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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Stumptown Dumplings

Lizzy Caston

Location: NE 15th and Alberta (Alberta15 Pod)
Hours:
Tues – Thurs 11:30 am – 8 pm, Fri-Sun 11:30 am – 10:00pm

The Story: Dumplings make for some great street eats. Why not? Filling, fast, cheap and nutritious they are versatile with veggies or meat (or both!), and give you satisfying protein and carbs in one complete package  easy to eat on the go. Different dipping sauces from spicy to sweet, appeal to all kinds of tastes and as well.

Jay and Nimesh, the owners of Stumptown Dumplings.

At Stumptown Dumplings, the enthusiastic owners Nimesh Dayal and Jay Revo keep the menu tight and right by focusing on just three different, but very flavorful, Asian style stuffed steamed pot sticker type dumplings, and two kinds of steamed, stuffed dough Bao. And this cart doesn’t skimp either – no frozen or pasty supermarket dumpling wrappers here. Stumptown Dumplings are made from scratch, are tender, a bit chewy and nicely substantial, while the bao are light with just enough stuffing to make 2 a nice lunch or hearty snack. Dayal and Revo really seem to put all their heart and soul into everything from quality food, to freshness of ingredients, to customer service, and marketing.

 

 

I took my neighbor with me to sample some of “Stumpling’s” dumplings (Stumptown Dumplings’ nickname). Just back from two years living in China, my dining companion was having trouble adjusting to Portland and wistfully sighed to me, “I miss all the amazing street food in China, especially all the dumplings. Man, you could get such good food there.” So it was with a smile and a sigh of relief when my neighbor bit into his first Stumptown Dumpling:  “These are terrific!”. Tender, fresh, and hot, we usually just nibble and sample a little from each cart we eat at since we usually hit 3-4 carts at once. Not so with Stumplings. “I’ll just have a bite or two” turned into, “let’s go back and get another order!” Some carts are novelties, and some you only want to eat at once in a blue moon. But we could both see ourselves ordering food from this cart on a regular basis. And with prices this great, Stumptown Dumplings hits all the right notes for food cart dining.

The Alberta15 “Mini” Cart Pod had a few false starts there for a while with a series of carts that quickly closed or moved to other locales, but this little pod near the busy NE 15th intersection has seemed to really started to take off this summer with 4 terrific carts set up now, and a comes-n-goes Hawaiian Shave Ice cart to the mix. Stumptown Dumplings is a great addition to the Alberta ‘hood, and an outstanding addition to Portland’s already outstanding food cart scene. We’ll be back for lunch, and dinner, and well, maybe a snack or two as well…

Sample Menu:

  • Steamed Dumplings – Cheeky Chicken, Pompous Pork, or Sassy Spinach -  6 for $4.75, 9 for $5.50, 12 for $6.00
  • Steamed Bao – Curry Veggie or Roasted Pork – $1.50 each
  • Steamed Rice – $1.50
  • Thai Iced Tea $2.50 or Vietnamese Coffee – $2.75
  • Choice of dipping sauces – Asian Chipotle, Creamy Peanut, Ponzu Soy, Spicy Hoisin, Thai Mustard

Hours: Tues – Thurs 11:30 am – 8 pm, Fri-Sun 11:30 am – 10:00pm
Phone:
Unknown
Website:
www.stumplings.com
Twitter:
@Stumplings
Facebook:
www.facebook.com/stumplings

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