Carter’s Cart

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bbq food cart portland

Carter’s Cart on HWY 30

Location: 5885 NW St. Helen’s Road, Out off HWY 30
Hours: Tuesday-Friday, 10am-6pm

The Story:

Smoke meats get me excited. BBQ. Pulled Pork. Ribs. Brisket. It takes a special talent and sometimes years in the smoke to master a good char and keep things juicy. Carter’s Cart out off Highway 30 is one of the few food carts in Portland serving up superb smoked meats.

Carter’s Cart is located in the parking lot of Anderson’s Roofing Company on HWY 30 between the industrial zone and St. Johns Bridge and offers up covered seating for you to enjoy your sandwich. The menu includes traditional smoked meat items like tri-tip, house rubbed pulled pork and brisket. Sides include salads, slaws and baked beans. On any given day, they offer up a rotating hot soup and even specials. Pan-Fried Mahi Mahi on a ciabatta was the special of the day I visited, but I opted for a more traditional sando, a Tri-Tip Cheesesteak. Carter’s cheesesteak arrives with smoke tri-tip chopped up and mixed with sautéed bell peppers and onions with melted Havarti atop. That glorious mix is then served on a toasted hoagie with chimichurri and Serrano aioli. Let the sandwich sit for a sec to let the Havarti pull everything together then dive in. The mix of the herb heavy chimichurri, spicy Serrano aioli AND smoked beef is divine. A great find.

bbq food cart portland

Tri-Tip Cheesesteak from Carter’s Cart

Carter’s Cart is open Tuesday-Friday from 10-6pm and offers covered seating so you don’t have to return to the office so quickly. Drop on by and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Tri-Tip Cheesesteak – $8 or $10 with sides
  • Carter Cubano – smoked pork, pickles, mustard aioli, spicy capicola and Havarti grilled on a hoagie – $8 or $10 with sides.
  • Sides – $2 – Baked Beans, Cole Slaw, Side Salad, Cucumber Salad
  • Full Menu on Website

Website: CartersCartPdx.com
Facebook: Carter’s Cart

Mole Prehispanic Cuisine

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mole food cart portland

Mole Prehistoric Cuisine

Location: 5885 NW St Helens Rd in the parking lot of Anderson Roofing
Hours: Weekdays, lunch

The Story: Our food scene here in Portland continues to mature. Every day, I’m overjoyed by the layers of flavor offered by street food vendors throughout the city. Mole Prehispanic Cuisine, a new food truck out off HWY 30, brings us mole from Oaxaca and they are the real deal.

Chef Luis Ochoa, veteran of Isabel in the Pearl, works out of a truck parked of a highway, creating dynamic and exciting mole daily. Originating in the southern most regions of Mexico in the state of Oaxaca, Chef Luis crafts an rhapsody of dried chiles, seeds, nuts, herbs and spices to pair with locally grown meats to create the moles. After a few visits to Sauvie Island on the weekends and seeing the closed truck, I decided to pop in for lunch on a Monday. Four Mole dishes are on the menu – beef, pork, lamb and chicken. Yet, each is defined by the complexity of the mole. Chef Luis offered up a sample taste of each and dutifully explained the differences. I almost ordered them all. Not one to accept samples, these tiny tastes assisted me in choosing lunch.

Mole food cart portland

Mole Verde from Mole Prehistoric Cuisine

The Mole Verde – Carlton Farms pork slow roasted and paired with a light herbaceous, yet zesty Oaxacan mole of tomatillos, pablanos and pepitas. I chose the verde for the spiciness. A forkful of pork, stirred in the rich green mole and a bit of brown rice and quinoa and my taste buds united in joy. Each dish is served with the rice and quinoa blend along with fresh greens topped with a pineapple salsa and pickled onions. Mix a bit of the pineapple with the mole – Boom!

Beyond the main dishes, Mole Prehistoric Cuisine also serves up fresh made empanadas and daily specials. Exploring the depths of regional cuisine ignites a passion in me about all foods. I’m excited to see Chef Luis bring his dishes to Portland’s streets. Find the truck parked at the Anderson Roofing Materials lot out off HWY 30 south of the St. Johns Bridge. Let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Mole Negro – primitive Oaxacan mole with braised St. Helen’s beef brisket – $8
  • Mole Verde – $8
  • Mole Colaradito – Anderson Ranches lamb, braised with guajillo chilies, mild spices, cinnamon and clove – $8
  • Mole De Castilla – organic chicken pan poached and matched with earthy mole of dark chocolate, spice and fruit – $8
  • Empanadas – $3

Facebook: Mole PDX
Twitter: @MolePDX
Phone: 503 875 9134

Oregon Made Grub

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Sandwich food cart portland

Oregon Made Grub

Location: 2671 NW Vaughn St
Hours: Mon-Fri, 11am-3pm

The Story: Put together a thoughful, yet simple menu of both hot and cold sandwiches and you have Oregon Made Grub, a new addition to the Q19 food cart lot in Slabtown.

Oregon Made Grub launched earlier this year in another great creation by PDX Cart Builders. The cedar paneled carts are becoming de rigeur for new vendors who want something classy and unique. Since Oregon Made Grub works to keep it local, presenting their fare from what could be seen as modern log cabin nails it. I met owner Kyrsten Schenck back in November when she participated in one of our food cart tours. I immediately realized she was interested in learning as much as she could about the scene and lo and behold, a few months later, she launched her cart. Oregon Made Grub focuses on sandwiches and soups. Sourcing as many ingredients as possible locally, Kyrsten creates amazing creations in the little box that is the food cart. Hot sammis include roast beef, pork tenderloin and my favorite, the tuna melt. Cold sammis include bacon and brie, an herbed cream cheese wrap with shredded carrot and oven roasted tomatoes or a chicken and kale caesar wrap. The tuna melt on toasted Dave’s Killer Break, my favorite sandwich by far, crushed me. A bit of melted cheese oozed out to crisp up from the grill. The tuna was fresh and creamy. Dave’s batch that day was top notch. A wonderful meal.

sandwich food cart portland

Tuna Melt

Oregon Made Grub is now open for lunch weekdays at Q19 on NW 19th and Quimby. The lot offers seating along with the options of heading indoors to Quimby’s for a pint. Drop on by and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu: [Menu on website]

Hot Sammis

  • Pork tenderloin with garlic sage aioli and greens on ciabatta $9
  • Roast Beef with sharp white cheddar, caramelized onions, horseradish on a rosemary bun – $9
  • Tuna Melt – $8

Cold Sammis

  • Bacon& Brie with sliced apple and greens on focaccia – $9
  • Herbed Cream Cheese Wrap – $7
  • Chicken and kale caesar wrap – $8

Website: OMGPDX.com
Twitter: @OMGPDX
Facebook: Oregon Made Grub

Korean BBQ Box

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Korean BBQ Box

Korean BBQ Box

Location: NW 19th and Quimby, Q19
Hours: Mon-Fri, 11-7; Sat, 11-3pm

The Story: For many years, I would visit different vendors throughout downtown for something new – bento. These vendors were grilling marinated chicken and placing it sliced over rice – truly groundbreaking for a kid from a farm. Some even added steamed vegetables. Around 2008, when the collective food cart eater began experiencing a sea-change in what was offered at the carts, I was introduced to bi bim bop from a Korean vendor. Ever since, this delightfully colorful dish has been a staple in my diet. Korean BBQ Box at Q19 does it up right.

Bi Bim Bop

Bi Bim Bop

Bi bim bop is considered the most representative of Korean cuisine. A low calorie dish, it combines numerous ingredients into the same bowl and can be done with or without meat. The word even translates to ‘mixed meal.’ With a base of rice, the dish is then topped with sauteed and seasoned vegetables, just a small bit of each, and then topped with meat and a fried egg. The idea is to add go chu jang, a Korean chili paste, and mix it all together. I chose a different route, dipping each of the savor vegetables into the paste in order to A) eat slower and B) enjoy the broad flavors. I’ll admit, the chopsticks were eventually replaced by a fork when my hand cramped. What I love about this dish is the diversity of flavors from zucchini to radish to shittake mushrooms to sprouts. Each has its own distinct flavor and when mixed with others or just simply the fried egg, it all tastes great. Such a fun and colorful meal.

Korean BBQ Box also offers Korean BBQ, noodle dishes like udon and yakisoba, stir fries and daily specials. Located at Q19, you can take your order inside Quimby’s and stay warm. Next time you’re in the mood for something different, drop on by Korean BBQ Box and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Chicken and Beef with vegetables over white rice – $7.99
  • Chicken and Pork with vegetables over rice-  $7.99
  • Chicken and Gyoza with vegetables over rice – $7.99
  • Korean Spicy Pork BBQ with vegetables over rice – $7.99
  • Bulgogi Beef BBQ with vegetables over rice – $7.99
  • Yaki Udon – stir fried vegetables and thick noodles in special sauce – $5.99
  • Yakisoba – $5.99
  • Fish Cutlet deep fried with rice and sides – $7.99
  • Bi Bim Bop – $7.99

Phone: 503 490 1662

Aybla Grill NW

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Location: NW 4th and Couch
Hours: Friday/Saturday Late Night

Aybla Grill, Portland’s well known Mediterranean vendor has a truck in Old Town on the weekends.

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