Star Attraction

dieselboi
Star Attraction

Star Attraction

Location: SE 13th and Lexington in Sellwood
Hours: Wed-Fri, 8am-3pm; Sat/Sun, 8am-2pm

The Story: Portland! We know you love breakfast and brunch. Long lines and crowds prove it. Now’s the time to check out Star Attraction, a breakfast food cart down in the antique wonderland of Sellwood.

I enjoy a good breakfast, not the lines. I would rather hit up the greasy spoon or truckstop than the latest hot spot to avoid a line. When I discovered Star Attraction the other day, no line. Star Attraction, located at the long time lot at SE 13th and Lexington, is tucked into the back of the lot, but offers covered seating away from the traffic. Focusing on simple, yet robust breakfast fare, the menu is short an sweet with only a few items. Focus on what you do well and master it is what I always say and they have done it. Breakfast burritos, breakfast gnocchi, french toast and what I enjoyed, a stunning breakfast gordita.

Breakfast Gordita from Star Attraction

Breakfast Gordita from Star Attraction

A crisp corn cake filled with chorizo, cheese and potatoes and then topped with two eggs over easy. Runny eggs, chorizo, seasoned grilled potatoes and mouth burning pico de gallo sated me that morning and throughout the day. I crushed it and enjoyed every bit, even grabbing a spoon to scoop up the itty bits of crumbs left over. Potatoes, not usually a fave of mine, were grilled with just the right seasoning – reminded me of tater tots. Best Breakfast of the year so far.

Star Attraction does it right and from what I saw in the few minutes I was there, they have garnered a following from the hood. Next time you’re looking for that perfect Tiffany lamp and get a breakfast craving, drop on by Sellwood and let Star Attraction know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Breakfast Gnocchi – potato dumplings made from scratch sauteed in brown butter with herbs, bacon, tomatoes and mushrooms and topped with two eggs over easy – $7
  • Breakfast Gordita – $6
  • French Toast – two thick pieces of French toast topped with a peanut butter-cream cheese spread, fresh banana, maple chocolate syrup with bacon or sausage on the side – $6
  • Breakfast Burrito – $6

Facebook: Star Attraction

Trinidad Doubles

Brett Burmeister
Cleopatra's Kitchen

Cleopatra’s Kitchen

Location: SE 13th and Lexington in Sellwood
Hours: Mon-Sat, 11:30-7:30, Sun, 12-8pm

The Story:

Sellwood has long been a hub for street food vendors. While many upstarts head to the larger lots where they get traffic from the collective sum of eaters, Sellwood is known for having single carts who do really well over the years. The success of those early carts helped make the lot at SW 13th and Lexington a hug of street for for the neighborhood. Cleopatra’s Kitchen Trinidad Doubles, the newest cart on the lot offers up Mediterranean cuisine.

Cleopatra’s Kitchen has been open for a few months now, with Sarah, the owner, having  taken the cart and menu over from the previous owner. The chef stayed and does his magic behind the grill. While the cart offers true Mediterranean cuisine like beef kafta and falafel and dolmas, Sarah is introducing something new items never seen before in Portland – Trinidad Doubles. Doubles are two fried breads with curry chickpea filling and a sweet and spicy green mango sauce. A Caribbean-Indian fusion street food. Having just heard about it and it being on my mind, I mentioned it to a cab driver in New Orleans and he almost crashed so surprised someone knew about this amazing street food from his country. Small world. The Trinidad Doubles hit the cart this week, so I haven’t tried them, but am eager to visit the cart again.

Falafel from Cleopatra's Kitchen

Falafel from Cleopatra’s Kitchen

I’m an eater and return to the same foods over and over again to figure out the nuances. I tell myself it is research to discover who’s doing what that differentiates them from the others. I did it for burgers awhile back and now I’m finding myself eating a lot of falafel where there is a ton of variety. Lebanese, Egyptian, Iraqi or Syrian. Each cart has their own recipe and I’m hard pressed to discover one I don’t like. Cleopatra’s Kitchen falafel was made fresh as I waited and you could tell by that first soft bite. Still warm from frying, the outer fried shell was not hardened by the cooking process. While browned, I loved that it just mixed in with the fresh vegetables and tahini sauce to create a mix of everything. I found myself reaching in and pulling out the falafel to eat by itself instead of in the sandwich it was so good. Soft and flavorful and oh so delicious.

Cleopatra’s Kitchen Trinidad Doubles is open daily for lunch through dinner right on the corner of SE 13th and Lexington in the Sellwood neighborhood. There are covered picnic tables behind the cart for anyone to sit at and get out of the elements. It was great to talk with Sarah about her new menu item. She is so excited to introduce Portland to the Trinidad Doubles. Drop on by soon, check them out and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

[Cleopatra's Kitchen was renamed to Trinidad Doubles in 2012]

Sample Menu:

  • Falafel Sandwich – $6
  • Dolma – 75c each
  • Chicken Schawarma Sandwich – $7.50
  • Lamp Gyro – $6.50
  • Beef Kafta – $6.50
  • Lamb Plate – $7
  • Trinidad Doubles – 2 for $1.25

Hours: Mon-Sat, 11:30-7:30, Sun, 12-8pm
Phone: 503 388 1809
Website: CleopatrasKitchen.com

Weenies From Another World

dieselboi

Weenies From Another World

Location: SE 13th and Lexington
Hours: Tues-Sat, 11:30-7

The Story:

As you drive down Stark just past the huge steak sign of Sayler’s Country Kitchen, you come across the cart pod at SE 102nd and Stark. Watch out though, on a sunny day, you may just be blinded by the sun reflecting off one of the shiniest stainless steel carts I have ever seen. Maybe Weenies from Another World is from space.

The cart looks vintage with the curve of the design and the stainless steel sheathing, yet it is in fact brand new. Bill Botteron and his first mate Eli opened the cart with a bit of space humor and some excellent local products. As self-professed graduates of the “Interstellar school of Galactic Cuisine” Bill and Eli decided to take what some think as boring and make it fun. With dogs and burgers from Zenner’s and buns from Helen Bernhard bakery they put together some fun concoctions that, if you look close, are some of America’s favorites.

The Plutorago

The Plutorago

The Plutorago Dog is Weenies’ take on the traditional Chicago dog with mustard, neon relish, onion, tomato, pickle, sport peppers and celery salt served on a great little bun. You get your choice of dog – franfurter, bratwurst or Louisiana Hot. When you get your dog, you’ll notice it isn’t on a traditional hot dog bun, but set between two halves of this great bun. It looks like a spaceship. I had mine with a Louisiana hot and it was stellar – spicy hot with the sour of the relish and the soft, chewy but flaky bun. I don’t remember sport peppers being that spicy, and I loved them.

Weenies From Another World is now open at 102nd and Stark along with eight other carts. When it isn’t raining, they even have some live music at the lot. Bill serves up creative dogs and hamburgers and has a fryer to offer up fries and tater tots as sides. Drop on by, quiz him about his favorite vintage sci-fi movie (The Day the Earth Stood Still) and enjoy a dog. Let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

[Weenies From Another World moved to Sellwood in 2012]

Sample Menu:

  • The Plutorago Dog: wiener, mustard, neon relish, onions, tomato, pickle, sport pepper and celery salt – $5
  • Flash Gordon: wiener, ketchup, mustard, cheese and onions – $4
  • Silver Surfer: wiener with grilled onion, bell pepper and cheese – $5
  • Transporter: wiener with your choice of amazing toppings – $5
  • H.A.L.’s Hamburger: 1/3 lb beef burger with choice of fixin’s – $5
  • Veggie Space Pod: veggie Boca burger with choice of fixin’s  – $5
  • The Roswell Bacon Burger: 1/3lb beef burger, hickory smoked bacon, cheese – $6.50
  • Fries – $2
  • Tater Tots – $2
  • Cheese Fries – $3
  • Deep Fried Zucchini – $2

Phone: 971 404 4399
Website: Weeniesfromanotherworld.com
Facebook: Weenies from Another World

Bruce Lee’s Kitchen

John Chilson

Bruce Lee's KitchenLocation: SE 13th and Lexington, Sellwood

The Story:

The small block of food carts in Sellwood have seen some turnover during the past couple of years, some carts have shuttered while others have moved to different locations, which is completely natural – we’re talking mobile eateries here. Recently moving next door to Garden State [who are opening a new cart on Mississippi soon] is a welcome newcomer, Bruce Lee’s Kitchen.

The owner is upbeat and stoked to be in business. Her enthusiasm is awesome as were the tattered copies of “The Millionaire Next Door” and “Your Money or Your Life” next to the register. She’s ready, man.

The food? Hearty and huge portions. You can get it mild or spicy as you’d like it. I sampled the tofu stir fry which was served in hearty portions with bell peppers, carrots, onions, tofu and a side of white rice. How can one go wrong with a simple stir fry? It’s happened. Not so here, though. It was satisfying for a complete meal but I still managed to cram in a spring roll. Fresh, delicious and simple.

Future food carters: There’s enough foot traffic to keep the Sellwood food cart block in business. A couple more would make it more vibrant.

Sample Menu:

  • Pad Thai, chicken or tofu $5.50
  • Stir Fry, chicken or tofu $5.50
  • Red Curry, chicken or tofu, $5.50
  • Teriyaki chicken, $5.50
  • Fried Rice, $5.50
  • Various appetizers, including spring rolls, salad rolls, vegetable pot stickers, ranging in price from $1.25 to $2.50.

Hours: Daily, Monday through Sunday
Phone: 503-320-8269

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