Namu at Tidbit

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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

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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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Island Grill Hawaiian Barbeque

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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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808 Grinds

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808 Grinds

808 Grinds

Location: SW 9th and Washington
Hours: M-Sat, 11am-4pmish

The Story:

Even when you think a lot is full of carts, it keeps growing. Just last month, the lot at SW 9th between Alder and Washington added eight new carts. One of those carts is a great new addition – Hawaiian food. Welcome 808 Grinds.

808 Grinds gets their namesake from the area code for Hawaii. Just like 212 for Washington DC New York, there are specific area codes everyone knows. Now, if you have a friend in Hawaii, all you need to remember is that there is a great Hawaiian cart in Portland named 808 Grinds and you’ll remember your friend’s area code. Simple as that. The work of Jensen Yip and Kevin Scolfield, the food here offers up those flavors that have influenced Hawaiian food for years like teriyaki, ginger, wasabi and others. I find Hawaiian food very rich, but also almost folksy like a good stew. Whenever I have enjoyed it, I leave satisfied, usually for a low price. [Read more…]

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