Plane Pastries

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Plane Pastries

Plane Pastries

Location: SE 52nd and Foster, Carts on Foster
Hours: Wednesday-Sunday, 10am-3pm

The Story: Portland is ga ga about sweets. We have artisan chocolatiers, organic ice cream, cupcake vendors, pie shops and more. It’s as if we have our own collective sweet tooth. The carts however only have a few who present sweets to the public in one form or another. Plane Pastries is one of the newest vendors to bring cookies, brownies and cupcakes for those who have a soft spot for sugar.

Kris Butler opened the cart this past summer after working for over a year to develop her project. Kris has led an adventurous life up until now. She joined the Air Force at age 17 and spent six years in airborne intelligence. After her honorable discharge, she used her military education benefits to attend Oregon Culinary Institute here in Portland where she learned her craft. After graduating, the adventure continues with helicopter flight training. Yep, this pastry chef knows how to fly helicopters. You don’t find that everyday. The cart and logo are modeled after vintage aircraft and a bit of the pinup motif. Kris has adorned the inside with posters of vintage flying machines including a black and white of Amelia Earhart in front of her Lockheed Electra 10E.

Rice Krispy Treat from Plane Pastries

Rice Krispy Treat from Plane Pastries

Kris is focusing on handmade pastries including cookies, brownies and cupcakes. She even makes her own caramel. While I wanted to sample everything, I opted for one of my childhood favorites, the rice krispy treat. Kris makes it with brown butter and adds in a bit of cayenne to switch things up a bit. It wasn’t spicy by any means, but you could tell this wasn’t mom’s recipe. Creamy and crunchy. Took me back to simpler times.

I really enjoyed chatting with Kris and learning about her life and passions. She’s one of those vendors who brings everything to the table. Kris will be featured on the Food Network show Cupcake Wars Season 3 on November 23rd at 8pm. While the war has already been fought, check out the show to see who won. If you’re looking for something sweet or maybe a nice cup of coffee, drop on by Plane Pastries and let Kris know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • “It’s All Wright” Cookie – $2
  • “Voodoo” Caramel Bar – $4
  • “Black Widow” Brownie – $3
  • “Whirlwind” Rice Krispie – $3

Website: Planepastries.com
Facebook: Plane Pastries
Twitter: @PlanePastries

Churros Locos

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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

The Sugar Shop

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The Sugar Shop

The Sugar Shop

Location: NE 23rd and Alberta
Hours: Mon-Sun, 11am-8pm

The Story: Instead of grabbing a gyro or a burger or a bowl of Pad Thai, why not go down the sweet train and get something from The Sugar Shop for lunch. I remember something as a kid about eating dessert first when I was an adult.

The Sugar Shop is one of the few mobile vendors out there serving up sweets and baked goods like cookies, cakes and cheesecakes. Autumn and Shannon attended OCI together where they both studied in the baking and pastry program. After school, in jobs they admit weren’t taking them anywhere, brainstorming over Margaritas on Cinco De Mayo, the cart plan was born. They had the chops to pull it off and the cart is darn cute. Red seems to be the color of sweets.

Peppermint Cheesecake Brownie

Peppermint Cheesecake Brownie

If I lived closer to The Sugar Shop, I would probably gain a few pounds. I’m not the one to order dessert after dinner nor grab a frozen yogurt as a snack, but cookies are my downfall. Put out a platter of well made cookies and I can’t turn away. Here you can get white chocolate stuffed snickerdoodle or oatmeal cranberry or dark chocolate and bacon, cookies mom never made. I asked Autumn and Shannon what their favorites were – cheesecake and anything with caramel. I picked up the peppermint cheesecake brownie, a thin slice of decadence. Chocolate and peppermint and swirl. Just what I needed after spicy Indian. Looking at the menu, they put together flavors that simply intrigue me – salted caramel or whiskey caramel with a pecan crust.

The Sugar Shop isn’t all sweets. They offer savory choices with chicken pot pie or spinach, mushroom and feta hand pies. Open every day from lunch past dinner, there is no reason not to stop by and pick something up to sate that craving you know you have. Drop on by and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

[The Sugar Shop moved to NE Alberta October 2013]

Sample Menu:

  • Cookies – multiple options – $1.50
  • Cakes – $3.50 – bourbon cake w/milk chocolate buttercream; red velvet cake with cream cheese icing, lemon cake with tart lemon glaze and more
  • Cheesecake – $3.50 – classic; housemade Nutella swirl; cheesecake bar with pecan crust and whiskey caramel topping
  • Mousse – $3.50 – chocolate honey; triple chocolate; vanilla honey
  • Brownies and Bars – $3.50 – salted caramel stuffed gooey brownies, lemon bars

Hours: Mon-Sun, 11am-8pm
Website: TheSugarShopPDX.com
Facebook: The Sugar Shop
Twitter: @TheSugarShopPDX

Hungry Heart Cupcakes

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Hungry Heart Cupcakes

Hungry Heart Cupcakes

Location: Roaming
Hours: Wed-Sun, 11-5

The Story:

In 2010, we received an email about a new truck named Chomp, a stepvan that was serving up tasty cupcakes. When we investigated and discovered a great new sweet option – Hungry Heart Cupcakes.

Cupcakes have been a favorite of many in the last few years with storefronts opening here and there throughout the city. In the food cart world, The Sugar Cube introduced Portlanders to some amazing treats and dessert options and is still going strong. Now, with Hungry Heart Cupcakes, you have a new option for sating that sweettooth. The cupcake queen Jax has been thinking about cupcakes most of her life after having been treated as a child to some amazing home cooking from her grandmother. When the cupcake revolution began, Jax started dreaming about what flavors she would put together along with how they would be served. Having memories of the childhood ice-cream truck, she decided she wanted to be the neighborhood cupcake truck and Chomps was born.

Bourbon Bacon Cupcake

Bourbon Bacon Cupcake

I remember cupcakes as a child being dry and uninspired. The best you could hope for was a unique topping or sprinkles. Ahh, the 70′s. Hungry Heart has embraced artisan cupcakes with flavors like red velvet with vanilla cream cheese frosting or dark chocolate and cacao nibs with dulce deluche frosting and sea salt. These are some creative combinations you just don’t find anywhere. The day we visited, I and my friends were able to enjoy the Bourbon Breakfast Cupcake, a pancake cupcake with bourbon apple filling, maple frosting and applewood smoked bacon presented atop. Just showing the cupcake to others created drools, oohs and ahs. I just had to share. The bacon and maple were decadent and the unique apple filling with the moist cake made for a treat beyond what anyone expected. This is the cupcake that will re-define cupcakes for you, your family and your grandma. (Be sure to have flowers available so no one is put off.)

Hungry Heart Cupcakes roams around Portland to events and lunch spots. Most recently, they have been found with Koi Fusion at 300 NE Multnomah on Thursdays. You’ll need to follow them on Facebook or Twitter for their current locations. If you can and when you do, visit them and enjoy a treat and let Jax and Chomps know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

[Hungry Heart Cupcakes is reopening in April 2012 with a cupcake kiosk at Mississippi Marketplace.]

Sample Menu:

Cupcakes are “minis” for $1.25 or a 4 for $4.50.

  • Red Velvet with vanilla cream cheese frosting
  • Lemon Drop cupcake with raspberry buttercream frosting
  • Dark chocolate & cacao nib with dulce deluche frosting & Maldon sea salt
  • Chocolate cupcake with peanut butter frosting and applewood smoked bacon
  • Chocolate cupcake with cocoa raspberry frosting
  • Vanilla cupcake with spiced pears and Saigon cinnamon frosting
  • Bourbon Breakfast Cupcake: pancake cupcake with bourbon apple filling, maple frosting and topped with bacon – $2.50

Hours: Wed-Sun, 11-5
Phone: 503 583 2654
Website: HungryHeartCupcakes.com
Twitter: @HHCupcakes Facebook: Hungry Heart Cupcakes

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The Gaufre Gourmet

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The Gaufre Gourmet

The Gaufre Gourmet

Location: SW 9th and Washington
Hours: Mon-Fri, 7am-3pm; Sat, 10-2pm

The Story:

Some believe that opening a cart in the dead of winter in Portland is a bad idea, yet, there have been a few very successful launches in the last couple of years that are still going strong. Portland appreciates their carts and supports them even during the cold and rain. The Gaufre Gourmet is one of those carts that has that confidence.

Gaufre is French for waffle. Charline Wesler and Michael Susak are the chefs creating these amazing treats. The Gaure Gourmet focuses on liege style waffles made with a brioche style dough mixed with pearl sugar they import directly from Belgium. Pearl sugar is just what it sounds like – sugar in the form of little pearls. These aren’t the traditional waffles you get at your local diner, they are smaller, but thicker and fluffier. The cart is located on the corner of 4th and west Burnside at the Chinatown gate and the entrance to old town. I asked Michael if they had experienced any issues being in Old Town and surprisingly enough, they hadn’t. During the dead of December, when business was both slow and the weather was colder than normal, they decided to offer up free waffles and coffee to the area residents as a way to give back during Christmas week. That goodwill has resulted in them being welcomed into the community.

The Original

The Original

Michael stated that in Europe, the liege style waffle they serve are like snacks on the go. The Original, about the size of one’s hand, is a single waffle topped with powdered sugar. With the pearl sugar, some melts and some doesn’t, so you get a sweetness throughout and bits that didn’t melt to create a sugary crunch. One thing I will warn you about – don’t breath in while taking a bite or you get powdered sugar down your throat. If this is snack food for the French, I gotta respect their choices. While the liege style waffle is the cart’s specialty, they expand on it by adding local ingredients to create either sweet or savory concoctions. The Porklandia is a cornbread jalapeno liege style waffle topped with pulled pork, cabbage and apple slaw. You definitely need a fork for this one.

The Porklandia

The Porklandia

I enjoyed visiting the cart for lunch, but after enjoying that simple waffle, I now want to put it on my morning routine. They even serve up coffee drinks using illy brand coffee. Charlene and Michael have something new to offer the cart world and even the late night clubbers of old town. If you’re looking for a new treat, small or large, head on down to The Gaufre Gourmet and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Update, June 2011: Gaufre Gourmet has moved to NE 20th and Everett and will be open there as of June 21.

Update, October 2011: Gaufre Gourmet has moved to SW 9th between Alder and Washington and no longer offers late night nosh.

Sample Menu:

  • The Original: liege style waffle with vanilla powdered sugar – $2.50
  • Belgian Chocolate: liege style waffle drizzled with chocolate – $3.25
  • Maple Bacon: bacon, need they say more  -$4.50
  • ABC Waffle: arugula, bacon, Camembert and fig – $6.50
  • The Milk and Honey: goat cheese mousse, pistachios, balsamic caramel sauce – $6
  • Banana Split Waffle: bananas, 3 ice creams, caramel sauce, chocolate sauce, raspberry sauce, whipped cream, toasted almonds – $6.50
  • Porklandia: pulled pork on jalapeno cornbread waffle with cabbage and apple slaw – $6.75
  • Coffee and Espresso from illy – all kinds.

Hours: Mon-Fri, 7am-3pm; Sat, 10-2pm
Phone: 503 888 2333
Website: The Gaufre Gourmet
Twitter: @gaufregourmet Facebook: The Gaufre Gourmet

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