O-Bros Osteria

sandwich food cart portland

O-Bros’ Osteria

Location: SW 10th and Alder
Hours: Lunch, weekdays

The Story: A well made sandwich is my crutch. No matter where I am, I’m drawn to sandwiches in all forms. My g0-to is a tuna melt, yet every now and then, I treat myself to a good old fashioned sub. A new cart on SW 10th and Alder here in Portland has brought Italian subs to the eaters downtown. O-Bros’ Osteria is now open.

O-Bros’ Osteria opened in March in the corner cart right on 10th and Alder which has seen vendors over the years sell frozen yogurt, bagels and Asian cuisine. While some may think the cart or location is cursed, I think it needed the right vendor to wow us and O-Bros’ has done that. Having visited now three different times, I gotta say they offer up one of my favorite Italian style subs in town. The Classic Spicy, a sandwich I would put in my desert island package, starts with a toasted hoagie roll, mayo and mustard then layered with ham, salami, pepperoni and parm and topped with chopped lettuce, tomato, and onion. To finish off this masterpiece of Italian culinary genius, they throw in a handful of spicy chopped peppers. Each bite, an explosion of wondrous, gluttonous, delight. Layers of thinly sliced meats melded with the spicy pepper and a bit of mustard on each bite – delightful. I have returned for other sandwiches and each has a special place in my taste memory.

sandwich food cart portland

Classic Spicy from O-Bros’ Osteria

O-Bros’ Osteria is open daily for lunch and offers a broad menu of Italian sub sandwiches along with soups, salads and pasta. If you’re craving a solid old school sub, check them out and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:


Anything’s Pastable

pasta food cart portland

Anything’s Pastable

Location: Cartlandia – SE 82nd and Harney
Hours: Tues-Thurs, 11-2pm; Fri-Sat, 11-9pm; Sunday – 3-9pm

The Story: Portland’s street food scene is lacking in the area of pasta. I get asked regularly why Italian cuisine isn’t well represented and I don’t really have an answer. Anything’s Pastable, a new food cart at Cartlandia, is here to fill that void.

Anything’s Pastable grew out of the long time dream for Laury and Ed to own their own place. After raising kids and Ed’s years as a chef and line cook, the business dream became a reality. Add a love of pasta and anything becomes pastable. The cart offers classic Italian sauces and pasta dishes, yet with a bit of the northwest thrown in. Mushroom Alfredo or Primavera with seasonal veggies are just a couple of options. Pomodoro with rotini pasta with sautéed onions, bell pepper and fire roasted tomato sauce looked intriguing. I opted to add sausage and Ed garnished the dish with a four cheese blend to give it creaminess. I call it spiral pasta, one of my favorites, due to fact that the sauce and cheese get into the curls. The smokiness of the fire roasted tomato sauce came through perfectly and the sausage was a great addtition. A great meal.

pasta food cart portland

Pomodoro from Anything’s Pastable

Anything’s Pastable is open at Cartlandia for lunch and dinner on the weekends. Check out their deep fried ravioli, something I only saw after I had ordered. Sounds crazy good. Drop on by and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Mushroom Alfredo – mixed mushrooms and Gemelli pasta tossed with a basil alfredo sauce – $10
  • Pomodoro – $9
  • Northwest PrimaVera – Cavatappi and seasonal vegetables in a white wine and butter sauce garnished with a four cheese blend – $8
  • Twisted Curry – Gemelli, onions and pepper tossed with creamy curry sauce – $10
  • Deep Fried Ravioli – fresh ravioli deep fried served on a bed of greens with a special dipping sauce.
  • Add sausage, chicken or shrimp – $2.50-$3.50

Facebook: Anything’s Pastable
Twitter: @ourpastabiz

Margarita’s Recipes

Margarita's Recipes

Margarita’s Recipes

Location: NE 15th and Alberta
Hours: Mon-Sun, 12pm-12am

The Story: Alberta street really has changed since I first moved to N Portland last century. With all the new restaurants, boutiques and buildings, I’m glad spots for food carts have continued to thrive. East of NE 15th is a new lot with a few food carts including Margarita’s Recipes who focuses on Colombian and Italian cuisine.

Ceviche de Cameron

Ceviche de Cameron

I’m a fan of pictures when I order. A photo of a dish will draw me to it more than the description. Trust me, I’ve had some strange dishes due to picking a photo instead of a name. But, street food is an adventure. Margarita’s Recipes offers up a fusion of Colombian and Italian-American items. Camilo, the owner works long days to create some excellent dishes at affordable prices. You can enjoy spaghetti with Alfredo sauce or empanadas. Based on the photo, I picked up Ceviche de Camarón, a shrimp cocktail mixed with fresh green onions, cilantro and house made sauce. A 16oz cup chock full of spicy shrimp and a super fragrant sauce thanks to the fresh herbs. I also picked up some empanadas – light and fluffy. Only $11 for everything. A great value for great food.

Margarita’s Recipes may not be in the most beautiful food lot on Alberta, yet Camilo has a beautiful cart and soul. Open daily for lunch through dinner and into the night, drop on by, enjoy what he has to offer and let him know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Empanadas – chicken, beef or vegetarian – 3 for $2,  5 for $3
  • Ravioli – beef or chicken with Alfredo sauce – $5
  • Ceviche de Cameron – $9
  • Spaghetti – $3; add meatballs, $5
  • Bunuelo – fried cheese balls – 2 for $1.50

Phone: (503) 754-9817

The Italian Market

The Italian Market

The Italian Market

Location: SE 45th and Stark at Belmont Station
Hours: Mon-Sun, 12-9pm

The Story: Yo, cheesesteaks are for tourists! Those are the first words I remember hearing from the owners of The Italian Market almost a year ago. Hailing from the city of brotherly love, the owners Erin and Andrew bring south Philly street food to Portland.

I first met Erin and Andrew over a year ago and learned of their plans to relocate to Portland and jump into our ever evolving street food scene. Coming from Philadelphia, a food city in its own right, they wanted to bring those flavors without the schtick we all associate with the cheesesteak. I’ve been to Philly and yeah, you can find a cheesesteak on every corner, but there is so much more to eat and The Italian Market will show you. It has been a long year for the two from the move and building a food cart and securing a location. But now, in April, they are open and slingin’ sandwiches at Belmont Station, a venerable bottle shop known by many who took out their old kitchen in order to welcome a mobile vendor. A new welcoming patio was also constructed so you can enjoy your sandwich inside out of the rain with a beer.

Italian Beef Brisket Sandwich

Italian Beef Brisket Sandwich

Erin and Andrew have done their time in kitchens and know enough about their craft to know the bread for a sandwich is key. Last summer, they flew out here with a suitcase of different types of bread from Philadelphia and visited all the best bakers in town to see who they could partner with to re-create some of those signature loafs. Dean from Allesio bakery took the samples and made magic in the Rose City, creating the different types of buns The Italian Market required. Speaking of sandwiches, they offer four different ones including an Italian pork, an Italian beef, a meatball sub and a baked eggplant sammy for the vegetarians in the crowd. After tasting samples of both the pork and beef, I choose the Italian beef brisket with roasted tomatoes, sharp provolone and horseradish on a seeded roll. Andrew threw some pepperoncinis in there for good measure. The roll held the ingredients together well and even soaked up a bit of the juices without becoming too soggy and falling apart. The horseradish and brisket mixed perfectly with the acidity of the tomato. Top it all off with sharp provolone and you have one excellent sandwich.

The Italian Market also offers salad and pretzels and can do Gluten Free buns, just ask. They source all their ingredients locally including their “east coast kale” – broccoli rabe. I tried a sample of the greens which melted in my mouth. I’m loving this new model of pairing mobile vendors with bottle shops and bars. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in a bar and all they have to eat are warmed over hot dogs. An Italian pork sandwich sounds so much better with a local IPA. Find The Italian Market at Belmont Station daily from noon-9pm. Welcome them to our fine town and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Federal Sandwich: Italian Pork w/ sharp provolone and broccoli rabe – $8
  • Ellsworth: Italian beef – $8.50
  • Uncle Mike’s Meatball Sub – ground beef and pork simmered in red gravy w/ sharp provolone – $8
  • Passyunk: baked eggplant w/ roasted peppers and fennel, homemade mozzarella and pesto – $8
  • Tasker Salad: panzanella salad w/ crusty bread, cucumber, tomato, homemade mozzarella, onion and fresh basil with olive oil and balsamic – $5.50

Website: TheItalianMarketPDX.com
Facebook: The Italian Market
Twitter: @YoItalianMarket

J Mo’s Sandwich Shack

Brett Burmeister
J Mo's Sandwich Shack

J Mo’s Sandwich Shack

Location: SE 52nd and Foster
Hours: daily, 11-7 – call ahead to check

The Story:

Home of the ‘Dirty Mo’ is the phrase on the business card. How can’t you not wonder what a Dirty Mo is and seek it out. Jason “J Mo” Moreno is the man behind Cartlandia’s newest cart and brings his tasty sandwiches to the lot.

Jason has been accused of being too much of a dreamer, but what’s wrong with that? We should all chase some sort of dream and opening a restaurant what Jason’s. After some work, he realized that a cart would be the best way to start off on this journey and used Craigslist to source the cart and all the innards. Jason offers sandwiches, soups and salads with a smile and a hearty hello.

The Italian

The Italian

The day we visited, the menu offered a couple of sandwiches and a chopped green salad. Having just enjoyed a pulled pork sandwich the day before, I decided on The Italian. Full disclosure time – I was first introduced to the Italian style sub at Subway in the early 80’s in Gresham. Whenever I get a chance, I try everyone else’s to try and wash the Subway taste from my memory. With salami, Mortadella, provolone, pickles and yellow mustard on a fresh roll, this is the style of Italian I crave. J Mo gets his bread from An Xuyen Bakery down off Foster and the only way I can describe it is fluffy and crunchy. When eying the sandwich cut in half, there is bun, meat and bun. As a kid, I wouldn’t appreciate the value of the bread in a sandwich like this, assuming I had been jipped on meat. Now, I realize it is about balance and with the right bread, you can have even less innards and still create a work of art. J Mo has managed this with The Italian. Every bite had crunchy soft bread, salty salami, a bit of pickle and the tang of mustard. So good.

You’re probably wondering about the Dirty Mo. While not on the menu the day we visited, J Mo described it as fried spaghetti on garlic cheese bread with homemade marinara sauce. You can add meatballs or sausage to amp it up a bit. Sounds enticing. J Mo’s Sandwich Shack is now open at Cartlandia which also sports a beer garden, so head on down for one of his excellent creations and let him know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

J Mo’s moved to SE 52nd and Foster in August 2013

Sample Menu:

  • The Dirty Mo – $8
  • Flying Barracuda Pulled Pork – $8
  • The Italian – salami, Mortadella, Provolone – $8
  • Chopped Green Salad – $5

Hours: daily, 11-7, but still working out the details
Website: JMosSandwichShack.com
Facebook: JMosSandwichShack