Mole Prehispanic Cuisine

mole food cart portland

Mole Prehistoric Cuisine

Location: 5885 NW St Helens Rd in the parking lot of Anderson Roofing
Hours: Weekdays, lunch

The Story: Our food scene here in Portland continues to mature. Every day, I’m overjoyed by the layers of flavor offered by street food vendors throughout the city. Mole Prehispanic Cuisine, a new food truck out off HWY 30, brings us mole from Oaxaca and they are the real deal.

Chef Luis Ochoa, veteran of Isabel in the Pearl, works out of a truck parked of a highway, creating dynamic and exciting mole daily. Originating in the southern most regions of Mexico in the state of Oaxaca, Chef Luis crafts an rhapsody of dried chiles, seeds, nuts, herbs and spices to pair with locally grown meats to create the moles. After a few visits to Sauvie Island on the weekends and seeing the closed truck, I decided to pop in for lunch on a Monday. Four Mole dishes are on the menu – beef, pork, lamb and chicken. Yet, each is defined by the complexity of the mole. Chef Luis offered up a sample taste of each and dutifully explained the differences. I almost ordered them all. Not one to accept samples, these tiny tastes assisted me in choosing lunch.

Mole food cart portland

Mole Verde from Mole Prehistoric Cuisine

The Mole Verde – Carlton Farms pork slow roasted and paired with a light herbaceous, yet zesty Oaxacan mole of tomatillos, pablanos and pepitas. I chose the verde for the spiciness. A forkful of pork, stirred in the rich green mole and a bit of brown rice and quinoa and my taste buds united in joy. Each dish is served with the rice and quinoa blend along with fresh greens topped with a pineapple salsa and pickled onions. Mix a bit of the pineapple with the mole – Boom!

Beyond the main dishes, Mole Prehistoric Cuisine also serves up fresh made empanadas and daily specials. Exploring the depths of regional cuisine ignites a passion in me about all foods. I’m excited to see Chef Luis bring his dishes to Portland’s streets. Find the truck parked at the Anderson Roofing Materials lot out off HWY 30 south of the St. Johns Bridge. Let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Mole Negro – primitive Oaxacan mole with braised St. Helen’s beef brisket – $8
  • Mole Verde – $8
  • Mole Colaradito – Anderson Ranches lamb, braised with guajillo chilies, mild spices, cinnamon and clove – $8
  • Mole De Castilla – organic chicken pan poached and matched with earthy mole of dark chocolate, spice and fruit – $8
  • Empanadas – $3

Facebook: Mole PDX
Twitter: @MolePDX
Phone: 503 875 9134

Chicharito’s Mexican Grill

Mexican Food Cart Portland

Chicharito’s Mexican Grill

Location: SW 3rd and Washington
Hours: Lunch daily

The Story: Downtown Portland has a number of Mexican food cart options, some old, some new. Chicharito’s Mexican Grill offers up breakfast, lunch and dinner at SW 3rd and Washington. Pick up a chicharon quesadilla on your way to the office for a mere $4. Or a torta filled with refried beans, meat and escambiche peppers. They have something for everyone.

Mexican food cart portland

Torta from Chicharito’s

Facebook: Chicharito’s Mexican Grill

Rosita’s Place

Mexican food cart portland

Rosita’s Place

Location: 3405 SE 82nd, north of Powell
Hours: Tues-Sat, 12-9pm

The Story: Family recipes make up the soul of many food carts. Rosita’s Place, a Mexican vendor at SE 82nd and Powell opened this past year offering up traditional Mexican dishes made to order.

Menu include street tacos, fish tacos, taquitos, flautas, tostadas, nachos, tortas and burritos. All dishes can be made vegetarian or with your choice of pork, chicken, beef or chorizo.

Mexican Food Cart Portland

Street Tacos from Rosita’s Place

The lot offers up covered seating and music on the weekends.

Facebook: Rosita’s Place

Azul Tequila Taqueria at Tidbit


Mexican food cart portlandLocation: SE 28th Pl and Division at Tidbit
Hours: daily, weekends, lunch and dinner

Azul Tequila has opened a second food cart at Tidbit. Excellent menu of Mexican cuisine. Open daily for lunch and dinner.

Holy Mole

Mexican mole

Holy Mole

Location: SE 33rd and Hawthorne down the alleyway
Hours: Wed-Sat, 12-10pm; Sun, 12-6pm

The Story: Holy Mole defines authentic when it comes to Mexican mole. With influences from Puebla, Mexico, this food cart is dishing out items you can’t usually find in our fair city.

Fernando, the owner, hails from the city of Puebla, in the state of Puebla, Mexico, a hub of food culture. Puebla was founded in 1531 as a Spanish city and played a pivotal role in the history of New Spain. Located southwest of Mexico City, it became an agricultural hub for the capitol over the years. Famous for its cuisines like mole pablano, chiles en nodaga and chilupas, it has grown to become the fourth largest city in the nation and a hub for eastern central Mexico.

The signature dish at Holy Mole is mole poblano. My first thought was a dish with pablano chiles, but no, I was wrong. Mole poblano is mole from Puebla, the city. Fernando spent much of the last 10+ years as a chef at the Great Vow Zen Monastary in Claskanie, so has tailored his foods for both vegetarian and gluten free needs. A mole is a mix of some 30+ ingredients including peppers, spices, herbs and even chocolate. And all made from scratch. Some moles take hours to craft just right. I enjoyed the house special with chicken – truly an amazing dish. Each bite, the mole came through with a different more vibrant flavor- anise, smoke, cacao, salt, pepper. I hadn’t planned on eating the entire dish, yet couldn’t help myself. The scents from the cart and the dish waft through the alleyway drawing people in.

mexican mole

Mole Poblano from Holy Mole

Fernando’s goal is to introduce Portlanders to dishes they haven’t tried before. While Mexican, Holy Mole is different than most every other Mexican place I’ve enjoyed and that brought a smile ear to ear. On the weekends, he dishes out enchilada specials. I can’t wait to see what he has in store for the future. Holy Mole is located on SE 33rd and Hawthorne down the alleyway. Open Wednesday-Sunday for lunch and dinner. A food cart that will make more than a few top 10 lists this year. Drop on by and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Mole Poblano – Chicken or Tempeh – $10.75
  • Pozole Blanco – chicken with organic yellow corn, white cabbage, onions, salsa – $8.75
  • Pozole Blanco – tempeh with organic blue corn, red cabbage, onions, salsa – $9.75
  • Enchiladas on the weekend vary – $9-10

Twitter: @HolyMolePDX
Facebook: Holy Mole PDX