Tight Tacos

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Taco food cart portland

Tight Tacos

Location: SE Caesar Chavez blvd and Belmont (behind 39th Mini Mart)
Hours: Daily, including weekends, 12-7pm

The Story: Rolling down 39th, I needed water, so just south of Belmont, I popped into the 39th Mini Mart, your ever typical corner market filled with chips, candy bars, beer and 4loco. Upon exit, a green haired kid strolled by with a plate of beautiful tacos. Wawawawah? Then I smelled it. Grilled meats. I followed my nose around the corner to find the cute little operation named Tight Tacos.

The cart is adorably tiny with two wide open windows and everything on display. I do enjoy seeing a basket of fresh citrus and onions and the open grill where the different cuts of meat are segregated off, ready to be served. No hiding behind the swinging kitchen door. Also, when I walked up, fresh tortillas grilled happily. Reggie Ballesteros opened food cart earlier this summer bringing California style street tacos to the Rose City.

taco food cart portland

Where the magic happens at Tight Tacos

The menu offers tacos and burritos with options including Al Pastor, Carnitas, Asada, Chorizo (made with Chicken) and event False Pastor made with cauliflower. Being a huge fan of Chorizo, I decided on that and Asada. I picked both with “The Works” which includes guacamole and crema. The star of the party is the thick handmade masa tortilla. Chewy and so well made, it stayed folded in my hand until the end of every bite. When was the last time you ate a taco and it didn’t fall apart before the end? Not here. Each taco left me breathless. The chorizo is creamy and had some kick; the asada, lean and perfectly grilled. Each topped with fresh white onion and cilantro, these are tacos everyone should be eating.

taco food cart Portland

Tight Tacos

When people ask me where to find great tacos, I send them to the east side and Tight Tacos has proven me right. Great execution and a tasty product. Located just behind the mini mart, Tight Tacos offers two tables with tents so you can sit and enjoy your meal. Next time you’re needing your street taco fix, go see Reggie and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Menu:
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Facebook: Tight Tacos

Wasabi Sushi PDX

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sushi food cart portland

Wasabi Sushi PDX

Location: SE 28th and Division at Tidbit
Hours: Sunday-Thursday, 11-7, Friday/Saturday, 11-8

The Story: Over the years, there have been more than a few vendors trying sushi in the food carts. Some succeeded, others did not. I always thought it was an eater’s perception issue with raw fish in a food cart. Yet, with the evolution of street food and the evolution of the eater, we now have numerous options for sushi, including vegan sushi. Wasabi Sushi PDX opened in 2016 and has quickly expanded, including a restaurant to open in 2017. Eaters seem to really enjoy their offerings.

sushi food cart portland

Sushi from Wasabi Sushi PDX

Wasabi Sushi is known for their great sushi, but more for introducing Portland to the Sushi B-Ritto, a large sushi roll similar to a burrito. An excellent modification of the simple roll and filling. The day I visited, I opted for the Treasure Island Roll and the Spider Crunchy Roll. The Treasure Island is tuna, crab, Masago, avocado and cucumber topped with a spicy mayo. Messy, but fresh and flavorful. The mix of the tuna and crab delights the tastebuds. The Spider Crunchy Roll is tempura soft shell crab with avocado, cucumber, lettuce and Masago with a spicy eel sauce. Ooh, spice. Loved the crunch along with the wasabi and a bit of ginger. Tempura soft shell crab is a weakness of mine and I devoured the entire plate without pausing.

Wasabi Sushi PDX is open daily for lunch and dinner at one of Portland’s best food cart pods – Tidbit. The lot offers up seating and a beer cart so you can sit and enjoy your sushi with local craft beers. Next time you’re in the mood for sushi, check out Wasabi Sushi PDX and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Menu
sushi food cart portland

Facebook: Wasabi Sushi PDX

Village Patisserie

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sandwich food cart portland

Village Patisserie

Location: SE 11th and Tacoma in Sellwood
Hours: Mon,Wed, Fri, Sat, 9am-7pm; Tues, Thurs – 9am-3pm

The Story: I delight in a great sandwich. In Sellwood, Village Patisserie offers up both breakfast and lunch sandwiches all day from their food cart.

Sellwood now has 2 food cart pods with Piknik Park on SW Tacoma sporting eight vendors including a beer and wine cart. Village Patisserie has been their from the start offering up breakfast and lunch sandwiches along with salads, soups and desserts. Their ginger snap cookie is the bomb, but I digress. After skipping breakfast, I needed something substantial, so opted for The Sellwood, Village Patisserie’s big boy sammy. Turkey, bacon, melted cheddar cheese, mayo, arugula, tomato, and avocado with a drizzle of special sauce is served on a ciabatta bun. Not normally a fan of turkey on sandwiches, yet with the bacon, mayo and avocado, I devoured it. The ciabatta is an unsung hero for a sandwich of this type. It held together unlike some other bread choices. Overall, a great sandwich with all the right flavors.

sandwich food cart portland

The Sellwood from Village Patisserie

Village Patisserie is open at 9am most days and stays open for lunch and into the dinner hour or until they sell out. If you’re down that way, maybe checking out some antiques, visit Piknik Park and let Village Patisserie know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Menu

Facebook: Village Patisserie

Mizu Ramen

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Ramen food cart portland

Mizu Ramen

Location: SE 82nd and Harney at Cartlandia
Hours: Tues-Sun, 11:30-3pm; Tues-Fri, 4:30-8pm

The Story: Portland loves ramen, that’s a fact. Just a few years ago, lines wrapped the block at the only ramen joint in town, but now every street and neighborhood sports options ranging from affordable and simple to expensive and rare. I simply love the diversity. Mizu Ramen, one of only a few food carts crafting the magical noodle dish offers their wares up at Cartlandia in SE Portland.

When I first dove into the ramen rat hole, I learned more about the dish than what Top Ramen shilled all those years. Miso, Shoyu, Shio, Tonkotsu, Alkali noodles, soft boiled eggs, chashu, the list goes on. Exploring the differences between the styles has become an obsession and joy. At Mizu Ramen, they keep it simple and straight forward – Miso, Shoyu (soy sauce broth), Shio (salt broth) and vegetarian Miso as options. Each bowl comes with chashu pork, bamboo shoots, spinach, seaweed, 1/2 a soft boiled egg and green onions. The vegetarian option comes with Tofu. For $9, this is one of the more sizable bowls I’ve had. A monster. The chashu pork had just a hint of fat which fit well with the seaweed and spinach. Everything about the bowl, the noodles, the rich broth, the veggies, the pork – spot on. I just wish they were closer to my home so I could enjoy their offerings more.

ramen food cart portland

Ramen from Mizu Ramen

Mizu Ramen is located at Cartlandia in SE Portland which offers covered seating and a bar for you to enjoy your meals out of the rain and cold. Open daily for lunch and dinner, they have a great menu for everyone. Drop on by and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Menu:
ramen food cart portland

Facebook: Mizu Ramen

Papa Lee’s Kitchen

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Asian food cart portland

Papa Lee’s Kitchen

Location: SE 11th and Tacoma at Piknik
Hours: Tues-Sun, 11-7

Papa Lee’s Kitchen is one of those carts that will surprise you. While the menu offers a number of fish taco options like ahi or shrimp, it also offers up a double smoked bratwurst sandwich. Normally, vendors focus on one type of cuisine, but Papa Lee takes everything further. The Jaeger Schnitzel Sandwich is a perfect example – a breaded pork loin topped with house made mushroom gravy, jack cheese, veggies and served on a ciabatta roll. Served with a side Caesar salad, this is a hungry man’s meal. Juicy, sweet, savory and more. Papa Lee rocked it.

Asian food cart portland

Jaeger Schnitzel Sandwich

Facebook: Papa Lee’s Kitchen

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