Location: SE 28th and Ankeny
Hours: Tues-Sat, 11:30-7pm; Sunday, 11:30-3pm
The Story: Every so often we come across one of those gems that simply put, blow us away. I had heard positive rumblings about Burrasca and their Florentine influences, so decided to check it out myself.
Over the years, I have visited some wonderful vendors who have named their carts after themselves, the food or just something whimsical. At Burrasca, they decided to name the cart after a character in a classic Tuscan children’s book, Il Giornalino di Gian Burrasca, written in 1907-1908 by Luigi Bertelli. Burrasca was the troublemaker in the book and Paolo Calamai, the chef of the cart has always felt he was a bit rambunctious. Hailing from Tuscany, Paolo’s career as a formally trained chef spans a couple of decades and across a few continents. His current endeavor with the cart is to bring the dishes of his childhood in native Florence to Portland.
At Burrasca, Paolo’s menu is an expression of his many years as a trained chef. The day we visited one could enjoy a hearty black cabbage, cannelini bean and bread soup or squid and spinach simmered in tomato, red wine and herbs. Just imagining either of those dishes brings on binge worthy emotions. We picked out the pappardelle al cinghiale – handmade pasta with wild boar sauce. Sometime, long ago, I was introduced to pappardelle and it was love at first bite. What a dish! Thick, al dente noodles soaked in the wild boar sauce with fresh parm and a slice of cart made bread. Perfection on a plate. It renewed a desire inside me to explore the diversity of Italian cuisine more. Maybe Paolo will be my mentor.
Burrasca is one of those carts that is changing the game. An experienced chef who’s passion is to serve awe-inspiring dishes for us to enjoy. The cart is located at Pod28 at SE 28th and Ankeny. There is plenty of covered seating and Captured by Porches serves beer on the weekends. Next time you’re stumped trying to decide what to eat for lunch or dinner, head on over to Burrasca and let Paolo know Food Carts Portland sent ya.
Menu may change daily
- Hearty Black Cabbage, Cannellini bean and break soup – $5
- Pappardelle Al Cinghiale – handmade pasta with wild boar sauce – $8
- Squid and Spinach simmered in tomato, red wine and herbs – $7
- Arista Panino – sandwich of roast pork loin topped with salsa verde and watercress on homemade roll – $7