Chicken and Guns

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chicken food cart portland

Chicken and Guns

Location: SE 12th and Hawthorne at Cartopia
Hours: Wed-Sun, 11:30am-12am

The Story: Cartopia continues to excite the food cart scene of Portland. Defined as Portland’s late night food cart pod, after a remodel this past winter, it may now be one of the city’s most welcoming pods with a large tent and a new vendor. Chicken and Guns opened in June featuring their signature roasted Latin chicken.

Dustin Knox is a name one would know if you’ve been eating at the carts for more than a few years. The founder and owner of Perierra Creperie at Cartopia, Dustin has also made inroads with a couple of brick and mortar locations in the past few years. Yet, the siren song of the food cart called him back and with his parter Todd Radcliffe, they designed and built the beautiful cart that houses Chicken and Guns. This isn’t you’re friend’s grilled chicken. Todd and Dustin wanted to shoot for the stars, so partnered with Canby’s Scratch Farm for naturally raised chicken. Further, Todd designed the racks and grill to roast the chicken just right. Then, they added salad. Who doesn’t enjoy a simple fresh salad with meal? A trifecta of awesomeness.

chicken food cart portland

Latin Roasted Chicken from Chicken and Guns

Chicken and Guns focuses on Latin chicken roasted over oak and mesquite. What makes it latin chicken? Well, a mixture of seasoning and chimichurri that adds a depth of flavor complimented by wood smoke. Portion sizes can be a quarter or half a chicken. If you’re an eater, go for the half, you’ll thank me. Sides include crispy potatoes with lemon and sea salt and a Peruvian sauce or a salad of seasonally selected greens and mandolin sliced veggies. You can add a fried egg to any meal and why wouldn’t you. Succulent, sweet, juicy. Messy, exiting, a moment of clarity. Seriously, some of the best chicken I’ve enjoyed in a long time.

Chicken and Guns nails it. The cart, with an eating bar crafted from a huge chunk of oak, was put together with reclaimed materials, giving it a weathered and authentic feel. Open Wednesday to Sunday for lunch and dinner and even later, you have no reason not to visit. Drop on by next time you’re in the neighborhood and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

Latin Chicken – 1/4 – $8; 1/2 – $14  – includes choice of sides – potatoes or salad

Add local farm egg for $2

Website: ChickenandGuns.com
Twitter: @ChickenandGuns
Facebook: Chicken and Guns

PBJ’s Grilled Cartopia

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PBJ's Grilled

PBJ’s Grilled

Location: SE 12th and Hawthorne
Hours: Tues-Thurs, 12pm-12am; Fri/Sat, 12pm-3am; Sun, 12pm-12am

The famous PBJ’s Grilled has expanded with a cart at Cartopia, Portland’s original late night pod. Menu can be found at PBJsGrilled.com

El Brasero

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El Brasero

El Brasero

Location: SE 12th and Hawthorne

Description:

On a sunny Sunday, post Thanksgiving, no one wants leftovers. This is the time to go out and get something far different than what you have been consuming over the previous few days. Mexican food was the choice for me and we I decided on El Brasero, a Mexican taqueria in Cartopia, that amazing late night cart pod on SE 12th and Hawthorne.

El Brasero has been at Cartopia as long as I can remember. While it isn’t getting the press and accolades its pod partners receive, El Brasero has managed to create a strong following of customers. Every time I’m at the pod, there is an equal number of customers there as there are at the other carts. My roommate has been singing their praises for weeks now, so I decided to visit.

Carnitas Burrito from El Brasero

Carnitas Burrito from El Brasero

When I try a new Mexican cart, I usually have tacos as the gauge of the cart’s food. This time, however, I needed more than a taco, so I opted for the Carnitas burrito. Braised, roasted small chunks of pork is as far from turkey I could get. The burrito came with rice, beans, onions, tomatoes and sour cream, all wrapped in a very tasty flour tortilla. And it was tasty. They have a green salsa that I swear is 100% chopped up jalapenos. Not as spicy as the red sauce, but very flavorful and perfect against the carnitas. The burrito is rather large, so could be shared amongst a group, along with items from the other carts.

El Brasero has a vast menu with what seems like 100’s of items. Tacos, burritos, sopas, tortas, etc. They also have breakfast burritos for you early risers and a good list of vegetarian burritos that include ingredients like jicama, mushrooms, veggie chorizo, or cactus. El Brasero can feed you any time of the day and should be able to cater to most anyone’s food cravings. Couple that with being in the same location with the other cart stars and you have a recipe for success. Next time you are down that way, give El Brasero a visit and tell them Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Breakfast Burritos – egg, potato and cheese with your choice of meat – $4.50
  • Chicken Burrito – grilled chicken, onions, tomatoes, chile, cilantro, lettuce, sour cream – $5.75
  • Carnitas Burrito – chunks of pork braised in orange juice w/ lettuce, chile, onions, tomatoes, sour cream – $5.75
  • Fish Burrito – arrez fish, pico de gallo, chipotle sauce – $7.50
  • Quesadilla – flour tortilla filled with cheese and folded with pico de gallo – $5.75
  • Sope – hand made tortilla fried and covered with beans, onions, fresh cheese, lettuce and sour cream – $4.75
  • Nachos – $4.75
  • Tacos with your choice of meat – $1.50
  • Vegetarian Burritos – choice of zucchini, jicama, mushroom, cactus, veggie chorizo – $5-$7

Hours: Daily plus weekends – morning through late night
Contact: unknown

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Pyro Pizza

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Pyro Pizza

Pyro Pizza

Location: SE 12th and Hawthorne at Cartopia
Hours: Tues-Sun, 11:30am-3am; Closed at 1am in winter

Description:

Friday night on the town. Happy hour at a fancy restaurant in the Pearl with cocktails made from fancy gin and vodka. Where does one go for dinner after such an event? Cartopia! Yes, indeed. We cruised down to SE 12th and Hawthorne to get some food and specifically, try the new Pyro Pizza.

Pyro Pizza is the latest from pizza guru John Eads. You may know him from his other pizza adventure – Give Pizza a Chance – which has graced a downtown spot now for a couple of years and is always busy. John wanted to try something different – wood oven pizza. And by try, I mean build a few by hand and work out the bugs. The oven in the cart at SE 12th and Hawthorne is the 6th iteration and by the taste of the pizza, I think he worked out the kinks.

The night we arrived, it was cool and wet, but not raining. The cart sits high, so they have a small deck to step up to in order to be face to face with them while ordering. You can smell the alder and pine burning away in the oven and feel the warmth while you peruse the menu and order. Just reading the menu makes your mouth water, offering up 12″ pies of all sorts, made right there when you order. While I love a good meat bonanza, I decided upon the traditional margarita so our whole group could enjoy some if they wanted. While we chatted about the new cart and I took some photos, John quickly made my pizza and before I knew it, they were handing to me. Less than 5 minutes, maybe even shorter. Now that is a hot oven.

Margarita from Pyro Pizza

Margarita from Pyro Pizza

The margarita was a great blend of marinara sauce, mozzarella and fresh basil all on a whole wheat crust. The crust was thin and tasty and even the edges kept me intrigued. Ask anyone, I’m not a crust end eater and that evening, I ate every last bit. It was hard to offer up pieces to my friends. The pie is pretty large for $8 and could easily feed two people.

Pyro Pizza is now open at SE 12th and Hawthorne. The glory of that pod is that you can go down there, get a pie and also have a pick at some of the other carts to round out a meal. Take a group and have a potluck. John admits they are “working out the kinks.” Not sure what that means because my pie was excellent. Stop on by and enjoy some wood oven pizza and tell them Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Antipasts – sliced fresh mozzarella layered with plum tomatoes, fresh basil and balsamic vinigar – $5
  • Traditional Margarita pizza – fresh marinara sauce, mozzarella di buffalo, fresh basil, and a dash of olive oil – $8
  • Pepperoni – fresh marinara sauce, mozzarella cheese and locally produced peperoni – $7
  • Caramelized onion – caramelized torpedo onions, gorgonzola and parmigiano-reggiano cheese with pistachios – $8
  • Cuattro formaggi – a blend of fresh mozzarella, sheep’s cheese, gorgonzola and parmigiano-reggiano – $8
  • Homemade sodas also available

Hours: Tues-Sun, 11:30am-3am; Closed at 1am in winter
Email: pyropizzacart@gmail.com
Website: Pyro Pizza
Twitter: Pyro Pizza
Facebook: Pyro Pizza

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Perierra Creperie

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Location: SE 12th and Hawthorne

Description:

11:47pm on a Saturday night and you have the munchies.  You’ve had too many tacos and pizza in your life and you’re looking for something new.  I suggest you head down to SE 12th and Hawthorne and grab a Crepe.

Perierra Creperie makes both sweet and savory crepes with all kinds of ingredients.  Want something with smoked salmon?  They got it.  What about asparagus?  Yup.  How about lemon or nutella or pear or strawberry?  If you can think of it, they probably have it and can make it into a yummy crepe.  I was indeed there around 12:15am one Friday evening and the carts were as my friend puts it “popping off.”  Potato Champion next door was pretty crowded, but I wanted something more substantial, so I opted for the mozarella, soprasetta, basil and red pepper.  mmmmm, soprasetta.  Look at that yummy goodness:

Crepe

It seemed like it only took a couple of seconds for the crepe pancake to brown enough for her to flip it and then add the ingredients and then a few seconds more and it was in my hands then in my belly.   Such a great replacement for the late night nosh.  The New York Times even took in some crepes on a recent visit.

Finished Crepe

Sample Menu:

  • Lemon and sugar – $3.50
  • Nutella and banana – $5
  • Chocolate and prosciutto –  $5
  • Walnut + honey + cardamom + corriander – $5
  • add frangelico or grand marnier to any of the sweet for $1
  • Gogonzola, pear, walnut, honey – $7
  • Ham and Gruyere – $6
  • Mozarella, soprasetta, basil, red pepper – $8
  • Smoke salmon, cream cheese, arugula, lemon – $8
  • Shakes and smoothies available also

Hours: Tues – Sat: 8am-3am; Sunday: 9am – 3pm
Email: perierra@gmail.com
Website: Perierra on Facebook

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