Uncle Tsang’s Kitchen

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Chinese food cart

Uncle Tsang’s Kitchen

Location:8926 N Lombard St
Hours: Tues-Fri, 11-2 and 5-9; Sat/Sun, 12-9pm

The Story: A few months back, I visited a Szechuan restaurant in LA and was shocked at the spice factor in every dish. Yet, it didn’t burn for hours, it simply drifted away after awhile. Ever since that fateful meal, I’ve been craving noshable spicy Chinese and found it at a new food cart named Uncle Tsang’s Kitchen.

Chinese food cart

Szechuan Tofu from Uncle Tsang’s

Uncle Tsang’s Kitchen is at the 23rd and Alberta Food Cart Lot having taken over the cart that use to house Fijian Indian Curry. They’ve been open now for a couple of months, so have worked out any kinks. At first glance, the menu serves up what one expects from most Chinese restaurants except it offers more variety for vegetarian and gluten free options. They have beef and broccoli, eggplant chicken, ma po tofu, and potstickers. Yet, what caught my eye was chicken gizzards. Where in Portland do you get chicken gizzards? Along with Szechuan Tofu, I had a meal picked out. The gizzards, deep fried, yet with a light coating and then tossed with more than enough spicy peppers were divine. When delivered, I teared up, knowing the spice could wreck me, but I dove in and surprisingly enough, it didn’t melt my face off. It was that quick burn and then it tapered off. Each little morsel, a present from the Chinese gods of deep frying. The tofu dish with sliced celery, chopped peppers, succulent mushrooms and plenty of red chili flake was a treat. Not so spicy I needed milk afterward, but complex flavors that kept me eating.

Uncle Tsang’s is one of those gems you stumble upon and immediately want to return to. Finding a dish so unique like gizzards is the reason I keep going back to the food carts – they keep surprising me. Head on over to Alberta and give it a try. Let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

[Moved to St Johns in 2017]

Sample Menu:

  • Broccoli in garlic sauce – $6
  • Gizzards – $5
  • Curry Chicken – $9
  • Szechuan Tofu – $9.50
  • Lemon Chicken – $8
  • General Chicken – $8
Chinese food cart

Gizzards from Uncle Tsang’s

Facebook: Uncle Tsang’s Kitchen

Velas Cart

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Velas Cart

Velas Cart

Location: N Lombard and Burr
Hours: Daily, 11am-7pm

This guest post was written by Scott Batchelar, a regular at many of the carts throughout the city. Thank you Scott.

The Story:

“Welcome to Velas, how are you tonight?” says Mario Vela the owner and chef of the Velas food cart as I walk up to this small food cart pod which includes a Kruger’s Farm Market and Captured by Porches Microbrewery.

In Portland we have close to fifty Mexican Food Carts and for me the trick is finding the gems at each cart. I looked over the extensive menu of Mexican and American foods at Velas and asked Mario for some advice on what his favorite dishes are. He immediately recommended his chicken mole even though I am still perusing the menu to see what else looks promising. My eyes settle on the empanadas and after asking some questions I order both a beef empanada and the chicken mole.

Chicken Mole from Velas Cart

I sit down in the Captured by Porches Bus for a tasty and filling meal. I especially liked the tenderness of the chicken and authentic mole sauce that Mario makes fresh daily as well as the delicious topping of pico de gallo. Add to that the cheese in small cubes he placed on the moist and delicious beef empanada as a bonus.

Velas is open daily from 11am to 7pm. They have an extensive menu of Mexican and American foods including tacos, burritos, tortas, sopes, empanadas, memelas, garnacas, tamales as well as numerous Mexican and American drinks and burgers. With the Captured by Porches bus, you can sit inside out of the rain and even enjoy a cold microbrew. Velas is a great addition to this small but intimate pod. If you drop in let them know Food Carts Portland and Scott Batchelar, the unofficial Food cart King, sent you.

Sample Menu:

PLATES: (with rice & beans)

  • Pollo En Mole (chicken mole) $6.00

BURGERS: (With fries or potato salad) $6.00

  • Velas (jalapenos, tomatoes, onion, pepperjack cheese)
  • BBQ (grilled onions, bbq sauce, cheddar cheese)
  • Garlic Mushroom (mushrooms, swiss cheese)
  • Chili (green chile, onions, provolone cheese)
  • Cajun Chicken Sandwich (marinated chicken, pepperjack & chipotle mayo on foccacia bread

MEALS:

  • Tacos (pastor, steak, chorizo, chicken, lengua) $1.50
  • Burritos (pastor, steak, chorizo, chicken, lengua) $5.00
  • Tortas ((pastor, steak, chorizo, chicken, lengua) $5.00
  • Sopes (chicken or beef) $2.50
  • Empanadas (chicken, beef, chicharron) $2.50
  • Memelas (beans, salsa, sour cream, queso fresca) $2.00
  • Garnachas (red sauce, potatoes, onion, beef) $2.00
  • Tamales (Veracruz Style – Chicken) $1.95

DRINKS

  • Mexican – Jarritos, Horchata, Sidral, Jamaica, Sangria, Tamarindo, Jumex $1.50
  • Domestic – Pepsi, Fanta, Diet Pepsi, Dr Pepper, Sprite, Root Beer, Mt Dew, Coke $1.00

Hours: Daily, 11am-7pm
Phone: 503 754 2904

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