Back to Eden Bakery Cart

Bakery food cart

Back to Eden Bakery Cart

Location: SE 48th and Woodstock at The Joinery
Hours: Check Facebook for updated hours

The Story: Back to Eden Bakery knows how to feed Portland. With cases of treats and baked goods catering to vegan, gluten-free and those with food sensitivities, one doesn’t need to go far to get your sweet-tooth on. Back to Eden expanded, bringing a food cart with their delectable morsels to Tidbit on SE Division. Back to Eden opened on NE Alberta in 2009 with the goal of bringing diverse and flavorful baked goods to everyone. A full gluten-free bakery, they want to offer any customer, whether they have allergies to soy, dairy or sugar, a special treat. No one should have to forgo enjoying a raspberry bar due to a sensitivity. After much success at Alberta, the company expanded with a hand built food cart at Tidbit last spring. The cart offers many of the items available at the bakery which includes fudge, cake, cookies, macaroons, cream pies, seasonal fruit pies, cupcakes, vegan ice cream and ice cream floats. The list goes on. The entire sidewalk window of the cart is chalk full of delightful treats. A chocolate chip cookie. A veggie quiche with tomato, zucchini and basil. A chocolate hazelnut sea salt macaroon. Wow! Not normally a sweet tooth, I dove in and ate it all. bakery food cart
I’m so happy to see companies who have successfully grown a brick and mortar restaurant open food carts. It allows other neighborhoods the opportunity to try new dishes and explore new cuisines. Back to Eden did it right. Now, they just need to open an outpost in my neighborhood. The Back to Eden Cart is open daily, so drop on by and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Find their menu at

Facebook: Back to Eden Bakery
Twitter: @Back_To_Eden

PDX Empanadas

PDX Empanadas

PDX Empanadas

Location: SW 5th and Oak
Hours: Weekdays, lunch

The Story: When I started writing and focusing on street food a few years ago, I distinctly remember eating at a fried pie cart. I had never had a fried pie like that and someone compared it to an empanada. Again, I had never heard of an empanada, but since then have fallen in love with these little hot pockets of happiness. PDX Empanadas has opened on SW Oak between 4th and 5th and offers up Uruguayan street food.

Empanadas trace their origins back to the 1500’s in Galicia and Portugal. A cookbook from the time – Libre del Coch by Ruperto de Nola – has empanadas filled with seafood alongside cuisines from Europe and beyond. The empanadas of the time started out as larger pies which were then cut into pieces to make them portable for the working class. They usually includes tuna, sardines or chorizo which was cooked in tomato, garlic and onion sauces inside the dough. Empanadas were introduced to the South American nation of Uruguay by Spanish and Italian settlers and are made with a diverse list of ingredients both savory and sweet.

At PDX Empanadas, in order to try everything you need to A) get there early and B) return often. Eleven different choices from breakfast to caprese to corn to beef and raisins. Sadly, by the time I arrived after the lunch hour rush, they had sold out of many, but I was still able to get a couple. The beef empanada had ground beef mixed with sweet pepper, tomato, onion, egg and herbs – an excellent salty mixture perfect for a cool day in Portland. The green spinach came with garlic, feta cheese, eggs and herbs. I gotta say, the spinach really blew me away with the hint of garlic with the salt and bitter of the cooked spinach. The crust of the empanada flaked away in my mouth and on my shirt – a buttery salty and enjoyable mess. At $3 a piece – for quick snacks, these empanadas are wonderful.

PDX Empanadas is located in the 5th and Oak lot on Oak street just west of 5th. Alongside the empanadas, they also offer sandwiches. If you’ve had a South American craving of late, you should definitely check this vendor out. Let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Milanesa Sandwich – $5
  • Choripan (sausage) sandwich – $4
  • Empanadas – $3-3.50: Pork, Beef + Raisins, Beef, Green Spinach, Garden Veggies, Corn, Eggplant, Breakfast, Vegetarian Breakfast and daily specials

Facebook: PDX Empanadas
Twitter: @PDXEmpanadas

The Pie Spot

The Pie Spot

The Pie Spot

Cart Closed – now restaurant

Location: 521 NE 24th – The Ocean
Hours: Wed-Sun: 12pm-8pm | Closed Mon & Tues

The Story:

Everyone loves pie. When someone mentions pie in a crowded room, heads turn and tongues salivate. In Portland, we’re blessed with some great pie makers and even a pie-off and with The Pie Spot, we have pie makers making pie holes.

The Pie Spot is the work of Ashley and Jessica and is housed in a vintage trailer at the D-Street Noshery in southeast Portland. Both Ashley and Jessica have loved pie their entire lives and with culinary arts degrees and 12-15 years in the business, they know what they’re doing in the kitchen. Jessica, the pie whisperer, has achieved that point where she knows exactly when the pie crust is done based on the smell. Not a bad skill to have. The ladies specialize in Pie Holes – small individual size pies that are hand crafted and baked daily. Their goal isn’t to re-invent the pie, but to perfect it.

Marionberry Pie Holes

Marionberry Pie Holes

Every day on Twitter during the summer, some of my friends declare it as “pie day,” as if every day is pie day. With all the fresh fruit we get here in Oregon, pie is a natural choice as a vessel to enjoy it. While the cart offers flavors like apple, lemon, pecan and chocolate-hazelnut year around, they add in seasonal flavors like marionberry, raspberry apricot or bourbon peach in the summer. Winter options feature pumpkin or candied yam and other amazing flavors. The pie hole sits in your hand, the epitome of culinary beauty, waiting for you to take that first bite. The crust crumbles in your mouth with the tartness of the marionberry hitting your tongue and filling covering your lips and the sides of your mouth. This is one of those moments in eating when you don’t grab for your napkin. You allow for the pie to sit on your lips and cheeks and use your tongue to lap it all up it is so good. While I always recommend sharing, have your friends order their own pies here so you can have one all to yourself.

The Pie Spot redefined pie for me by creating it in a small single size serving. Instead of buying a whole pie of just one flavor, for the same price, you can get a few pie holes of different flavors. Ashley and Jessica do Portland proud with their pie and have recently added ice cream from Salt and Straw so you can have your pie hole a la mode. Check out The Pie Spot at D-Street Noshery for a great treat or contact them to get pie holes for your next event. Let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

[The Pie Spot moved to NE 24th in October 2012]

Sample Menu:

Pie Holes are $3.50 each. Some of the flavors available throughout the year include:

  • lemon, apple, pecan, S’more pie, chocolate hazelnut
  • Winter/Fall flavors include: pumpkin, pear and fig, candied yam, winter squash
  • Seasonal flavors offered regularly – check their Facebook page for updates

Hours: Wed-Thurs, 11am-8pm; Fri, 11am-10pm; Sat, 12-10pm
Phone: 503 913 5103
Website: The Pie Spot
Twitter: @Pie_Spot
Facebook: The Pie Spot