Anything’s Pastable

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pasta food cart portland

Anything’s Pastable

Location: Cartlandia – SE 82nd and Harney
Hours: Tues-Thurs, 11-2pm; Fri-Sat, 11-9pm; Sunday – 3-9pm

The Story: Portland’s street food scene is lacking in the area of pasta. I get asked regularly why Italian cuisine isn’t well represented and I don’t really have an answer. Anything’s Pastable, a new food cart at Cartlandia, is here to fill that void.

Anything’s Pastable grew out of the long time dream for Laury and Ed to own their own place. After raising kids and Ed’s years as a chef and line cook, the business dream became a reality. Add a love of pasta and anything becomes pastable. The cart offers classic Italian sauces and pasta dishes, yet with a bit of the northwest thrown in. Mushroom Alfredo or Primavera with seasonal veggies are just a couple of options. Pomodoro with rotini pasta with sautéed onions, bell pepper and fire roasted tomato sauce looked intriguing. I opted to add sausage and Ed garnished the dish with a four cheese blend to give it creaminess. I call it spiral pasta, one of my favorites, due to fact that the sauce and cheese get into the curls. The smokiness of the fire roasted tomato sauce came through perfectly and the sausage was a great addtition. A great meal.

pasta food cart portland

Pomodoro from Anything’s Pastable

Anything’s Pastable is open at Cartlandia for lunch and dinner on the weekends. Check out their deep fried ravioli, something I only saw after I had ordered. Sounds crazy good. Drop on by and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Mushroom Alfredo – mixed mushrooms and Gemelli pasta tossed with a basil alfredo sauce – $10
  • Pomodoro – $9
  • Northwest PrimaVera – Cavatappi and seasonal vegetables in a white wine and butter sauce garnished with a four cheese blend – $8
  • Twisted Curry – Gemelli, onions and pepper tossed with creamy curry sauce – $10
  • Deep Fried Ravioli – fresh ravioli deep fried served on a bed of greens with a special dipping sauce.
  • Add sausage, chicken or shrimp – $2.50-$3.50

Facebook: Anything’s Pastable
Twitter: @ourpastabiz

In & Out Kitchen – Vietnamese

dieselboi
Vietnamese food cart portland

In & Out Kitchen

Location: SE 82nd and Harney, Cartlandia
Hours: Weekdays and weekends, lunch and dinner

The Story: Need a pick me up that is super tasty and healthy? Try some beef pho from In & Out Kitchen. In & Out Kitchen features Vietnamese specialties from their food cart at the Cartlandia food cart pod in SE Portland. A menu focusing on pho, banh mi sandwiches, dumplings, fried rice and more.

Vietnamese food cart portland

Pho from In & Out Kitchen

Phone: 971-998-3703

Maine Street Lobster Company

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Maine Street Lobster Company Portland

Maine Street Lobster Company Portland

Location: SE 82nd and Harney, Cartlandia
Hours: Tues-Sat, 11:30-7:30; Sun, 12-5

The Story: The Pacific Northwest has some amazing seafood – salmon, fresh lake trout, dungeness crab, oysters, geoduck – you name it, we got it and we love it. What we don’t have is lobster, one of the most famous seafood dishes in the nation. When people spy it on a menu, they pounce. Others ship it in from afar for special dinners. Now, from the glory of a food cart, you can get Maine lobster prepared a few different ways. I give you Maine Street Lobster Company.

Maine Street Lobster Company is located at Cartlandia in SE Portland along with a number of other vendors and a beer garden. Owners Cathy and David came to Portland this summer from Georgia which explains the po’ boys on the menu. They knew they wanted to open a food cart in Portland, so packed up their gear and headed west. It was along the route they brainstormed and came up with the lobster concept and menu. Trained chefs who know their way around a kitchen, they wanted to do something no one else was doing. Seafood isn’t that well represented throughout the city, especially the storied lobster, so here we are. Maine Street Lobster Company was born and brings in lobster overnight on a regular basis. David joked, “UPS is pretty awesome for that.”

Lobster Roll from Maine Street Lobster

Lobster Roll from Maine Street Lobster

At the cart, you can enjoy lobster bisque or clam chowder to warm you up or go right for the lobster in the form of hot or chilled roll or po’ boy style. I chose traditional – Maine Lobster Roll – hot and buttery with lobster sauteed in butter, lemon and herbs atop a buttery toasted New England style split top bun. Buttah! Such a beautiful presentation and lousy with flavor. Lobster is one of those seafoods you feel guilty enjoying. The bacon of the seas. I wanted to save part of the sandwich to share, but couldn’t put it down. It is best enjoyed hot.

Maine Street Lobster joins a small group of vendors in town serving an item no one else has. If you’re a lobster fan, you need to visit Cathy and David and drench yourself in butter. Open Tuesday-Sunday for lunch and dinner. Let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Maine Street Lobster Roll – $14
  • Down East Lobster Roll – lobster chilled in light mayo and herb dressing served on New England split top bun – $14
  • Lobster Slider – hot or chilled – $5
  • Po’ Boy – with our without lobster – $10-14
  • New England Clam Chowder – $5-7
  • Lobster Bisque – $6-8

Website: MaineStreetLobsterCompany.com
Facebook: Maine Street Lobster Company
Twitter: @MaineStLobster

The Coop Chicken and Waffles

Lizzy Caston
Photo by Adam Wickham www.humanradio.org

Photo by Adam Wickham
www.humanradio.org

Location: Cartlandia – 8145 SE 82nd Ave.
Hours: Mon 4pm – 7pm, Tues – Sat 11am – 8pm

The Story: What’s up with chicken and waffles? You got your crispy, juicy fried chicken on top of a stack of  old-school dinner plate sized waffles, smothered in syrup if you wish. Salty, meaty, crunchy and savory combined with soft waffles and a touch of sweet. It’s the kind of food keeping cardiologists in business, but is one of those oh-so-sinful foods people seem to crave time and time again. Welcome to The Coop Chicken and Waffles cart.

The origins of C&W (that’s in the know slang for Chicken & Waffles, yo), are a bit of a true American mystery hybrid dish. Many people think the dish is Southern, but you rarely see it in several Southern states and communities, and it does not appear in Southern cookbooks from the 1800s to 1930s at all. Some claim it goes back to Thomas Jefferson who brought the first “Gaufres” (waffles) iron back from France and then combined waffles with Virginia fried chicken at dinner. Other culinary historians believe it might have come out of Southern slave kitchens but really took off during the “great migration” of African Americans from the South to the industrialized North after the Civil War, where it remained in the African American community and later adopted by working class whites in roadside diners and other down home type establishments. In the 1980s C&W had their mainstream debut in the cult film Tapeheads, where John Cusak’s character creates a music video commercial for the very real L.A. based Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles. The Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles video always cracks me up.

Whatever the origins or myths of C&W, The Coop Chicken and Waffles at the popular Cartlandia food cart pod gets it right. We love a cart with a simple, tight menu that specializes in just one or two dishes and perfects them. At The Coop, you get a choice of two cuts – chicken wings and breasts, in combinations of one or two waffles. Clever names accompany the options: “The Uncle B”: two waffles and one breast, or the “The Bird”: one wing and one waffle, and so on. You get your choice of waffle types as well: Buttermilk, Bacon, or Cornbread.

We opted for biggest menu item (no judgement, it was shared between three people),  “The Swaggy” – one breast, two wings, and two waffles, smothered in sweet syrup on a Buttermilk and a Bacon Waffle. Whew-boy, didn’t eat for the rest of the day after that. It was FILLING. But you know, it really was also pretty darn perfect.

Photo by Adam Wickham www.humanradio.org

Photo by Adam Wickham
www.humanradio.org

People who know me, know I’m a fanatic (ok, snob) about fried chicken. Blame it on my North Carolina “Mee-Maw” (that’s a Southern term for grandma) who made the best fried chicken (non-debatable) South of the Mason-Dixon line. Once you’ve had freshly prepared, honest to god, REAL friend chicken with a no B.S. crackly crust, made with a quality, tender bird, you can’t go back to that fast food heat-lamped nonsense. I’m happy to report The Coop makes their chicken with care: Big cuts of meat (no teeny tiny wings here), rolled in lightly seasoned and spiced flour, then fried to order – the fried chicken comes out perfectly non-greasy, crispy -tender and super juicy on the inside. Ain’t no overcooked dried meat and soggy crust at The Coop! The order may take a bit longer than dining at other carts, but the fresh-fried quality makes it worth the wait. This is good stuff. The waffles are also the way I like them – plate sized, small holed, a thin golden crust and melt-in your mouth interior.

Leonardo di Vinci said it best, “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” The Coop might be basic, their dish of Chicken and Waffles true simple down-home food, but man is it sure good.

Sample Menu:

  • Choice of Buttermilk, Cornbread, or Bacon Waffle
  • The Bird – one wing, one waffle – $5
  • The Uncle B – one breast, two waffles – $7
  • The Swaggy – one breast, two wings, two waffles – $12
  • Various soft drinks – prices vary

Phone: 503-866-3513
Website:
The Coop Chicken and Waffles

Ooh, Pasta

dieselboi
Ooh, Pasta

Ooh, Pasta

Location: SE 82nd and Harney – Cartlandia
Hours: Mon-Sat, 11am-8pm

The Story: Out east, at the Ala Carts food pod on SE 102nd and Stark (This vendor moved to Cartlandia in 2014), some vendors who have called the place home since 2010. This summer, new vendors arrived and one in particular is staking their claim. Ooh, Pasta offers up not just traditional pasta dishes, they put a twist into it.

As you walk up to the cart, you’re presented by a large placard with photos of the amazing dishes this vendor sells. Photos sell food, trust me. King and Tony welcomed me with bright smiles on one of those last days of summer a week ago. Tony, the chef behind the tasty array of dishes, had been cooking mostly Thai during his career. Yet his love of food and cooking brought him to combine his experience with different cultures’ cuisines and blend them together. A pasta fusion, one could say. One example is Noodles Gone Nuts with Italian noodles and a Thai Peanut sauce. East meets west.

Wooing Asparagus Carbonara

Wooing Asparagus Carbonara

There are specific meats and vegetables that will draw me to a dish and blind me to others. In summer, it is asparagus. I simply love it and want to enjoy it with nearly every meal. At Ooh, Pasta, Wooing Asparagus Carbonara popped out. All I really saw was asparagus and a picture of a pasta dish. Penne in a heavy cream with chopped asparagus, parsley, black pepper, bacon and chicken made to order came out piping hot mouth watering smells. I stabbed at the pasta, picked up a bit of asparagus and parsley and never looked back. Cheezy, creamy, savory and fresh. A rather large portion, I was able to enjoy it later in the day with a glass of wine and some football.

I’m excited to see the vendors out there succeed even with the harsh winters they get. Unlike closer in eastside or downtown, that location gets the stronger east wind that just batters eaters and vendors alike. Good on ya all for your efforts. Ooh, Pasta is a great addition to the lot. If you’re looking for a great pasta dish, look no further. Let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Flirting Clam Linguini – fresh tomatoes, white onion, parsley, white wine, baby clams, garlic sauce – $7
  • Noodles Gone Nuts – broccoli, carrots, white onion, red and green pepper, linguini in Thai Peanut Sauce – $7
  • Wooing Asparagus Carbonara – $7
  • Bashful Basil Primavera – red and green bell peppers, asparagus, tomatoes, basil, in Thai creamy sauce w/ chicken – $7

Phone: 503 919 1449
Facebook: 
Ooh, Pasta

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