JuJu

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JuJu Food Cart

JuJu Food Cart

Location: SW 10th and Washington
Hours: Mon-Fri, 11-3:30pm

The Story: Ever wonder how one cart competes against another when ostensibly they have similar menu items? I personally thing it comes down to the quality of what is served and a smile. A JuJu, a new food cart in the Alder Pod, they have both in abundance.

Ever since they opened a couple of months ago, every time I walk by, smiling faces are leaning out the window. Even on those wet spring days when the crowds were thin - smiles. Initially, the cart launched doing different styles of tacos, but as it has gained a following, they have expanded the menu to include quesadillas, hot dogs and salads. Yes, hot dogs. Just six months ago, one couldn’t find a simple hot dog downtown, but now, JuJu has you covered. Kids love ‘em. The tacos are where I’m at. 1 taco can sate me all day during the summer months. While I’m a fan of tradition, I’m open to new flavors and styles. JuJu offers chicken, beef and tofu, yet also ventures out with fish, chicken katsu and shrimp tempura. I’ve tried both the fish and shrimp tempura and both delighted my taste buds. The crunch of the shrimp tempura mixed with coolness of fresh chopped cabbage, onion, tomato and carrot all mixed with their special sauce – a tasty treat.

Shrimp Tempura Taco from JuJu

Shrimp Tempura Taco from JuJu

JuJu is the bright red cart located on Washington St just west of 10th. Drop on by next time you’re looking for something refreshing and new and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Tacos – chicken, beef, tofu, $3; fish, chicken katsu or shrimp tempura – $3.50
  • JuJu 1/4 lb dog – $5.50
  • Quesadillas with your choice of fillings and protein – $6-7
  • Create your own salad – $5.50-7

El Local

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Location: SE MLK and Stark at Central Eastside Food Carts

Hours: breakfast, lunch and dinner daily

Mexican cuisine.

Los Alambres Torteria Taqueria DF

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Los Alambres Torteria Taqueria DF

Los Alambres Torteria Taqueria DF

Location: SE 82nd and Taylor
Hours: Tues-Sat, 11-9, Sun, 11-6

The Story: There are over 70 different Mexican food carts and trucks in the Portland Metro area from Hillsboro to Gresham, North Portland to Wilsonville. How does one vendor differentiate themselves from the rest? For Los Alambres Torteria Taqueria DF, it was a massive list of tortas.

Los Alambres Taqueria is the work of Antonio and Micaela Hernandez who opened the truck on 82nd last year. Their focus is on Mexican dishes from Distrito Federal (Federal District.) Signature items include Alambre, a special dish of mixed meat, cheese served with tortillas, Tortas, and Agua de Jamaica (Jamiaca juice.) I was floored at list of 17 different Tortas, ranging from the Cubano with breaded beef, ham, hot dog, head cheese, Mexican cheese, Mozzarella, egg and chorizo to the Toluquena with chorizo, Mozzarella and chile serrano. There is a torta here for anyone. I picked up the De Luxo with pork leg and Mozzarella. I’ve had tortas before, but when I was handed the grocery bag with my torta inside, I almost dropped it, surprised by the weight. Seriously, this is a pound or more of Mexican sandwich. Thin torta bread with a salad mix of peppers similar to an olive spread and topped with sliced pierna (pork leg) and Mozzarella. Every bite included spicy pepper, salty pork and creamy cheese. The bread was superb, a perfect choice for these sandwiches. If you’re a big eater, these tortas are for you. Or, grab one and share.

De Luxo Torta from Los Alambres

De Luxo Torta from Los Alambres

Los Alambres is open daily for lunch through dinner at the corner of SE 82nd and Taylor. They have covered seating there, so you can enjoy your meal out of the weather. Not knowing how big the torta was, I also ordered a Taco del Barrio with asada, chorizo and grilled onions. Amazing! Next time I’m out on 82nd, I will definitely make a visit. Drop on by and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Tacos – asada, chorizo, pastor, birria, chicken, veggie – $1.25
  • Tortas – See list here – $6-9 per sandwich
  • Quesadillas-  $3.50-5

Website: Los Alambres
Facebook: Los Alambres Torteria Taqueria DF
Phone
: 503 213 0085

Adamariz Taqueria

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Adamariz Taqueria

Adamariz Taqueria

Location: 221 N Killingsworth, west of Vancouver
Hours: Tues-Fri, 9am-9pm; Sat, 10am-5pm

The Story: It takes a strength and courage to launch a food cart. It takes even more to set up shop alone without the support of a food cart pod or neighbor carts. Adamariz Taqueria has that drive.

Tacos from Adamariz Taqueria

Tacos from Adamariz Taqueria

Located on N Killingsworth just west of Vancouver, the spot has hosted a few short lived vendors in the past, but when I walked by the other day, the owner of the truck was out there on the sidewalk personally waving at passers-by, welcoming them to his new location. The truck is so new, they haven’t had the time to rebrand it with their own name, but trust me, this is Adamariz Taqueria. Tacos, tortas, quesadillas and burritos are the options here at the cart. What sucked me in was the options for fillings. Lengua, Cabeza, Chorizo along with the traditional chicken, pork and steak. Sadly, the day I visited they had already sold out of lengua, so I picked up cabeza, chorizo and asada. Cabeza, beef head, may turn people off, but for me, it comes through as fatty, creamy and salty – just what I want on a tortilla with some cilantro and chopped onions. All three tacos filled me up on my walk home. Why can’t more satisfying food be only $1.50 a piece?

I’m excited to have a new taqueria within walking distance of where I live and they are open into the dinner hours. Good Mexican at a good price. Drop on by and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

Meat/Veg options: Steak, Pork, Chicken, Lengua (beef tongue), Cabeza (beef head), Chorizo, Veggie

  • Tacos – $1.50
  • Burritos – $6
  • Tamales – chicken – $2.50
  • Tortas – Mexican sandwich – $6
  • Quesadillas – $6

Phone: 503 960 1429

Guero

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Guero

Guero

Location: SE 28th and Ankeny
Hours: Tues-Sun, 11am-9pm

The Story: A food cart born of passion, travel, friendship and…well…good cuisine. I give you Guero Tacos and Tortas.

Over the years, I have met food cart owners who are parents or boyfriends and girlfriends or fathers and sons. While most of these small businesses are single owners, many are the hard work of a few who have banded together to pursue a dream. I have fond memories of younger years when I and friends worked together to fullfill a collective dream. Granted, none were as ambitious as a full service restaurant on wheels, but I know the hard work it takes for people to come together for a single focused idea. At Guero, the three partners – Alec, Mike and Megan – all share in the duty to create the best cuisine they can. The idea behind Guero came from Alec’s time spent travelling and living in Mexico and then a transition to Burlington Vermont where he partnered with his mates and launched a mobile taco business named Taco the Town, a short lived service of delivering tacos by bike. When an opportunity to transition to a full service food cart, they jumped at it and opened Guero. But don’t fret, the delivery by bike is still a passion and may return.

At Guero, you can get tacos, tortas and bolos. Tacos are my crutch. When I see a chef hand pressing a masa tortilla, I’m blinded, seeing nothing else on the menu but the taco. The day we visited offered three different tacos – Carnitas el Guero, Cochinita Pibil and Jitomate. Each one’s description activated my tastebuds, but in the end, I chose the latter two. The Cochinita Pibil is a specialty from La Riviera May with pork slow cooked in achiote with shredded banana leaf and served with pickled onion. Take a bite and enjoy the savory pork, the acidity of onion along with the moist of the freshmade tortilla. Divine. The Jitomate taco is habanero-tamarind stewed tomato atop pinto beans and topped with crumbly Mexican cheese and a slice of avocado. I read it as a stewed habanero, so was expecting a spicy bite, yet it was a tomato with so much flavor, I couldn’t easily describe it. Another amazing example of the craft and care Guero takes with every single item they produce.

Tacos from Guero

Tacos from Guero

As stated, Guero was born from a taco bike delivery service, so these guys know what Portland eaters seek. Located at SE 28th and Ankeny at a lot with covered seating, a London bus to hang out in and three other food vendors. The lot boasts Captured by Porches so you can enjoy a microbrew with your taco or torta. Drop on by, grab something new and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

Menu may change daily or weekly. Be adventurous, visit and try something new.

  • Carnitas al Guero Taco – $2
  • Cochinita Pibil – $2
  • Tortas – all served with cilantro aioli, cabbage, avocado; carnitas; cochinita pibil, huarachi – $7

Phone: 503 593 8846
Twitter: @GueroPDX
Facebook: 
GueroPDX

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