Mix ‘n’ Match


Location: SW 3rd and Ash
Hours: see website

Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream

Website: http://www.mixnmatchcreamery.com

New Avenues for Youth – Ben & Jerry’s Partnershops

Lizzy Caston
Some the New Avenues For Youth team at their Ben & Jerry's Partnershop ice cream cart.

Some the New Avenues For Youth team at their Ben & Jerry’s Partnershop ice cream cart.

What’s better than ice cream joined with food carts and community giving all-in-one? It’s like a peanut butter and chocolate malt milkshake delivered by gentle flying unicorns in superhero costumes. Not really, but it does always warm our hearts at Food Carts Portland to hear about nonprofits utilizing the power of the carts for a greater cause, especially when it comes to helping homeless and in-need youth.

Enter the New Avenues for Youth / Ben & Jerry’s Partnershops.

New Avenues for Youth is a Portland based nonprofit that works with homeless youth to help  provide them with resources, gain skills, and get the support they need to exit the unstable and often dangerous world of street life. Ben & Jerry’s, the well known ice cream empire, runs the Ben & Jerry’s Partnershops program, ” a form of social enterprise, in which nonprofit organizations leverage the power of business for community benefit”.

In Portland, New Avenues for Youth runs two Ben & Jerry’s Partnershops (one on the PSU Campus, the other on SW Yamhill near 5th). New Avenue also has a food cart and catering program to bring their partnershops to the streets, squares, parks and private events of Portland. How it works is this,

PartnerShops are Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shops that are independently owned and operated by community-based nonprofit organizations. Ben & Jerry’s waives the standard franchise fees and provides additional support to help nonprofits operate strong businesses.

PartnerShops offer job and entrepreneurial training to youth and young adults that may face barriers to employment. Ultimately, they help people build better lives. (from the Ben & Jerry’s website)

New Avenue’s for Youth operates the partnershops and works closely with youth in the program to provide extensive job training and other professional and personal support that helps give these hardworking kids employment skills, but also helps boost their self esteem and other positive benefits that can make a difference in their lives. New Avenues for Youth explains,

New Avenues believes that every young person should have food, shelter, and access to education and job training.  We believe we must go beyond meeting basic needs and offer programs that heal young lives and foster growth and independence.
Our mission is to work in partnership with our community to prevent youth homelessness and provide homeless and at-risk young people the resources and skills needed to lead healthy, productive lives.


You might have seen one of the New Avenue’s Partnershop carts set up and selling scoops and cones at the U.S. Bankcorp Plaza downtown on SW 5th and Oak St. this past summer. With their distinctive Ben & Jerry’s tie-dye t-shirts and cows with clouds cart,  The mobile partnership was a beacon for anyone wanting a quick frozen treat while walking or waiting for the MAX Train just a few feet away.

The New Avenue’s Ben & Jerry’s cart is off the streets for the fall and winter, but is still available for private catering gigs and other functions. And the Ben & Jerry’s Partnershops at the PSU Urban Plaza and the one on SW Yamhill and 5th are open year round for all your ice cream cravings.

In the next year, New Avenue’s for Youth is considering expanding their mobile operations and/or other food programs. ‘Cause I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream that not only tastes good, we all love ice cream that does good too. It’s like the cherry on top of the double Cherry Garcia ice cream cone.

For more information, to inquire about Ben & Jerry’s New Ave’s ice cream catering, or to  volunteer or donate to New Avenues for Youth, contact Phone:  503-224-4339 or email: info@newavenues.org. Website: www.newavenues.org



Organic Island Snow Shave Ice

Lizzy Caston

Location: On the Move (Often found at NE 15th and Alberta)

The Story: Aloha! Today on the Food Carts Portland’s It’s a Small World After All ride, we bring you a signature dish from the tropical islands of Hawaii. Yes, sun and beach loving Portlanders, it’s the sweet cold treat known as Hawaiian Shave Ice!

A True Shave Ice Machine

First off for the uninitiated, it’s SHAVE ICE, not Shaved ice. NO DEBATE. And Shave Ice is more than just a dessert or snack on the islands, it’s part of Hawaii’s soul. There are world famous Shave Ice shacks, and places with special signature flavors – everyone seems to have a favorite. The serious Shave Ice makers use only real fruit syrups made from real fruit purees, fresh juices, and fresh sugar cane (not just fruit flavored high fructose corn syrup junk). Real Shave Ice however, does share one other common trait – it’s all in the ice. Fluffy and fine, no grainy snow cone type ice crystals here. Organic Island Snow makes their Shave Ice the traditional way with a special hand cranked machine and a big block of ice, it looks like some Japanese steam punk art project inspired by the Industrial Age. Way cool (no pun intended).

Organic Island Snow, run by the dashing and charming Ilika, is the real deal Shave Ice. A native islander himself, Ilika is obsessive: all of his own syrups are made from scratch and he has his family ship over some of the fresh fruits, fruit purees, and yes, fresh sugar cane (in lieu of processed sugar) to make some of the most refreshing, bright and simply addictive icy sweets I’ve ever tasted. This is the only true Shave Ice way, my friends.

Flavors include all those wonderful tropical fruits we can never grow in Portland such as Litchi and Passion Fruit. While other closer to home flavors such as Strawberry and Peach, round out the offerings.

For now Organic Island Snow is a roaming cart – catch them as you can by checking out their Facebook Page. But, you can often find this open air cart at the Alberta15 pod on NE 15th and Alberta. Oh, and they also do catering in case you want some Shave Ice in lieu of a cake for your wedding, or even at your backyard BBQ. I know I would!

Mahalo, Organic Island Shave Ice for bringing a true taste of the Hawaiian Islands to Portland.

Sample Menu:

  • Kids Size (8 oz) – $2. Regular Size (16 oz) – $3
  • Flavors – Litchi Lemonade, Mango Pineapple, Passion Fruit, Mango, Peach Tangerine, Strawberry, Pink Guava, Peach

Hours: Varies
(503) 840-5252


The Last Word

Lizzy Caston

The Last Word

Location: SE 52nd and Foster (at Carts on Foster)
Wed-Sun, 11am – 6pm

The Story: The The Last Word reminds me of Ernest Hemingway’s writing. I’m a Hemingway fan by the way. Hemingway’s writing of course being described as pared down and simple, but still magically evocative. Hemingway could say more in a four word sentence than many writers can in a whole book. Trust me, as a writer myself, that’s not an easy feat to do.

The Last Word is a streamlined, cut to the chase of affair, but with an artisan twist. It doesn’t have a menu a mile long, nor a lot of exotic ingredients, condiments, or complicated techniques. It isn’t trying to gimmick out with the BIGGEST MONSTER BURGER EVAH, or some authentic yak meat and nettle dumplings from the mountains of Burma, or whatever. The Last Word is still offers cooking that’s creative and earthy, yet refined. Let’s give it a name; Gourmet Simplicity.

The menu is, yes, tight and simple. Four different sandwiches and a daily soup. There’s also a combo of both that comes with your choice of a daily side salad or home made biscuit. One flavor of home made ice cream is offered on a rotating basis, and drinks include the Honest Tea and Honest Juice line.

On the day I visited, Carts on Foster was busy getting their soon-to-be pub area in order, so I ordered and dined over the hum and rhythm of saws and hammers in the background. I did chat with the friendly owner of the Last Word, Mike Richardson, who recently moved to this SE Foster pod from NE Alberta Street. He sold real estate before opening this cart, but has always been an avid cook and lover of all things food related, and I have a hunch likes writing and literature as well (hint: the cart’s logo is an old vintage typewriter). Mike expects to expand his menu and hours as the cart gets settled in its new locale, and as the beer area opens and gains business.

I didn’t ask about the cart’s quirky name, a mistake in retrospect, but I was too focused on ordering one of his enticing sandwiches. I went for the Beef on Weck combo. This sandwich is a specialty of the upstate NY area, but you don’t see it too often in Portland. It’s a classic. Thin sliced, tender roast beef with horseradish on a soft Kimmelweck roll (a cousin of the Kaiser roll). As the combo, it came with a cup of the daily soup (I had the hearty, thick bacon maple barley), and a generous side of finely minced celaric root remoulade salad. It all made for a nice, satisfying lunch. I was too stuffed after my meal to try The Last Word’s ice cream, although it looked perfect for a sunny late spring day: Strawberries & Cream. Described simply, sweet, and straight to the point, just like that.  And that’s The Last Word.

Sample Menu:

  • Cajun Spiced Turkey Breast Sandwich: with sharp Swiss cheese and lingonberry sauce, on Asiago cheese bread -$7
  • Maple Ham Sandwich: with spiced marscapone cheese and pear butter served on a honey molasses roll -$7
  • Pulled BBQ Pork Sandwich -$7
  • Soups: choices rotate but a sampling includes: Smoked Salmon Chowder, Buffalo Chicken Wing, Apple Stilton, Chicken Noodle, etc.) -$5
  • Combo – Sandwich, cup of soup, side salad of the day or biscuit of the day – $8
  • Ice Cream: one flavor made daily. – $3

Hours: Wed – Sat, 11am – 6pm





Location: SE 52nd and Division, A la Carts Food Pavilion
Hours: Tues–Wed 5-8pm, Thurs – Sat 12-8pm, Sunday 1-8pm

The Story:

Hot Summer day and you need something cool for the kids? Fall rainy evening and you stil need something sweet. Get some ice cream right? Well, north Portland can sate that need. Scoop Organic Ice Cream will treat you and your kids to the ultimate tasty cold delight.

Scoop opened in spring at North Station, an amazing lot full of carts ranging across all types of cuisines. Take a group there and give everyone $5 and then have everyone share what they ordered and you will taste some of Portland’s best food from the carts. Just remember, if you give a kid $5 and there is an ice cream truck around, you may have a jumpy kid later.

Scoop specializes in organic handmade ice cream with some wonderful flavors that do change depending on what’s in season. These days, with fall here and winter on the way, they have sweet potato pie, pumpkin chocolate chip, rum raisin and others. Amanda Rhoads, the owner, would also like us to know that she also offers vegan sorbets and has gluten free cones.

Scoop is one of the cutest little trucks on the scene. Even though it has cooled down, we all still love ice cream and they are there to assist. Go visit, have a cone and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Ice Cream various flavors: mini – $2.50; small – $3.25; regular (3 scoops) – $4.25; large – $5.25
  • Housemade waffle cones – $.75
  • Milkshakes: 12oz – $4; 16oz – $5
  • Caramel Apples – $3.50-4.50

Phone: 503 928 2796
Facebook: Scoop