Operation Wings

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chicken wing food cart portland

Operation Wings

Location: SE 52nd and Foster at Carts on Foster
Hours: daily and on weekends for lunch and dinner

The Story: Chicken wings are as American as apple pie. One day, I’ll make the road trip back east to thank the owners of the Anchor Bar in Buffalo for the many years of enjoyment. Operation Wings, a food cart at Carts on Foster, is one of the few vendors in town who specialize in the tasty and messy treat.

Operation Wings does wings. Simple as that. Focus on what you do well and grow a loyal following. The cart opened to honor Petty Officer 1st Class Jeff Lucas, a Navy Seal, who was killed in action during Operation Red Wings in 2005. What better way to honor a friend and patriot than with great food that excites the tastebuds of everyone who enjoys them. Just reading through the Yelp! reviews, you realizes they are crushing it with their fans. So many different flavors, it was difficult to choose – Mango Habanero; Teriyaki, Jamaican Jerk; Booming BBQ; Zesty Pineapple Hawaiian; Traditional Frank’s Red Hot; Maple Bacon. WOW! Being a bit of purist, I grabbed a plate of Frank’s Red Hot and some tots. With a beer from the Pod Bar, I dove in. Crispy, spicy, messy, fresh. Those were the words that popped into my head at every bite. I’m no professional wing eater. Usually, I imbibe only on Super Bowl Sunday, but Operation Wings was calling my name and I’m glad I stopped by. These are the real deal. Next up for me, Honey Bourbon. chicken wing food cart portland

Operation Wings nailed it. With an extensive menu of wing flavors along with pork options, tater tots and waffle bites, there’s something for everyone. Next time you’re down of Foster, drop on by and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu: (full menu on website)

Wing baskets are $6 for small and $11 for large.

Website: Operation Wings
Facebook: Operation Wings

Blazin’ Ribs and Burgers

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bbq food cart portland

Blazin’ Ribs and Burgers

Location: SE 72nd and Flavel
Hours: Weekdays, 10am-10pm; Weekends, 10am-2am

The Story: Got an email the other day about a new pod out in SE Portland. A few food carts had opened and the neighborhood has been showing them some love. Blazin’ Ribs and Burgers brings BBQ to the lot.

Blazin’ Ribs and Burgers is the second cart for owner Chio and his business partner Teddy. The first cart, Blazin’ Ribs and Teriyaki opened earlier this year in SE Portland out off 161st and Division. The new cart here on Flavel is focusing on BBQ and Burgers. Chio has been working on his BBQ craft since childhood. Growing up in NE Portland, every Sunday after church, a friend’s grandfather would host a cookout and Chio would sit there and ask questions and learn the tricks of the trade from the elder statesman on how to make the best smoked ribs. Teddy brings a bit of the south with him, having family in southern Arkansas. The team understands the value of fresh ingredients along with signature flavors.

bbq food cart portland

Ribs and Fries from Blazin’ Ribs and Burgers

The menu offers up teriyaki chicken, fish n’ chips, a whole array of burgers with any topping you can imagine along with BBQ ribs. I knew before even before I arrived ribs would be my meal, but was excited to see the vast array of burger options. I’ll need to return for one. After ordering, Chio set out to hand cut the fries. He learned it early on that was the best tasting fry. I wouldn’t disagree. The ribs were top notch. A little smoky, a hint of sweet from brown sugar and the meat came off the bone so easily. I didn’t ask for the secret recipe, but I think someone mentioned Dr. Pepper in passing. Pretty amazing stuff. And for $8, this plate of ribs, fries and garlic bread is a steal. They do half and full racks to go. And a testament to their craft, a visitor from California arrived while I was there, returning for a rack after having enjoyed the ribs the previous day.

Blazin’ Ribs and Burgers is just what that area needed. Coming up 72nd from Johnson Creek, I noticed a lack of eating options and Chio and Teddy confirmed they stay busy throughout the day and on weekends into the night. Location is key. If you’re down that way, drop on by for some ribs or a burger and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Ribs w/Fries and garlic bread – $8
  • Teriyaki Chicken with rice and salad – $7.50
  • Fish n Chips – $7
  • Applewood BBQ Burger – $6.50
  • Chili Cheese Burger – $6.50
  • Blazin 1/2 lb double buffalo burger – $9.50
  • Buffalo Style Boneless wings – $7.50

Facebook: Blazin’ Ribs

Cackalack’s Hot Chicken Shack Rose City

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fried chicken food cart portland

Cackalack’s Hot Chicken Shack Rose City

Location: NE 52nd and Sandy, Rose City Food Park
Hours: Mon-Sun, 12-7

The Story: Cackalack’s Hot Chicken Shack expanded this summer to open a second food cart at Rose City Food Park in NE Portland. Same menu as their SE location including some amazing wings.

See our post on Cackalack’s here.

fried chicken food cart portland
Facebook: Cackalack’s Hot Chicken Shack

Mama Chow’s Kitchen

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Mama Chow's Kitchen

Mama Chow’s Kitchen

Location: SW 2nd and Stark
Hours: Mon-Fri, 11am-3pm

The Story: Great food comes from mom. That’s my takeaway from Mama Chow’s Kitchen, a new food cart serving up Mama’s wonton soup and more on SW 2nd and Oak.

Mama Chow’s opened earlier this year in a cedar festooned food cart built locally by PDX Cart Builders. Probably one of the more beautiful carts I’ve seen in the many years I’ve been tracking the scene. Mama Chow’s is the work of Jeff Chow with a little help from his mama Lalie. Jeff is a trained chef having worked in restaurants in Oakland, yet became a bit burned out and came to Portland to try something new. It was when he sat down to enjoy has mother’s wontons that he hatched the idea of opening a wonton cart. Portland doesn’t have one, so Jeff is the first. His mother’s wontons are the toast of the neighborhood, so he worked with her to figure out how to translate her signature recipe into a dish he could replicate daily. A pinch of this and dash of that was transformed into an amazing dish and has garnered Mama Chow’s a solid following.

Wonton Soup from Mama Chow's Kitchen

Wonton Soup from Mama Chow’s Kitchen

At Mama Chow’s Kitchen, Jeff offers up wonton soup with house made broth, baby bok choi and your choice of either chicken or pork and shrimp wontons. I found the wontons to be flavorful and paired nicely with the par-cooked bok choi and broth. Jeff offered up some of his personal spicy sauce which amped up the soup superbly. Beyond wontons, Jeff also throws down lollipop chicken, chicken legs prepared like lollipops. Having never had them, I was intrigued to discover a new delight. Jeff pushes the meat down the bone of the leg and then fries and marinates it. The bone acts as a handle. Oh, and with the marinade and sauce and a dash of sesame seeds and chives, I may have found a new favorite go-to cart.

Lollipop Chicken from Mama Chow's Kitchen

Lollipop Chicken from Mama Chow’s Kitchen

Jeff is keeping it simple with only a few items. He doesn’t want you, the eater, to have to wait to enjoy your dish. Located down off SW 2nd and Stark, Mama Chow’s Kitchen is open Monday through Friday, 11-3. He’s even working on some specials, so visit often for a treat. For wontons and lollipop chicken, this is the cart to visit. Drop on by and let him know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Wonton Soup with baby bok choi and choice of chicken wonton or pork and shrimp wonton – $7
  • Wonton Soup with noodles – $7
  • Lollipop chicken with baby bok choi on a bed of rice – $6

Facebook: Mama Chow’s Kitchen
Twitter:
@MamaCsKitchen

The Sausage Shack

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The Sausage Shack

The Sausage Shack

Location: SE MLK and Stark
Hours: Mon-Thurs, 10:30am-2am; Fri, 10:30am-3:30am; Sat, 10:30am-7:30pm

The Story:

When the previous owners of the cart that houses The Sausage Shack landed the cart on the corner of SW 3rd and Stark, one would have thought the circus was coming to town. This uniquely shaped cart reminds one of getting a corn-dog after watching the clowns pack themselves into a Volkswagen bug.

The Sausage Shack laid claim and opened a year or so ago and has been feeding Portland some the city’s best bacon. How do I know it is the best? They won the 2011 Bacon Cup for best bacon in the city. That is a title to be proud of in this city where we believe bacon is one of the essential food groups. The Shack is the work of Shawn and Tamara who took their award winning bacon and created a menu of burgers, chicken wings, and dogs and incorporated bacon into each item. You can follow their exploits on their YouTube channel where they document the life and times of a food cart family.

Farmer John Burger from The Sausage Shack

Farmer John Burger from The Sausage Shack

While the bacon wrapped chicken wings did sound appealing and made my mouth water, I was on the move and didn’t have a place to sit down and get messy, so I perused the burger options. The Farmer John is BLT on a burger along with a fried egg. That egg surprised me, but I liked it. Not an over the top monster burger, all the different pieces fit together well so I could enjoy it while walking to my next gig. The bacon was excellent and paired with the crisp lettuce, a thick slice of juicy tomato and good quality burger, I would rate high on my burger list of Portland’s food carts.

At The Sausage Shack, you can get bacon wrapped chicken wings, a bacon wrapped corn dog, a Philly cheesesteak dog and so many more great combinations. They are open for lunch and late into the night every night except for Sunday. Drop on by, give it a try and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

[Moved to SE Portland in 2013]

Sample Menu:

Full menu can be found on their website – PDXSausageShack.com

Hours: Mon-Thurs, 10:30am-2am; Fri, 10:30am-3:30am; Sat, 10:30am-7:30pm
Phone: 503 515 7962
Website: PDXSausageShack.com
Twitter: @Sausage_Shack
Facebook: The Sausage Shack
Other: Debit/Credit cards accepted

 

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