Slick’s Big Time BBQ

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Location: Varies – check website
Hours: Varies – check website

The Story: Portland’s BBQ scene is ever changing with new blood launching restaurants and food carts seemingly weekly. Slick’s Big Time BBQ has been around for awhile and their food truck is now roaming the streets of Portland.

Dan and Barbi Slick started their BBQ business with a sauce product line which took off and allowed them to grow their business into catering and events and a BBQ drive-through in Newberg. Over the years, they have had the pleasure of traveling the states with their award winning BBQ and sauce line. Slick’s Big Time BBQ Truck came about as they saw the need to expand into other areas and it is gorgeous. Menu offerings from the truck include pulled pork, smoked turkey and brisket sandwiches, a Texas slaw dog or a rib plate. Brisket is my crutch, so Gene, the pit-master in the truck, set me up with a good size portion on a stadium bun along with house made coleslaw and macaroni salad. The brisket was moist and flavorful with just the right smoke ring. A great amount of food for only $9.

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Gene, the pit-master on the truck visits weekly locations around the Nike campus or you can find them at wineries and events throughout the year. Next time you’re out looking for BBQ, check them out and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Pulled Pork sandwich – $8
  • Smoked Turkey sandwich – $8
  • Beef Brisket sandwich – $9
  • Rib Plate – $12

Website: SlicksBigTimeBBQ.com
Facebook: Slick’s Big Time BBQ

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Ash Wood Fired Pizza

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wood fired pizza portland

Ash Wood Fired Pizza

Location: Fully mobile for events and catering

The Story: A few years ago, a food truck the size of a shipping container debuted with a wood fired pizza oven. Huge! Yet, you don’t have to go big to create a quality product. Ash Wood Fired Pizza has a wood fired pizza oven inside their diminutive food truck and still have room for two people to craft the magic.

Ash Wood Fired Pizza opened last month in the Sellwood district at one of Portland’s oldest east side food cart pods. The owners, Ted and Alexandra Scharpnick traveled as far as B.C. to pick up the truck already outfitted with the yellow tiled wood fired pizza oven. The truck is eye catching-  smaller than the behemoths that roam the streets of many cities with a flat black finish and their welcoming logo. I see a lot of trucks and Ash Wood Fired is one of the best. Ted let me in on how they make their dough. Using grapes, water and flour, he created a starter. The yeast is all wild and the starter continues to grow to create a unique and changing flavor in the dough. Pretty cool. I’ve heard of using vodka in pasta, but not grapes in dough.

wood fired pizza portland

Margherita from Ash Wood Fired Pizza

Ash Wood Fired has a great list of pizza options and offers up specials daily. On my visit, the ubiquitous and always amazing Margherita topped the menu. Other options included mushroom and garlic with pesto and maitake mushrooms or mustard greens and zucchini with a house made marinara. I’m a sucker for the Margherita, a clean, uncomplicated pizza with fresh lively flavors and at this time of the year, fresh basil. A single pizza is great for one person, so get two and share with a friend. I hadn’t planned on finishing it, but suddenly and surprisingly, I was devouring the fourth slice. Excellent crust.

The pod in Sellwood has five different vendors with Ash Wood Fired right on the corner. They have covered seating and a welcoming atmosphere. If you’re down on antique row, drop on by and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

[Ash Wood Fired moved to The Gantry in 2015]

Sample Menu: menu changes daily, so check their Facebook page

  • Margherita – house made marinara, fresh mozzarella and basil – $8
  • Peppers and Tomatoes – cilantro pesto, padron peppers, sungold tomatoes, ovoline Mozzarella
  • Asparagus and Fennel – house made marinara, Viridian Farms asparagus, shaved fennel, scallions, Ovoline Mozzarella

Website: Ashwoodfired.com
Facebook: Ash Wood Fired Pizza

Thick Deep Dish Pizza

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Thick Deep Dish Pizza

Thick Deep Dish Pizza

No longer at 9th and Washington – Now Mobile food truck

Location: SW 9th and Washington
Hours: 8am-6pm, Monday-Friday

The Story: I’m a child of pizza. I can’t tell you how pizza was so integral in the enjoyment of my childhood and teenage years. Portland had the thin crust pizza covered, but when I visited Chicago, I was introduced to the deep dish style. Thick, a new food cart on SW 9th and Washington, brings Chicago style pizza to the streets of our fine town.

Thick opened a few months ago and was selling out daily immediately. First time I visited, just after 1pm – totally sold out of slices and making a couple of suit-clad businessmen their own personal pie. Michael Cline is the man behind the pizza. A Chicagoan by birth, Michael saw Portland was lacking in his favorite cuisine, so decided to open the cart. He crafts everything from scratch including the house made Italian sausage, and pies are fresh made daily.

Italian Sausage Deep Dish from Thick

Italian Sausage Deep Dish from Thick

A Chicago deep dish pie is exactly that – deep dish with thick crust. A standard pie takes almost an hour to bake, so Michael makes a specific number of pies each day and when the slices sell out, that’s it. You can pre-order a pie though, so don’t fret.  I picked up a slice of handmade Italian sausage – Michael heated it up and handed me a small box which weighed a couple of pounds. While stalwarts may pick it up, I used a fork and knife to enjoy every last bite. Buttery crust acted well as the base layer topped first with Mozzarella then the sausage, and crushed tomatoes. The sausage was spot on and cheese in every bite made for a great lunch.

Thick Deep Dish Pizza is also open for breakfast, so if you’re coming into town early, feel free to stop by for local ham, melted onions, and Comte cheese encased in a classic buttery pastry crust. Sounds good to me. If you do want your own pie, be sure to call ahead and give Michael some time. All good things take time and patience. Drop on by for a thick slice of ‘za and let Michael know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Homemade Italian Sausage-  $5/slice
  • Spinach – $4/slice
  • Whole pies available

Phone: 630-697-6581
Facebook: Thick Pizza

New Avenues for Youth – Ben & Jerry’s Partnershops

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Some the New Avenues For Youth team at their Ben & Jerry's Partnershop ice cream cart.

Some the New Avenues For Youth team at their Ben & Jerry’s Partnershop ice cream cart.

What’s better than ice cream joined with food carts and community giving all-in-one? It’s like a peanut butter and chocolate malt milkshake delivered by gentle flying unicorns in superhero costumes. Not really, but it does always warm our hearts at Food Carts Portland to hear about nonprofits utilizing the power of the carts for a greater cause, especially when it comes to helping homeless and in-need youth.

Enter the New Avenues for Youth / Ben & Jerry’s Partnershops.

New Avenues for Youth is a Portland based nonprofit that works with homeless youth to help  provide them with resources, gain skills, and get the support they need to exit the unstable and often dangerous world of street life. Ben & Jerry’s, the well known ice cream empire, runs the Ben & Jerry’s Partnershops program, ” a form of social enterprise, in which nonprofit organizations leverage the power of business for community benefit”.

In Portland, New Avenues for Youth runs two Ben & Jerry’s Partnershops (one on the PSU Campus, the other on SW Yamhill near 5th). New Avenue also has a food cart and catering program to bring their partnershops to the streets, squares, parks and private events of Portland. How it works is this,

PartnerShops are Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shops that are independently owned and operated by community-based nonprofit organizations. Ben & Jerry’s waives the standard franchise fees and provides additional support to help nonprofits operate strong businesses.

PartnerShops offer job and entrepreneurial training to youth and young adults that may face barriers to employment. Ultimately, they help people build better lives. (from the Ben & Jerry’s website)

New Avenue’s for Youth operates the partnershops and works closely with youth in the program to provide extensive job training and other professional and personal support that helps give these hardworking kids employment skills, but also helps boost their self esteem and other positive benefits that can make a difference in their lives. New Avenues for Youth explains,

New Avenues believes that every young person should have food, shelter, and access to education and job training.  We believe we must go beyond meeting basic needs and offer programs that heal young lives and foster growth and independence.
Our mission is to work in partnership with our community to prevent youth homelessness and provide homeless and at-risk young people the resources and skills needed to lead healthy, productive lives.

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You might have seen one of the New Avenue’s Partnershop carts set up and selling scoops and cones at the U.S. Bankcorp Plaza downtown on SW 5th and Oak St. this past summer. With their distinctive Ben & Jerry’s tie-dye t-shirts and cows with clouds cart,  The mobile partnership was a beacon for anyone wanting a quick frozen treat while walking or waiting for the MAX Train just a few feet away.

The New Avenue’s Ben & Jerry’s cart is off the streets for the fall and winter, but is still available for private catering gigs and other functions. And the Ben & Jerry’s Partnershops at the PSU Urban Plaza and the one on SW Yamhill and 5th are open year round for all your ice cream cravings.

In the next year, New Avenue’s for Youth is considering expanding their mobile operations and/or other food programs. ‘Cause I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream that not only tastes good, we all love ice cream that does good too. It’s like the cherry on top of the double Cherry Garcia ice cream cone.

For more information, to inquire about Ben & Jerry’s New Ave’s ice cream catering, or to  volunteer or donate to New Avenues for Youth, contact Phone:  503-224-4339 or email: info@newavenues.org. Website: www.newavenues.org

 

 

Churros Locos

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Churros Locos

Churros Locos

Location: Roaming, check Facebook for current locations
Hours: Check Facebook for current locations/hours

The Story: We all have childhood memories of food. Many of our life choices for meals were shaped by our upbringing and when we end up living somewhere other than our childhood home, we end up with cravings. Churros Locos is here to sate that craving for all who grew up with churros.

It all started with smells. Daniel and Isabel were spending the weekend at the beach and dropped into a gelato shop. In talking with the owner, they brought up the idea of adding something like a churro to the menu in order to have the smell of it wafting both inside and out. Smells will bring people in. Daniel and Isabel had grown up with churros, but had never thought of it as a business until later that night walking back to the hotel. One of those moments when they looked at each other and realized they were thinking the same thing. Churros Locos was born. They acquired a cart, talked with friends and family and did some traveling to learn and perfect their recipes and processes and the cart launched this past April. They secured a key spot on SW 18th directly across from JELD-Wen field and have been at almost every Timbers and Thorns matches.

Churro from Churros Locos

Churro from Churros Locos

A churro is a like a long doughnut and is baked and fried. For Churros Locos, their influence is Mexican, yet churros are well known throughout central and south America and beyond. A simple dough is then extruded to give it that unique star shape and length. Daniel and Isabel par-bake them then quickly fry them on the spot so your churro is hot and fresh. Once out of the fryer, they are sprinkled with sugar. At the cart, you can get a simple churro or a churro sundae with ice-cream and toppings. The warm crisp dough with just enough seductive sugar to sweeten it is truly memory inducing. No wonder they have so many stories of emotional adults relaying churro memories of childhood.

Churros Locos can be found on SW 18th and Morrison by the MAX stop for Timbers matches. They will also be at different events throughout town this fall. Such a great story and a great vendor. Seek them out and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Churro – $2
  • Churro Sundae – $4

Facebook: Churros Locos
Twitter: @Churros_Locos

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