DogHouse PDX

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The Dog House PDX

Location: SE 50th and Division at The Lot at Scout
Hours: Check Facebook for updated hours

The Story:

I actually remember the first time I had tater tots. We were a meat and potatoes and pancakes for dinner family living in deep southeast Portland when my mom came home one evening with this bag of Ore-Ida Tater Tots. When the cookie sheet came out of the oven and those tots were up for grabs, my brother, sister and I dove in. It was the best food we had tasted in our entire lives (I actually remember us exclaiming that while running through the house, screaming.) Now, some 30 odd years later, Tots are making a serious comeback as both comfort food and treats at high end restaurants. When we wrote about a cart serving tots as a side for burgers last year, the Internets blew up with comments. Now, we have a cart that takes tots to the next level – The Dog House PDX.

Timber from The Dog House PDX

Timber from The Dog House PDX

Timber and Ali, who brought us Yogio last year, knew that their pod in North Portland needed a comfort food cart, so they acquired a stepvan and converted it to serve up dogs and tots and everything in between. When I first heard of the cart, I thought they were just doing a variation on a hot dog cart, but their approach is to put together unique bowls of happy food funtime. You can either have a dog or tots which are then covered with your choice of topping and usually melted cheese. The dog or tots are called the bottom and tops could include gravy, bacon, a fried egg, jalapenos, black beans, chili, pineapple or pretty much anything you can imagine. A great concept that includes what many of us grew up on as children with the tastes we’ve learned to love over the years.

I highly suggest eating whatever you order at the lot instead of getting it to go. Why? Because they serve whatever you order in a great little dog dish and that is just cool. Picture a pile of tots covered with melted pepper jack cheese, onions, jalapenos and topped with a fried egg. Oh and don’t forget the kicker sauce which adds a little spice to the entire dish. Every bit of the dish captures the essences of childhood with the crispiness of the tots and the gooeyness of the melted cheese. While I don’t remember mom ever putting a fried egg on my tots, it worked. I felt like a kid again.

I wasn’t able to visit The Dog House when they first opened at North Station in north Portland. They moved last month to NE Alberta with Yogio to their own pod named Holy Trinity partnering with another cart that sells vintage clothing. I’m so happy to have finally enjoyed some of Timber’s tots and her excellent creations. I can only imagine they sell a boat load of tots once the sun goes down and the bars open up. Drop on by The Dog House, enjoy some tots, relive a childhood memory and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

[Cart moved to the Lot at Scout in 2018]

Website: The Dog House PDX
Twitter: @TheDogHousePDX
Facebook: The Dog House PDX

Rip City over Tots

Rip City over Tots

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PieLab

dieselboi

Pie Lab PDX

Pie Lab PDX

{Update Dec 2010 – PieLab is closed until spring]

Location: NW 12th and Davis
Hours: Fridays, noon-3pm

The Story:

Everyone loves pie right? How about fresh handmade pie served up with a smile and a game. Pie Lab is there to sate your Friday afternoon craving in the Pearl.

Crystal Beasley, a southern girl with bright red lipstick and a cute yellow vintage apron, knows how to bake and had a great idea earlier this year to mix her love of pie with her love of social interaction and games. While working for Cheezburger Networks, the group that brings you I can has Cheezeburger and Failblog among other Internet treats, Crystal hatched the brilliant idea to use a food cart to study society and play games with her customers. Using the social fundraiser site KickStarter, Crystal raised $1650 from 56 backers to finish the build out of her cart and launch. One day, you may spin the wheel to determine how much you pay. Another day, the wheel may decide which pie you will enjoy. Either way, you get a great slice of pie with which you can add fresh whip cream or ice cream if you so wish. For those who aren’t into the game, you can purchase your pie out right also.

Forest Berry Pie from Pie Lab

Forest Berry Pie from Pie Lab

Crystal has been busy with the lab, dusting off some family recipes and even venturing beyond our national borders for influences. The day we visited, she was offering a mixed forest berry pie with a crushed almond and ginger crust, a buttermilk whiskey pie, a mango cobbler and finally, a cherry pie. When I heard there was a pie made with whiskey, I couldn’t help but ask – “what’s your poison?” Wild Turkey! I’ve cooked with wine and sherry, but never whiskey. While I didn’t get drunk of my single slice of scrumptious pie, I could taste the sweet bourbon influences. The mixed berry pie my colleague enjoyed with both ice cream and whip cream was so life-changing for him that he followed up the dish with emails to all his friends, a Facebook posting and some preaching to coworkers. What I liked about both was the depth of flavor and freshness. Oh, and we both spun the wheel for price and landed on $1. Such a deal.

Pie Lab PDX is one of the most ingenious ideas I have seen here in Portland. A fun and tasty experience with a wonderful host in Crystal. Pie is wonderful and she makes some of the best I have had, so go visit her before she hunkers down for winter break and enjoy. Play a game and have some fun. Let her know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Slice of pie: flavors vary – $4
  • Whip Cream – $1
  • Ice Cream – $1

Hours: Fridays, 12-3pm or till they run out of pie
Twitter: @PieLabPDX Facebook: PieLabPDX

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