Korean BBQ Box

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Korean BBQ Box

Korean BBQ Box

Location: NW 19th and Quimby, Q19
Hours: Mon-Fri, 11-7; Sat, 11-3pm

The Story: For many years, I would visit different vendors throughout downtown for something new – bento. These vendors were grilling marinated chicken and placing it sliced over rice – truly groundbreaking for a kid from a farm. Some even added steamed vegetables. Around 2008, when the collective food cart eater began experiencing a sea-change in what was offered at the carts, I was introduced to bi bim bop from a Korean vendor. Ever since, this delightfully colorful dish has been a staple in my diet. Korean BBQ Box at Q19 does it up right.

Bi Bim Bop

Bi Bim Bop

Bi bim bop is considered the most representative of Korean cuisine. A low calorie dish, it combines numerous ingredients into the same bowl and can be done with or without meat. The word even translates to ‘mixed meal.’ With a base of rice, the dish is then topped with sauteed and seasoned vegetables, just a small bit of each, and then topped with meat and a fried egg. The idea is to add go chu jang, a Korean chili paste, and mix it all together. I chose a different route, dipping each of the savor vegetables into the paste in order to A) eat slower and B) enjoy the broad flavors. I’ll admit, the chopsticks were eventually replaced by a fork when my hand cramped. What I love about this dish is the diversity of flavors from zucchini to radish to shittake mushrooms to sprouts. Each has its own distinct flavor and when mixed with others or just simply the fried egg, it all tastes great. Such a fun and colorful meal.

Korean BBQ Box also offers Korean BBQ, noodle dishes like udon and yakisoba, stir fries and daily specials. Located at Q19, you can take your order inside Quimby’s and stay warm. Next time you’re in the mood for something different, drop on by Korean BBQ Box and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Chicken and Beef with vegetables over white rice – $7.99
  • Chicken and Pork with vegetables over rice-  $7.99
  • Chicken and Gyoza with vegetables over rice – $7.99
  • Korean Spicy Pork BBQ with vegetables over rice – $7.99
  • Bulgogi Beef BBQ with vegetables over rice – $7.99
  • Yaki Udon – stir fried vegetables and thick noodles in special sauce – $5.99
  • Yakisoba – $5.99
  • Fish Cutlet deep fried with rice and sides – $7.99
  • Bi Bim Bop – $7.99

Phone: 503 490 1662

Roadrunner BBQ

Jonathan Amato
bbq food cart portland

RoadRunner BBQ

Location: SE 52nd and Foster, Carts on Foster
Hours: Thurs-Sun, 11am-6pm

The Story:

When I first set eyes upon the Roadrunner BBQ truck, I questioned whether they were serious about BBQ or about having some fun. The bright red truck is adorned with a full size Chief Wiggum from The Simpsons. But, Roadrunner BBQ has made a name for itself and I was eager to taste some good Q.

RoadRunner arrived in Portland over a year ago and has been at Carts on Foster for at least a few months. Jimmy, the owner, is a Dallas native and admits he’s not a chef, but a meat cutter. I think knowing how to break down a cow qualifies one to cook it. With mesquite from Mexico, Jimmy smokes his brisket for 12-14 hours before he feels it is right to serve. Now that’s dedication. Learn patience young man were Jimmy’s parting words.

bbq food cart portland

Chopped Brisket Sandwich From RoadRunner BBQ

Brisket is what’s in store when visiting the red truck. While he does offer smoked pork butt, four of the six items on the menu are brisket. You can get a sandwich or a plate, chopped or sliced. A chopped brisket sandwich for me! I want to dive into the fatty bits and taste the salty chewy crust. Jimmy doesn’t skimp. I swear there was at least 1/2 lb of chopped brisket there and every bit of it was a salty, meaty moist delight. A sign of brisket well done is the red between the inner meat and the crust and Jim had that spot on.

Portland has some great vendors who do excellent BBQ, but RoadRunner BBQ has raised the bar. If you’re a BBQ fan, you need to head out there and try what Jim has to offer and judge for yourself. Located at SE 52nd and Foster, the lot now has indoor heated seating and a pod bar with beer and wine. Drop on by and let Jimmy know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample menu:

  • Sliced Brisket Plate with 2 sides – $10
  • Chopped Brisket Plate with 2 sides – $9
  • Pork Butt Plate with 2 sides – $9
  • Chicken Breast Plate with 2 sides – $7
  • Sliced Brisket sandwich  -$7
  • Chopped Brisket sandwich – $6
  • Chopped Pork Butt sandwich – $6
  • Sides, $1.50 each – potato salad,creamy cole slaw, baked beans, mac & cheese

Hours: Thurs-Sun, 11am-6pm
Phone:503 310 2837

Pork Chop City

Jonathan Amato
Pork Chop City

Pork Chop City

Location: 9085 SW Beaverton Hillsdale Hwy, Portland, 97225
Hours: 11am-10pm daily

The Story:

Here in Portland we talk carts not trucks. Most everywhere else, the street food scene centers around trucks that roam the streets feeding the hungry. Wandering this city, you see every flavor of mobile cart from simple tow behind hot dog carts to retrofitted 60’s travel trailers to high end commercial kitchens on wheels. Pork Chop City took it to a whole new level with one of the largest trailers I have seen. Lots of space to do some serious cooking.

When I first spotted Roger William’s trailer out of Beaverton Hillsdale Hwy, I didn’t think it was a food vendor. I thought it was a NASCAR trailer with the size and wrapping. Then, earlier this summer walking down 3rd ave, there it was, taking up the entire frontage of a strange triangular island created by how Portland mapped out streets downtown some 100 yrs ago. The trailer is beautiful and built to handle big crowds whether they be the lunch types or late night bar goers. My order came out in less than 3 minutes on a busy day.

Sorta WrongPortland loves pork. Pork. Pork. Pork. Just downtown, there are six or seven carts serving up their recipe of pulled pork whether it be a sandwich or plate. At Pork Chop City, they do pulled pork, beef brisket and chicken, presenting them a few different ways. The #1 item on the menu is a sandwich aptly christened Simply Wrong. Smoked pulled pork, smoked beef brisket and cole slaw on a Portland French pub bun. One pound of smoked meats. I’m glad they get the veggies in there. While my inner devil wanted to see what that looked like, I balked and ordered the #2 item, the Sorta Wrong with about 1/4lb less meat. Still a huge sandwich with a heap of meat. Whomever decided to pair cole slaw with smoked pork gets a trophy in my food hall of fame. I love the cold creamy crunch mixed with the squeaky shredded pork and beef. Mixing the brisket and pulled pork together is genius, giving me the best of both worlds. More than one should really eat for lunch, but I did it and walked away a happy man.

Pork Chop City is now the sixth cart in the area to serve the bar goers and those waiting in line for Voodoo Doughnuts. If you’re a sandwich fan or simply enjoy smoked meats, check them out. On a hot day, try their Hawaiian shaved ice with twenty five different flavors. Let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

[Pork Chop City has moved to Beaverton-Hillsdale Hwy, October 2013]

Sample Menu:

  • Simply Wrong: smoked pulled pork, smoked beef brisket, cole slaw on Portland French pub bun – $9
  • Sorta Wrong: same as above but a bit smaller – $8
  • Smoked Beef Brisket Sandwich – $7
  • Smoked Pulled Pork Sandwich – $6
  • Chicken Bento – $8
  • Pork Bento – $8
  • Smoked Meat Sampler – a bit of everything – $12
  • Smoked Pork Chop Meal – $12
  • Smoked Rib Meal – $12
  • Broiled Chicken Meal – $9
  • Sides: steamed rice, corn, baked beans, apple sauce, cole slaw, mac salad, potato salad – $2 each
  • Hawaiian Shaved Ice – $4

Hours: Mon-Sat, 11am-7pm; Fri/Sat, 11pm-3am
Phone: 503 793 2000
Website: PorkChopCity.com
Facebook: Pork Chop City
Twitter: @PorkChopCityPDX

These Guys Brooklyn

dieselboi
These Guys Brooklyn

These Guys Brooklyn

Location: 3400 SE Milwaukie Ave next to Brooklyn Park Pub
Hours: Wed-Sat, 6-1opm

The Story:

I love the sign and logo of this cart – the name ‘These Guys Brooklyn’ flanked on either side by thumbs up. It tells me they have a sense of humor but also know what their doing.

Co-owners David Enfield and Ben Hildreth greet you through the window with their long thick beards that could win any beard championship in town. Their goal is to create small batch smoked meats using various fruit and nut woods to perfect the flavor. They have chosen to source some of the best meats out there including Piedmontese beef from Montana, Carlton Farms pork and Brandt Clod Heart (a shoulder cut). This attention to detail and the use of plum, cherry and and hazelnut wood for the smoke create some amazingly tender meats.

Brisket Sandwich from These Guys Brooklyn

Brisket Sandwich from These Guys Brooklyn

The menu at These Guys offers up pork and beef in the form of sandwiches and even tacos. I chuckled at the taco names, especially the Naughty Meat Taco with beef, pork, onions and cilantro. Just the name made me want to order it, but I decided upon the Piedmontese Brisket Sandwich. Take a Fleur de Lis focassia roll and toast it with a bit of butter before placing the brisket atop and you have yourself one great sandwich. The flavors were astounding. The crust from the toasted roll create a sweetness that envelopes the brisket and showcases its flavor. The brisket in and of itself is a work of art – creamy, flavorful, juicy – with a bit of bark that holds that smoke and teases your palate. Prepared to perfection and cut to order. This sandwich will live in my dreams.

These Guys Brooklyn open their window Wednesday through Saturday from 6-10pm and are situated right next to the Brooklyn Park Pub if you want to wander inside for a beer, you can bring your food with you. If you have a question about the meat or the process by which they smoke it, ask them – they know their craft. They’ve been open now for a year, so obviously have impressed the neighborhood and created a loyal following. Drop on by for some wonderful smoked meats and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Piedmontese Brisket Sandwich – $8.50
  • Carlton Pork Shoulder Sandwich w/ peach bourbon sauce and topped with slaw – $9
  • Chicken Wing with cart made spicy garlic sauce – 6 for $6 or 10 for $10
  • Street Tacos: Carlton Pork or beef shoulder cut – $2
  • Brooklyn Taco: pork, slaw and peach bourbon sauce – $3
  • Naughty Meat Taco: beef, pork, onions and cilantro – $3
  • Sides: potato salad, cole slaw, greens w/bacon  – $3 for small or $5 for large

Hours: Wed-Sat, 6-1opm
Phone: 503.234.7772
Website: TheseGuysBrooklyn.com
Facebook: These Guys Brooklyn

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Ploy Thai

dieselboi
Ploy Thai

Ploy Thai

Location: SW 5th and Oak
Hours: Lunchtime, weekdays

The Story:

A grouping of carts has sprung up on Oak street between SW 4th and 5th around the corner from the 5th avenue carts. Among them, Cuban, Mediterranean and two Thai carts including Ploy Thai.

Ploy Thai is the work of Ploy who came to Portland after serving her brand of Thai street food at the markets in Thailand. She would create her dishes and take them to the markets for all to enjoy, experiencing why we gather – to eat and become a community. At the Ploy Thai cart you can find all of your favorites like salad rolls, Tom Yum soup, Pad Thai and more. What surprised me was some items I don’t normally see at the carts, like Garlic and Pepper, a dish served with your choice of chicken, pork, shrimp or vegetables and comes with Jasmine or brown rice and steamed veggies. I chose chicken with brown rice and it was one of the healthiest Thai dishes I have had from a cart in awhile. The chicken had been spiced with garlic and black pepper and served over brown rice, but not with a thick sauce. The flavors were bright and peppery, the black pepper coming through lightly which I love. The veggies were fresh and steamed just right to keep them crunchy. Overall, an excellent dish that I will return for.

Garlic and Pepper

Garlic and Pepper

Ploy Thai is a great addition for Thai food cart lovers and the rest of us. Drop on by next time you are down that way and try some of Ploy’s home cooking. Let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Egg Rolls – 4 for $3
  • Salad Rolls – 2 for $3
  • Papaya Salad – shredded green papaya, Thai chili, garlic, tomatoes and peanut with spicy lime juice – $6
  • Larb – ground chicken or pork with Thai rice powder, green onion, red onion and spicy lime juice – $6
  • Tom Yum soup – choice of chicken, pork, tofu, veggies or shrimp – hot and sour lemongrass soup with galanga root, kaffir leaves, lime juice and Thai chili – $5.50-6
  • Moo Ping/Gai Yang – BBQ marinated pork or chicken with Thai spices and sticky rice – $5
  • Ping Yang Combo – papaya salad and one of the BBQ dishes and sticky rice – $7.50
  • Garlic and Pepper – choice of chicken, pork, tofu, veggies or shrimp, fresh garlic and black pepper with rice and steamed vegetables – $5.50-6
  • Pad Thai – stir fried noodle with egg, tofu, green onions, bean sprouts and ground peanuts with pad Thai sauce – choice of meat – $5.50-6
  • Sukiyaki – glass noodle, egg, pickled bean curd, Thai chili and green onion – $6
  • Full menu at PloyThaiCart.com

Hours: Weekdays, lunchtime
Phone: 503 267 0849
Website: PloyThaiCart.com

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