Bake on the Run

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Location: Piknik Park – 1122 SE Tacoma

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Bake on the Run

The Story: Do you know where Guyana is? Did you know Portland has an authentic Guyanese food cart? Most don’t, but when you visit Bake on the Run at Piknik Park in Sellwood, owner and chef Michael Singh will use hand gestures to describe the country’s location sandwiched between Venezuela and Suriname and north of Brazil. A pretty cool description to get you in the mood for some authentic Guyanese cuisine.

Michael and his mother Bibi are the team behind Bake on the Run. I had the pleasure of meeting them awhile ago on one of my food cart tours while they were visiting Portland to see how we do it. Even then, I was intrigued to hear about the different dishes they were planning to offer, so when I discovered they opened the cart, I ventured south. Guyana has a number of culinary and cultural influences going back centuries ranging from Portuguese to Chinese and those influences are showcased in the dishes Mike and Bibi offer. On the menu you’ll find Bibi’s Chow Mein, noodles in teriyaki and soy mixed with veggies and chicken.

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Egg and Baclhau Bake from Bake on the Run

I was intrigued by the the namesake dish, the bake. A lightly fried bread which I can only describe as a modded puffed pastry, but less sweet is filled with your choice of items. I chose the Portuguese salted cod omelette. While we think of omelettes for breakfast, placing it in the bake was perfect for lunch. The mix of fried bread and the salty cod was divine and to top if off, Michael proffered some of his homemade spicy sauce which gave the dish the perfect amount of kick. You can also get the bake with a chickpea and potato curry or go sweet with jam and Nutella.

Portland’s food cart scene continues to evolve and I’m happy to report that new vendors like Bake on the Run are here to feed a new generation of eaters. You can find Bake on the Run’s authentic Guyanese cuisine at Piknik Park Food Cart Pod in Sellwood off Tacoma. They are open daily for lunch and offer covered and heated seating and a beer cart. When you visit, say hi to Mike and Bibi and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Facebook: Bake on the Run
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Flew The Coop

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chicken food cart portland

Flew The Coop

Location: NE 60th and Halsey, The Barley Pod
Hours: see updated hours via website

The Story:  There’s a new pod in town. Baerlic Brewing opened up a taproom and food cart lot in NE Portland and brought in eight food carts. One of those vendors, Flew The Coop, is bringing southern fried chicken to Rose City Park.

Fried chicken sandwiches have become ubiquitous throughout the Portland food scene with both restaurants and food carts putting out tasty little gems. I was first introduced to the southern style hot chicken more than a few years ago when a native of Memphis moved to town. I hadn’t really explored the southern fried chicken nor the simple fried chicken world other than buckets of KFC at school potlucks as a child. So many options and so many flavors and styles. Portland, be proud of the options you have.

chicken food cart portland

Nashville Hot from Flew The Coop

Flew The Coop offers up five different southern fried chicken sandwiches. The KFC isn’t what you think, just a play on words. Korean Fried Chicken tossed in a sweet & spicy Korean chili sauce, topped with pickled daikon, pickled carrot, sesame seeds, & slaw.  Or you can get a traditional fried chicken or even Buffalo chicken. I opted for the Nashville Hot. There is something going on in Memphis and Nashville and Buffalo where hot sauce and chicken just simply fall into place. The Nashville was spot on. Spicy as F, yet with a creamy coleslaw to calm the tastebuds and pickles on the bottom. I love that mix. The first bite, your tongue gets vinegar and then spice and then the cool of the slaw.

Flew The Coop is now open at the The Barley Pod which offers an indoor taproom by Baerlic Beer and outdoor covered seating. A welcoming place to enjoy lunch or dinner with friends and family. Next time you’re in the neighborhood, stop on by and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

chicken food cart portland

Flew The Coop Menu

Website: FlewTheCoopPortland.com

Fritkot Belgian Fry Shack

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belgian fry food cart portland

Fritkot Belgian Fry Shack

Location: SE 52nd and Foster at Carts on Foster
Hours: Thursday-Saturday, 12-8, Sunday 12-4 (Check FB for updates)

The Story:

Fries. We’ve been eating them all our lives. Some believed tots would replace fries in the 80’s, but fries are still the king. Yet, beyond fry sauce or mayonnaise or ketchup, how can you amp up the basic fry? Put gravy on it. Meat gravy. Fritkot Belgian Fry Shack at Carts on Foster does just that.

Everyone knows poutine these days. Fries with meat gravy atop. Most know it as an eastern Canadian dish and there are a few places in town to obtain stellar poutine. At Fritkot, Kris Jonckers puts a bit of a Belgian spin on his dish. Using twice fried Kennebec potatoes, Kris is creating the perfect Belgian fry. In the beginning, Kris was a fry shack and served fries with a meat stew as two separate dishes. Then, in order to attract new customers, he began pouring the gravy with thick chunks of beef atop the fries with a Belgian farm cheese to accent. Viola, Belgian poutine. Spot on.

belgian fry food cart portland

Poutine

Fritkot is a located at Carts on Foster which offers indoor seating and beer and cider at the onsite pub. Beyond the poutine, Kris offers up an array of other Belgian delights including a Flemish beef stew, a schnitzel sandwich and salad. Drop on by next time you have a meat gravy craving and let Kris know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Facebook: Fritkot

Pioneer Courthouse Square Food Cart Lot

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pioneer courthouse square food carts

Pioneer Courthouse Square Food Carts in Portland

Portland’s living room now has permanent food carts. As part of the year long renovation of the park in 2016-17, the city decided to create a more active space for street food vendors and attract some rock stars. Prior to the construction, the carts at the square were open-air and had to move any time the square was used for large events. In the new model, three full size food carts have been placed up by Broadway with a fourth vendor (an original) is parked down off Yamhill where they’ve been for years.

The new vendors are some of Portland’s most famous and well known –

Burger Stevens – opened in Hillsdale a few years ago, this cart brought back the simple cheeseburger and does it well. Get it with two patties event and you’re still getting a deal at $9 for all the fixin’s.

pioneer courthouse square food carts

Burger Stevens Double Cheeseburger

The Whole Bowl – After more than a decade and eight locations, including two restaurants and outposts in Cinicnatti, The Whole Bowl is now bringing their signature dish to the square. Just the one bowl has made them famous world wide.

Fried Egg I’m In Love – Fried egg sandwiches were never the same in Portland once Fried Egg I’m In Love opened a few years back on SE Hawthorne. The Yolko Ono says it all – Fried egg, homemade pesto, parmesan, and a hand-pressed house sausage patty.

Steak’s Fifth Avenue – aka Philly Cheesesteaks and Burgers – The last of the original vendors who returned after construction has been around more than a decade feeding Portland some of the best Philly Cheesesteaks in downtown.

According to sources, more vendors are in store, but I kinda like the look and feel of the four currently there along with the large covered seating area above the KGW studios. Come summer, I hope these guys can handle the masses.

pioneer courthouse square food carts

Pioneer Courthouse Square Food Carts

Pioneer Courthouse Square is located in the center of downtown Portland at the cross streets of SW Broadway, Yamhill, 6th Ave and Morrison. Check Vendor links for menus and hours.

Burger Stevens at Pioneer Courthouse Square

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burger food cart portland

Burger Stevens

Location: Pioneer Courthouse Square on SW 6th and Yamhill

The Story: Having succeeded to land on everyone’s best burger list for the past couple of years, Burger Steven’s leaped at the chance to open a new cart in Portland’s living room – Pioneer Courthouse Square. Along with 3 other vendors, they are serving up their signature burgers daily.

burger food cart portland

Double Cheeseburger at Burger Stevens

Facebook: Burger Stevens
Website: Burger Stevens

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