Paper Bag Pizza

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pizza food cart portland

Paper Bag Pizza

Location: SE 28th Pl and Division at Tidbit
Hours: Wednesday-Sunday, lunch and dinner

The Story: A few years ago, I distinctly remember trying my first wood fired pizza from a food cart. John Eads’ handbuilt Pyro Pizza at Cartopia began slinging these amazing pies from an oven glowing at 900 degrees. Revolutionary to this kid who grew up on Pizza Hut and other corporate ‘za. Paper Bag Pizza took over one of John’s carts at Tidbit this past year, keeping tastebuds from resting.

Paper Bag Pizza is the work of Tom Daly and Emily Goodman and their family, Tom’s been there the times I’ve visited and is always welcoming even if he is simultaneously stoking the fire, making a fresh pie or pulling one out. I bet when it is busier on the weekends, having an extra hand helps. Everything is made to order, no pizza is sitting there waiting to be warmed, that is the glory of the wood fired oven. It only takes a few minutes to make and then bake the pie. As with any pizza joint, you can create your own with a mix of sausages, veggies and cheeses or pick one of their creations. I myself feel the pizza maker is smarter than me with flavor combinations, so I opted for the #1 with sausage, roasted garlic, Calabrian chili, fresh mozzarella atop a tomato sauce. Boom! Each slice, divine. Thin, charred crust, Neapolitan style. Acidic tomato sauce that complements the sausage and cheese so well. Nothing over the top, balanced just right. Trust me, there were no leftovers.

pizza food cart portland

Paper Bag Pizza

Paper Bag Pizza is the real deal and offers a wide range of toppings for you to make something special. This past week they had fresh asparagus and basil. Open Wednesday to Sunday at Tidbit, head on down, enjoy a pie and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

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Website: PaperBagPizza.com
Facebook: Paper Bag Pizza

Hindsight Beer Cart

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Location: SE 43rd and Belmont – Bite on Belmont
Hours: Daily, lunch through dinner

Craft Beer and wine at Bite on Belmont

Facebook: Hindsight Beer Cart

Poblano Pepper Mexican

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Location: SE 43rd and Belmont – Bite on Belmont
Hours: Weekdays and weekends lunch and dinner

Excellent Mexican cart.

Facebook: Poblano Pepper

 

Grandpa Jimmy’s Southern Fried Fish

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fried fish food cart portland

Grandpa Jimmy’s

Location: NE 76th and Glisan
Hours: Tues-Fri, 11-2:30 and 4:30-8, Sat, 12-8pm

The Story: Been to the south lately? Enjoyed some fried catfish maybe? I haven’t and needless to say, I crave it. Lucky for me, I stumbled upon Grandpa Jimmy’s Southern Fried Fish, a new food cart over on NE Glisan serving up such delights.

Grandpa Jimmy’s opened only a month ago and according to the owner of the neighboring taproom, had been selling out daily. Yes, Grandpa Jimmy’s sits next door to Hillbilly’s Growler Fill Station, so you can pair your fried fish dish with a nice quaffable brew. Andre, the owner and chef of Grandpa Jimmy’s, has put together a great menu for the neighborhood. Baskets or dinner plates with either fried tilapia, halibut or catfish. A sampler is also available so one can enjoy all three. As for sides, try the deep fried okra or southern greens with smoked turkey. True taste pleasers.

On the cool, damp day I visited, fried catfish with fresh cut fries, tangy coleslaw and a dinner roll sounded just about the perfect lunch. With an IPA by my side, I dove in to the lightly breaded and boldly seasoned catfish which fell apart on the fork. Mix in a fry here and there and trail with the coleslaw. The perfect lunch for a Wednesday. I’ll definitely return for the sampler or maybe even the greens on the weekend.

fried fish food cart portland

Fried Catfish from Grandpa Jimmy’s

On Grandpa Jimmy’s Facebook, Andre has posted some weekly specials and a photo of him and Grandpa Jimmy, so beyond the printed menu, there will be other treats. NE Glisan is coming alive with new establishments every week, so next time you’re over that way, drop on by and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Deep Fried Catfish – basket, $8; dinner, $12
  • Tilapia – $7/9
  • Halibut – $15/20
  • “Jimmy” Sampler – a piece of each fish – $13
  • The Jimmy Sandwich – choice of shrimp, tilapia, catfish or chicken – $6 or $9
  • Grilled Jumbo Prawns – $8
  • Sides range from $3-6

Facebook: Grandpa Jimmy’s

Straits Kitchen

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Malaysian food cart portland

Straits Kitchen

Location: SE 11th and Tacoma – Piknik Park
Hours: Tuesday, 11am-2pm; Thursday-Monday, 11am-7pm

The Story: Malaysian street food in Portland. Until this past month, when asked, I would have to tell people we don’t have the region well represented. Straits Kitchen hit the street running with a new food cart at a new pod down in Portland’s Sellwood neighborhood and we’re excited.

Straits Kitchen gets its name from the western coast of Malaysia, specifically the port cities of Malacca and Penang. The cuisine is influenced by the Baba-Nyonya, also known as Straits Chinese. Centuries ago, native Chinese arrived in the region, marrying Malay women and creating an entire new heritage of flavor and color. A blend of Malay and Chinese. Chef Angie, born and raised in Malaysia, brings traditional dishes to Portland, along with creating some fusion of her own. I’ve personally been seeking out dishes from my travels in SE Asia and found them at this cart.

malaysian food cart portland

Left – Inche Kabin Wings; Right – Roti Babi Sandwich

The menu offers a number of dishes for both meat eaters and vegetarians. Small bites include Roti Babi – shredded braised pork, soy sauce, cinnamon and star anise served on a mini baguette with chili sauce and pickled cucumbers. A tasty little sandwich with bright flavors. Perfect for sharing. The Inche Kabin, Nyonya fried chicken wings, are marvelous. Spicy marinated chicken wings fried and served with a soy-lime-jalapeno dipping sauce. If you’re wanting to try multiple flavors, go for more dishes at lower prices. Bowls inlude a spicy pickled salad with pickled vegetables, chili, spices and served with tovu, bean sprouts and more. Straits Kitchen even has Laksa Lemak, a spicy coconut curry and one of my favorite dishes.

Straits Kitchen crushed it on my first visit and I plan to return. A cart I will recommend to colleagues, not just for great dishes, but for the breadth of flavors. Open every day but Wednesday, plan a visit. Drop on by and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample menu (full menu on website):

  • Loh Bak – five spice pork roll – $5
  • Roti Babi – $6
  • Inche Kabin – $6
  • Acar Salad – $4 or $7
  • Laksa Lemak – $10

Website: StraitsKitchen.com
Facebook: Straits Kitchen
Twitter: @StraitsKitchPDX

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