Operation Wings

chicken wing food cart portland

Operation Wings

Location: SE 52nd and Foster at Carts on Foster
Hours: daily and on weekends for lunch and dinner

The Story: Chicken wings are as American as apple pie. One day, I’ll make the road trip back east to thank the owners of the Anchor Bar in Buffalo for the many years of enjoyment. Operation Wings, a food cart at Carts on Foster, is one of the few vendors in town who specialize in the tasty and messy treat.

Operation Wings does wings. Simple as that. Focus on what you do well and grow a loyal following. The cart opened to honor Petty Officer 1st Class Jeff Lucas, a Navy Seal, who was killed in action during Operation Red Wings in 2005. What better way to honor a friend and patriot than with great food that excites the tastebuds of everyone who enjoys them. Just reading through the Yelp! reviews, you realizes they are crushing it with their fans. So many different flavors, it was difficult to choose – Mango Habanero; Teriyaki, Jamaican Jerk; Booming BBQ; Zesty Pineapple Hawaiian; Traditional Frank’s Red Hot; Maple Bacon. WOW! Being a bit of purist, I grabbed a plate of Frank’s Red Hot and some tots. With a beer from the Pod Bar, I dove in. Crispy, spicy, messy, fresh. Those were the words that popped into my head at every bite. I’m no professional wing eater. Usually, I imbibe only on Super Bowl Sunday, but Operation Wings was calling my name and I’m glad I stopped by. These are the real deal. Next up for me, Honey Bourbon. chicken wing food cart portland

Operation Wings nailed it. With an extensive menu of wing flavors along with pork options, tater tots and waffle bites, there’s something for everyone. Next time you’re down of Foster, drop on by and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu: (full menu on website)

Wing baskets are $6 for small and $11 for large.

Website: Operation Wings
Facebook: Operation Wings

Plane Pastries

dessert food cart portland

Plane Pastries

Location: SE 52nd and Foster, Carts on Foster
Hours: Wednesday-Sunday, 10am-3pm

The Story: Portland is ga ga about sweets. We have artisan chocolatiers, organic ice cream, cupcake vendors, pie shops and more. It’s as if we have our own collective sweet tooth. The carts however only have a few who present sweets to the public in one form or another. Plane Pastries is one of the newest vendors to bring cookies, brownies and cupcakes for those who have a soft spot for sugar.

Kris Butler opened the cart this past summer after working for over a year to develop her project. Kris has led an adventurous life up until now. She joined the Air Force at age 17 and spent six years in airborne intelligence. After her honorable discharge, she used her military education benefits to attend Oregon Culinary Institute here in Portland where she learned her craft. After graduating, the adventure continues with helicopter flight training. Yep, this pastry chef knows how to fly helicopters. You don’t find that everyday. The cart and logo are modeled after vintage aircraft and a bit of the pinup motif. Kris has adorned the inside with posters of vintage flying machines including a black and white of Amelia Earhart in front of her Lockheed Electra 10E.

dessert food cart portland

Rice Krispy Treat from Plane Pastries

Kris is focusing on handmade pastries including cookies, brownies and cupcakes. She even makes her own caramel. While I wanted to sample everything, I opted for one of my childhood favorites, the rice krispy treat. Kris makes it with brown butter and adds in a bit of cayenne to switch things up a bit. It wasn’t spicy by any means, but you could tell this wasn’t mom’s recipe. Creamy and crunchy. Took me back to simpler times.

I really enjoyed chatting with Kris and learning about her life and passions. She’s one of those vendors who brings everything to the table. Kris will be featured on the Food Network show Cupcake Wars Season 3 on November 23rd at 8pm. While the war has already been fought, check out the show to see who won. If you’re looking for something sweet or maybe a nice cup of coffee, drop on by Plane Pastries and let Kris know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • “It’s All Wright” Cookie – $2
  • “Voodoo” Caramel Bar – $4
  • “Black Widow” Brownie – $3
  • “Whirlwind” Rice Krispie – $3

Website: Planepastries.com
Facebook: Plane Pastries
Twitter: @PlanePastries

The Angry Unicorn

burger food cart portland

The Angry Unicorn

Location: SE 52nd and Foster, Carts on Foster
Hours: Wed-Sun, 11am-9pm

The Story: Did you know that Portland was built atop an ancient unicorn graveyard? The rumors are true. Why else would you see random tall bikes commuting downtown or Darth Vader playing the bagpipes while riding a unicycle. Unicorns are magical and at The Angry Unicorn, they take that magic and make burgers.

All kidding aside, John and April Scarlett wanted to launch a food cart with burgers and bites, but needed that one nugget of unique to draw people in. They loved the iconography of unicorns, the images and pictures, but John realized sometimes they appeared angry and irritated and The Angry Unicorn was born. Beer may have been involved, but in this case, the end result is brilliant.

burger food cart portland

The Unicorn Burger

At The Angry Unicorn, they focus on burgers and small bites. With a ‘magical’ burger with ground bacon (real Unicorn Meat) along with strips of bacon, cheddar and veggies, you get a great sandwich. I had never though of mixing chopped bacon with Angus to create a burger. While normally served between a glazed doughnut, I opted for the Portland French Bakery’s pub bun, truly one of the better burger buns in this city. Chewy, with a dusting of flower on top, the bun perfectly complemented the burger, cheese, lettuce and tomato. No condiments needed for this gem. The flavors were enough to impress this burger jerk.

The Angry Unicorn has a great list of burgers including the portobello with grilled onion, peppers and Swiss. There are bacon fries, portobello fries, french fries and items for the kids. If you’re in the neighborhood, be sure to drop by, try some Unicorn and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Unicorn Burger: magical meat w/ground bacon, strips of bacon, cheddar on glazed doughnut – $7
  • The Hottie: jalapeno, grilled onion and peppers, pepper jack cheese, spicy cream cheese – $7
  • The Best Burger: burger mixed with ground bacon, bacon strips, gorgonzola, roasted garlic, cheddar – $7
  • Portobello Mushroom: grilled portobello mushroom, grilled onion, peppers, Swiss cheese – $7
  • Bacon Fries – $4
  • Portobello Fries – $4

Facebook: The Angry Unicorn

The Sugar Shop

dessert food carts portland

The Sugar Shop

Location: SE 52nd and Foster – Carts on Foster
Hours: Mon-Sun, 11am-8pm

The Story: Instead of grabbing a gyro or a burger or a bowl of Pad Thai, why not go down the sweet train and get something from The Sugar Shop for lunch. I remember something as a kid about eating dessert first when I was an adult.

The Sugar Shop is one of the few mobile vendors out there serving up sweets and baked goods like cookies, cakes and cheesecakes. Autumn and Shannon attended OCI together where they both studied in the baking and pastry program. After school, in jobs they admit weren’t taking them anywhere, brainstorming over Margaritas on Cinco De Mayo, the cart plan was born. They had the chops to pull it off and the cart is darn cute. Red seems to be the color of sweets.

dessert food carts portland

Peppermint Cheesecake Brownie

If I lived closer to The Sugar Shop, I would probably gain a few pounds. I’m not the one to order dessert after dinner nor grab a frozen yogurt as a snack, but cookies are my downfall. Put out a platter of well made cookies and I can’t turn away. Here you can get white chocolate stuffed snickerdoodle or oatmeal cranberry or dark chocolate and bacon, cookies mom never made. I asked Autumn and Shannon what their favorites were – cheesecake and anything with caramel. I picked up the peppermint cheesecake brownie, a thin slice of decadence. Chocolate and peppermint and swirl. Just what I needed after spicy Indian. Looking at the menu, they put together flavors that simply intrigue me – salted caramel or whiskey caramel with a pecan crust.

The Sugar Shop isn’t all sweets. They offer savory choices with chicken pot pie or spinach, mushroom and feta hand pies. Open every day from lunch past dinner, there is no reason not to stop by and pick something up to sate that craving you know you have. Drop on by and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

[The Sugar Shop moved to NE Alberta October 2013]

Sample Menu:

  • Cookies – multiple options – $1.50
  • Cakes – $3.50 – bourbon cake w/milk chocolate buttercream; red velvet cake with cream cheese icing, lemon cake with tart lemon glaze and more
  • Cheesecake – $3.50 – classic; housemade Nutella swirl; cheesecake bar with pecan crust and whiskey caramel topping
  • Mousse – $3.50 – chocolate honey; triple chocolate; vanilla honey
  • Brownies and Bars – $3.50 – salted caramel stuffed gooey brownies, lemon bars

Hours: Mon-Sun, 11am-8pm
Website: TheSugarShopPDX.com
Facebook: The Sugar Shop
Twitter: @TheSugarShopPDX

Roadrunner BBQ

Brett Burmeister
bbq food cart portland

RoadRunner BBQ

Location: SE 52nd and Foster, Carts on Foster
Hours: Thurs-Sun, 11am-6pm

The Story:

When I first set eyes upon the Roadrunner BBQ truck, I questioned whether they were serious about BBQ or about having some fun. The bright red truck is adorned with a full size Chief Wiggum from The Simpsons. But, Roadrunner BBQ has made a name for itself and I was eager to taste some good Q.

RoadRunner arrived in Portland over a year ago and has been at Carts on Foster for at least a few months. Jimmy, the owner, is a Dallas native and admits he’s not a chef, but a meat cutter. I think knowing how to break down a cow qualifies one to cook it. With mesquite from Mexico, Jimmy smokes his brisket for 12-14 hours before he feels it is right to serve. Now that’s dedication. Learn patience young man were Jimmy’s parting words.

bbq food cart portland

Chopped Brisket Sandwich From RoadRunner BBQ

Brisket is what’s in store when visiting the red truck. While he does offer smoked pork butt, four of the six items on the menu are brisket. You can get a sandwich or a plate, chopped or sliced. A chopped brisket sandwich for me! I want to dive into the fatty bits and taste the salty chewy crust. Jimmy doesn’t skimp. I swear there was at least 1/2 lb of chopped brisket there and every bit of it was a salty, meaty moist delight. A sign of brisket well done is the red between the inner meat and the crust and Jim had that spot on.

Portland has some great vendors who do excellent BBQ, but RoadRunner BBQ has raised the bar. If you’re a BBQ fan, you need to head out there and try what Jim has to offer and judge for yourself. Located at SE 52nd and Foster, the lot now has indoor heated seating and a pod bar with beer and wine. Drop on by and let Jimmy know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample menu:

  • Sliced Brisket Plate with 2 sides – $10
  • Chopped Brisket Plate with 2 sides – $9
  • Pork Butt Plate with 2 sides – $9
  • Chicken Breast Plate with 2 sides – $7
  • Sliced Brisket sandwich  -$7
  • Chopped Brisket sandwich – $6
  • Chopped Pork Butt sandwich – $6
  • Sides, $1.50 each – potato salad,creamy cole slaw, baked beans, mac & cheese

Hours: Thurs-Sun, 11am-6pm
Phone:503 310 2837