Kargi Gogo

Lizzy Caston
Kargi Gogo

Kargi Gogo

Location: SW Washington and 10th
Hours: Weekdays and Saturdays, lunch- late afternoon.

The Story: Grab your passports and your geography books, Kargi Gogo serves a cuisine we rarely see in Portland and they do an outstanding job of it too: The foods of the Georgian Republic. No, this is not fried chicken, grits, okra and peach pie found in the Southern United State of Georgia. This is food from the COUNTRY of Georgia. Located on the Black Sea, nestled under Russia, and surrounded by Turkey, Armenia, and Azerbaijan, Georgia is a culturally and geographically diverse country with a diverse cuisine to match it.  In Kargi Gogo’s own words:

Georgians make food that combines elements of Eastern European and Middle Eastern cuisines, resulting in fresh, flavorful dishes.

You’ll find Khachapuri – melted blend of cheeses in a flaky light crust. Then there’s Badrijani – cooked eggplant strips stuffed with ground walnuts, garlic and Georgian spices. Light but satisfying, and vegan and gluten free to boot. Yet, it’s the Georgian dumplings named Khinkali that really win us over. Think of generous fistfull sized tender and boiled wontons stuffed with a mixture of meats, garlic, herbs and broth. They are a Georgian obsession and highly addictive, and pro-tip provided by the owners of Kargi Gogo and the way the Georgians eat them – grab the dumpling by the top, turn them upside down, then bite in. This keeps the hot broth inside the dumplings from exploding all over your nice clean shirt.

Kargi Gogo,  literally translates  to Good Girl in the Georgian language and their cute little white cart with the quirky cartoon girl logo (the good girl) is a nice introduction to Georgian food.  Kargi Gogo has put a lot of thought into their design and menu, including descriptions and photos of their food as well as making sure there are offerings for meat eaters, vegetarians and vegans. They even have some gluten free foods. This commitment to education about their food is really helpful in choosing what mouth-watering treats to try.

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Kargi Gogo’s Supra Feast sampler plate

A great introduction to sampling  Kargi Gogo’s menu is their “Supra Feast”, describe as:

A Georgian supra is an epic feast with an abundance of delicious food. Indulge with a slice of Khachapuri, a slice of Lobiani, two Khinkali, two Badrijani and Peasant’s Salad.

Sean and McKinzie are the two affable young Americans who own Kargi Gogo. They were both stationed in Georgia for two years in the Peace Corps, met there, and decided to introduce Portlanders to this fantastic cuisine. Food Carts Portland salutes Kargi Gogo for their efforts and excellence. Or, as the robust and friendly Georgian people might say, Gemrielad Miirthvith! (Enjoy your meal!)

 

Sample Menu:

 

  • Khachapuri – Georgian Cheese Stuffed Bread – $6
  • Lobani – stuffed Bean and Onion Bread – $6
  • Khinkali – meat stuffed boiled dumplings – $6
  • Badrijani – eggplant, garlic and walnut rolls – $6
  • Peasant Salad – tomatoes, cucumbers, parsley, onions in a walnut-garlic dressing – $6
  • Supra Feast – a large sampler of all menu items – $8

 

Phone: 503- 489-8432

Website: kargigogo.com

Facebook: Kargi Gogo PDX

Twitter: @kargigogopdx

 

 

 

Taste of Fiji

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Taste of Fiji

Taste of Fiji

Location: SW 10th and Washington
Hours: Weekdays, lunch

Fijian curries and other island cuisine along with bubble tea.

Saaj Baghdad

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Saaj Baghdad

Saaj Baghdad

Location: SW 10th and Washington
Hours: Weekdays, lunch

The Story:

An Iraqi food cart serving up unique dishes along with Iraqi bread. More details coming soon.

Shotgun Sub Shop

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Shotgun Sub Shop

Shotgun Sub Shop

Location: SW 10th and Washington
Hours: Mon-Sat, 11-3

The Story:

In 2009, I had the pleasure of doing one of my first formal interviews with Matt Breslow, the owner of Grilled Cheese Grill and Shotgun Sub Shop. Who’d have thought that single Airstream trailer kitchen and vintage schoolbus would turn into a food cart empire. Shotgun Sub Shop is the fourth cart for Matt.

Mr. Breslow grew up in New Jersey and has been longing for a good sub which would remind him of home. Given the opportunity to acquire the cart next to his downtown Grilled Cheese Grill, Matt jumped at the opportunity to present to Portland’s eaters his version of this famous sandwich. One thing I love about the menu at the shop is that it is simple and straight forward. While you can build your own, who wants to think that much when the master sandwich maker has already created some amazing creations. Six sandwiches, each for only $7.95.

The Road Runner from Shotgun Sub Shop

The Road Runner from Shotgun Sub Shop

I am becoming a bread snob as a result of my daily eating at different food carts and restaurants. The style and quality of bread can make or break a sandwich or meal. At Shotgun, Matt has sourced some amazing rolls including a pretzel baguette which is the basis for The Road Runner. Start with the baguette and add roast beef, Tillamook Cheddar, pickled red onions, lettuce, tomato, Shotgun mustard, mayo, oil and vinegar and you get one tasty sandwich. Sold! Such a simple array of ingredients, nothing over the top or excessive. The bread rocked with every little taste complimenting the other. On even a busy day, I was in and out in less than five minutes. These are excellent subs.

I know some readers here have their go to sub shop, maybe even a chain in town. If that’s you, I challenge you to check out Shotgun Sup Shop to see what a Jersey boy can do with bread, coldcuts and mustard. Oh, and that Shotgun Mustard? “A tasty blend of three different kinds of mustards, with a little of this and a little of that.” Yep, they even have a secret sauce. Shotgun Sub Shop is on SW 10th between Alder and Washington next to the Grilled Cheese Grill. Let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • The Shotgun: ciabatta hoagie, ham, Genoa salami, provolone, lettuce, tomato, chopped olives and peppers, Shotgun Mustard, oil and vinegar – $7.95
  • The Road Runner: pretzel baguette, roast beef, Tillamook Cheddar, pickled red onions, lettuce, tomato, Shotgun Mustard, oil and vinegar – $7.95
  • The Big Bro: ciabatta hoagie, Italian dry salami, Provolone, lettuce, black olives, oil and vinegar, oregano – $7.95
  • The Miss Ellie: ciabatta hoagie, turkey, Provolone, 1000 island dressing, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, oil and vinegar – $7.95
  • The BullFrog: pretzel baguette, turkey, ham, Tillamook Cheddar, lettuce, Tomato, onion, Jalapenos, Shotgun Mustard, mayo, oil and vinegar – $7.95
  • The Omar: pretzel baguette, turkey, bacon, artichoke mayo, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, Shotgun Mustard, oil and vinegar – $7.95

Hours: Mon-Sat, 11-3
Phone: 5037520662
Facebook: Shotgun Sub Shop

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The Grilled Cheese Grill Downtown

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Grilled Cheese Grill Downtown

Grilled Cheese Grill Downtown

Location: SW 10th and Washington
Hours: weekdays, lunchtime

The Story:

The Grilled Cheese Grill expanded again with their 3rd cart in downtown on SW 10th avenue between Alder and Washington. Sadly, there isn’t a bus at this location for you to sit in, but they do have their famous signature sandwiches and daily Grilled Cheese specials for all of you downtown denizens.

Website: GrilledCheeseGrill.com
Facebook: The Grilled Cheese Grill
Twitter: @GrildChzGrill

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