Desi PDX

dieselboi
Indian food cart portland

Desi PDX

Location: NE 15th and Alberta
Hours: Thursday, 12-8pm; Friday/Saturday, 12-9pm; Sunday, 12-8pm

The Story: Local Fare, Indian Flair. Portland, welcome Desi PDX, Alberta’s newest Indian food cart.

Deepak Saxena opened the cart earlier this year with a focus on food inspired by Indian spices and flavors while keeping it local and organic and committing to everyone’s indulgences. At Desi PDX, you can get gluten-free, paleo and vegan. Raised on traditional Indian fare, Deepak eventually fell in love with cooking in this 20’s. After a first career in IT, the food cart became the next adventure. Inspired by Eric Schlosser’s work Fast Food Nation, he changed his own eating habits and continues to work at cooking more sustainably which is reflected with the menu at the cart.

Indian food cart portland

Cardamom chai Drumsticks

Let’s talk food. Deepak has both a la carte options or bowls. Every week he has a rotating “pulse of the week,” which is a selection of organic bean and lentil dhals. How does spicy cabbage salad with shredded coconut, chillies and mustard infused oil sound? Or maybe a Pakora waffle made with spicy garbanzo beans. I chose the cardamom chai chicken. One pound of Mary’s free range drumsticks are tea brined and tea steamed then fried in organic sunflower oil. A coconut sugar chai glaze is added then finished with toasted cardamom and Jacobsen salt. Whew! So many different flavors and ingredients go into creating this dynamic and vibrant chicken. I knew Indian cuisine’s diversity of flavors and spices, but these drumsticks were off the charts. I can only imagine what the other dishes present. I’m excited for a return visit, maybe with a friend so we can order multiple dishes and share.

Desi PDX offers up a diverse menu of treats for everyone and brings up specials almost daily, so follow them on Facebook for updates. Desi PDX is a great addition to the street food scene here in Portland. Drop on by next time you’re up on Alberta and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu – full menu on website

  • Cardamom chai chicken – $7.25
  • Chana masala belly – tamarind-ginger braised carton farms pork belly – $7.50
  • Pulse of the week – $3.75-5.75
  • Belly Bowl – pork belly, fried rice, chutney, pickles, salad – $10
  • Vegan thali – pulse & rice, slaw, chutney, pickles, salad – $11
  • Chicken bowl – chicken, fried rice, chutney, pickles, salad – $9.75

Website: Desipdx.com
Facebook: Desi PDX
Twitter: @DesiPDX

The Cultured Caveman

Lizzy Caston

Location: NE 15th and Alberta (Alberta15 “mini pod”)
Hours:
Mon – Sun, 11am-8pm

The Story: Meet my new friend, The Cultured Caveman.  I almost wrote this write-up in the voice of my new cavemen friend: “Me caveman, me eat like my ancient ancestors from the Stone Age. Me eat meat, but only organic, grass fed meat. Me like vegetables and fruits. Me eat Paleo Diet rich in fiber, antioxidants, protein. Me healthy”.  But, I figured you all would smack me upside the head if I did a whole write up like that, so I’ll cut it out and get to the heart of this cart instead.

The Cultured Caveman focuses on foods found in the popular Paleo Diet. In case you aren’t up on the info, Wikipedia describes the Paleolithic Diet as:

The paleolithic diet (abbreviated paleo diet or paleodiet), also popularly referred to as the caveman diet, Stone Age diet and hunter-gatherer diet, is a modern nutritional plan based on the presumed ancient diet of wild plants and animals that various hominid species habitually consumed during the Paleolithic era—a period of about 2.5 million years duration that ended around 10,000 years ago with the development of agriculture. In common usage, such terms as the “Paleolithic diet” also refer to the actual ancestral human diet.

Centered on commonly available modern foods, the “contemporary” Paleolithic diet consists mainly of fish, grass-fed pasture raised meats, vegetables, fruit, fungi, roots, and nuts, and excludes grains, legumes, dairy products, salt, refined sugar, and processed oils.

The health benefits of the Paleo Diet are debated amongst nutritionists and health nuts alike, but those who love eating this way really love it, and a whole cuisine has developed around “Caveman Cuisine”. Yes, it’s more than just a handful of wild berries, and some road kill cooked over a fire, as this spiffy cart on Alberta St. can attest.

Food at the Cultured Caveman is indeed elevated: Grass Fed All Meat Chili; Paleo Chicken “Tenders” breaded in coconut flour; hearty salads; and perfectly crisp French Fries fried in beef tallow are just some of the treats found here.

All Meat Chili

All Meat Chili

I dined on a very thick, very satisfying cup of beef chili (no beans in this chili for the Paleos!), as well as a kale salad bursting with ginger and carrots. It was a hearty meal that left me feeling full but not heavy. I’ll be back.

The food here is made with care and the owners Heather and Joe are working hard to make this a truly professional cart with excellent quality and customer service to match. Sometimes it feels like there are a billion food carts nowadays, and sometimes it’s hard to stand out from the pack. The Cultured Caveman has a niche in the Paleo Diet crowd, for sure. Although it is a beef focused cart (all fried foods are fried in beef tallow), they do have vegan offerings. Some are even gluten free and/or raw for those on those diets as well.  But, the quality of their food shows this is a cuisine for more than just Cavemen and Cavewomen. This is food for folks who simply like good eats.

 Sample Menu:

  • All Meat Grass Fed Chili – $5
  • Paleo Chicken Tenders – local chicken breast, breaded with coconut flour and fried in 100% grass fed beef tallow – 2 for $4
  • Ginger Carrot Kale Salad – $3
  • Rainbow Fries – shoestring russet, purple and sweet potatoes fried in 100% grass fed beef tallow – $4
Kale Salad

Kale Salad

Hours: Mon-Sun, 11am-8pm
Phone:
Unknown
Website:
CulturedCavemanPDX.com
Facebook:
CulturedCavemanPDX
Twitter:
@cavemancart

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