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

Smaaken Waffles

Brett Burmeister
Smaaken Waffles

Smaaken Waffles

Location: Hillsdale Food Park
Hours: Mon-Sun, 7am-7pm

The Story:

Parked atop recycled acorn shells spread across a lot nestled among the trees is one of Portland’s newest food cart lots and Smaaken Waffles stands out with their version of the “Dutch Taco.”

On the east side, you may be familiar with waffle sandwiches as FlavorSpot has been serving up such treats for years. Now the west side is getting both food cart love and Smaaken’s version of the Dutch Taco. The owners take pride in sourcing local organic wheat flour grown and milled in the Willamette Valley by Greenwillow Farms. Along with wood-fire roasted coffee from Millars, this cart keeps it local, simple and flavorful. [Read more...]

Pink and Black Waffle Shack

Lizzy Caston

Location: 5429 NE 30th Ave
Hours:
Saturday/Sunday 9am-3pm

The Story: Bow-chicka-wow-wow! Anyone remember that over-the-top brothel scene in the Tim Burton movie, Beetlejuice? Well, I can imagine Pink and Black Waffles with its aptly decorated burlesque inspired styling, complete with bright blinking electric OPEN sign, would be exactly where Beetlejuice gets his waffles post visit to those ghoulish and garish ladies of the night.

The young lady running Pink and Black Waffle Shack on the day I visited was not ghoulish or garish in the least though, just dressed in a color scheme to match her cart’s namesake, with a little bling make-up for added glamor. She made an effort people, and hats off to her for caring as much about her style as she does about her waffles.

It seems people fall into two camps when it comes to batter breakfasts – there are pancake people, or there are waffle people. Portlanders as a collective city seem to love both equally. But, Waffles and Food Carts appear to be a natural fit and Portland waffle carts love getting creative with the flavors and toppings both savory and sweet.

Pink and Black does not appear interested in early morning, or even mid-morning waffles for the early go-getter crowd, and opened on a leisurely noon on the Friday I swung by, but no matter. Waffles are fine for lunch as well as breakfast. This was no slacker’s careless waffles, however. A lot of thought and care goes into the creations at Pink and Black.

The waffle combos are INSPIRED and even a bit outrageous, and outrageous in a good way. While the savory waffles, such as the Heartbreaker (a cheese, bacon “wafflewich” with spicy mayo) will satisfy, it’s the sweet waffles that show off this cart’s love of all things sugary and cream. Take the PDXXX: Nutella, almond butter, whipped cream, toasted coconut, and a cherry on top. Whoa dudes. Or, I tried the Monkey Biz: a big mess o’ open faced thick Belgian waffle smothered with salted caramel, banana sauce, banana slices, fresh whipped cream, and an almost praline like granola. I left with a serious sugar buzz that lasted all afternoon. From what I could gather, waffles at Pink and Black are the thick Belgian kind, not the thin American kind, in case that sort of thing matters to you.

Did this inspire the Pink & Black Waffle Shack? (from the movie Beetlejuice)

I have a hunch this cart likes waffles as well as substances that might perhaps give one the munchies for said waffles. With menu item names such as the Pineapple Kush and Wake n’ Bake, Pink and Black would probably do a booming business setting up next to one of Portland’s proliferating marijuana clinics.

Alas, you don’t need to be into “the green” to enjoy shelling out a little green for a Pink and Black Waffle. They are a satisfying treat no matter your indulgence of choice. Pink and Black Waffle Shack – adding to Portland’s Food Cart diversity and creativity.

Sample Menu:

  • Plain Old Waffle with add-ons (an extra $0.50) bacon, cheese, almond butter, Nutella, whip, berries, specialty syrups – $3
  • BLT Wafflewich – bacon, tomato, Romaine Lettuce on a waffle – $5.50
  • Bacon, Egg, Cheese waffle – $5.50
  • Sexy Time – strawberries and whipped cream, optional powdered sugar/toasted coconut – $4.50
  • PDXXX: Nutella, almond butter, whipped cream, toasted coconut, and a cherry on top – $5.50
  • Monkey Biz – salted caramel, banana sauce, banana slices, fresh whipped cream, granola on top – $5.50

Facebook: Pink and Black Waffle Shack

Retrolicious

Brett Burmeister
Retrolicious

Retrolicious

Location: Roaming, check their website for location
Hours: daily, 11:30-7 including weekends

The Story:

Pink flamingos flank the 60′s pink cart with the Jetson’s style logo. Retrolicious is the latest edition to Green Castle and is bringing back the classics. [Retrolicious left Green Castle in 10/2012 and is roaming and seeking a new location]

Hailing from Phoenix, Kimmy and her partner Roy, wanted to have some fun with both the cart and the menu. With fond memories of childhood favorites like mac ‘n cheese or meatloaf, the scratch made classics cart was born. Kimmy runs around the lot in a bright pink and yellow striped skirt I think I saw in a James Bond flick. The best way to engage customers – talk to them. The flamingos and the bright colored chairs and table add to the feel. A stunningly beautiful and well executed cart with a great brand.

Butter Basted Diner Burger

Butter Basted Diner Burger

Kimmy is going for big meals. The meals we enjoyed growing up before Mutual of Omaha’s Animal Kingdom. Those which put meat on our bones. The menu Saturday included Chicken and Waffles, Southern Style Mac & Cheese, Cart Cured BLT, a Honey Mustard Chicken Sandwich and the Butter Basted Diner Burger I enjoyed. Not having eaten many burgers in the last year in my attempt to experience other great foods, here was my chance to re-introduce my tastebuds to a classic. Served on Texas Toast, the hand crafted burger came with the usual fixin’s and pimento cheese. PIMENTO CHEESE. Wow, a big mouthful with that toast and the cheese was spot on for this type of burger. It has the appropriate amount of salt to the meat and having been butter basted, it had that sweet cream flavor I crave. While messy, it was worth it, sitting there devouring a juicy burger on a warm sunny spring day in Portland.

Retrolicious is hard to miss. One of the largest carts to grace our scene and painted bright pink. Kimmy and Dan are welcoming and want you to remember childhood through food. The menu is on a chalkboard, so it may change daily. Be prepared to experience what they have to offer. Drop on down to Green Castle and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Chicken & Waffles  – $5 or double for $7
  • Butter Basted Diner Burger – choice of cheese – $6
  • Southern Style Mac & Cheese – $5
  • Cart Cured BLT – a classic – $7
  • Hone Mustard Chicken Sandwich – $6

Hours: daily, 11:30-7 including weekends
Phone:
503-539-3808
Website: EatRetrolicious.com
Twitter: @EatRetrolicious
Facebook: EatRetrolicious

The Gaufre Gourmet

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The Gaufre Gourmet

The Gaufre Gourmet

Location: SW 9th and Washington
Hours: Mon-Fri, 7am-3pm; Sat, 10-2pm

The Story:

Some believe that opening a cart in the dead of winter in Portland is a bad idea, yet, there have been a few very successful launches in the last couple of years that are still going strong. Portland appreciates their carts and supports them even during the cold and rain. The Gaufre Gourmet is one of those carts that has that confidence.

Gaufre is French for waffle. Charline Wesler and Michael Susak are the chefs creating these amazing treats. The Gaure Gourmet focuses on liege style waffles made with a brioche style dough mixed with pearl sugar they import directly from Belgium. Pearl sugar is just what it sounds like – sugar in the form of little pearls. These aren’t the traditional waffles you get at your local diner, they are smaller, but thicker and fluffier. The cart is located on the corner of 4th and west Burnside at the Chinatown gate and the entrance to old town. I asked Michael if they had experienced any issues being in Old Town and surprisingly enough, they hadn’t. During the dead of December, when business was both slow and the weather was colder than normal, they decided to offer up free waffles and coffee to the area residents as a way to give back during Christmas week. That goodwill has resulted in them being welcomed into the community.

The Original

The Original

Michael stated that in Europe, the liege style waffle they serve are like snacks on the go. The Original, about the size of one’s hand, is a single waffle topped with powdered sugar. With the pearl sugar, some melts and some doesn’t, so you get a sweetness throughout and bits that didn’t melt to create a sugary crunch. One thing I will warn you about – don’t breath in while taking a bite or you get powdered sugar down your throat. If this is snack food for the French, I gotta respect their choices. While the liege style waffle is the cart’s specialty, they expand on it by adding local ingredients to create either sweet or savory concoctions. The Porklandia is a cornbread jalapeno liege style waffle topped with pulled pork, cabbage and apple slaw. You definitely need a fork for this one.

The Porklandia

The Porklandia

I enjoyed visiting the cart for lunch, but after enjoying that simple waffle, I now want to put it on my morning routine. They even serve up coffee drinks using illy brand coffee. Charlene and Michael have something new to offer the cart world and even the late night clubbers of old town. If you’re looking for a new treat, small or large, head on down to The Gaufre Gourmet and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Update, June 2011: Gaufre Gourmet has moved to NE 20th and Everett and will be open there as of June 21.

Update, October 2011: Gaufre Gourmet has moved to SW 9th between Alder and Washington and no longer offers late night nosh.

Sample Menu:

  • The Original: liege style waffle with vanilla powdered sugar – $2.50
  • Belgian Chocolate: liege style waffle drizzled with chocolate – $3.25
  • Maple Bacon: bacon, need they say more  -$4.50
  • ABC Waffle: arugula, bacon, Camembert and fig – $6.50
  • The Milk and Honey: goat cheese mousse, pistachios, balsamic caramel sauce – $6
  • Banana Split Waffle: bananas, 3 ice creams, caramel sauce, chocolate sauce, raspberry sauce, whipped cream, toasted almonds – $6.50
  • Porklandia: pulled pork on jalapeno cornbread waffle with cabbage and apple slaw – $6.75
  • Coffee and Espresso from illy – all kinds.

Hours: Mon-Fri, 7am-3pm; Sat, 10-2pm
Phone: 503 888 2333
Website: The Gaufre Gourmet
Twitter: @gaufregourmet Facebook: The Gaufre Gourmet

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