Russian Horse

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Russian Horse Portland

Russian Horse Portland

Location: SE 13th and Lexington in Sellwood
Hours: Wed, 11-3, Thurs-Sat, 11-6, Sun, 12-3

The Story: When asked what we’re missing in the Portland street food scene, I realize we don’t have a good presence of eastern European or Russian cuisine. That has changed in the last year with a couple of vendors opening and now the Sellwood district has the Russian Horse food cart to sate their pierogie needs.

Russian Horse opened early this spring offering a menu inspired by the simple peasant foods of Russia, Ukraine, and Poland. Carmel and John Theesfeld, came to Portland chasing a dream of opening a food cart. After some discussion on cuisine, they  came up with the idea of pierogies, a traditional staple of that region. John’s family is the inspiration behind the pierogi, so they obtained the recipe and a cart and launched. Initially, it was just pierogies and borscht, but the menu quickly expanded to salads and dessert. 

Pierogies from Russian Horse

Pierogies from Russian Horse

Pierogies are a type of dumplings made of unleavened dough. First boiled, then baked or fried usually in butter with onions. Traditionally, they are stuffed with potato filling, sauerkraut, ground meat, cheese, or fruit. At Russian Horse, they have traditional pirogies with a potato filling served with caramelized sautéed onions or you can enjoy their tater tot or garlic mash pierogie. Such ingenuity from the food carts. I love it. Pierogies are a simple wholesome dish to enjoy with a bit of sour cream and pickle. Nothing spicy or eccentric, just good filling food. I enjoy that. I reminds me of an earlier part of my life when I was able to enjoy home cooking from the region. 

Russian Horse is now open in the Sellwood district Tuesday-Sunday for lunch and Wednesday through Saturday into the dinner hour. They offer more than pierogies, so check out their menu and enjoy. Let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu: (see website for updated menu and prices)

  • Vinegret: mix of beets, potatoes, carrots, onions, pickles and kraut in a sunflower oil dressing – $4.50
  • Borscht: beet and cabbage soup – sm, $2.50; lg, $3.50
  • Chicken Wings Kiev – 4 chicken wing drumsticks deep fried and tossed in Kiev butter sauce – $7.50
  • Pierogies – 3 for $5
  • Dark Chocolate Pierogies – 3 for $5

Website: RussianHorse.com
Facebook: Russian Horse

Traditional Russian Cuisine

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Traditional Russian Cuisine

Location: SE 82nd and Harney, Cartlandia
Hours: Mon-Sun, 11am-7, 8pm on Mon, Fri and Sat

The Story: I often receive calls and emails from national and even international media interested in Portland’s wonderful food cart scene. Without fail, they always ask what kinds of foods are available from Portland’s hundreds of carts. Honestly, the answer is, “what don’t we have?” Instead of a seemingly endless laundry list of our city’s boundless and creative food cart menu items,  I simply state the few cuisines we seem to be short on. For the longest time, Portland was lacking food from Eastern Europe, Russia and the Eurasian continent. A new vendor, Traditional Russian Cuisine is here to fill that void.

Located in Cartlandia, Portland’s largest food cart lot on the east side, Traditional Russian Cuisine is the work of Lyla and Bella, Moscow natives who want Portlanders to enjoy what their culture has to offer. If you’ve never enjoyed Russian cuisine, you’re in for a treat. I’m a huge fan of dark hearty Russian breads, but at Traditional Russian Cuisine, you can get piroshky, cabbage roles, pelmeni (a type of dumpling), borscht (beet soup) and more.

Piroshky are a simple, yet amazingly flavorful fried buns with different fillings. Here, you can get chicken, cheese and vegetables or salmon, egg and green onion, or what I enjoyed hot out of the oven – a lamb, potato and onion piroshky. So good. Salty, starchy and sweet. Everything I wanted to start the day. Pair piroshky with borscht, a traditional beet soup, and you have a hearty lunch.

At Traditional Russian Cuisine you get a taste of the motherland. Lyla and Bella are welcoming and generous. I luckily remembered some Russian from a past life and was able to tell them how отлично (excellent) their piroshky is. Drop on by if you’re in the neighborhood or if you too have been craving something hearty. Let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Piroshky – meat or vegetable options – $2.49
  • Manti – steamed dumplings stuffed with lamb, minced onion and spices – 8 for $$6.99
  • Pilaf salad –  $4.99
  • Cabbage Rolls – $5.99
  • Russian Beef Cutlets – $5.99
  • Pelmoni – dumplings of fillings wrapped in thin dough – $4.99-$5.99
  • Borsch – Russian beet soup – $2.49-$3.99

Phone: 503-745-0619
Website: Traditional Russian Cuisine

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