Bake on the Run

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Location: Piknik Park – 1122 SE Tacoma

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Bake on the Run

The Story: Do you know where Guyana is? Did you know Portland has an authentic Guyanese food cart? Most don’t, but when you visit Bake on the Run at Piknik Park in Sellwood, owner and chef Michael Singh will use hand gestures to describe the country’s location sandwiched between Venezuela and Suriname and north of Brazil. A pretty cool description to get you in the mood for some authentic Guyanese cuisine.

Michael and his mother Bibi are the team behind Bake on the Run. I had the pleasure of meeting them awhile ago on one of my food cart tours while they were visiting Portland to see how we do it. Even then, I was intrigued to hear about the different dishes they were planning to offer, so when I discovered they opened the cart, I ventured south. Guyana has a number of culinary and cultural influences going back centuries ranging from Portuguese to Chinese and those influences are showcased in the dishes Mike and Bibi offer. On the menu you’ll find Bibi’s Chow Mein, noodles in teriyaki and soy mixed with veggies and chicken.

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Egg and Baclhau Bake from Bake on the Run

I was intrigued by the the namesake dish, the bake. A lightly fried bread which I can only describe as a modded puffed pastry, but less sweet is filled with your choice of items. I chose the Portuguese salted cod omelette. While we think of omelettes for breakfast, placing it in the bake was perfect for lunch. The mix of fried bread and the salty cod was divine and to top if off, Michael proffered some of his homemade spicy sauce which gave the dish the perfect amount of kick. You can also get the bake with a chickpea and potato curry or go sweet with jam and Nutella.

Portland’s food cart scene continues to evolve and I’m happy to report that new vendors like Bake on the Run are here to feed a new generation of eaters. You can find Bake on the Run’s authentic Guyanese cuisine at Piknik Park Food Cart Pod in Sellwood off Tacoma. They are open daily for lunch and offer covered and heated seating and a beer cart. When you visit, say hi to Mike and Bibi and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Facebook: Bake on the Run
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Fritkot Belgian Fry Shack

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belgian fry food cart portland

Fritkot Belgian Fry Shack

Location: SE 52nd and Foster at Carts on Foster
Hours: Thursday-Saturday, 12-8, Sunday 12-4 (Check FB for updates)

The Story:

Fries. We’ve been eating them all our lives. Some believed tots would replace fries in the 80’s, but fries are still the king. Yet, beyond fry sauce or mayonnaise or ketchup, how can you amp up the basic fry? Put gravy on it. Meat gravy. Fritkot Belgian Fry Shack at Carts on Foster does just that.

Everyone knows poutine these days. Fries with meat gravy atop. Most know it as an eastern Canadian dish and there are a few places in town to obtain stellar poutine. At Fritkot, Kris Jonckers puts a bit of a Belgian spin on his dish. Using twice fried Kennebec potatoes, Kris is creating the perfect Belgian fry. In the beginning, Kris was a fry shack and served fries with a meat stew as two separate dishes. Then, in order to attract new customers, he began pouring the gravy with thick chunks of beef atop the fries with a Belgian farm cheese to accent. Viola, Belgian poutine. Spot on.

belgian fry food cart portland

Poutine

Fritkot is a located at Carts on Foster which offers indoor seating and beer and cider at the onsite pub. Beyond the poutine, Kris offers up an array of other Belgian delights including a Flemish beef stew, a schnitzel sandwich and salad. Drop on by next time you have a meat gravy craving and let Kris know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Facebook: Fritkot

Tight Tacos

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Taco food cart portland

Tight Tacos

Location: 602 SE Salmon at Jacobsen Salt
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: Happy Valley
Hours: Check Facebook for updates

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

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