Margarita’s Recipes

dieselboi
Margarita's Recipes

Margarita’s Recipes

Location: NE 15th and Alberta
Hours: Mon-Sun, 12pm-12am

The Story: Alberta street really has changed since I first moved to N Portland last century. With all the new restaurants, boutiques and buildings, I’m glad spots for food carts have continued to thrive. East of NE 15th is a new lot with a few food carts including Margarita’s Recipes who focuses on Colombian and Italian cuisine.

Ceviche de Cameron

Ceviche de Cameron

I’m a fan of pictures when I order. A photo of a dish will draw me to it more than the description. Trust me, I’ve had some strange dishes due to picking a photo instead of a name. But, street food is an adventure. Margarita’s Recipes offers up a fusion of Colombian and Italian-American items. Camilo, the owner works long days to create some excellent dishes at affordable prices. You can enjoy spaghetti with Alfredo sauce or empanadas. Based on the photo, I picked up Ceviche de Camarón, a shrimp cocktail mixed with fresh green onions, cilantro and house made sauce. A 16oz cup chock full of spicy shrimp and a super fragrant sauce thanks to the fresh herbs. I also picked up some empanadas – light and fluffy. Only $11 for everything. A great value for great food.

Margarita’s Recipes may not be in the most beautiful food lot on Alberta, yet Camilo has a beautiful cart and soul. Open daily for lunch through dinner and into the night, drop on by, enjoy what he has to offer and let him know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Empanadas – chicken, beef or vegetarian – 3 for $2,  5 for $3
  • Ravioli – beef or chicken with Alfredo sauce – $5
  • Ceviche de Cameron – $9
  • Spaghetti – $3; add meatballs, $5
  • Bunuelo – fried cheese balls – 2 for $1.50

Phone: (503) 754-9817

El Pilon Colombian Food

dieselboi
El Pilon Columbian Food

El Pilon Colombian Food

Location: SW 2nd and Oak
Hours: Weekdays, lunchtime

The Story: As an eater and street food fan, I’ve eaten at more than 500 different carts throughout the city. There are few who truly surprise me, force me to stop and find a place to sit down, maybe a curb or park bench. El Pilon Colombian Food did just that. They served a dish that gave me pause, a pause to enjoy every bite.

El Pilon Colombian Food has been around for a couple of years. The owner, Fernando Montagut, came to America with years of experience in architectural design, yet was unable to find employment in the field. Knowing he needed to provide for his family, he pursued his passion – cooking -and launched his business as a food stand at a local farmers market. Fernando knew he wanted to grow beyond the stand, so secured a food cart on SW 2nd and Oak and with the help of Kiva.Org who provided a micro-loan, was able to upgrade equipment and produce his menus and marketing materials. The menu is unique telling the eater about each dish and its place in Colombian culture. The descriptions alone will make your mouth water.

Patacones from El Pilon Columbian Food

Patacones from El Pilon Colombian Food

El Pilon offers traditional Colombian street food in the form of empanadas, arepas, pan de yuca and their signature dish, patacones (pa-ta-con.) Patacones are traditional side dishes served in South America and Colombia. Fernando uses plantains to create a bowl that is fried twice before the goodies are added. Imagine a flower with cheese at the bottom topped with shredded beef and a thin slice of red pepper. For one, a beautiful presentation and two, it tastes sublime. The plantain is semi-sweet, so with the savory meat and cheese, he creates a memorable combination. Truly one of the most unique dishes I have found in awhile.

El Pilon brings Colombian food to Portland, a city with only a few South American street food options. I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying the empanadas and patacones and look forward to the arepas and salpicon, a fruit cocktail. If you’re a food cart fan, this is the cart you need to put on your bucket list. A special find. Drop on by and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Arepas – meat, chicken, cheese, egg, vegetables – $3.99-$4.60 depending on ingredient
  • Empanadas – chicken, cheese or meat – $2
  • Patacones – chicken, cheese, meat or hogao, a tomato and onion sauce – $4.60
  • Salpicon – fruit cocktail – $2.50

Brazilian House

dieselboi
Brazilian House

Brazilian House

Location: SE 43rd and Belmont, Good Food Here
Hours: Weekdays and weekends, lunch

The Story: I was just telling someone the other day that we really don’t have much cuisine out of South America represented in the street food scene and then, Boom!, I discover Brazilian House at Good Food Here. Woo hoo!

Brazilian House is one of the newer carts on the lot and seems to already have a following. At least threw different groups were sharing a plate from the vendor. Menu items include Moqueca, Tropeiro and Feijoada. Moqueca is a stew made with red pepper, green pepper, onions, tomato, palm oil and coconut milk. Traditionally served with fish, at the cart you can get it with fish, shrimp or chicken. I was sold on that knowing I could return for the other dishes, but the owner convinced us to get her most famous dish – Feijoada, a black bean, bacon, beef and sausage stew served with rice and covered with thinly sliced collard greens. What a dish. The greens were fresh and bright and melded perfectly with the salty and meaty stew. An excellent and hearty dish for the coming winter months.

Feijoada

Feijoada

Brazilian House is one of the only vendors in town doing Brazilian cuisine. We didn’t have room for dessert, but others had picked up the Pudim, a sweet condensed milk flan which looked simply divine. Find Brazilian House at the Good Food Here pod on SE 43rd and Belmont and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Coxinha – chicken balls shaped into drumsticks, battered and fried – $4.50
  • Moqueca – stew served with rice and tomato – $8
  • Tropeiro – beans, bacon, beef, sausage, eggs, green onion, garlic, served with rice and collard greens – $8
  • Feijoada – black beans, bacon, beef, sausage, green onions and served with rice and collard greens – $8

Phone: (503) 360-7688

Churros Locos

dieselboi
Churros Locos

Churros Locos

Location: Roaming, check Facebook for current locations
Hours: Check Facebook for current locations/hours

The Story: We all have childhood memories of food. Many of our life choices for meals were shaped by our upbringing and when we end up living somewhere other than our childhood home, we end up with cravings. Churros Locos is here to sate that craving for all who grew up with churros.

It all started with smells. Daniel and Isabel were spending the weekend at the beach and dropped into a gelato shop. In talking with the owner, they brought up the idea of adding something like a churro to the menu in order to have the smell of it wafting both inside and out. Smells will bring people in. Daniel and Isabel had grown up with churros, but had never thought of it as a business until later that night walking back to the hotel. One of those moments when they looked at each other and realized they were thinking the same thing. Churros Locos was born. They acquired a cart, talked with friends and family and did some traveling to learn and perfect their recipes and processes and the cart launched this past April. They secured a key spot on SW 18th directly across from JELD-Wen field and have been at almost every Timbers and Thorns matches.

Churro from Churros Locos

Churro from Churros Locos

A churro is a like a long doughnut and is baked and fried. For Churros Locos, their influence is Mexican, yet churros are well known throughout central and south America and beyond. A simple dough is then extruded to give it that unique star shape and length. Daniel and Isabel par-bake them then quickly fry them on the spot so your churro is hot and fresh. Once out of the fryer, they are sprinkled with sugar. At the cart, you can get a simple churro or a churro sundae with ice-cream and toppings. The warm crisp dough with just enough seductive sugar to sweeten it is truly memory inducing. No wonder they have so many stories of emotional adults relaying churro memories of childhood.

Churros Locos can be found on SW 18th and Morrison by the MAX stop for Timbers matches. They will also be at different events throughout town this fall. Such a great story and a great vendor. Seek them out and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Churro – $2
  • Churro Sundae – $4

Facebook: Churros Locos
Twitter: @Churros_Locos

PDX Empanadas

dieselboi
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

Website: PDXEmpanadas.com
Facebook: PDX Empanadas
Twitter: @PDXEmpanadas

css.php