Location: NE 11th and Alberta
Hours: Mon-Fri, 11am-3pm. Sat & Sun, 10am – 2pm
The Story: Vegan, Gluten Free, and lots of Raw Foods. It’s hard to miss The Heart Cart with its bright pool blue paint job, heart shaped menu boards, one-and-a-half story trailer (complete with lookout tower!), big truck wheels, and military style metal design. In case this cart does looks vaguely familiar though, The Heart Cart is a reincarnation of the (now closed) Spud Locker, baked potato cart.
There’s another reason The Heart Cart stands out though, and that’s for the quality and inventiveness of their all vegan menu. It’s a nice addition to this area of downtown where most of the other carts are straightforward Mexican, Middle Eastern and Thai. The Heart Cart is also open for brunch and lunch on both Saturdays and Sundays, a bit of an anomaly in the downtown cart scene, but a very welcome addition indeed and close to the summer hustle and bustle of Saturday Market and Waterfront Park.
The menu changes frequently, so your best bet is to check out The Heart Cart’s website for updates. Expect plenty of curries, salads, a soup of the week, stir fries, and something they call “sweeties” – vegan tacos featuring different sweet potato and vegetable fillings.
The day we visited, The Heart Cart had a very substantial Portobello Masala they describe as “a tenderized Portobello mushroom battered in lentil flour and fried. Served with house tomato sauce, raw-mesan cheese and walnuts on a bed of raw zucchini noodles.” Another item we tried were “Zing rolls”, an all raw foods version of the Thai Salad Roll, featuring rice paper stuffed with a raw filling of ginger kale, house pickled vegetables, bean sprouts and mushrooms and served with a zippy peanut sauce.
Beverages include coconut water, and a really refreshing fruit infused water.
We’re hooked on the Heart. This is food that is still filling and tasty, but makes you feel vibrant and healthy. With plenty of raw food offerings along with vegan ones, this is a cart that will make a lot of people in Portland looking for vegan and gluten free foods quite happy. In our book, it’s simply delicious food made with heart.
All foods at The Heart Cart are Vegan and Gluten Free!
- Andean Hash (available Sat and Sun): South American inspired fried sweet potatoes with corn, peppers and mushrooms in a dark chocolate sauce – $8
- Sweet Potato Tacos: handmade tortillas, cinnamon black beans and corn, apple garlic salsa and cilantro -$2 each
- Korean Spicy Cucumber Salad (oi muchim) – $3
- Ginger Cumin Lentil Soup (adrak ka shorba) – $5 (small), $8 (large)
- Strawberry Mint Basil Water – $1