Neue Southern PDX

southern food cart portland

Neue Southern PDX

Location: 3200 SW Moody – The Gantry
Hours: Tues-Fri, 12-8, Saturdays, 12-5 (subject to change, check Facebook for updates)

The Story: Portland is a people magnet, not just for the young and tech entrepreneurs, but also for chefs. Lauren and Graham, the owners of Neue Southern PDX traveled 3000 miles from Greenville, SC to open their cart. One of Portland’s latest additions to the food cart scene.

Lauren and Graham opened Neue Southern in Greenville two years ago, but the siren song of Portland’s street food scene called and they sold the truck and bought a cart from a local builder and set up shop on SE Belmont, an ever evolving food destination. The cart pod,  Belle Carts,  hosts three vendors at this time with covered seating. Lauren and Graham attended the much vaunted culinary school Johnson and Wales University in Charlotte and opened their food truck shortly thereafter. Their goal, a menu offering local, sustainable, in season items crafted into tasty dishes. When I visited, the chalk written menu spoke to an ever evolving range of options based on their culinary expertise but also what’s in season. There are few vendors who can pull this off, but after enjoying lunch from Neue Southern PDX, I’m sold.

southern food cart Portland

Schnitzel Sandwich from Neue Southern PDX

Lauren greeted me with a smile and welcomed me to the cart. Always a good sign. Menu for that Wednesday included deep fried brussels sprouts, a butternut squash soup with apple, shallot, vanilla, thyme and brown butter cream, and event fried quail with a buttermilk biscuit. While I’m eager to try every dish, I didn’t have enough room in the belly entering Thanksgiving weekend, so I picked out the schnitzel sandwich, always a favorite for my tastebuds. An organic pork shoulder, battered and fried, topped with Bibb lettuce, sweet and sour pickles and served on a house made bun with lemon cream. The schnitzel was easily 25% larger than the bun which I love. Mixing the sweet and sour pickles with the schnitzel and lemon cream is genius – so many disparate flavors put together to create sandwich harmony. A rather sizable sammy, so if you’re visiting, bring a friend and order two items and share.

Neue Southern PDX is a great addition to Portland’s street food scene. Each day I’m surprised by what chefs are crafting in the little kitchens that are food carts and am happy to have a taste of the south as an offering. Drop on by the next time your down that way and let Laurent and Graham know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

[Neue Southern moved to The Gantry in summer 2015]

Sample Menu (see website or Facebook for menu updates):

  • Brussels sprouts deep fried – $4
  • Schnitzel Sandwich – $9
  • Fried Quail – $12
  • Seasonal Soup – $7
  • Steamed Bun with pork belly, sorghum + blackstrap rum, sweet and sour pickles, penne, house bun – $9 for 2

Twitter: @NeueSouthern
Facebook: NeueSouthern

Cackalack’s Hot Chicken Shack Rose City

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

I Heart This Cart

Brett Burmeister
comfort food cart portland

I Heart This Cart

Location: SW 3rd and Washington
Hours: Mon-Sat, 11-4

The Story:

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

On a cool winter day, I revisited the cart to chat with the new owner Heather and check out the latest menu offerings. Heather trained at Western Culinary and has worked in every restaurant and catering spot she could. She even worked a kitchen at a fly fishing camp in Alaska and at the Playboy mansion. How ’bout them apples? Heather worked with the previous owner and took over the cart earlier this year and has made it her own. The goal is to make people happy. Heather can pretty much cook anything, but prefers to create dishes where she can “stand over a pot and stir.” Comfort food.

At I Heart this Cart you can pick up everything from pulled pork sliders to a chicken sub or jalapeno mac & cheese. If you’re truly into the ultimate comfort food, check out the different tater tot dishes including cajun tots, loaded tots with cheese, bacon, green onion and chipotle ranch or go crazy and enjoy a plate of carne asada tots with everything you can imagine plus seared carne asada. If you’re looking for a healthy dish, I heart this Cart offers up a fresh cobb salad also.

I Heart This Cart has a steady stream of patrons while I stood around chatting with other vendors. Heather has built a following of regulars, but also attracts newcomers who are looking for good home cooked food. Drop on by next time you’re looking for something new and let him know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Tater Tot dishes range from $2-$8 depending on toppings and size
  • Cobb Salad – $7
  • Chicken Caesar Wrap – $7
  • Pulled Pork or Roasted Chicken and Grits – $8
  • Pulled Pork Sliders – $8
  •  Cheesesteak – $5 or 8 depending on size

Phone: 971 407 9930
Facebook: I Heart This Cart
Twitter: @this_cart


Brett Burmeister


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
Twitter: @EatRetrolicious
Facebook: EatRetrolicious

The Rock House Grill

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