Pig ‘N A Pen

sandwich food cart portland

Pig ‘N A Pen

Location: NE 52nd and Sandy – Rose City Food Park
Hours: Mon-Fri, 11-9; Sat, 12-9; Sun, 12-7

The Story: The Midwest. Having grown up on the west coast with parents from the midwest, I’m tangentially aware of the cuisine of Minnesota – ham, potatoes, dishes influenced by Germans and Norwegians – yet that’s about it. Other than KC BBQ or Chicago Pizza, the midwest is a bit of a black hole. Yet, with Pig ‘N A Pen, new cart at Rose City Food Park, we get their take on a midwestern delight – the breaded pork tenderloin.

sandwich food cart Portland

Hoosier Style

Pig ‘N A Pen opened late summer at the NE Portland pod offering up a broad menu of midwestern sandwiches. Focusing primarily on pork tenderloin, the traditional is breaded in crackermeal and cornmeal or try it seasoned and seared on the flattop. Jerry’s Way offers up the tenderloin with pickles and yellow mustard. The Hoosier Style, which I enjoyed, is Iowa simple with traditional tenderloin topped with American cheese, shredded cabbage and served on a Franz bun. The sandwich was huge with the breaded tenderloin overflowing the bun – flavorful and filling. The side of seasonal broccoli salad added depth to the entire meal.

Pig ‘N A Pen is now open daily for lunch and dinner at Rose City Food Park. Get your midwestern fix and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Menu can be found on their website.

Facebook: Pig ‘N A Pen
Website: Pignapen.squarespace.com

Steve’s Dawg House

hot dog food cart portland

Steve’s Dawg Hosue

Location: NE 52nd and Sandy, Rose City Food Park
Hours: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, 11am-3 and 5-7; Fri, 11-3 and 5-8, Sat/Sun, 11-7

The Story: Portland is on a hot dog kick. Ten years ago, one could find hot dogs at a few carts in downtown, but they went the way of sausage sandwiches and reindeer sausage. Now, restaurants have jumped into the game with Hop Dog, Clutch, Stray Dogs and more. Steve’s Dawg House at Rose City Food Park joins the scene with their version of a Michigan Sauce hot dog.

Steve’s Dawg House opened summer 2015 with an ambitious goal – bring hot dogs back to Portland’s street food scene. Granted, you can find dogs if you seek them out, yet they aren’t like the Chicago or New York style dogs you find on the streets of those cities. It takes gumption and a great product to take on the ubiquitous American delight. Steve’s Dawg House is a dream come true after many years. The famous “Frank’s Michigan Sauce” arrives courtesy of the owner’s father who created the first dog business in the 50’s in upstate New York. Now, Portland gets a taste of it.

hot dog food cart portland

Michigan Dog from Steve’s Dawg House

Menu offerings start with a Sabrett Hot Dog, New York’s original push cart style frankfurter. Then add toppings. Go Classic with mustard, relish and onions. Travel to New York with mustard, onions and sauerkraut. Or try their special, the Michigan dog with house made Michigan sauce, spicy mustard and diced onions. Pair with a side of garlic rosemary fry’s and you’re set. The Michigan dog overflowed the bun offering up a bite with just mustard and dog. Snap! Love that Sabrett style. Michigan sauce is a meat sauce accented with a bit of chili and sweetness and works well with the dog and a smattering of fresh chopped red onion.

Steve’s Dawg House is the real thing if you’re looking for a frankfurter from a food cart. In a city with so many meat in tube options, go simple and enjoy the journey. Open every day except Tuesday for lunch and dinner. Let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu (full menu on website):

  • Michigan Dog – $5
  • Classic Dog – $4.50
  • New York Dog – $5
  • House Fry’s – $3.75
  • Garlic rosemary Fry’s – $4

Website: StevesDawgHouse.com
Facebook: Steve’s Dawg House

Momo House – Tibetan Indian Cuisine

Tibetan food cart portland

Momo House

Location: NE 52nd and Sandy at Rose City Food Park
Hours: daily, lunch

The Story: You’ve enjoyed dumplings I assume, but what about a Momo? Momo House, a new food cart at Portland’s Rose City Food Park, serves up these large and delightful pockets of joy along with other Tibetan and Indian dishes.

Momo House joins the diverse lineup of food carts at Rose City which includes Vietnamese, Mexican, Guamian, Thai and a myriad of American dishes. I would argue the lot offers up one of the more eclectic collective menus. The menu offerings at Momo House run the gamut from the large dumplings to fried rice dishes to known Indian delights like samosa or curry. The fried momo are filled with beef, pork or veggies mixed with celery, scallion and garlic and served with fresh veggies and a dipping sauce – usually spicy. A large doughy pocket of meat and taste tingling delight. Dip in the spicy sauce and simply devour. So decadent. Also available vegetarian style. The Pork Chili, day long slow cooked pork with house recipe of garlic, ginger and Arrma-Sichuan pepper along with soy sauce and served with fried rice, rounded out the meal. The spice presented itself well, but not overwhelming if you’re sensitive to the heat. While it appears to be yet another fried rice dish, the secret recipe raised it above the bar, impressing me.

Tibetan Food Cart Portland

Momos and Pork Chili

Momo House is open daily for lunch and into the afternoon and dinner. The menu is broad and offers up something for everyone. Drop on by and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Momo dumplings – $4.99-6.99 depending on size
  • Fried Momos – $4.99-6.99 depending on size
  • Chole Poori – chole masala, a vegetarian dish with chickpeas, tomatoes, herbs, spices – served with naan – $4.99
  • Chicken Curry – Indian style chicken curry thali with sides – $6.99
  • Vegetable Thali – vegetable plate with dal and rice and seasonal salad – $6.99

Phone: (503) 764-5028

Smak Dab’s

Burger Food Cart Portland

Smak Dab’s

Location: NE 52nd and Sandy – Rose City Food Park
Hours: Tues-Sat, 11-7; Sun, 12-5

The Story: When you have a dream, sometimes nothing can stop you. Chris had the dream to open a food cart for over 15 years and now Smak Dab’s has launched with their gourmet stuffed burgers.

Chris has a background in the restaurant industry having worked for more than a few large restaurants over the years. The food cart scene just wasn’t as vibrant in the first part of the last decade, so Chris put the plans on hold, but kept the dream alive. The cart, located on NE MLK at The Fusion food cart pod is one of a few who have opened thee in the past six months. That pod has always housed food carts offering a range of cuisines ever since I moved into the neighborhood almost 17 years ago. Now, with a formal name, a covered deck and a quorum of vendors, I think NE MLK has a viable street food scene.

Burger Food Cart Portland

Tres Hombres from Smak Dab’s

Smak Dab’s focuses on stuffed burgers. Many call them the Juicy Lucy after a famous midwestern chain. Chris has his own twist. The patty includes bread crumbs among other goodies to add some cohesion as he forms it around the ingredients. The surprises are inside. Take The Calzone for example – pepperoni, mozzarela cheese and marinara all grilled inside the patty. Just imagining that first bite elicits a stomach growl. The Tres Hombres was for me – jalapenos, olives, jack cheese inside with quacamole atop. At first site, I thought maybe the burger was a bit burned, yet that first bite countered the visual. The patty, with the extra ingredients comes with caramelization throughout – a sweet, salty and for the Tres Hombres, spicy delight. Fresh lettuce and tomato create a cool tasty friction to the stuffed burger. Overall, a well done sammy.

Smak Dab’s has an impressive menu with six stuffed burger options. The day I visited, Chris also had pulled pork on the menu. Design your own if you want, he’ll make it happen. There is plenty of covered seating on site and they offer vegetarian options and GF buns. Drop on by and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

[Smak Dab’s moved to Rose City Food Park in June of 2014]

Sample Menu:

  • The Smak Dab – patty stuffed with swiss and served on toasted bun with chimichurri spread and bacon sriracha onion ring – $9
  • The Calzone – $8
  • The Lisa – vegetarian black bean patty with chimichurri spread – $7
  • Lamb of Gouda – lamb mix stuffed with smoked gouda – $10
  • Tres Hombres – $9
  • Steak Fries – $3
  • Cajun Pot Stickers – $6
  • Bacon sriracha battered fried pickles – $5

Facebook: Smak Dab’s

Cackalack’s Hot Chicken Shack Rose City

fried chicken food cart portland

Cackalack’s Hot Chicken Shack Rose City

Location: NE 52nd and Sandy, Rose City Food Park
Hours: Mon-Sun, 12-7

The Story: Cackalack’s Hot Chicken Shack expanded this summer to open a second food cart at Rose City Food Park in NE Portland. Same menu as their SE location including some amazing wings.

See our post on Cackalack’s here.

fried chicken food cart portland
Facebook: Cackalack’s Hot Chicken Shack