A Cajun Life

dieselboi
cajun food cart portland

A Cajun Life

Location: SE 43rd and Belmont – Good Food Here
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, lunch and dinner

The Story:

[A Cajun Life Food Cart moved to SE Portland’s Good Food Here in November 2014]

I grew up in deep SE Portland. We actually lived in unincorporated east Multnomah county, a mysterious rural land between Portland and Gresham. I raised pigs that usually went to “pig camp” while I was at summer camp. Food options in the area consisted of jojo’s at the local market or Subway or Dairy Queen. What I would give to have have been able to eat at A Cajun Life while a kid. It would have been childhood favorite.

A Cajun Life is the work of Chris Fontenot and his wife Hillary. Chris, a Louisiana native who ended up moving around the nation a bit before landing in Damascus, discovered the one thing he truly missed about home was the food. A common theme heard when talking with transplants to our fine town. Luckily for us, they chased this dream down and opened the cart named Roux down off HWY 212 and SE 202nd right in the heart of Damascus. It wasn’t easy. Damascus is a new city with little or no regulations regarding mobile vendors, so Clackamas County became the final arbiter. They too are new to mobile vending, so in the end, everyone has been on a learning curve trying to support this small business, get them open and keep them open.

Cajun food cart portland

Bayou Boogie and Crawfish étouffée

A Cajun Life’s menu features all the dishes I have fell in love with during my numerous trips to New Orleans. While everything on the menu looked simply amazing, I asked Chris for his specialty and he put together a combo of his Bayou Boogie and crawfish étouffée. Normally, this quantity of food would give me pause, but after that first bite of hot sausage and rice with a bit of chicken, I couldn’t put the fork down. The hot of the sausage was so different than what I’ve had, I couldn’t get enough. I quickly realized I had picked out most of the sausage and left everything else there. I felt like a kid separating items on the plate. The difference here was that the rest of the dish was amazing even though I had already ate the sausage. The crawfish étouffée, crawfish tails smothered in sauce, was equally flavorful and a treat. I asked Chris about a crawfish boil and he stated it may end up on the menu in the future. Mmmm, crawfish!

A Cajun Life, located in Damascus, may be a bit far for many of our readers here, but it is on the way to and from Mt. Hood and elsewhere east. Take a different route next time you’re out for a hike and drop on by. Their hours are weekend focused open on Friday at the cart and Saturday at the Gresham Farmers Market. If you’re a Timbers fan, you can check them out at Saturday, September 29th’s match against DC United. I’m happy to see mobile vendors succeeding beyond Portland but close enough to visit. Drop on by if you’re in the area and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Authentic Cajun Gumbo: chicken, sausage, Tasso served with potatoes in roux based sauce over rice – $8
  • Crawfish étouffée: crawfish tails smothered in sauce served over rice – $8
  • Bayou Boogie: chicken, sausage and Tasso gravy served over rice – $8
  • Crawfish Pistolettes: French bread stuffed with crawfish cheese sauce – $3.50 each

Website: ACajunLife.com
Facebook: A Cajun Life

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Retrolicious

Brett Burmeister
Retrolicious

Retrolicious

Location: Roaming, check their website for location
Hours: daily, 11:30-7 including weekends

The Story:

Pink flamingos flank the 60’s pink cart with the Jetson’s style logo. Retrolicious is the latest edition to Green Castle and is bringing back the classics. [Retrolicious left Green Castle in 10/2012 and is roaming and seeking a new location]

Hailing from Phoenix, Kimmy and her partner Roy, wanted to have some fun with both the cart and the menu. With fond memories of childhood favorites like mac ‘n cheese or meatloaf, the scratch made classics cart was born. Kimmy runs around the lot in a bright pink and yellow striped skirt I think I saw in a James Bond flick. The best way to engage customers – talk to them. The flamingos and the bright colored chairs and table add to the feel. A stunningly beautiful and well executed cart with a great brand.

Butter Basted Diner Burger

Butter Basted Diner Burger

Kimmy is going for big meals. The meals we enjoyed growing up before Mutual of Omaha’s Animal Kingdom. Those which put meat on our bones. The menu Saturday included Chicken and Waffles, Southern Style Mac & Cheese, Cart Cured BLT, a Honey Mustard Chicken Sandwich and the Butter Basted Diner Burger I enjoyed. Not having eaten many burgers in the last year in my attempt to experience other great foods, here was my chance to re-introduce my tastebuds to a classic. Served on Texas Toast, the hand crafted burger came with the usual fixin’s and pimento cheese. PIMENTO CHEESE. Wow, a big mouthful with that toast and the cheese was spot on for this type of burger. It has the appropriate amount of salt to the meat and having been butter basted, it had that sweet cream flavor I crave. While messy, it was worth it, sitting there devouring a juicy burger on a warm sunny spring day in Portland.

Retrolicious is hard to miss. One of the largest carts to grace our scene and painted bright pink. Kimmy and Dan are welcoming and want you to remember childhood through food. The menu is on a chalkboard, so it may change daily. Be prepared to experience what they have to offer. Drop on down to Green Castle and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Chicken & Waffles  – $5 or double for $7
  • Butter Basted Diner Burger – choice of cheese – $6
  • Southern Style Mac & Cheese – $5
  • Cart Cured BLT – a classic – $7
  • Hone Mustard Chicken Sandwich – $6

Hours: daily, 11:30-7 including weekends
Phone:
503-539-3808
Website: EatRetrolicious.com
Twitter: @EatRetrolicious
Facebook: EatRetrolicious

Mississippi's Delta BBQ

dieselboi

Mississippi Delta BBQ

Mississippi's Delta BBQ

[December 2009 – currently closed for Winter]

Location: SW 4th and Columbia

Description:

I was wandering down 4th ave on my way to the carts down by PSU when I wandered by Mississippi’s Delta BBQ. I paused for a second then walked on, not sure if I wanted BBQ or not. It only took me about 1/2 a block until I turned around, walked back and met Brian, the owner of Mississippi’s Delta BBQ. And I’m glad I did.

Mississippi’s Delta BBQ offers up pulled pork, beef brisket, turkey and sausage. Nothing fancy here, but good food. Brian began describing how long he had prepped the pork and beef, making me salivate and wishing I had the BBQ gene. Since it was a new cart and Brian had a nice smooth southern accent, I asked if he had recently moved here. Nope. Brian came to Portland a few years ago to attend Western Culinary Institute and stuck around. I’m glad he did. Mississippi’s Delta BBQ is his way to venture off on his own. Eventhough the pulled pork looked and smelled divine, I opted for the beef brisket sandwich. I’m a sucker for beef brisket. Brian prepared the thinly sliced brisket on a bun with spicy BBQ sauce and then topped it with slaw. What a monster of a sandwich.

While it is raining today, it will be sunny again and that means BBQ weather. Head on down to Mississippi’s Delta BBQ and say hi to Brian. He’ll set you up. Brian, welcome to foodcartland.

Sample Menu:

  • Smoked pulled pork sandwich with slaw and BBQ sauce – sm. $3; lg. $5
  • Smoked beef brisket sandwich with slaw and BBQ sauce – sm. $3; lg. $5
  • Smoked turkey sandwich with lettuce, tomato, cheese, slaw – $5
  • Sides – Mac slaw, cole slaw, BBQ baked beans – $1

Hours: 11am – 2:30pm Monday through Friday
Phone: 503 869 8184
Website: www.mississippisdeltabbq.com

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