Donut Byte Labs

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donut food cart portland

Donut Byte Labs

Location: SW 4th and Burnside
Hours: Thursday, 8am-1pm; Friday, 8am-1am; Saturday, 10am-1am; Sunday, 11am-6pm

The Story: Portland loves donuts right? Voodoo. Blue Star. Pips. To name a few. A food cart has decided to enter the fray – Donut Byte Labs is now open at the corner of SW 4th and Burnside for your mini donut cravings.

Donut Byte Labs opened earlier this year with one seriously outfitted food cart. Each donut is fresh daily right in the cart with their donut robot. And, you can watch. When was the last time you were able to watch your food created right on the spot? They choose to go for cold mini bytes instead of hot (like other vendors) in order to showcase the flavor. The menu covers everything from basic glazed and powered sugar to advanced flavors like salted caramel or bacon maple. The Burnside cream is a twist on the Boston Cream with a mini donut dipped in warm chocolate glaze then dolloped with pastry cream and a drizzle of Ghiradelli chocolate sauce. Being so little, you can enjoy more than one. One late night during a set break at Dante’s, I wandered over for an assortment. While eating donuts in Portland at midnight isn’t that unusual, for me it was and I devoured them.

donut food cart portland

Donut Byte Labs

Donut Byte Labs is one of only a few sweets vendors in the downtown core. Centrally located, next time you want to surprise the boss or get a treat for the team, drop on by. Let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu: (Full menu on website)

  • Plain – $1.25 for 6 or $2.50 for 12
  • Powdered  Sugar – $2.50 for 6 or $4 for 12
  • Chocolate Sprinkle – $1 for 1 or $2.50 for 3
  • Salted Caramel – or Burnside Cream  – $1 for 1 or $2.50 for 3
  • Creme Brulee – $1 for 1 or $2.50 for 3

Website: Donutbytelabs.com
Facebook: Donut Byte Labs
Twitter: @Donutbytelabs
Instagram: @Donutbytelabs

Henry’s Diner

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breakfast food carts

Henry’s Diner

Location: Carlton, OR
Hours: Friday-Monday, 8am-2pm

The Story: If you make it well, people will visit from afar to partake in the craft. Isn’t that how it works? Why we drive an hour for a good beer or the best ice cream? Henry’s Diner in Carlton, smack dab in the middle of wine county, is off the beaten path for a food cart, but the dishes they create are worth the journey.

Joseph Zumpano had the urge to return to his roots. Having spent time in high powered restaurants in the east and having lived in Philadelphia for many years, the west, along with a McMinnville born wife, beckoned. The two landed in Carlton where Zumpano opened Henry’s Diner, named after his grandfather. Carlton is one of those cute little valley towns you may miss if you’re highway driving. But when you’re checking out vineyards in the region, it becomes a destination. I remember visiting Carlton in the 80’s for a famous pizza size hamburger. That restaurant burned down and Henry’s Diner is now in the spot with plenty of seating, both covered and not.

breakfast food carts

Philly Breakfast from Henry’s Diner

Joesph’s menu focuses on breakfast, but on the hearty side. I remember the breakfast my grandparents made with everything under the sun put on a plate that was more like a platter. They were farmers, so eating a big breakfast was key. Joseph hails from Philly, a working class city, and his plates overflow with goodies. Fried Jersey Pork Roll anyone? What about scratch biscuits and gravy? For me, it was the Philly Hot Breakfast. Something about seeing pork scrapple on the menu drew me in.Scrapple is scraps of pork stewed with cornmeal and shaped into loaves for slicing and frying. An east coast treat. Joshua sources both his scrapple and Jersey pork roll direct from the east coast. A large plate with potato hash, bacon baked beans, three eggs, toast and scrapple. Sitting there in the sun with the Carlton grain tower peering down, I had one of the best breakfasts I’ve enjoyed in a long while. A simple slice of toast layered with a bit of runny egg and some scrapple brought a smile to my face that didn’t leave until I finished off my coffee. This cart is the real thing.

Henry’s Diner also offers pancakes, coffee and you can mix and match a breakfast with eggs, bacon, biscuits etc. A great breakfast cart with all the trimmings. Next time you’re headed to the beach or taking in some of the bounty the Yamhill County has to offer, drop on by the only food cart in Carlton – Henry’s Diner. Let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • The #7 Breakfast Sandwich – fried Jersey pork roll, Tillamook cheddar, potato hash and 2 fried eggs on toast – $8
  • The Breakfast Burrito – 3 eggs, potato, cheddar, peppers, onions and house salsa-  choice of bacon, sausage or veggie – $8
  • Henry’s Scratch Biscuits and Gravy – $10
  • Perfect Pancake Breakfast with 2 eggs your way and choice of meat – $10
  • Philly Hot Breakfast – $11

Facebook: Henry’s Diner

Sam’s Saj Mediterranean Sandwiches

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mediterranean food cart portland

Sam’s Saj

Location: SW 10th and Washington
Hours: breakfast, lunch and dinner weekdays

The Story: Portland continues to attract some unique dishes from different parts of the world. Sam’s Saj, a food cart at the 10th and Washington pod focuses on a unique Mediterranean sandwich called the Khubz.

Mediterranean food cart portland

Kafta Saj from Sam’s Saj

Sam and Diala took over a former Thai cart last fall and did a total remodel. Sam wanted to offer up a handmade dish different than the other Mediterranean options in the lot. The Khubz is a sandwich, but seems like a mix of a burrito and maybe a crepe. The Saj griddle is the key to making this flatbread. Growing up, Sam remembers the circular convex griddle being heated by coals. In Portland, that wasn’t possible, so Sam had a griddle handmade in order to utilize propane. I always say, Portland’s DIY culture leads to some tasty creations. The flatbread is grilled and then topped with cheese or Zaatar or labne, a yoghurt cheese. Once cooked up, they roll it all up to enjoy. Breakfast options can include Zaatar with tomatoes, cucumbers and fresh mint or maybe Nutella, banana and toasted hazelnuts. For lunch, I picked up the kafta with seasoned lamb and beef along with lettuce, tomatoes and pickles. The flatbread is thin and flavorful, creating a great envelope for the savory kafta and fresh veggies.

Sam’s Saj opens for breakfast, lunch and dinner, so no matter when you arrive, Sam and Diala are there to make you a treat. I have visited twice and the second item I enjoyed came with Zaatar, a blend of herbs and spices that will blow your mind. Drop on by and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Zaatar – $4
  • Cheese and Zaatar with tomatoes, cucumbers and mint – $4.75
  • Labne and Zaatar with tomatoes, cucumbers, mint and green olives – $5
  • Turkey and Cheese – lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, mayo, mustard – $5
  • Kafta – $7.75
  • Lamb Shawarma – $9
  • French Fries – $3.50
  • Cauliflower Saj – crisped cauliflower, cabbage, tomatoes, onions, cumin vinaigrette – $6

Facebook: Sam’s Saj

Olé Latte Coffee – PSU

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Ole Latte PSU

Ole Latte PSU

Location: SW 5th and Harrison
Hours: 
Mon-Fri, 7am-5pm; Sat/Sun, 8am-4pm

The Story: Todd, barista extraordanaire, has expanded his coffee business with a new cart down by Portland State University. Ole Latte can be found right on the MAX tracks on SW 5th, he joins 2 other vendors and serves up an amazing espresso. Drop on by next time you’re in the area.

Facebook: Ole Latte

Thick Deep Dish Pizza

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Thick Deep Dish Pizza

Thick Deep Dish Pizza

Location: SW 9th and Washington
Hours: 8am-6pm, Monday-Friday

The Story: I’m a child of pizza. I can’t tell you how pizza was so integral in the enjoyment of my childhood and teenage years. Portland had the thin crust pizza covered, but when I visited Chicago, I was introduced to the deep dish style. Thick, a new food cart on SW 9th and Washington, brings Chicago style pizza to the streets of our fine town.

Thick opened a few months ago and was selling out daily immediately. First time I visited, just after 1pm – totally sold out of slices and making a couple of suit-clad businessmen their own personal pie. Michael Cline is the man behind the pizza. A Chicagoan by birth, Michael saw Portland was lacking in his favorite cuisine, so decided to open the cart. He crafts everything from scratch including the house made Italian sausage, and pies are fresh made daily.

Italian Sausage Deep Dish from Thick

Italian Sausage Deep Dish from Thick

A Chicago deep dish pie is exactly that – deep dish with thick crust. A standard pie takes almost an hour to bake, so Michael makes a specific number of pies each day and when the slices sell out, that’s it. You can pre-order a pie though, so don’t fret.  I picked up a slice of handmade Italian sausage – Michael heated it up and handed me a small box which weighed a couple of pounds. While stalwarts may pick it up, I used a fork and knife to enjoy every last bite. Buttery crust acted well as the base layer topped first with Mozzarella then the sausage, and crushed tomatoes. The sausage was spot on and cheese in every bite made for a great lunch.

Thick Deep Dish Pizza is also open for breakfast, so if you’re coming into town early, feel free to stop by for local ham, melted onions, and Comte cheese encased in a classic buttery pastry crust. Sounds good to me. If you do want your own pie, be sure to call ahead and give Michael some time. All good things take time and patience. Drop on by for a thick slice of ‘za and let Michael know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Homemade Italian Sausage-  $5/slice
  • Spinach – $4/slice
  • Whole pies available

Phone: 630-697-6581
Facebook: Thick Pizza

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