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…]

The Local Grind

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The Local Grind

The Local Grind

Location: Ira Keller Fountain Park – SW 4th and Clay
Hours: weekdays, lunchtime

Description:

Whenever I think of the first food carts I ate at, I harken back to the early 90’s and the carts that were available in Pioneer Courthouse Square. I forget about the love that we discovered when working down by PSU of the Hawaiian cart at the Ira Keller Fountain. Over the years, I can’t tell you how many rice bowls I ate there because early on, we were there every day – even in the rain. There is nothing like grabbing an excellent mix of marinated grilled chicken over rice and sitting at the edge of the fountain and enjoying the quiet while you eat. Over the years, the cart has come and gone and changed names and ownership. I’m happy to tell you that The Local Grind offers up what I remember and it is pretty darn tasty.

Some call it bento, others call it rice bowls, I call it chicken over rice. The Local Grind offers up three different types of marinated grilled chicken over rice – as simple as that. I’m glad it is simple as it doesn’t force me to choose from a large menu and it allows them to focus their energy on what they do well. The three types are garlic/honey, teriyaki and “da shred.” All are chicken marinated over night and then grilled and fresh for lunch every day. I usually choose two different types of chicken – garlic and honey and da shred. “Da Shred” is shredded chicken simmered in fresh ginger and garlic sauce and I’ll tell you, it is some of the best chicken I have tasted.

Da Shred and Garlic Honey over brown rice

Da Shred and Garlic Honey over brown rice

Sitting there with the slightly overcast sky, listening to the fountain was a great day to enjoy this lunch. I got a large, which is more than I really should be eating, but I finished it. The rice was a generous portion (I chose brown rice) and the chicken was moist and fully flavored throughout. No dry chicken here.

The Local Grind can be found at the top of the fountain across from Keller Auditorium. I would suggest them for before the opera, but I don’t think they do anything but lunch. While the weather is still nice, head on down to enjoy some local flavor and tell them Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • All meals are a bed of rice covered with a small or large portion of chicken. Brown or white rice available. Small -$5; large – $6
  • Teriyaki – marinated overnight in homemade teriyaki sauce
  • Da shred – tasty morsels of chicken simmered in fresh ginger and garlic
  • Garlic honey – a blend of honey, sesame and fresh ginger and garlic
  • Sides – Island style mac salad; fresh sauteed veggies – $1

Hours: Monday through Friday, 11am-2pm
Website: LocalGrindpdx.com
Facebook: Local Grind
Email:
thelocalgrind@gmail.com

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