Star Attraction

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Star Attraction

Star Attraction

Location: SE 13th and Lexington in Sellwood
Hours: Wed-Fri, 8am-3pm; Sat/Sun, 8am-2pm

The Story: Portland! We know you love breakfast and brunch. Long lines and crowds prove it. Now’s the time to check out Star Attraction, a breakfast food cart down in the antique wonderland of Sellwood.

I enjoy a good breakfast, not the lines. I would rather hit up the greasy spoon or truckstop than the latest hot spot to avoid a line. When I discovered Star Attraction the other day, no line. Star Attraction, located at the long time lot at SE 13th and Lexington, is tucked into the back of the lot, but offers covered seating away from the traffic. Focusing on simple, yet robust breakfast fare, the menu is short an sweet with only a few items. Focus on what you do well and master it is what I always say and they have done it. Breakfast burritos, breakfast gnocchi, french toast and what I enjoyed, a stunning breakfast gordita.

Breakfast Gordita from Star Attraction

Breakfast Gordita from Star Attraction

A crisp corn cake filled with chorizo, cheese and potatoes and then topped with two eggs over easy. Runny eggs, chorizo, seasoned grilled potatoes and mouth burning pico de gallo sated me that morning and throughout the day. I crushed it and enjoyed every bit, even grabbing a spoon to scoop up the itty bits of crumbs left over. Potatoes, not usually a fave of mine, were grilled with just the right seasoning – reminded me of tater tots. Best Breakfast of the year so far.

Star Attraction does it right and from what I saw in the few minutes I was there, they have garnered a following from the hood. Next time you’re looking for that perfect Tiffany lamp and get a breakfast craving, drop on by Sellwood and let Star Attraction know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Breakfast Gnocchi – potato dumplings made from scratch sauteed in brown butter with herbs, bacon, tomatoes and mushrooms and topped with two eggs over easy – $7
  • Breakfast Gordita – $6
  • French Toast – two thick pieces of French toast topped with a peanut butter-cream cheese spread, fresh banana, maple chocolate syrup with bacon or sausage on the side – $6
  • Breakfast Burrito – $6

Facebook: Star Attraction

Tastebud Bagels

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Tastebud Bagels

Tastebud Bagels

Location: SW 10th and Alder
Hours: Daily, including weekends, 7am-2pm

The Story: If you’ve been to a farmers market in Portland, you’ve seen Tastebud and maybe enjoyed their wood fired pizza. Tastebud defined itself by being there for patrons rain or shine with a hot oven and wicked delicious fresh to order ‘za. Now, for the culinary enjoyment of downtowners, Tastebud Bagels brings the goods to SW 10th and Alder.

Everything Bagel with lox from Tastebud

Everything Bagel with lox from Tastebud

Tastebud started as a small farm and CSA many years ago, so has deep roots in the community at large. In a partnership with the Portland Farmers Market, they built the wood fired oven and started feeding market goers pizza. They eventually sold the farm and have been focusing on catering and events ever since. In the past few years,  some have commented about Portland’s bagel wars. I chuckle at that, since for us eaters, we continue to be offered new and exciting options no matter who bakes. Tastebud is known for the Montreal style bagel – rustic, hand formed and wood fired. Boiling them in malt water adds to the flavor. One can enjoy a Tastebud bagel on its own they are that good. Or, try one of their sandwiches. An everything bagel lightly toasted with dill cream cheese, capers, thinly sliced onion, lox and topped with pickle slices. I’ve enjoyed lox and cream cheese before, yet the pickles were an added bonus and provided another layer of salty briny goodness. Served open-faced, the portions were spot on so with each bite, I didn’t have something squirting out the side or spilling. A well made bagel and superb toppings made for a memorable breakfast.

Tastebud bagels offers a number of different flavors including everything, salt, plain, poppyseed and a couple of new ones for me – black pepper or leak. I’m truly excited to try those some day soon. Tastebud bagels can be bought in bulk and saved for a few days, but they recommend eating them fresh. At the cart, they ask you to “put the bagel in mouth for safekeeping.” Love it! Open early every day of the week, so grab some before going to work. Let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Bagels – $1.25 each or $13.75 a dozen
  • Bagel with cream cheese – $3
  • Bagel with hummus and radish  -$4
  • Bagel with goat cheese and autumn slaw – $6
  • Bagel with bacon, jam, cream cheese and arugula – $5.50
  • Bagel with lox etc – $8

Website: Tastebudfarm.com
Facebook: TastebudPDX

Big-Ass Sandwiches – Mississippi Marketplace

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Big-Ass Sandwiches - Mississippi Marketplace

Big-Ass Sandwiches – Mississippi Marketplace

Location: N Skidmore and Mississippi , Mississippi Marketplace
Hours: Tue-Sun, 11am-5pm

The Story: Lisa and Brian Wood will celebrate their 4th year making one of the craziest and tastiest sandwiches in town come December. To celebrate, they decided to expand and open a second cart in North Portland at Mississippi Marketplace. Their signature Big-Ass Sandwich is made on a Fleur De Les ciabatta roll with either house roast beef, roast turkey, or ham, covered with hand cut fries, and homemade Bechamel cheese sauce. Over the years, they have expanded their menu with some of their fan favorites and specials. Truly one of Portland’s food cart success stories.

Big-Ass Sandwiches has been featured on every network food show including the honor of winning the Best Sandwich of the NW on Adam Richman’s Best Sandwich In America show. Now you can find that sandwich at their new location at Mississippi Marketplace. Their original cart is open at SE 2nd and Oak.

Read our original article from 2009 here.

Website: Bigasssandwiches.com
Twitter: @BigAssSandwich
Facebook: Big-Ass Sandwiches

Om Nom Gluten-Free Waffles

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Om Nom Gluten-Free Waffles

Om Nom Gluten-Free Waffles

Location: N Killingsworth and Maryland, Killingsworth Station
Hours: Mon-Fri, 7:30am-3:30pm; Saturday, 10am-2pm

The Story: North Portland continues to attract some great new vendors. With a new food cart lot – Killingsworth Station – now open just off the MAX line, vendors are discovering an underserved community. Om Nom Gluten-Free Waffles opened earlier this fall to offer both breakfast and lunch options throughout the week.

Om Nom was born from a collective passion by both the owner and her friends to create something healthy, but also community driven. Michelle, the owner, doesn’t just want to own and run a food cart, so she engaged her friends who all have a come together to support each other in challenging times to design and launch the venture. I love this cart with its rustic cabin architecture, but emblazoned and sided with recycled materials. Michelle’s son flattened all the recycled metal cans in order to create the siding we see on the front. Such a cool way to finish off a project. Michelle hopes that her cart and her peers can create something for the community which may start with the waffles, but grow and blossom.

I spoke with Michelle about the gluten-free aspect of the waffles and her goal is to source locally and keep it healthy and stay away from corporate and GMO foods. There is also a health aspect behind the cuisine choice, so you’re getting the real deal. Om Nom offers gluten-free freshly made waffles with both savory and sweet options. I chose the Stegasaurus with hummus, feta, mozzarella fresca cheese, tomato, red onion, fresh spinach and sprinkled with balsamic vinegar. How many great flavors can you pack in one dish? Many! The dry feta with the hot red onion and bitter spinach with each bite of a waffle – pretty darn delicious. I loved how the balsamic vinegar worked its way through into almost every bite.

The Stegasaurus from Om Nom Waffles

The Stegasaurus from Om Nom Waffles

Om Nom Gluten-Free Waffles is open daily during the week for breakfast and lunch and on Saturday for lunch. Killingsworth Station is right off N Killingsworth at Maryland and offers covered seating to get out of the weather. Drop on by, welcome Michelle to the fold and let Om Nom know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Butter and Cinnamon and Sugar waffle – $2
  • Cream Cheese and Jam – $3
  • Nut Butter and Jam – $3
  • Cinnamonodon – cream cheese frosting and cinnamon sugar – $3
  • Valdosaurus – Ricotta, bacon, berry, maple syrup sweetened whipped cream waffle – $5
  • Godzilla – steaming marinara sauce, mozzarella and asiago cheese, pepperoni and tempeh waffle – $5
  • Stegasaurus – $5

Website: OmNomPdx.com
FacebookOm Nom Gluten-Free Waffles
Twitter: 
@OmNomPDXCart

Bridgetown Bagel Company

Lizzy Caston

Bridgetown Bagels1

Location: NE 52nd and Sandy – Rose City Food Cart Pod
Hours: Mon-Fri, 7am-1pm; Sat & Sun, 8am – 2pm

The Story: I call it the collective “Portland Bagel Freakout”.  I’m not quite sure why, but out of all the cities I have lived, worked in, and visited (and there have been many), Portland rivals only NYC and Montreal for what can only be described as a love of good bagels that borders on crazy zealously. That is, Google “bagels Portland, Oregon” and you’ll see countless, passionate (and sometimes uncivil) discussions on who has the best bagels in PDX, lamentations that Portland “has no real bagels”, cries for “I wish we had authentic bagels here!”…you get the idea. Mike Russell, the food critic for the Oregonian, sure found out about the Portland Bagel Freakout when he dared write about “Portland’s Best Bagels”. Check out these reader comments from that article for a chuckle for a chuckle. The message is clear: DON’T MESS WITH PORTLAND’S BAGELS. Portlanders will cut a biche over a bad, or even a mediocre bagel. It’s a BAGEL WAR.

So when a great bagel does appear on our fair streets of Bridgetown, people get a whole bunch of excited. Enter Bridgetown Bagel Company. Created by owner/baker Jonathan Park, an alum from the much loved, now sadly gone Kettleman Bagels, Bridgetown does the bagel right.

I won’t make claims this is THE BEST bagel in Portland (I’m not up for that knife fight). For I’ve learned, them there’s fightin’ words among Portland’s bagel cabal (that’s a joke, people). However, if you are looking for a very quality, fresh bagel of the East Coast style made they way they should – yes they are boiled, yes they use malt, yes, they are golden on the outside and dense and chewy within, yes, they aren’t super sized like some Godzilla bastard bagel – then Bridgetown Bagels is for you.

Bridgetown Bagels 3

Along with the usual cream cheese spreads, Bridgetown bagel offers the classic bagel and lox combo (with tomato, sliced red onions, and capers if you wish), breakfast and other bagel sandwiches.

I do want to give one big caveat about Bridgetown Bagels. And it’s no dis on them. Bridgetown, like most food carts is a small (read TINY) operation run by one person. He’s the one up at 2 in the morning making and proofing dough, cooking them just the right way, preparing and serving and cleaning up. And because Portlanders are such Bagel Hoarders, it’s hard to gauge from day to day how many crowds will show up and when and if they will buy the cart out on the spot. If you really really have your heart set on a bagel from Bridgetown, as we recommend here at Food Carts Portland for any cart visit, CALL AHEAD. Although they are consistent with their hours, Bridgetown can’t snap their fingers and make new bagels in 15 minutes if they have a rush and run out, and I bet you they’d rather close down than serve a crappy frozen and defrosted bagel. And so, when Bridgetown runs out, they run out for the day.  They are often sold out by noon, especially on weekends.

Still, as the old saying goes, absence makes the heart grow fonder. So, get out your cell phone, call ahead, get there early and enjoy a Bridgetown Bagel before a bonkers bagel band of Portlanders beats you to it.

bridgetown2

Sample Menu:

  • Bagels: Plain, Sesame, Poppy, Garlic, Onion, Salt, Everything. Each – $1,   ½ Dozen- $5.50    Baker’s Dozen- $10
  • Spreads: Cream Cheese (Plain, Scallion, Smoked Salmon) – $1,  Tofutti, Hummus, $1,  Butter, $0.50
  • Cheeses: Cheddar, Provolone, Swiss, Mozzarella – $1,
  • Veggies: Lettuce, Red Onions, Black Olives, Pickles, Capers- $0.25, Tomatoes – $0.50, Avocados: -$0.75
  • Meats - Ham, Sausage, Bacon, Salami, Pepperoni –  $1 Lox: $6, Whitefish: $4
  • Breakfast Sandwich –  Egg & Cheese Bagel: $3, add meat: $1
  • 3 Little Pigs Sandwich (Ham, Sausage, Bacon, Cheese, Egg) – $5
  • The Bridgetown Sandwich (Ham, salami, pepperoni, mozzarella, provolone, black olives, pickles, tomato): $7
  • Pizza Bagel: 1 Topping: $5  add topping – $0.50/each

Website: Bridgetown Bagel

Phone: (503) 268-2522
Facebook: Bridgetown Bagel

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