Namu at Tidbit

dieselboi

hawaiian food cart portland
Location: SE 28th Pl and Division at Tidbit
Hours: daily for lunch/dinner including weekends

Namu, a food cart serving up Hawaiian and Korean dishes has expanded to Tidbit in SE Portland. Excellent food and a great place to eat it.

Website: Namucart.com

Pulehu Pizza

Brett Burmeister
Puhelu Pizza

Pulehu Pizza

Location: SW 3rd and Stark
Hours: Weekdays, lunch; Fri/Sat late night

The Story: A few years ago, a friend told me about a new pizza he was making at home on his gas grill. I just couldn’t picture putting a pizza on a grill. Wouldn’t it stick and burn? Fast forward to this week and I was able to see how it is done at the newest pizza cart in Portland – Pulehu Pizza.

On The Grill

On The Grill

Pulehu is the work of Pierre and Annebelle who originally hail from Maui. Pierre was a chef at the Four Seasons for eight years and both wanted to escape their jobs, so while camping among waterfalls, the idea of grilling pizzas was hatched. After trying their concept at a block party, the idea grew into a full service catering and concession operation. In Hawaii, they didn’t have a cart or food truck and were forced to carry everything to their events. They earned the right to be inside a box here in Portland. Pulehu – slang for grill.

The grill used is a large outdoor style gas grill you would see permanently installed for your outdoor kitchen. Pierre makes fresh pizza dough which is rolled out for either an 8″ or 12″ personal pie. He quickly grills one side and then waits for your order. I chose the Truffle Mushroom which comes with mushrooms, grana padano, garlic, truffle oil, cracked black pepper and other seasonings. Pierre tops the grilled side then slides it onto the grill to finish the crust. After a bit, once the crust is just right, he removes it onto a pie pan and closes the lid to cook the toppings and melt the cheese. After some final seasoning and slicing, they hand it over. I love truffle oil on pizza, it adds a fruity flavor that is amazing and subtle. This pie was right up my alley. The crust, thin and crisp enough you could pick up a slice without it getting all floppy. Simple toppings and simple prep made for a wonderful meal.

Truffle Mushroom Pizza from Pulehu Pizza

Truffle Mushroom Pizza from Pulehu Pizza

Pierre and Annebelle now call Portland their home and have opened their doors to be one of only a few pizza vendors in food carts. They have a diverse menu of pizzas along with salads for the non-pizza eater. They are  open late night on the weekends for your fourth meal cravings. Drop on by, welcome them to the Rose City and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Classic Cheese- 8″, $5; 12″, $11
  • Margherita: tomato, cart made ricotta and pesto – 8″, $6; 12″, $13
  • Pepperoni – 8″, $6; 12″, $13
  • Meat Lovers: pepperoni, artisanal sausage, grana padano and garlic – 8″, 7; 12″, $13
  • Veggie Lovers: tomato, mushroom, feta, kalamata olives, cart made pesto – 8″, $7; 12″, $13

Phone: 503 915 6869
Website
: PulehuPizza.com
Twitter: @PulehuPizza
Facebook: Pulehu Pizza

Hawaiian Grill

dieselboi
Hawaiian Grill

Hawaiian Grill

Location: SW 5th and Stark
Hours: weekdays, lunchtime

The Story:

Portland has a few restaurants and a couple of carts that focus on Hawaiian cuisine. With the addition of Hawaiian Grill, we not only get Hawaiian, but also Korean.

Hawaiian Grill took over the spot at Portland’s oldest pod once used by Smokin’ Pig. The cart had to be removed after so many years of pulled pork. In the new cart, the owners create a mix of Hawaiian and Korean BBQ with menu items ranging from yakisoba noodles to hamburger steak with gravy to kalbi short ribs and loco moco, a Hawaiian staple. A large menu with many different options. One item I hadn’t tried was Saimin, a vegetable base soup with soft wheat noodles and garnished with fresh vegetables, fish cake, green onions and eggs. I grabbed a seat right in front and dove in, enjoying the warmth of the soup and breadth of flavor the different items contribute. The soup, a dish unique to Hawaii was inspired by Japanese udon, Chinese mein and Filipino pancit and you can taste those influences throughout.

Saimin from Hawaiian Grill

Saimin from Hawaiian Grill

Hawaiian Grill has something for everyone and is open daily during the lunch hour. Drop on by, maybe get some spicy pork and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Spicy Pork: sm, $5; lg, $6.50
  • Mahi Mahi: $7
  • Saimin: vegetarian noodle soup – $6
  • Bi Bim Bap: rice bowl topped with sauteed vegetables, sliced meat, chili pepper paste and an egg – $7
  • Kalbi Short Ribs: $8
  • Loco Moco: $7
  • Musubi: $2

Hours: weekdays, lunchtime

 

 

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Flyin’ Hawaiian

aaron_jd
Flyin' Hawaiian

Flyin’ Hawaiian

Location: SE 52nd and Foster, Carts on Foster
Hours: Mon-Sat, 11 am to 8 pm

The Story:

It’s weird how a random trek to SE Portland confirmed how small the world can be. Knowing that several carts in the Foster pod had moved or closed up for winter, I wanted to see which carts remained – and if there were any new arrivals. Flyin’ Hawaiian was one of the newbies in the pod. I was born and raised in Hawaii, so any time I see a Hawaiian-style food cart, I just walk in a hypnotic state, almost compelled to try the food.

Jason Manolian and his business partner, Rusty Silva, opened Flyin’ Hawaiian in early December 2011. Amazingly, Jason is not only from Hawaii, but lived no more than two minutes from my house, mere steps from Aiea High School (no, we didn’t know each other prior to this food cart visit). Before opening this cart, Jason had worked in the restaurant business for several years.

Scanning the menu, I spotted the word “habanero.” Win! Jason has two types of habanero sauce for his wings – pineapple habanero and mango habanero, along with four milder options. And when I say wings, I mean the whole wing…think Pok Pok large. These wings appear to be fried naked, resulting in golden-brown crispy skin and juicy meat. I asked for the two habanero sauces on the side so I could try both. After a time, the fruity, spicy habanero ran wild in my mouth and I couldn’t tell which sauce was which. To me, it didn’t matter. Big chicken wings and spicy sauces already made me a happy panda.

 

Chicken Wings from Flyin' Hawaiian

Chicken Wings from Flyin’ Hawaiian

I had enough room in my stomach for a mahi-mahi taco ($3). Double corn tortillas hold diced cooked mahi-mahi (fish), tomatoes, cilantro, avocado, and more. Customers have a choice of a spicy or a sweet tartar sauce, and of course, I chose spicy. Steamed tortilla, moist fish, refreshing toppings, and a satisfied stomach. Jason said people usually order about three of these for a nice filling meal.

The Garlic Teriyaki Burger and the Chicken Ranch Sandwich are some of the more popular items and non-meat eaters can rejoice, as there is a Vegan Burger on the menu. Also, watch for weekly specials! A recent kalua pork sandwich special was a huge hit. Check out Flyin’ Hawaiian, and tell Jason that Food Carts Portland sent ya!

[Flyin' Hawaiian moved to Carts on Foster 10/2012]

Sample Menu:

  • Giant Wings and Legs – $5 – three wings; $8 – five wings; $15 – ten wings; choice of sauce – pineapple habanero, mango habanero, honey bourbon, orange teriyaki, lemon garlic, or smoky apricot
  • Garlic Teriyaki Burger – $6
  • Mahi-mahi Burger – $6.75
  • Mahi-mahi Tacos – $3 each – choice of hot or sweet chipotle sauce
  • Chicken Ranch Sandwich – $5 – add bacon for $1.25 more
  • Vegan Burger – $6
  • Cinnamon and Sugar Crisp – $2
  • Fresh Cut Fries – sm, $1.50; lg, $3 – choice of seasoning – sea salt, pepper, salt and pepper, garlic salt, Cajun, sweet basil, seasoned salt, cinnamon and sugar

Hours: Daily, 11 am to 8 pm
Phone:
503 567 8424
Website:
http://www.flyinhwn.com
Facebook:
FlyinHwn503
Twitter:
@flyinhwn

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Island Grill Hawaiian Barbeque

dieselboi
Island Grill Hawaiian BBQ

Island Grill Hawaiian Barbeque

Location: SW 9th and Alder
Hours: Weekdays, lunchtime

The Story:

When one cart closes, someone is always there to re-open with something new. Shortly after Tofu House closed, Island Grill was open with a menu of Hawaiian treats.

We have a few Hawaiian carts in town now with 808 Grinds and Ninja Plate Lunch. With the addition of Island Grill, Portland cart lovers have yet another choice for Kalua Pork or a side of macaroni salad. Hawaii is also famous for loco moco and Island Grill has it if that is your desire – a plate of rice with a hamburger patty, brown gravy and fried egg atop.

Teriyaki Chicken Plate

Teriyaki Chicken Plate

The plate lunches are pretty a la carte – rice and macaroni salad with your choice of meat – and two different sizes if you’re looking to eat less. The meat options aren’t surprising – kalua pork, beef shortribs, chicken katsu, hamburger steak – just to name a few. I decided to try the Teriyaki chicken and got a full plate with two scoops or rice and the salad. The grilled chicken had a char to it that when paired with the sweetness you get from teriyaki sauce, created a great mix of flavors. The macaroni salad was a treat, one of my favorite types of salad. I even added a spam musubi – rice, spam and sauce wrapped in seaweed. I love spam musubi.

Island Grill is open right there on cart row on SW Alder between 9th and 10th. Check them out if you’re looking for a change – they usually have daily specials that are different from the menu. Let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

Plate lunches are either mini for $5 or regular for $6.50
Mini: 1 scoop of rice and 1 scoop of macaroni salad with choice of meat
Regular: add a scoop or rice

Meat choices:  BBQ beef; Teriyaki beef; Hamburger steak; Beef short ribs; Kalua pork; BBQ spicy pork; Pork katsu; Fried shrimp; Fried mahi mahi; BBQ chicken; Teriyaki chicken; Shoyu chicken; Chicken katsu

  • Add Musubi for $2
  • Burgers – $5 with choice of meat
  • Yakisoba noodles – $6
  • Loco moco – $7
  • Island Bibimbap – $6

Hours: Weekdays, lunchtime
Contact: unknown

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