Sam’s Saj Mediterranean Sandwiches

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

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.

Kargi 2

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


Facebook: Kargi Gogo PDX

Twitter: @kargigogopdx




Saaj Baghdad

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.

The Grilled Cheese Grill Downtown

grilled cheese food cart portland

Grilled Cheese Grill Downtown

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

The Story:

The Grilled Cheese Grill expanded again with their 3rd food cart in downtown Portland 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.

Facebook: The Grilled Cheese Grill
Twitter: @GrildChzGrill

Touchdown’s BBQ

Touchdown's BBQ

Touchdown's BBQ

Location: SW 10th and Washington
Hours: Mon-Fri, 11am-5pm; Sat, 12pm-4pm

The Story:

In downtown Portland, it’s not too hard to find a BBQ food cart. But at Touchdown’s (which also caters, by the way), you’ll also get some warm Southern hospitality from Sandra, one of the cart owners. With family roots tracing back to Little Rock, Arkansas, she was born in Chicago and then lived in Texas before settling in Portland. BBQ must be either in the genes or picked up along the way. The cart, which has been open for nine months, started from a family passion for cooking. Gotta love those “soul food” origins; it’s all about love and food uniting as one.

Tourchdown's BBQ

Tourchdown's BBQ

I saw a small line (perhaps 4-5 people) had formed in front of the cart. A poster board with pictures of virtually every entrée and side dish caught my eye. Mmm…BBQ. Touchdown’s had a special going the day I went: a pulled pork sandwich on  a toasted bun with cole slaw and baked beans for $7.95. The pork was juicy, flavorful, and wanted to melt on my tongue. Touchdown’s toasts the buns, so a lovely slight crunch comes with each bite. The fresh, crunchy cole slaw has some sweet connotations and is a classic pairing with the pork. The warm baked beans had a nice consistency, a good second side dish to get.

Try any of Touchdown’s other sides as well: potato salad, collard greens, mac and cheese, yams, cornbread, and garlic bread. If you’re unsure, just ask Sandra for a sample, she loves giving out samples. A cart I’d definitely go back to. Check them out! Let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Quarterback Special: Smoke or Hot Link Topped with Cheese, BBQ pulled pork w/cole slaw ($8.95); combo w/two sides ($10.95)
  • 1st and 10: BBQ Ribs w/garlic bread ($8.95); combo w/two sides and garlic bread ($10.95)
  • Out of Bounds: BBQ Pulled Pork or Chicken Sandwich w/cole slaw ($7.95); combo w/two sides ($10.95)
  • Huddle: BBQ Chicken w/garlic bread ($8.95); combo w/two sides and garlic bread ($10.95)
  • Blitz: Grilled Smoked or Hot Link with all the trimmings ($6.95); combo w/two sides ($8.95)
  • Super Bowl Sides: potato salad, cole slaw, greens, mac and cheese, baked beans, yams, cornbread, or garlic bread
  • Starting Lineup: Soda ($1); water ($1)

Hours: Mon-Fri, 11 am to 5 pm; Sat, 12 pm to 4 pm
971 217 1193