Southern Belles

Southern Belles

Southern Belles

Location: N Lombard/Burr – Kruger
Hours: Wed-Fri, 12-9pm; Sat, 3pm-1am

The Story:

St. Johns has had a tumultuous relationship with food carts over the last few years. An attempt at a pod failed a couple of years ago and many of those vendors moved on. A strident few stuck around and two have even become a restaurants. Now, a new model – pair the carts with a bar. The Fixin’ To at the entrance of downtown St. Johns now hosts two vendors – Southern Belles and Pizza Contadino.

Southern Belles is the newest cart in North Portland, having opened in late 2012. With a focus on comfort food, they are quickly becoming famous for their Brunswick stew and Cheeseburg Chowda. Known for Soups, Salads ‘n Such, the southern-style inspired cart is the work Nancy Petersen and Darlotte Justice, a couple of North Carolinians. But they have traveled and lived elsewhere, so their menu may not be completely southern every day.

The day I visited, I picked up a half an egg salad sandwich and beef barley soup – a hearty lunch for a cold day. It reminded me of a plate I would have a grandma’s house in Minnesota. I just needed a cup of hot cocoa to round out the memory. The egg salad on white fit well with the hot beef soup full of vegetables and barley. A great pairing for a hungry boy.

Southern Belles is now open Tuesday-Saturday and you can bring your food into The Fixin’ To and enjoy a beer or cocktail while you eat. Head on up to St. Johns for a visit, enjoy some of what Darlotte and Nancy have to offer and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Soups-¬† Beef Barley, Chicken Noodle, While Chili – 8oz, $3; 16oz, $5
  • Sandwiches – Egg Salad, Turkey Cranberry – 1/2 sand with soup – $5; full sandwich – $5
  • Hot Baked Potato with fixin’s – $4

Phone: 971 253 0939
Facebook: Southern Belles

The Rock House Grill

Rock House Grill

Rock House Grill

Location: Cartlandia, SE 82nd and Harney
Hours: Daily and weekends, breakfast, lunch and dinner

The Story:

In a trailer that reminds one of the 50’s or maybe a boardwalk vendor, The Rock House Grill creates some great food to sate your needs- morning, noon or night.

At Cartlandia out in east Portland, James has opened his shop after years of working in restaurants and honing his skills at the grill. He’s worked in small bars, been a line cook and even catered for concerts. If you can manage a crowd of rowdy rockers, you’ve proven you can man the grill.

NY Steak Sandwich

NY Steak Sandwich

With an extensive menu of breakfast items, sandwiches, burgers, burritos, pork chops and steaks, there is something for everyone. Instead of ordering what I would normally order, the burger, we asked James what his signature dish was. The NY Steak sandwich is what he prepared. Ordered medium rare, just before we went to sit down, he yelled out the window “leave the fat on or off?” I’ve never been asked that, so again, deferred to his discretion – fat on. The large steak came atop some melted cheese on a toasted bun with some grilled onions and peppers sliced tomato and a salad mix of finely chopped cilantro, spinach and leaf lettuce. At first bite, you could taste the amazing steak, cooked perfectly medium rare and juicy, the veggies and a hint of horseradish that was pleasantly spicy, but not overwhelming. Having the fat left on gave it a great little buttery flavor. An excellent sandwich and one of the best I’ve tried in awhile.

The Rock House Grill is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and will feed you until you’re full. The portions are large and satisfying and James is a character who will bring your food to the table and make sure you’ve had a satisfying meal. Drop on by and let him know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu: by far not everything

  • The Big Badass American Outlaw Burrito: steak, chicken or pork with all the fixins – $8
  • NY Steak and Eggs w/hash browns or fried potatoes and toast – $10
  • Pancakes – $6
  • English muffin, ham, egg and cheese – $4
  • NY Steak Dinner served with salad, rice or fried potatoes or baked potato, beans and a dinner roll – $10
  • Double Double style burger-¬† double meat, double cheese – $8
  • Single Steak Burger – $5
  • NY Steak Sandwich¬† – $10
  • Patty Melt – $6
  • and more

Hours: Daily and weekends, morning to evening
Contact: unknown