Da Fat Boyz BBQ

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Da Fat Boyz BBQ

Da Fat Boyz BBQ

Location: SE 82nd and Harney – Cartlandia
Hours: Wednesdays through Sundays from 11am to 6pm 

The Story: Competition BBQ. I have watched it on TV, yet never been to one in person. I know the work these guys put in to create their perfect sauce or rub in order to win. Da Fat Boys BBQ is a competition BBQ team here in Portland and have won more than a few competitions. Lucky for us eaters, we no longer have to wait for the next event – Da Fa Boyz now have a food truck on SE 82nd.

John Bagorio started out the business in 2008 catering for events and meetings. On a dare, he entered into a competition and the business grew from there. Visit the truck and the trophies showcase the quality of what they server. They were First Place – People’s Choice at Rogue Ales Bones & Brew in 2012. The menu here offers ribs, chicken, pulled pork, brisket and sides. Ribs are my crutch, so I grabbed four with a side of slaw and beans. Slow roasted, the meat on those bones couldn’t wait to be pulled off. I had to be careful not to drop bits of pork all over my lap. Smoky, salty, charred to perfection. A testament to how good these ribs were came a few hours later when eating something else, I could still smell the smoke on my fingertips. Superb.

I think I need to get out more to one of these competitions to learn the differences between these teams. It also wouldn’t be so bad to have to enjoy a few more ribs along the way. Located on NE Holladay st, just east of 82, the bright orange food truck is hard to miss. Drop on by and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • 4 Ribs with 2 sides – $9
  • 1/2 slab ribs with 2 sides – $13
  • Full slab with 2 sides – $23
  • BBQ Chicken with 2 sides – $9
  • Pulled Pork Sandwich with 2 sides – $9
  • Beef Brisket with 2 sides – $9
  • Sides – BBQ Beans, Cole Slaw, French Fries, Deep Fried Mac & Cheese – $2

Website: DaFatBoyzBBQ.com
Phone: 503 975 0721
Facebook: Da Fat Boyz BBQ
Twitter: @DaFatBoyzBBQ

I Heart This Cart

Brett Burmeister
I Heart This Cart

I Heart This Cart

Location: SW 3rd and Washington
Hours: Tues-Thurs, 11-4; Fri, 11-4 and 9pm-2am; Sat, 11am-9pm

The Story:

Multicultural Comfort Food is the theme for I Heart This Cart, one of the newest to join the vendors at SW 3rd and Washington. Looking at the diverse items on the menu, I see what they mean.

On a cool windy January day, I read the entire menu trying to decide which amazing item I wanted. Cory, the chef, has an eclectic blend of sandwiches, soups and event homemade mac and cheese. Cory’s been cooking since his teens and was the head chef at the Lake Hotel at Yellowstone National Park for two years. Nice resume. Also, when neighboring food cart owners urge you to visit, you gotta know it’s going to be good.

At I Heart this Cart you can pick up small bites like Arancinis or full size sandwiches like a seasonal po’boy with pork belly or a classic Philly cheese steak. I chose the hearty Southwest Mac and Cheese with chipotle cream sauce, cavatappi pasta and tossed with black beans, sweet corn, scallions, roasted red pepper and sided with a few tortilla chips. At Cory’s recommendation, I added in pork belly. A hearty meal served in a GO Box, I loved that it wasn’t a traditional cheesy cheesy Mac and Cheese. The sauce had a spicy bite, but mild and smoky from the chipotle. Al dente pasta is the perfect choice. More like an al fredo sauce. Did I mention the pork belly added in a wonderful creamy fattiness also. More than I could finish in one sitting.

Southwest Mac and Cheese

Southwest Mac and Cheese

I Heart This Cart had a steady stream of patrons while I stood around chatting with other vendors. Cory has built a following in the three short months he’s been open and is here for the long term. Drop on by next time you’re looking for something new and let him know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Arancini – 2 breaded risotto balls stuffed with Parmesan and fresh Mozzarella, deep fried and served with marinara – $4
  • Chicken and Dumplings – braised chicken thighs, brussell sprouts, root vegetables and potato dumplings – $7
  • Southwest Mac and Cheese – $8; add protein for $2
  • Parmesan Crusted Grilled Cheese with Vegan Tomato Soup – $7
  • Seasonal Po’Boy – braised and seared pork belly, apple fennel and radicchio slaw, served with a curried remoulade sauce on po’boy roll – $8
  • Classic Philly Cheesesteak – $4/half; $7/full

Phone: 707-299-7711
Facebook: I Heart This Cart

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

Miss Kate’s Southern Kitchen

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Miss Kate's Southern Kitchen

Miss Kate's Southern Kitchen

Location: N Mississippi and Skidmore, Mississippi Marketplace
Hours: Weds/Thurs: 10am-5pm; Fri/Sat, 10am-8 pm; Sunday, 10am-6pm

The Story:

Miss Kate, Charles’ grandmother, was from Vicksburg, Mississippi and Charles, the owner of the newest cart in Mississippi Marketplace is bringing the tastes of Mississippi to the street.

When Kate passed, Charles’ took control of the hundreds of recipes that Miss Kate had collected over the years from her time with the ladies at bridge and garden clubs. They would sit around and simply write down their favorites on the bridge pads, so some of the recipes don’t have titles. Charles takes the recipe and puts the ingredients together without truly knowing what the outcome will be. These are true southern dishes made by a descendant of the founders of Vicksburg. Charles loves to cook and it was at the cajoling for friends that he opened the cart. He also loves to tell stories – did you know the first bottle of Coke was made in Vicksburg by the Biedenharn Candy Company in 1894?

At Miss Kate’s Southern Kitchen, you can discover some amazing southern dishes like coleslaw, mac and cheese, succotash, chicken salad, meatloaf, turkey, pork roast, biscuits and gravy and their awesome pimento cheese. They also have southern fried chicken with biscuits which is what I enjoyed that opening week. I didn’t grow up with crispy homemade fried chicken, so as an adult, I’ve been seeking it out whenever I can. With just salt, pepper and flour, Charles creates an amazing crust that keeps the meat juicy and savory. The biscuits that come with the meal are something special. Sweet cream butter was a dominant taste in the biscuit, but the secret is actually a brown sugar/butter glaze that creates the sweetness I so loved. I’m excited to have Mississippi food now on Mississippi boulevard in my neighborhood.

Fried Chicken from Miss Kate's

Fried Chicken from Miss Kate's

Charles and his cart Miss Kate’s Southern Kitchen are open Tuesday through Saturday for the morning hours through the afternoon. You can enjoy some biscuits and gravy or grab a full meal. Charles has an extensive menu, so you can try all that he has to offer. I’m looking forward to some southern succotash. Drop on by this brand new cart and welcome them to the neighborhood and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

Biloxi Biscits (Savory Biscuit)

  • Biscuit and Bacon Gravy – $3
  • Biscuits with Pimiento Cheese – $2.50
  • Biscuit with Maple Syrup and Butter – $1.50
  • Breakfast Biscuit with ham, bacon, or sausage – $3
  • Biscuit Sandwich with choice of meat and egg and cheese with port beer cheese sauce – $4
  • Vicksburg Beignet – 2 for $1.50, 6 for $4; Baker’s Dozen – $7.50

Sandwiches:

  • Papaw’s Turkey Sandwich – turkey grilled in gravy, whole cranberry jam, onion cream cheese, greens, tomato, on grilled Italian white bread – $7.50
  • Aunt Pat’s Ham Sandwich – country baked ham, pimento cheese, dill mayo, greens, tomato on grilled swirled white and rye – $7.50
  • Mamaw’s Chicken Salad – rosemary chicken, cranberries, pecans, greens, tomato, Creole mayo, on grilled Italian white – $7.50

Other:

  • Vicksburg Southern Fried Chicken – crispy fried chicken with a little kick – 2 pieces and served with cornbread or biscuit – $6
  • Creole Beans and Rice with Cornbread – $5

Hours: Weds/Thurs: 10am-5pm; Fri/Sat, 10am-8 pm; Sunday, 10am-6pm
Phone: 503 724 7878
Facebook: Miss Kate’s Southern Kitchen

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The Rock House Grill

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Rock House Grill

Rock House Grill

Location: Cartlandia, SE 82nd and Harney
Hours: Daily and weekends, breakfast, lunch and dinner

The Story:

In a trailer that reminds one of the 50′s or maybe a boardwalk vendor, The Rock House Grill creates some great food to sate your needs- morning, noon or night.

At Cartlandia out in east Portland, James has opened his shop after years of working in restaurants and honing his skills at the grill. He’s worked in small bars, been a line cook and even catered for concerts. If you can manage a crowd of rowdy rockers, you’ve proven you can man the grill.

NY Steak Sandwich

NY Steak Sandwich

With an extensive menu of breakfast items, sandwiches, burgers, burritos, pork chops and steaks, there is something for everyone. Instead of ordering what I would normally order, the burger, we asked James what his signature dish was. The NY Steak sandwich is what he prepared. Ordered medium rare, just before we went to sit down, he yelled out the window “leave the fat on or off?” I’ve never been asked that, so again, deferred to his discretion – fat on. The large steak came atop some melted cheese on a toasted bun with some grilled onions and peppers sliced tomato and a salad mix of finely chopped cilantro, spinach and leaf lettuce. At first bite, you could taste the amazing steak, cooked perfectly medium rare and juicy, the veggies and a hint of horseradish that was pleasantly spicy, but not overwhelming. Having the fat left on gave it a great little buttery flavor. An excellent sandwich and one of the best I’ve tried in awhile.

The Rock House Grill is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and will feed you until you’re full. The portions are large and satisfying and James is a character who will bring your food to the table and make sure you’ve had a satisfying meal. Drop on by and let him know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu: by far not everything

  • The Big Badass American Outlaw Burrito: steak, chicken or pork with all the fixins – $8
  • NY Steak and Eggs w/hash browns or fried potatoes and toast – $10
  • Pancakes – $6
  • English muffin, ham, egg and cheese – $4
  • NY Steak Dinner served with salad, rice or fried potatoes or baked potato, beans and a dinner roll – $10
  • Double Double style burger-  double meat, double cheese – $8
  • Single Steak Burger – $5
  • NY Steak Sandwich  – $10
  • Patty Melt – $6
  • and more

Hours: Daily and weekends, morning to evening
Contact: unknown

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