Kargi Gogo

Lizzy Caston
Kargi Gogo

Kargi Gogo

Location: SW Washington and 10th
Hours: Weekdays and Saturdays, lunch- late afternoon.

The Story: Grab your passports and your geography books, Kargi Gogo serves a cuisine we rarely see in Portland and they do an outstanding job of it too: The foods of the Georgian Republic. No, this is not fried chicken, grits, okra and peach pie found in the Southern United State of Georgia. This is food from the COUNTRY of Georgia. Located on the Black Sea, nestled under Russia, and surrounded by Turkey, Armenia, and Azerbaijan, Georgia is a culturally and geographically diverse country with a diverse cuisine to match it.  In Kargi Gogo’s own words:

Georgians make food that combines elements of Eastern European and Middle Eastern cuisines, resulting in fresh, flavorful dishes.

You’ll find Khachapuri – melted blend of cheeses in a flaky light crust. Then there’s Badrijani – cooked eggplant strips stuffed with ground walnuts, garlic and Georgian spices. Light but satisfying, and vegan and gluten free to boot. Yet, it’s the Georgian dumplings named Khinkali that really win us over. Think of generous fistfull sized tender and boiled wontons stuffed with a mixture of meats, garlic, herbs and broth. They are a Georgian obsession and highly addictive, and pro-tip provided by the owners of Kargi Gogo and the way the Georgians eat them – grab the dumpling by the top, turn them upside down, then bite in. This keeps the hot broth inside the dumplings from exploding all over your nice clean shirt.

Kargi Gogo,  literally translates  to Good Girl in the Georgian language and their cute little white cart with the quirky cartoon girl logo (the good girl) is a nice introduction to Georgian food.  Kargi Gogo has put a lot of thought into their design and menu, including descriptions and photos of their food as well as making sure there are offerings for meat eaters, vegetarians and vegans. They even have some gluten free foods. This commitment to education about their food is really helpful in choosing what mouth-watering treats to try.

Kargi 2

Kargi Gogo’s Supra Feast sampler plate

A great introduction to sampling  Kargi Gogo’s menu is their “Supra Feast”, describe as:

A Georgian supra is an epic feast with an abundance of delicious food. Indulge with a slice of Khachapuri, a slice of Lobiani, two Khinkali, two Badrijani and Peasant’s Salad.

Sean and McKinzie are the two affable young Americans who own Kargi Gogo. They were both stationed in Georgia for two years in the Peace Corps, met there, and decided to introduce Portlanders to this fantastic cuisine. Food Carts Portland salutes Kargi Gogo for their efforts and excellence. Or, as the robust and friendly Georgian people might say, Gemrielad Miirthvith! (Enjoy your meal!)

 

Sample Menu:

 

  • Khachapuri – Georgian Cheese Stuffed Bread – $6
  • Lobani – stuffed Bean and Onion Bread – $6
  • Khinkali – meat stuffed boiled dumplings – $6
  • Badrijani – eggplant, garlic and walnut rolls – $6
  • Peasant Salad – tomatoes, cucumbers, parsley, onions in a walnut-garlic dressing – $6
  • Supra Feast – a large sampler of all menu items – $8

 

Phone: 503- 489-8432

Website: kargigogo.com

Facebook: Kargi Gogo PDX

Twitter: @kargigogopdx

 

 

 

Potter’s Kolaches & Coffee

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Potter's Kolaches & Coffee

Potter’s Kolaches & Coffee

Location: SW 3rd and Ankeny
Hours: Mon-Sat, 6am-12pm

The Story:

For awhile there, it was difficult to get some great early morning eats from the carts. Luckily, the fried egg sandwich people have helped fill that gap, but sometimes you want something simpler, yet still full of flavor. Potter’s Kolaches & Coffee will soon become your new morning destination.

Andrew Potter opened the cart this past summer and has been serving his signature Kolaches to the neighbors. Kolaches are a sweet pastry, almost biscuit like, filled with breakfast fillings. Originally from eastern European countries, mainly Poland and Czechoslovakia, this creation can be found most anywhere due to emigration and movements of people over the years. Andrew’s inspiration for his kolaches actually came from the Polish and Czech influences out of Texas. They replaced the sweet filling with bacon, ham, sausage and jalapenos. After a few years working in advertising after college, Andrew realized that the happiest times he had at a job were in the kitchen and launched his cart.

Kolaches from Potter's

Kolaches from Potter’s

At Potter’s you can get a simple sausage kolache for 99c and that would be plenty for many of us. These little guys are, well, amazing. I opted for the Picquant with egg, sausage, cheese and jalapeno and a Robustuous with egg, cheese, tomatoes, onions and peppers. That first bite into the Picquant burst with flavor including the mild heat from the peppers. The breading surrounding the filling is a bit flaky, but sweet and savory and holds together well. For $1.96 each, these are the best bargain in town for something so flavorful. Pair with a cup of coffee from Cafe Mom and you’re set.

Potter’s Kolaches is open Monday to Saturday from 6am-noon. You can park in the lot while you grab your breakfast. The orange and red cart is hard to miss. The kolaches are made fresh daily and ready to serve when you get there. Drop on by and let Andrew know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Sausage – 99c
  • Sausage & Cheese – $1.25
  • Stawberry Jam – $1.25
  • Egg & Cheese – $1.55
  • Picquant – $1.96
  • Robustuous – $1.96
  • Hot Coffee – 12oz, $1.25; 16oz, $1.50

Hours: Mon-Sat, 6am-12pm
Website: KolachesPDX.com
Facebook:
Potter’s Kolaches & Coffee

EuroDish

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eurodish

Location: SW 10th and Alder

Description:

EuroDish calls their food “Traditional Polish Home Style Cuisine.” When I see the words traditional and home style together, I get a little excited. To me, it means someone is trying to harken back to days of yore and replicate what they know to be the food of their homeland. At EuroDish, the owner is succeeding.

EuroDish has been around now for a couple of years, so obviously has worked out any kinks and has a strong following. I have visited a few times in the past and have always enjoyed my meal. EuroDish’s traditional Polish fare is made up of many different options. You can go simple and get a kielbasa sausage on a french roll or get crazy and have one of the combo plates which could include pierogies, salad, schnitzel, blintzes, and bigos. A pierogi is a polish home style dumpling filled with seasoned potato and cheese or cabbage and mushroom or meat. Bigos is traditional hunter’s stew – beef, pork, sausage and tomato sauce stewed in sauerkraut…  All that together would truly fill one up. And these are just a couple of the items on the large menu of lunch and dinner options.

Recently, I opted for one of the combos shown in pictures outside the cart. A huge plate of food including a salad, some rice, pierogis, and two pork schnitzels, smothered in grilled onions. I dove in and was in food heaven. I lived in Austria for a time, so am familiar with schnitzel, but haven’t had it in a few years. The schnitzel I had that day brought back some great memories. It was perfectly breaded and seasoned and cooked perfectly. The crust had a sweetness to it at times that surprised me  and forced me to eat more. The dressing on the salad was surprisingly good as not many side salads at carts impress me. The pierogis were what I expected, little dumplings of yum. The entire meal was fabulous. I actually wasn’t able to finish.

Schnitzel plate

Schnitzel plate

If you are out and about and need a hearty meal, check out EuroDish. [post originally written by Cuisine Bonne Femme, Sept. 2007, updated July, 2009.]

Sample Menu:

  • Beef Vegetable Goulash Soup – beef, onion, tomato, carrot, garlic, and spices – served with egg pasta – $5
  • Kielbasa Sandwich – grilled polish sausage with fried onions on french roll – $4
  • Pork Schnitzel Sandwich – lightly breaded pan fried pork loin served with coleslaw, lettuce, tomato, cucumber onion and mustered on roll – $6
  • Pierogi – dumplings; potato and cheese or cabbage and mushroom or meat and spinach – 6 for $4.50 or 9 for $6.50
  • Bigos – Hunter’s Stew – beef, pork, sausage, tomato sauce – seasoned and stewed in sauerkraut – $4.50
  • Combo plates – choices of the above items together – ranging between $5 and $8
  • Cheese Blintzes – crepes filled with farmer’s cheese served with fresh fruits and sweetened sour cream – 1 for $2.25 or 2 for $4.25

Hours: 11am – 6pm Monday through Friday

Phone: 971 344 3704

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Tabor Czech Food

Lizzy Caston

Location: SW 5th and Oak
Hours: Weekdays, lunchtime

Description: Probably one of the best (and fanciest) food carts in Portland. This cute little red hut located on SW Stark right by SW 5th is the home of the famous “snitzelwich” – a perfectly tender, breaded and fried choice of chicken or pork cutlet served on a fresh ciabatta roll and served with a hint of horseradish and a nice sweet paprika-red pepper sauce, grilled onions, and lettuce. Perfection for $6.00.

Tabor also serves an incredible goulash with or with out traditional large Czech dumplings, chicken paprikash, and killer potato pancakes. Tabor also makes a whole other slew of sandwiches and soups in the $3.00 to $6.00 range, such as a creamy spinach soup or fried Munster cheese sandwich. Vegetarians and vegans will appreciate the eggplant sandwich ($5.50) or one of the inspiring vegetable soups. On Fridays, Tabor makes Halusky, the the Czech version of spaetzle dumplings. Other specialties include fresh squeezed carrot juice for $2.00 (or vegetable/fruit juice blend for $2.00), and a German smoked sausage on a roll for $6.00.

Sample Menu: See Tabor Website

Hours: Mon-Fri Lunch Hours Only (probably closes before 3PM)

Phone: 503-997-5467

Website: http://schnitzelwich.com/index.html

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