Thick Deep Dish Pizza

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Thick Deep Dish Pizza

Thick Deep Dish Pizza

Location: SW 3rd 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 3rd 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

EthelKays Grilled Cheese & Lemonade

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EthyKays Grilled Cheese and Lemonade

EthelKays Grilled Cheese and Lemonade

Location: N Williams Ave between Failing and Shaver
Hours: Wednesday-Saturday, 9am-5pm

The Story: A simple grilled cheese sandwich is a treat for anyone, young or old. Melty is the word I’m thinking of. EthelKays Grilled Cheese and Lemonade is the newest food cart in town serving up delightful little morsels of cheese and bread.

Julie McBee opened the EthelKays food cart in 2013 in the Cully district in NE Portland after many years working in the service industry and restaurants. She always knew she wanted her own business and used the different positions to educate herself in cooking and managing a business. Before the cart was launched, Julie and her former partner had a stand at the Woodstock Farmers Market selling lemonade and grilled cheese – that business is still there named Urban Cheese. Julie moved on, opening the cart and then after a year in NE, moved to N Williams avenue, posting up next to Lodekka and the Hopworks Bike Bar. A prime location for any vendor.

The Tuscan from EthylKays

The Tuscan from EthelKays

EthelKay’s Grilled Cheese and Lemonade focuses on just that – cheese and lemons. Yet, with an extra bit of love. On the menu, you’ll find hot gooey grilled cheese sandwiches made with everything from cheddar to bacon to avocado to fruit and veggie chips. Think of it and she probably has it. Being a fan of tomatoes, basil and balsamic, I chose the Tuscan with buffalo Mozzarella, tomatoes, basil, balsamic and olive oil grilled between two slices of a bolo roll. Toasted just right, the Mozzarella doesn’t get really melty, but the flavors all infuse creating what I refer to as a reverse Margherita pizza. Every chomp –  balsamic and oil blended with tomato juices dripped down my chin. I didn’t mind a bit. A great choice of bread made it even better than expected.

Julie has a great little cart with an amazing menu. Her lemonade is made fresh with wedges of lemon to make it extra tangy. I can’t wait till summer when I can sit on the curb, enjoy one and people watch. Drop on by next time you’re in the neighborhood and let Julie know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Ruthie – como bread, cheddar, sharp cheddar and havartti – $5
  • Pappy – como bread, chaddar, sharp cheddar, havartti, bacon and tomato – $7
  • French Connection – bolo roll, brie, pear, arugula, balsamic, olive oil – $6.50
  • Tuscan – $6
  • Monte Cristo – como bread, swiss, gruyere, black forest ham, dijon, blackberry jam, dipped in egg, grilled and dusted with powdered sugar – $7.50
  • Soups – $3
  • Spicy Peanut Noodles – noodles, cabbage, carrots, broccoli, peapods, peanuts, asian pepper sauce – $4
  • Lemonade – $3
  • Raspberry Lemonade – $3.50

Website: EthelKaysGrilledCheese.com
Facebook: EthelKays Grilled Cheese
Twitter: @EthelKaysCheese

Star Attraction

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Star Attraction

Star Attraction

Location: SE 13th and Lexington in Sellwood
Hours: Wed-Fri, 8am-3pm; Sat/Sun, 8am-2pm

The Story: Portland! We know you love breakfast and brunch. Long lines and crowds prove it. Now’s the time to check out Star Attraction, a breakfast food cart down in the antique wonderland of Sellwood.

I enjoy a good breakfast, not the lines. I would rather hit up the greasy spoon or truckstop than the latest hot spot to avoid a line. When I discovered Star Attraction the other day, no line. Star Attraction, located at the long time lot at SE 13th and Lexington, is tucked into the back of the lot, but offers covered seating away from the traffic. Focusing on simple, yet robust breakfast fare, the menu is short an sweet with only a few items. Focus on what you do well and master it is what I always say and they have done it. Breakfast burritos, breakfast gnocchi, french toast and what I enjoyed, a stunning breakfast gordita.

Breakfast Gordita from Star Attraction

Breakfast Gordita from Star Attraction

A crisp corn cake filled with chorizo, cheese and potatoes and then topped with two eggs over easy. Runny eggs, chorizo, seasoned grilled potatoes and mouth burning pico de gallo sated me that morning and throughout the day. I crushed it and enjoyed every bit, even grabbing a spoon to scoop up the itty bits of crumbs left over. Potatoes, not usually a fave of mine, were grilled with just the right seasoning – reminded me of tater tots. Best Breakfast of the year so far.

Star Attraction does it right and from what I saw in the few minutes I was there, they have garnered a following from the hood. Next time you’re looking for that perfect Tiffany lamp and get a breakfast craving, drop on by Sellwood and let Star Attraction know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Breakfast Gnocchi – potato dumplings made from scratch sauteed in brown butter with herbs, bacon, tomatoes and mushrooms and topped with two eggs over easy – $7
  • Breakfast Gordita – $6
  • French Toast – two thick pieces of French toast topped with a peanut butter-cream cheese spread, fresh banana, maple chocolate syrup with bacon or sausage on the side – $6
  • Breakfast Burrito – $6

Facebook: Star Attraction

Tastebud Bagels

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Tastebud Bagels

Tastebud Bagels

Location: SW 10th and Alder
Hours: Daily, including weekends, 7am-2pm

The Story: If you’ve been to a farmers market in Portland, you’ve seen Tastebud and maybe enjoyed their wood fired pizza. Tastebud defined itself by being there for patrons rain or shine with a hot oven and wicked delicious fresh to order ‘za. Now, for the culinary enjoyment of downtowners, Tastebud Bagels brings the goods to SW 10th and Alder.

Everything Bagel with lox from Tastebud

Everything Bagel with lox from Tastebud

Tastebud started as a small farm and CSA many years ago, so has deep roots in the community at large. In a partnership with the Portland Farmers Market, they built the wood fired oven and started feeding market goers pizza. They eventually sold the farm and have been focusing on catering and events ever since. In the past few years,  some have commented about Portland’s bagel wars. I chuckle at that, since for us eaters, we continue to be offered new and exciting options no matter who bakes. Tastebud is known for the Montreal style bagel – rustic, hand formed and wood fired. Boiling them in malt water adds to the flavor. One can enjoy a Tastebud bagel on its own they are that good. Or, try one of their sandwiches. An everything bagel lightly toasted with dill cream cheese, capers, thinly sliced onion, lox and topped with pickle slices. I’ve enjoyed lox and cream cheese before, yet the pickles were an added bonus and provided another layer of salty briny goodness. Served open-faced, the portions were spot on so with each bite, I didn’t have something squirting out the side or spilling. A well made bagel and superb toppings made for a memorable breakfast.

Tastebud bagels offers a number of different flavors including everything, salt, plain, poppyseed and a couple of new ones for me – black pepper or leak. I’m truly excited to try those some day soon. Tastebud bagels can be bought in bulk and saved for a few days, but they recommend eating them fresh. At the cart, they ask you to “put the bagel in mouth for safekeeping.” Love it! Open early every day of the week, so grab some before going to work. Let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Bagels – $1.25 each or $13.75 a dozen
  • Bagel with cream cheese – $3
  • Bagel with hummus and radish  -$4
  • Bagel with goat cheese and autumn slaw – $6
  • Bagel with bacon, jam, cream cheese and arugula – $5.50
  • Bagel with lox etc – $8

Website: Tastebudfarm.com
Facebook: TastebudPDX

Om Nom Gluten-Free Waffles

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Om Nom Gluten-Free Waffles

Om Nom Gluten-Free Waffles

Location: N Killingsworth and Maryland, Killingsworth Station
Hours: Mon-Fri, 7:30am-3:30pm; Saturday, 10am-2pm

The Story: North Portland continues to attract some great new vendors. With a new food cart lot – Killingsworth Station – now open just off the MAX line, vendors are discovering an underserved community. Om Nom Gluten-Free Waffles opened earlier this fall to offer both breakfast and lunch options throughout the week.

Om Nom was born from a collective passion by both the owner and her friends to create something healthy, but also community driven. Michelle, the owner, doesn’t just want to own and run a food cart, so she engaged her friends who all have a come together to support each other in challenging times to design and launch the venture. I love this cart with its rustic cabin architecture, but emblazoned and sided with recycled materials. Michelle’s son flattened all the recycled metal cans in order to create the siding we see on the front. Such a cool way to finish off a project. Michelle hopes that her cart and her peers can create something for the community which may start with the waffles, but grow and blossom.

I spoke with Michelle about the gluten-free aspect of the waffles and her goal is to source locally and keep it healthy and stay away from corporate and GMO foods. There is also a health aspect behind the cuisine choice, so you’re getting the real deal. Om Nom offers gluten-free freshly made waffles with both savory and sweet options. I chose the Stegasaurus with hummus, feta, mozzarella fresca cheese, tomato, red onion, fresh spinach and sprinkled with balsamic vinegar. How many great flavors can you pack in one dish? Many! The dry feta with the hot red onion and bitter spinach with each bite of a waffle – pretty darn delicious. I loved how the balsamic vinegar worked its way through into almost every bite.

The Stegasaurus from Om Nom Waffles

The Stegasaurus from Om Nom Waffles

Om Nom Gluten-Free Waffles is open daily during the week for breakfast and lunch and on Saturday for lunch. Killingsworth Station is right off N Killingsworth at Maryland and offers covered seating to get out of the weather. Drop on by, welcome Michelle to the fold and let Om Nom know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Butter and Cinnamon and Sugar waffle – $2
  • Cream Cheese and Jam – $3
  • Nut Butter and Jam – $3
  • Cinnamonodon – cream cheese frosting and cinnamon sugar – $3
  • Valdosaurus – Ricotta, bacon, berry, maple syrup sweetened whipped cream waffle – $5
  • Godzilla – steaming marinara sauce, mozzarella and asiago cheese, pepperoni and tempeh waffle – $5
  • Stegasaurus – $5

Website: OmNomPdx.com
FacebookOm Nom Gluten-Free Waffles
Twitter: 
@OmNomPDXCart

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