Burger Stevens

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burger food cart portland

Burger Stevens in Hillsdale

Location: 6238 SW Capitol Hwy in Hillsdale
Hours: Daily and Weekends 11am-7pm

The Story: Everyone loves a good simple burger right? Portland loves burgers so much they dedicate an entire week to celebrate the meat and bun magic. Burger Stevens opened last year and serves up one of the city’s best burgers from a food cart.

Burgers don’t need three patties and foie gras. Burgers should be crafted with a solid toasted bun, condiments, a grilled beef patty and cheese. Adding bacon and vegetables like lettuce, tomato and pickles adds to the experience. Burger Stevens creates a simple, yet delectable burger the likes many restaurants in town have lost sight of. Don Salamone launched the food cart in 2015 to showcase simple burgers with simple ingredients at the right price. An example is the bun. Many burgers in town showcase an artisanal bun which sometimes works, but often doesn’t. Don chose the simple locally made Franz bun we all grew up with.

Burger food cart portland

Burger Stevens

The burger may seem small to those of us watching the ongoing arms race of doubles, triples and 1/2lb Kobe burgers that dot the scene. Yet that is what perfection is. The grilled patty gets the perfect char and melted cheese then topped with lettuce, tomato and pickles. I added on fresh grilled jalapeños to up the ante and wasn’t disappointed. The bun won me over, holding everything together and offering a bit of toasted butter tastiness to the entire sandwich. Oh, and isn’t that a cute burger?

Burger Stevens is located in Hillsdale in the SW Hills of Portland next to Wilson High School. In a lot that hosts four food carts and covered seating, Don put together the ideal menu for the neighborhood. Next time you’re in the area, drop on by for a burger and maybe some soft serve and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Burger food cart Portland

Menu at Burger Stevens

Facebook: Burger Stevens
Twitter: @BurgerStevens

Arlo’s Fish and Chips

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fish and chips food cart portland

Arlo’s Fish and Chips

Location: N Lombard and Burr in St. Johns at Kruger Farms
Hours: Friday-Tuesday, 12-8pm; closed Wednesday/Thursday

The Story: Portlanders have discovered St. Johns. The north Portland neighborhood is a hidden gem of dive bars, restaurants, kitsch shops and food carts. On the corner of N Chicago and Ivanhoe, one block off Lombard, a new cart lot hosts 4 vendors vendors including Arlo’s Fish and Chips

Fish and Chips were always a treat for me as a child. Thick beer battered chunks of white fish dipped in the most mayonnaisey tarter sauce my mom could make. I loved it and even today, when tarter sauce is offered, I take two. Arlo’s Fish and Chips dishes up a 3 piece meal with fries for $12. Beyond that, they also offer cole slaw and clam chowder and based on their Facebook feed, an occasional fish taco plate. The whitefish is lightly battered then fried, crisping it without overdoing it with too thick a crust. Dip a piece in the chunky tartar sauce and enjoy. A great lunch.

fish and chips food cart portland

Fish and Chips from Arlo’s

Arlo’s Fish and Chips is located on the north side of St. Johns and the food cart lot offers covered seating for everyone. Next time you’re in the neighborhood, check them out and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Fish and Chips meal with 3 pieces and fries – $12
  • Cole Slaw – $2
  • Clam Chowder – $4

Facebook: Arlo’s Fish & Chips
Twitter: @ArlosTruck

Grandpa Jimmy’s Southern Fried Fish

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fried fish food cart portland

Grandpa Jimmy’s

Location: NE 76th and Glisan
Hours: Tues-Fri, 11-2:30 and 4:30-8, Sat, 12-8pm

The Story: Been to the south lately? Enjoyed some fried catfish maybe? I haven’t and needless to say, I crave it. Lucky for me, I stumbled upon Grandpa Jimmy’s Southern Fried Fish, a new food cart over on NE Glisan serving up such delights.

Grandpa Jimmy’s opened only a month ago and according to the owner of the neighboring taproom, had been selling out daily. Yes, Grandpa Jimmy’s sits next door to Hillbilly’s Growler Fill Station, so you can pair your fried fish dish with a nice quaffable brew. Andre, the owner and chef of Grandpa Jimmy’s, has put together a great menu for the neighborhood. Baskets or dinner plates with either fried tilapia, halibut or catfish. A sampler is also available so one can enjoy all three. As for sides, try the deep fried okra or southern greens with smoked turkey. True taste pleasers.

On the cool, damp day I visited, fried catfish with fresh cut fries, tangy coleslaw and a dinner roll sounded just about the perfect lunch. With an IPA by my side, I dove in to the lightly breaded and boldly seasoned catfish which fell apart on the fork. Mix in a fry here and there and trail with the coleslaw. The perfect lunch for a Wednesday. I’ll definitely return for the sampler or maybe even the greens on the weekend.

fried fish food cart portland

Fried Catfish from Grandpa Jimmy’s

On Grandpa Jimmy’s Facebook, Andre has posted some weekly specials and a photo of him and Grandpa Jimmy, so beyond the printed menu, there will be other treats. NE Glisan is coming alive with new establishments every week, so next time you’re over that way, drop on by and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Deep Fried Catfish – basket, $8; dinner, $12
  • Tilapia – $7/9
  • Halibut – $15/20
  • “Jimmy” Sampler – a piece of each fish – $13
  • The Jimmy Sandwich – choice of shrimp, tilapia, catfish or chicken – $6 or $9
  • Grilled Jumbo Prawns – $8
  • Sides range from $3-6

Facebook: Grandpa Jimmy’s

Steve’s Dawg House

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hot dog food cart portland

Steve’s Dawg Hosue

Location: NE 52nd and Sandy, Rose City Food Park
Hours: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, 11am-3 and 5-7; Fri, 11-3 and 5-8, Sat/Sun, 11-7

The Story: Portland is on a hot dog kick. Ten years ago, one could find hot dogs at a few carts in downtown, but they went the way of sausage sandwiches and reindeer sausage. Now, restaurants have jumped into the game with Hop Dog, Clutch, Stray Dogs and more. Steve’s Dawg House at Rose City Food Park joins the scene with their version of a Michigan Sauce hot dog.

Steve’s Dawg House opened summer 2015 with an ambitious goal – bring hot dogs back to Portland’s street food scene. Granted, you can find dogs if you seek them out, yet they aren’t like the Chicago or New York style dogs you find on the streets of those cities. It takes gumption and a great product to take on the ubiquitous American delight. Steve’s Dawg House is a dream come true after many years. The famous “Frank’s Michigan Sauce” arrives courtesy of the owner’s father who created the first dog business in the 50’s in upstate New York. Now, Portland gets a taste of it.

hot dog food cart portland

Michigan Dog from Steve’s Dawg House

Menu offerings start with a Sabrett Hot Dog, New York’s original push cart style frankfurter. Then add toppings. Go Classic with mustard, relish and onions. Travel to New York with mustard, onions and sauerkraut. Or try their special, the Michigan dog with house made Michigan sauce, spicy mustard and diced onions. Pair with a side of garlic rosemary fry’s and you’re set. The Michigan dog overflowed the bun offering up a bite with just mustard and dog. Snap! Love that Sabrett style. Michigan sauce is a meat sauce accented with a bit of chili and sweetness and works well with the dog and a smattering of fresh chopped red onion.

Steve’s Dawg House is the real thing if you’re looking for a frankfurter from a food cart. In a city with so many meat in tube options, go simple and enjoy the journey. Open every day except Tuesday for lunch and dinner. Let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu (full menu on website):

  • Michigan Dog – $5
  • Classic Dog – $4.50
  • New York Dog – $5
  • House Fry’s – $3.75
  • Garlic rosemary Fry’s – $4

Website: StevesDawgHouse.com
Facebook: Steve’s Dawg House

Sam’s Saj Mediterranean Sandwiches

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mediterranean food cart portland

Sam’s Saj

Location: SW 10th and Washington
Hours: breakfast, lunch and dinner weekdays

The Story: Portland continues to attract some unique dishes from different parts of the world. Sam’s Saj, a food cart at the 10th and Washington pod focuses on a unique Mediterranean sandwich called the Khubz.

Mediterranean food cart portland

Kafta Saj from Sam’s Saj

Sam and Diala took over a former Thai cart last fall and did a total remodel. Sam wanted to offer up a handmade dish different than the other Mediterranean options in the lot. The Khubz is a sandwich, but seems like a mix of a burrito and maybe a crepe. The Saj griddle is the key to making this flatbread. Growing up, Sam remembers the circular convex griddle being heated by coals. In Portland, that wasn’t possible, so Sam had a griddle handmade in order to utilize propane. I always say, Portland’s DIY culture leads to some tasty creations. The flatbread is grilled and then topped with cheese or Zaatar or labne, a yoghurt cheese. Once cooked up, they roll it all up to enjoy. Breakfast options can include Zaatar with tomatoes, cucumbers and fresh mint or maybe Nutella, banana and toasted hazelnuts. For lunch, I picked up the kafta with seasoned lamb and beef along with lettuce, tomatoes and pickles. The flatbread is thin and flavorful, creating a great envelope for the savory kafta and fresh veggies.

Sam’s Saj opens for breakfast, lunch and dinner, so no matter when you arrive, Sam and Diala are there to make you a treat. I have visited twice and the second item I enjoyed came with Zaatar, a blend of herbs and spices that will blow your mind. Drop on by and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Zaatar – $4
  • Cheese and Zaatar with tomatoes, cucumbers and mint – $4.75
  • Labne and Zaatar with tomatoes, cucumbers, mint and green olives – $5
  • Turkey and Cheese – lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, mayo, mustard – $5
  • Kafta – $7.75
  • Lamb Shawarma – $9
  • French Fries – $3.50
  • Cauliflower Saj – crisped cauliflower, cabbage, tomatoes, onions, cumin vinaigrette – $6

Facebook: Sam’s Saj

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