Home Plate Sliders

Brett Burmeister
Home Plate Sliders

Home Plate Sliders

Location: varies, check Twitter for current location
Hours: varies, check Twitter for current hours

The Story:

Scene: Los Angeles streets, 2009 – Throngs of fans of the Kogi BBQ truck are ignoring their dates and watching Twitter to find out when and where the truck would show.

Scene: Kogi BBQ Truck Tweets they will show at the Golden Gopher and a mob of 200 beat them there.

This is how it played out early in the food truck revolution and still occurs in cities outside of Portland. We have the luxury of knowing where our favorite carts are on a daily basis. There are some trucks who roam and use social media to announce their location and Home Plate Sliders just joined the troop.

Stuartt Fox always wanted his own food truck and one day, while in St. Johns selling his beloved Harley, he came across a working food truck for sale. With cash in hand, it was one of those now or never moments, so he bought it on the spot and drove it home for his winter project. Stuartt has both a new school and old school approach to what he’s offering. With sliders for $3 and a baseball themed brand, it evokes memories of childhood for only a few bills. The rig though reminds me of those I have seen cruising down the freeways of LA or San Francisco. A bright red truck with a caricature baseball player logo on one side and a large home plate on the other. That home plate serves as the door to the serving window held up by two Louisville slugger bats when open. I see carts and trucks with great signage, but to take the branding to this level, Stuartt hit a home run.

Slider from Home Plate Sliders

Slider from Home Plate Sliders

Sliders! I hadn’t really enjoyed sliders until the last decade. It seems like chicken wings, a treat from a different region of the states, yet after that first bite, how could you go wrong with mini burgers. Stuartt makes his own patties by hand and grills them up fresh in the cart with a mini little toasted bun. Along the lines of the baseball theme, you can get the Ranger with BBQ cheddar and fried onions, the Philly with peppers, onions and provolone, the Giant with baby portobello mushroom and provolone or the Cub with lettuce, tomato, pickle and onion. I picked up the Yankee to honor my favorite club. A little bun with a great little beef slider, grilled pastrami and provolone. So much love at that first bite. The burger was cooked just right and the cheese melted all over everything.

He also plans to visit other types of industrial parks throughout the city and maybe even show up outside your favorite bar. He’s mobile and bright red. Follow them on Twitter @Homepl8Sliders or check out their schedule page on their website for current location and times. Find them, enjoy some sliders and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu (see website for current menu and pricing):

All sliders $3

  • Ranger: BBQ cheddar and fried onions
  • Philly: peppers, onions and provolone
  • Volcano: teriyaki, pineapple, lettuce
  • Yankee: pastami, provolone
  • Cub: lettuce, tomato, pickle, onion
  • Brewer: grilled cheese on Texas toast
  • Griant: baby portobello mushroom, provolone (v)
  • Dodger: large all beef hotdog
  • Louisville Slugger: spiral cut spud on a stick

Hours: varies, check Twitter or website
Phone: 503 96SLIDE
Website: HomePlateSliders.com
Twitter: @Homepl8sliders

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Retrolicious

Brett Burmeister
Retrolicious

Retrolicious

Location: Roaming, check their website for location
Hours: daily, 11:30-7 including weekends

The Story:

Pink flamingos flank the 60’s pink cart with the Jetson’s style logo. Retrolicious is the latest edition to Green Castle and is bringing back the classics. [Retrolicious left Green Castle in 10/2012 and is roaming and seeking a new location]

Hailing from Phoenix, Kimmy and her partner Roy, wanted to have some fun with both the cart and the menu. With fond memories of childhood favorites like mac ‘n cheese or meatloaf, the scratch made classics cart was born. Kimmy runs around the lot in a bright pink and yellow striped skirt I think I saw in a James Bond flick. The best way to engage customers – talk to them. The flamingos and the bright colored chairs and table add to the feel. A stunningly beautiful and well executed cart with a great brand.

Butter Basted Diner Burger

Butter Basted Diner Burger

Kimmy is going for big meals. The meals we enjoyed growing up before Mutual of Omaha’s Animal Kingdom. Those which put meat on our bones. The menu Saturday included Chicken and Waffles, Southern Style Mac & Cheese, Cart Cured BLT, a Honey Mustard Chicken Sandwich and the Butter Basted Diner Burger I enjoyed. Not having eaten many burgers in the last year in my attempt to experience other great foods, here was my chance to re-introduce my tastebuds to a classic. Served on Texas Toast, the hand crafted burger came with the usual fixin’s and pimento cheese. PIMENTO CHEESE. Wow, a big mouthful with that toast and the cheese was spot on for this type of burger. It has the appropriate amount of salt to the meat and having been butter basted, it had that sweet cream flavor I crave. While messy, it was worth it, sitting there devouring a juicy burger on a warm sunny spring day in Portland.

Retrolicious is hard to miss. One of the largest carts to grace our scene and painted bright pink. Kimmy and Dan are welcoming and want you to remember childhood through food. The menu is on a chalkboard, so it may change daily. Be prepared to experience what they have to offer. Drop on down to Green Castle and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Chicken & Waffles  – $5 or double for $7
  • Butter Basted Diner Burger – choice of cheese – $6
  • Southern Style Mac & Cheese – $5
  • Cart Cured BLT – a classic – $7
  • Hone Mustard Chicken Sandwich – $6

Hours: daily, 11:30-7 including weekends
Phone:
503-539-3808
Website: EatRetrolicious.com
Twitter: @EatRetrolicious
Facebook: EatRetrolicious

Kindle Kart

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Kindle Kart

Kindle Kart

Location: NW 27th and Wilson across from Montgomery Park
Hours: Mon-Fri, 11am-2pm

The Story:

A year or so ago, I learned of a new wood fired pizza cart opening off N Mississippi. Kindle Kart was doing something new and exciting, yet when they left Mississippi, I lost track of them until now and I’m saddened that I haven’t been able to enjoy their amazing food this whole time.

Kevin Hutchinson is a pizza guy having built and opened Wildfire in NE Portland a few years ago. The wood fired oven he built by hand is still being used by Ned Ludd to this day. A work of art. Kevin wanted a food truck, so outfitted a Boyertown stepvan with a smaller version of the oven inside and opened Kindle Kart. Originally on Mississippi, Kevin eventually moved to northwest across from Montgomery Park. To create the pizza, Kevin leavens the dough which uses no yeast. Pretty difficult to do in a restaurant let alone a cart, but he does it and does it well. Upon my visit, close to the closing bell, he stated he normally sells out after just four hours.

Jalapeno Burger and Pomme Frites

Jalapeno Burger and Pomme Frites

While Kindle Kart is famous for its pizza, I was directed there to try the brisket burger. Yep, I skipped the pizza for a burger. Dumb of me? Maybe, but I’m glad I did. If I had started with the pizza, I may have never even tried his other items. Kevin bakes his own brioche buns in the wood fire oven and they are indeed fresh and tasty. The burger, double ground brisket with a bit of seasoning added is one of the best I’ve had from a cart. I chose the Jalapeno burger with mixed greens, grilled onions, jalapeno sauce, a grilled chili pepper and cheddar cheese. Wow, a stunning sandwich. Everything dripped with flavor and the bun brought it all together. Pair with some excellent crispy fries with a bit of truffle oil ketchup and your done.

Kindle Kart is one of those gems you travel to just for the nosh. I know I will be making the side trip to NW more in the coming months just to try different items. Kevin has plans to expand, so keep watch for a second cart. Drop on by, enjoy some pie or a burger or maybe just fries and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

Pizzas are made fresh with fermented dough and cooked in a wood fired oven. 10″ pies:

  • Artisan Pepperoni – $8
  • Sausage – house made with grilled onion – $8
  • Cheese – two types of Mozzarella – $6.50
  • Bacon and Mushroom – sauteed mushroom, smoky bacon with white sauce – $8
  • Bacon and Cheese – smoky bacon, two types of cheese – $7.50
  • Margherita – fresh grape tomatoes, fresh basil, garlic – $7.50
  • Bianco – ricotta, black pepper, rosemary, truffle oil – $7.50
  • Pommes Frites: Belgian style fries – 1/2 order, $3; full order, $5
  • Bacon Blue Brisket Burger: roasted garlic sauce, bacon, grilled onion, pickles, blue cheese, mixed greens – $6
  • Bacon Mushroom Brisket Burger: roasted garlic sauce, bacon, grilled onions, sauteed mushrooms, pickles, swiss cheese and mixed greens – $6.50
  • Jalapeno Brisket Burger: roasted garlic jalapeno sauce, green chili, grilled onion, pickles, cheddar cheese, mixed greens – $6
  • Classic – $5.50
  • Portobella + Eggplant: basil balsamic sauce, grilled onions, Swiss Cheese, mixed greens – $6

Hours: Mon-Fri, 11am-2pm
Website: KindleKart.com
Facebook: Kindle Kart

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Carte Blanche

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Carte Blanche

Carte Blanche

Location: SE 32nd and Hawthorne
Hours: Thurs-Sun, 12-7pm

The Story:

The ubiquitous silver Airstreams that banked so many miles on the byways of America have now carved out a second life for themselves as food carts. Carte Blanche is the newest on the scene with one pretty silver trailer.

Jesse and Ally have been friends since elementary school, so the cramped quarters of the cart don’t phase them. After culinary school, Jesse spent some time in the kitchen at Pok Pok before finding the cart on Craigslist and with the help of a fellow cart owner, got it built out and opened. Her friends and family also participated by crafting the curtains and bringing a bit of home to it. When you arrive, you’re invited under the awning where there are a few chairs and a small table so you can get out of the rain. Such a cozy spot.

Gromit's Feed from Carte Blanche

Gromit’s Feed from Carte Blanche

The menu at Carte Blanche ranges from sandwiches to bowls and salads and some tasty treats on the side. The day we visited, they were offering samples of their Kale chips which were perfectly crispy and also good for you. The Gromit’s Feed is a lamb and beef burger topped with tzatziki, caramelized onion, feta, tomato and an apple slaw then served upon a rosemary bun. Every bit of the sandwich is a flavor explosion from the burger to the bun to the slaw to the onions. So many unique flavors all put together to create a very special sandwich. I especially enjoyed how the caramelized onions mixed well with the sweetness of the apple slaw and the burger.

Carte Blanche has been open now for about a month at the corner of SE 32nd and Hawthorne with a couple of other carts. When I asked about their hours, they stated they are open till 7 or until they sell out. Be sure to try the Kale chips – something you don’t find on many menus and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

[Menu changes regularly. Check the website for latest offerings.]

Hours: Thurs-Sun, 12-7pm
Phone: 971.222.8626
Website: CarteBlancheFoodCart.com
Twitter: @CarteBlanchePDX
Facebook: Carte Blanche

The Grilled Cheese Grill Downtown

dieselboi
grilled cheese food cart portland

Grilled Cheese Grill Downtown

Location: SW 10th and Washington
Hours: weekdays, lunchtime

The Story:

The Grilled Cheese Grill expanded again with their 3rd food cart in downtown Portland on SW 10th avenue between Alder and Washington. Sadly, there isn’t a bus at this location for you to sit in, but they do have their famous signature sandwiches and daily Grilled Cheese specials for all of you downtown denizens.

Website: GrilledCheeseGrill.com
Facebook: The Grilled Cheese Grill
Twitter: @GrildChzGrill

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