Comfortably Yum

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Get Stuffed

Comfortably Yum

Location: SW 4th and Hall
Hours: Mon-Fri, 11:15-5pm

The Story: We have great burgers in this city, so how does one differentiate itself from the others? Comfortably Yum, a food cart down by PSU, has chosen to create a well made burger with a rustic bun and high quality ingredients – just what the doctor ordered.

Comfortably Yum opened this past summer, but had to close for a period of time after a kitchen fire. Now they have re-opened and the father, son and friend team are slinging away. Bob, the father, runs the window. Andy and Michael run the grill and prep the goods. Bob was great to chat with, a retiree helping out where he can with the right attitude a cart owner needs. Trust me, he’ll make you laugh. The goal is a simple, high quality product. “Dazzle them with quality.” Take a rustic bun from Grand Central and use an 80/20 chuck for the burger and you sold me. While I appreciate add-ons, they sometimes mask the quality of the burger as a whole which is why I’m there. At Comfortably Yum, they put everything together just right for this burger fiend. Red leaf lettuce, tomato, ketcup and mayo. That first bite, with a bit of burger juice dripping down my chin, was magical. The bun impressed me, different than many burger buns I’ve enjoyed and I would highly recommend it. For burger fans, you need to visit, not only for a hamburger made with passion and care, but also for the witty repartee from Bob.

Burger from Get Stuffed

Burger from Comfortably Yum

Comfortably Yum is situated in the middle of the lot on SW 4th and Hall. They are planning on renaming themselves this winter, so we’ll update the post when that occurs. While I didn’t try them, I understand the hand cut fries in rice oil are the bomb. Drop on by, say hi and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Grilled Cheese  – $2.75
  • Grilled Cheese Club – $4.75
  • Burger – $5; add cheese, $1
  • Toppings – $1.50 – bacon, guacamole, mushrooms
  • Hand cut fries – $1.50

Facebook: Comfortably Yum

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The Angry Unicorn

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burger food cart portland

The Angry Unicorn

Location: SE 52nd and Foster, Carts on Foster
Hours: Wed-Sun, 11am-9pm

The Story: Did you know that Portland was built atop an ancient unicorn graveyard? The rumors are true. Why else would you see random tall bikes commuting downtown or Darth Vader playing the bagpipes while riding a unicycle. Unicorns are magical and at The Angry Unicorn, they take that magic and make burgers.

All kidding aside, John and April Scarlett wanted to launch a food cart with burgers and bites, but needed that one nugget of unique to draw people in. They loved the iconography of unicorns, the images and pictures, but John realized sometimes they appeared angry and irritated and The Angry Unicorn was born. Beer may have been involved, but in this case, the end result is brilliant.

burger food cart portland

The Unicorn Burger

At The Angry Unicorn, they focus on burgers and small bites. With a ‘magical’ burger with ground bacon (real Unicorn Meat) along with strips of bacon, cheddar and veggies, you get a great sandwich. I had never though of mixing chopped bacon with Angus to create a burger. While normally served between a glazed doughnut, I opted for the Portland French Bakery’s pub bun, truly one of the better burger buns in this city. Chewy, with a dusting of flower on top, the bun perfectly complemented the burger, cheese, lettuce and tomato. No condiments needed for this gem. The flavors were enough to impress this burger jerk.

The Angry Unicorn has a great list of burgers including the portobello with grilled onion, peppers and Swiss. There are bacon fries, portobello fries, french fries and items for the kids. If you’re in the neighborhood, be sure to drop by, try some Unicorn and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Unicorn Burger: magical meat w/ground bacon, strips of bacon, cheddar on glazed doughnut – $7
  • The Hottie: jalapeno, grilled onion and peppers, pepper jack cheese, spicy cream cheese – $7
  • The Best Burger: burger mixed with ground bacon, bacon strips, gorgonzola, roasted garlic, cheddar – $7
  • Portobello Mushroom: grilled portobello mushroom, grilled onion, peppers, Swiss cheese – $7
  • Bacon Fries – $4
  • Portobello Fries – $4

Facebook: The Angry Unicorn

Year of the Fish

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fish food cart portland

Year of the Fish

Location: SE 52nd and Foster at Carts on Foster
Hours: Tues-Sat, 12-8

The Story:

Out off Hawthorne in what many refer to as Stumbletown due to the number of bars, there is a new cart that is open late to sate those munchies you get after a few drinks – Year of the Fish. [Update: Now at SE 52nd and Foster]

Edward MacGregor opened Year of the Fish in September after being out of the restaurant game for a few years. Having grown up working in restaurants and subsequently owning them as a family business, he had taken a break from the grind, hoping to do something else. Well, the call of the deep fryer was too strong, but Edward didn’t want to do another restaurant, so decided on the cart. Locating at 47th and Hawthorne was also a strategic decision – an attempt to attract some of the crowds that line up to the few restaurant options in the area late night.

fish food cart portland

Tiger Prawns from Year of the Fish

Year of the Fish is a fish and chips cart. With options including cod, red snapper and halibut, if you love fish, you’ll like love this cart. Edward offers traditional or gluten-free batter depending on your needs. What surprised me was the offer of tiger prawns. I love a good fish and chips, but to get batter fried tiger prawns raises the bar. Lightly breaded and crunchy, the prawns are delightful. You can get different sauces, but these are so flavorful, you don’t need it. Sided with a handful of steak fries, you have a great little snack.

Year of the Fish is now open for lunch and dinner weekdays and late night on the weekends. Drop on by for some well made fish and chips and other treats and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Cod and Chips – $7
  • Red Snapper and Chips – $7
  • Halibut and Chips – $market rate
  • Tiger Prawns and Chips – $8
  • Clam Chowder – New England style – cup, $3; bowl $5
  • Just Slaw – $3
  • Just Chips – $3

Phone: 971 258 6567
Twitter: @YearoftheFish1
Facebook: Year of the Fish

 

Timmy’s Fish Fry

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Timmy's

Timmy's Fish Fry

Location: SW Montgomery at 9th in the Park Blocks
Hours: M-F, 11am-5pm

The Story:

Portland has food carts of all different styles-  former hunting trailers, re-purposed U Haul trucks and purpose built carts that started from a flatbed. What we have few of are traditional old school push carts that were the forefront of streetfood in this city and also define streetfood elsewhere. Timmy’s Fish Fry, a newer cart at Portland State University is one of these carts born from the hot dog cart of yore.

Tim Bass literally dreamed up Timmy’s one night last summer and spent three to four months working out the details, getting inspections and setting up his cart at Portland State University. Tim’s cart is different than what we’re use to, a pushcart that is both open to the elements and arrives in the morning and leaves at the end of the day. In Portland, these types of carts are few and far between. When placing a cart on parks and rec land like the park blocks, you have to follow an extra set of regulations and roll up the sidewalks every day. Not a trivial task. I checked out Tim’s cart, both compact and functional, allowing him to deliver a simple menu of excellent quality items well prepared.

Fried Catfish Sandwich

Fried Catfish Sandwich

I first tried fried catfish in the south a few years ago and whenever I get a chance, I order it. Some people are drawn to salmon, I’m a catfish fan. Tim offers up a fried catfish sandwich with crispy fillet atop some cole slaw on a french roll. The batter for the fish is made up of Bob’s Red Mill flour and some good old Hamm’s beer. A crisp light coating creates an excellent flavor with the fish. The slaw has a malt vinegar touch to it, providing a balance and zing for the fish similar to when you get fish and chips at a British pub and douse it with the malt. Sometimes, fried fish fillets are overly greasy, but not at Timmy’s, not at all. An excellent sandwich.

Timmy’s sets up his cart in the park blocks of SW Montgomery at Portland State University. Since he is fully mobile, you may see him elsewhere in the city, keep your eyes open. I enjoyed chatting with Tim and hearing his story and enjoying the sandwich he made me. Drop on by for a visit and let him know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Bay Shrimp Roll: french roll with bay shrimp and sauce – $6
  • Crispy Catfish Roll: battered catfish, cole slaw, aioli on French roll – $6
  • Fried Calimari – $5
  • Fish Fry: fried pieces of cod, house made potato chips and slaw – $7

Hours: Monday-Friday, 11am-5pm
Email: tdbass1@yahoo.com
Facebook: Timmy’s Fish Fry

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Potato Champion

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Potato Champion

Potato Champion

Location: SE 12th and Hawthorne
Hours: Tues-Fri, 4pm-3am; Sat/Sun, 12pm-3am

Description: Ahh, 2am and you’ve had a couple of beers. Now what? You could stop on by any one of the late night 24hr fast food joints for “4th meal” and pay for it in the morning, or you could head on down to SE 12th and Hawthorne and get some Belgian style fries. Potato Champion has been slingin’ them with poutine since 2008 and is going strong.

Potato Champion is Portland’s only late night fry cart and from my experience, the only cart in town specializing in Belgian style frites. Belgian style frites are peeled, cut, washed, then blanched with a first fry before frying again. This creates a crispy outside while staying fluffy inside. I don’t know about all that techno mumbo jumbo, I just know that they are what the doctor ordered at 2am.

Palak Paneer Fries from Potato Champion

Palak Paneer Fries from Potato Champion

Mike McKinnon opened Potato Champion back in 2008 on the corner of SE 12th and Hawthorne. Every night, he would sit there and wait for customers. There were quiet, rainy, cold nights, but Mike stuck it out and defined his cart as one of Portland’s premier late night food carts. The lot blossomed with vendors and is known beyond the city as a place to nosh after 2am. Mike has tinkered with expansion, opening a second cart a few years ago, yet for now, the cart at Cartopia is his focus. The menu has changed to with the addition of such treats as Chili Cheese Fries, PB and J Fries, Pulled Pork and Fries and a new favorite of mine, Palak Paneer Fries with curried spinach and paneer cheese served over fries and toped with a cilantro chutney. Wow! Brilliant.

Mike was a pioneer when the street food scene was changing and is still plugging away. Open now for evening and late night along with lunch on the weekends, you don’t have a reason to not visit and check out some of Portland’s best fries. Drop on by and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

[This article was originally published in October of 2008. Updated May, 2014]

Sample Menu:

  • Fries – Small: $3; Large: $7.00
  • Choice of sauces: Horseradish Ketchup; Rosemary Truffle Ketchup; Mayonnaise; Pesto Mayo; Tarragon Anchovy Mayo; Remoulade; Dijon Mustard; “Harder” Hot Mustard, etc.
  • Poutine: Small: $5; Large: $10 (Vegan and Vegetarian available)
  • PB and J Fries – fries topped with satay sauce and smokey chipotle raspberry jam – sm, $5; lg, $10
  • Pulled Pork Fries – sm, $6; lg, $12.50

Website: PotatoChampion.com
Twitter: @PotatoChampion
Facebook: Potato Champion

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