Mama Chow’s Kitchen

dieselboi
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

Pressed

dieselboi
Pressed

Pressed

Location: SE 52nd and Foster, Carts on Foster
Hours: Mon-Thurs, 11am-12am; Fri/Sat, 12am-2:30am

The Story: Sandwiches are my crutch. I get asked daily what my favorite vendors are, which is difficult to answer since there are so many out there who have impressed my taste buds. Yet, I find myself highlighting vendors who craft unique or extremely flavorful sandwiches. While Portland doesn’t necessarily have a signature sandwich like other cities, we do have excellent chefs making magic in the carts. Pressed is one of the newest sandwich vendors to grace our scene.

In looking at the menu, I was torn between getting the Last Sammy with salami, pepperoni, and fresh chili’s or the Reuben Stunner, their take on a classic. While perusing the menu, general manager and sandwich master Robert came out to chat. Robert, a trained chef, opened the cart earlier this summer with the goal of presenting excellent quality sandwiches and his description of the reuben sold me. Corned beef from Kansas, 60 day aged Swiss, his own cart made russian dressing and the required sauerkraut all on toasted rye bread. He even delivered it to me while I hung out in the Pod Bar. Take a look at that sandwich, stacked corned beef with the kraut mixed in. I dove in and never looked back. Many create this sandwich with equal parts sauerkraut and corned beef which overpowers many of the individual flavors. Robert used the kraut more as an accent like you would mix in a bit of horseradish to give something a zing. That technique created one of the best reubens I’ve enjoyed in awhile. Oh, and the fries had just the right dusting of salt.

Reuben Stunner from Pressed

Reuben Stunner from Pressed

Pressed is open daily for lunch through dinner and into the night, so if you’re craving a sandwich, chicken wings or maybe a peanut butter smore, they have you covered. Carts on Foster has a Pod Bar with a great selection of microbrews and ciders and indoor seating. Drop on by sometime and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • The Italian – ham, salami, Mozzarella with fries – $9
  • Last Sammy – $9
  • Reuben Stunner – $9
  • The Kimmy, PB&J & Bacon – $6
  • Fish & Chips – $12
  • Chicken Wings – 6 for $6, 12 for $11
  • Peanut Butter Smore – $5

Phone: (503) 473-5304
Facebook: Pressed
Twitter: @PressedPDX

The Sausage Shack

dieselboi
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

 

css.php