill to have. The ladies specialize in Pie Holes – small individual size pies that are hand crafted and baked daily. Their goal isn’t to re-invent the pie, but to perfect it.

Marionberry Pie Holes

Marionberry Pie Holes

Every day on Twitter during the summer, some of my friends declare it as “pie day,” as if every day is pie day. With all the fresh fruit we get here in Oregon, pie is a natural choice as a vessel to enjoy it. While the cart offers flavors like apple, lemon, pecan and chocolate-hazelnut year around, they add in seasonal flavors like marionberry, raspberry apricot or bourbon peach in the summer. Winter options feature pumpkin or candied yam and other amazing flavors. The pie hole sits in your hand, the epitome of culinary beauty, waiting for you to take that first bite. The crust crumbles in your mouth with the tartness of the marionberry hitting your tongue and filling covering your lips and the sides of your mouth. This is one of those moments in eating when you don’t grab for your napkin. You allow for the pie to sit on your lips and cheeks and use your tongue to lap it all up it is so good. While I always recommend sharing, have your friends order their own pies here so you can have one all to yourself.

The Pie Spot redefined pie for me by creating it in a small single size serving. Instead of buying a whole pie of just one flavor, for the same price, you can get a few pie holes of different flavors. Ashley and Jessica do Portland proud with their pie and have recently added ice cream from Salt and Straw so you can have your pie hole a la mode. Check out The Pie Spot at D-Street Noshery for a great treat or contact them to get pie holes for your next event. Let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

[The Pie Spot moved to NE 24th in October 2012]

Sample Menu:

Pie Holes are $3.50 each. Some of the flavors available throughout the year include:

  • lemon, apple, pecan, S’more pie, chocolate hazelnut
  • Winter/Fall flavors include: pumpkin, pear and fig, candied yam, winter squash
  • Seasonal flavors offered regularly – check their Facebook page for updates

Hours: Wed-Thurs, 11am-8pm; Fri, 11am-10pm; Sat, 12-10pm
Phone: 503 913 5103
Website: The Pie Spot
Twitter: @Pie_Spot
Facebook: The Pie Spot

Hungry Heart Cupcakes

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Hungry Heart Cupcakes

Hungry Heart Cupcakes

Location: Roaming
Hours: Wed-Sun, 11-5

The Story:

In 2010, we received an email about a new truck named Chomp, a stepvan that was serving up tasty cupcakes. When we investigated and discovered a great new sweet option – Hungry Heart Cupcakes.

Cupcakes have been a favorite of many in the last few years with storefronts opening here and there throughout the city. In the food cart world, The Sugar Cube introduced Portlanders to some amazing treats and dessert options and is still going strong. Now, with Hungry Heart Cupcakes, you have a new option for sating that sweettooth. The cupcake queen Jax has been thinking about cupcakes most of her life after having been treated as a child to some amazing home cooking from her grandmother. When the cupcake revolution began, Jax started dreaming about what flavors she would put together along with how they would be served. Having memories of the childhood ice-cream truck, she decided she wanted to be the neighborhood cupcake truck and Chomps was born.

Bourbon Bacon Cupcake

Bourbon Bacon Cupcake

I remember cupcakes as a child being dry and uninspired. The best you could hope for was a unique topping or sprinkles. Ahh, the 70’s. Hungry Heart has embraced artisan cupcakes with flavors like red velvet with vanilla cream cheese frosting or dark chocolate and cacao nibs with dulce deluche frosting and sea salt. These are some creative combinations you just don’t find anywhere. The day we visited, I and my friends were able to enjoy the Bourbon Breakfast Cupcake, a pancake cupcake with bourbon apple filling, maple frosting and applewood smoked bacon presented atop. Just showing the cupcake to others created drools, oohs and ahs. I just had to share. The bacon and maple were decadent and the unique apple filling with the moist cake made for a treat beyond what anyone expected. This is the cupcake that will re-define cupcakes for you, your family and your grandma. (Be sure to have flowers available so no one is put off.)

Hungry Heart Cupcakes roams around Portland to events and lunch spots. Most recently, they have been found with Koi Fusion at 300 NE Multnomah on Thursdays. You’ll need to follow them on Facebook or Twitter for their current locations. If you can and when you do, visit them and enjoy a treat and let Jax and Chomps know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

[Hungry Heart Cupcakes is reopening in April 2012 with a cupcake kiosk at Mississippi Marketplace.]

Sample Menu:

Cupcakes are “minis” for $1.25 or a 4 for $4.50.

  • Red Velvet with vanilla cream cheese frosting
  • Lemon Drop cupcake with raspberry buttercream frosting
  • Dark chocolate & cacao nib with dulce deluche frosting & Maldon sea salt
  • Chocolate cupcake with peanut butter frosting and applewood smoked bacon
  • Chocolate cupcake with cocoa raspberry frosting
  • Vanilla cupcake with spiced pears and Saigon cinnamon frosting
  • Bourbon Breakfast Cupcake: pancake cupcake with bourbon apple filling, maple frosting and topped with bacon – $2.50

Hours: Wed-Sun, 11-5
Phone: 503 583 2654
Website: HungryHeartCupcakes.com
Twitter: @HHCupcakes Facebook: Hungry Heart Cupcakes

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