Gastro Mania

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Gastro Mania

Gastro Mania

Location: NW 19th and Quimby
Hours: M-Sun, 11am-3pm

The Story: Looking for some grilled porchetta or a foie gras burger? Look no further than Gastro Mania, a new food truck posted up at Q19 in NW Portland.

Gastro Mania opened this past spring promoting “The Best of Mediterranean Cuisine,” yet except for the top item of a Gyro, the menu is chalk full of treats that we don’t think of as from that part of the world. Salmon Sliders, Swordfish Steak, a Porchetta sandwich and what has caught the most attention – the foie gras burger. While getting foie gras is a treat for many, I opted for the Porchetta, a monster of a sandwich with more than enough grilled pork belly and charred fat. I tend to describe porchetta as bacon wrapped pork, so use your imagination. Alex, the chef, believes he has the best porchetta in town, so I had to give it a shot. A thick layer of porchetta between a crunchy seared roll with plenty of dripping fat and butter. Crazy delicious and oh so wrong. I couldn’t put it down. Each bite, a palatable bliss. This sandwich is not for those who cut off the fat when eating steaks. You have to dive right in and clean up later. The Porchetta is served with a side greek salad with feta so you can at least claim you ate your veggies that day.

Porchetta from Gastro Mania

Porchetta from Gastro Mania

Gastro Mania is at Q19, the lot adjacent to Quimby’s where you can sit indoors and enjoy a libation while chowing down. Open daily for lunch. Drop on by and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Gyros – chicken or lamb – $7
  • Porchetta sandwich – $8
  • Foie Gras burger – $8
  • Salmon Sliders – $8
  • Tuna Steak served over salad – $8
  • Chicken Breast Scallopini – $8

Phone: 5036893794
Facebook: Gastro Mania

Casablanca Express

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Casablanca Express

Casablanca Express

Location: SE MLK and Stark at Central Eastside Food Carts
Hours: Mon-Sat, 11am-5pm

The Story: Portland has plenty of options for Mediterranean cuisine, but at Casablanca Express, it comes with a taste of Morocco. From shawarma on the spit to lamb to Mezza salad plates, this vendor has it all. Open for lunch daily in SE Portland.

Facebook: Casablanca Express
Website: CasablancaExpressPDX.com

Creperie du Lys

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Creperie du Lys

Creperie du Lys

Location: SE 50th an Division – A la Carts Food Pavilion
Hours: Wednesday-Saturday, 11-2:30 and 5-close; Sunday, 12-close

The Story: “Mediterranean Influenced, Northwest Inspired.” Creperie du Lys wants to introduce you to a new fusion of tastes and their food cart is now in Portland at A la Carts Food Pavilion.

Creperie du Lys launched in Corvallis in 2009 as a farmers market booth. After a couple of good years, Michele and Francois decided to build a cart so they could do events in the region. They’ve been crafting crepes ever since. The crepes come from Francois’ French family influence, and while they are traditional French style, Michele and Francois wanted to incorporate a bit of the NW into each dish. Also, Francois is from the south of France, so Mediterranean cuisine was a large part of that fusion. After 3 years of working with Corvallis to try and build a food cart pod, Michele and Francois decided to move the cart to Portland and this winter set up at A la Carts Food Pavilion on SE 50th and Division.

Genoa Crepe from Creperie du Lys

Genoa Crepe from Creperie du Lys

At first sight, the crepes are different than what I’ve come to expect. The dark brown color comes from buckwheat flour. Known as a galette, it is a traditional recipe from Brittany, France. I picked up a Genoa savory crepe with pesto, spinach, tomato and cheese. Michele spread the batter out on the crepe griddle, let it set and then quickly flipped it and started adding the goodies. Pesto, with that touch of garlic paired well with the bitter spinach and buckwheat crepe. Basil and fresh chopped tomato balanced the dish with cool and refreshing flavors. A great little morsel for any time of the day.

Creperie du Lys is now open Wednesday through Sunday for lunch and dinner. A la Carts Food Pavilion has tented seating and cocktails on the weekends. In summer, they bring in live music. Glad to have Michele and Francois in Portland. Head on down and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Ham and Cheese savory crepe – $5
  • Genoa – pesto, basil, spinach and cheese – $6
  • Moroccan Saute – onion, garlic, peppers, carrot, garbonzo, preserved lemon, spices – $6.50
  • Nutella sweet crepe – $5
  • Marionberry preserve – $4

Website: Creperiedulys.com
Facebook: Creperie du Lys
Twitter: @CreperieduLys

Small Pharoh on 5th

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Small Pharoh

Small Pharoh

Location: SW 5th and Stark
Hours: lunch, daily

Egyptian and New York Cuisine. Halal, hot dogs, falafel and gyros.

Kargi Gogo

Lizzy Caston
Kargi Gogo

Kargi Gogo

Location: SW Washington and 10th
Hours: Weekdays and Saturdays, lunch- late afternoon.

The Story: Grab your passports and your geography books, Kargi Gogo serves a cuisine we rarely see in Portland and they do an outstanding job of it too: The foods of the Georgian Republic. No, this is not fried chicken, grits, okra and peach pie found in the Southern United State of Georgia. This is food from the COUNTRY of Georgia. Located on the Black Sea, nestled under Russia, and surrounded by Turkey, Armenia, and Azerbaijan, Georgia is a culturally and geographically diverse country with a diverse cuisine to match it.  In Kargi Gogo’s own words:

Georgians make food that combines elements of Eastern European and Middle Eastern cuisines, resulting in fresh, flavorful dishes.

You’ll find Khachapuri – melted blend of cheeses in a flaky light crust. Then there’s Badrijani – cooked eggplant strips stuffed with ground walnuts, garlic and Georgian spices. Light but satisfying, and vegan and gluten free to boot. Yet, it’s the Georgian dumplings named Khinkali that really win us over. Think of generous fistfull sized tender and boiled wontons stuffed with a mixture of meats, garlic, herbs and broth. They are a Georgian obsession and highly addictive, and pro-tip provided by the owners of Kargi Gogo and the way the Georgians eat them – grab the dumpling by the top, turn them upside down, then bite in. This keeps the hot broth inside the dumplings from exploding all over your nice clean shirt.

Kargi Gogo,  literally translates  to Good Girl in the Georgian language and their cute little white cart with the quirky cartoon girl logo (the good girl) is a nice introduction to Georgian food.  Kargi Gogo has put a lot of thought into their design and menu, including descriptions and photos of their food as well as making sure there are offerings for meat eaters, vegetarians and vegans. They even have some gluten free foods. This commitment to education about their food is really helpful in choosing what mouth-watering treats to try.

Kargi 2

Kargi Gogo’s Supra Feast sampler plate

A great introduction to sampling  Kargi Gogo’s menu is their “Supra Feast”, describe as:

A Georgian supra is an epic feast with an abundance of delicious food. Indulge with a slice of Khachapuri, a slice of Lobiani, two Khinkali, two Badrijani and Peasant’s Salad.

Sean and McKinzie are the two affable young Americans who own Kargi Gogo. They were both stationed in Georgia for two years in the Peace Corps, met there, and decided to introduce Portlanders to this fantastic cuisine. Food Carts Portland salutes Kargi Gogo for their efforts and excellence. Or, as the robust and friendly Georgian people might say, Gemrielad Miirthvith! (Enjoy your meal!)

 

Sample Menu:

 

  • Khachapuri – Georgian Cheese Stuffed Bread – $6
  • Lobani – stuffed Bean and Onion Bread – $6
  • Khinkali – meat stuffed boiled dumplings – $6
  • Badrijani – eggplant, garlic and walnut rolls – $6
  • Peasant Salad – tomatoes, cucumbers, parsley, onions in a walnut-garlic dressing – $6
  • Supra Feast – a large sampler of all menu items – $8

 

Phone: 503- 489-8432

Website: kargigogo.com

Facebook: Kargi Gogo PDX

Twitter: @kargigogopdx

 

 

 

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