Location: 3405 SE 82nd, just north of Powell
Hours: Tues-Sun, 11-8
The Story: Portland is embracing everything south of the border and I don’t necessarily mean Mexican cuisine. Salvadoran, Argentinean, Brazilian and more and more, Cuban. La Cubana, a new food truck located at the food cart pod on 82nd and Powell presents us with island delights.
Mario and Vivian opened La Cubana earlier this year in a new pod featuring Mexican and Korean offerings. I’ve visited a few Cuban vendors in town, yet haven’t seen as diverse a menu as Vivan and Mario offer. Start with simple tostones, deep fried smashed green plantains with garlic and lemon with a dash of salt. Or maybe sauteed Cuban style okra – Quimbombó. The Ropa Vieja, “old clothes” in Spanish, is slow cooked shredded beef with savory bits of onion, pepper and garlic in a rich tomato sauce with salad and beans and rices on the side. So many options. So many flavors. In the end, the Cuban Sandwich landed in my hands with a side of plantain chips. A pressed baguette with Swiss cheese, ham, grilled pork, pickles and mustard. Mustard – my dessert island condiment. First bite – I marveled the yellow mustard poked through the savory pork and cheese with a brightness and tang. No mayo or ketchup on this classic. The baguette, an ideal vessel for the goods, held together with crunch. A wonderful sandwich made by wonderful people.
La Cubana opens for lunch and dinner and also offers a wide range of drinks. Next time you’re down off 82nd and desire something new, drop on by and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.
- Ropa Vieja – $9
- Cuban Sandwich – $9
- Picadillo – ground beef with potato, white rice, onion and maduros on the side – $8.50
- Yuca con Mojo – yucca root cooked until soft, dressed with olive oil, fresh smashed garlic, lemon juice and choice of meat – $10
- Qumbombo – Okra – $4.50
- Tostones – $4
Phone: 503 754 4044