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


J Mo’s Sandwich Shack

Brett Burmeister
J Mo's Sandwich Shack

J Mo’s Sandwich Shack

Location: SE 52nd and Foster
Hours: daily, 11-7 – call ahead to check

The Story:

Home of the ‘Dirty Mo’ is the phrase on the business card. How can’t you not wonder what a Dirty Mo is and seek it out. Jason “J Mo” Moreno is the man behind Cartlandia’s newest cart and brings his tasty sandwiches to the lot.

Jason has been accused of being too much of a dreamer, but what’s wrong with that? We should all chase some sort of dream and opening a restaurant what Jason’s. After some work, he realized that a cart would be the best way to start off on this journey and used Craigslist to source the cart and all the innards. Jason offers sandwiches, soups and salads with a smile and a hearty hello.

The Italian

The Italian

The day we visited, the menu offered a couple of sandwiches and a chopped green salad. Having just enjoyed a pulled pork sandwich the day before, I decided on The Italian. Full disclosure time – I was first introduced to the Italian style sub at Subway in the early 80’s in Gresham. Whenever I get a chance, I try everyone else’s to try and wash the Subway taste from my memory. With salami, Mortadella, provolone, pickles and yellow mustard on a fresh roll, this is the style of Italian I crave. J Mo gets his bread from An Xuyen Bakery down off Foster and the only way I can describe it is fluffy and crunchy. When eying the sandwich cut in half, there is bun, meat and bun. As a kid, I wouldn’t appreciate the value of the bread in a sandwich like this, assuming I had been jipped on meat. Now, I realize it is about balance and with the right bread, you can have even less innards and still create a work of art. J Mo has managed this with The Italian. Every bite had crunchy soft bread, salty salami, a bit of pickle and the tang of mustard. So good.

You’re probably wondering about the Dirty Mo. While not on the menu the day we visited, J Mo described it as fried spaghetti on garlic cheese bread with homemade marinara sauce. You can add meatballs or sausage to amp it up a bit. Sounds enticing. J Mo’s Sandwich Shack is now open at Cartlandia which also sports a beer garden, so head on down for one of his excellent creations and let him know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

J Mo’s moved to SE 52nd and Foster in August 2013

Sample Menu:

  • The Dirty Mo – $8
  • Flying Barracuda Pulled Pork – $8
  • The Italian – salami, Mortadella, Provolone – $8
  • Chopped Green Salad – $5

Hours: daily, 11-7, but still working out the details
Facebook: JMosSandwichShack

The Egg Carton

Food Carts Portland

breakfast food cart portlandLocation: SE 52nd and Foster
Mon, Thurs, Fri, 8:30am-2pm; Sat, Sun, 9am-3pm

The Story:  When Portland’s breakfast obsession becomes a skit on Portlandia, you know it has to be true. Portlanders love brunch and breakfast, as the hour long waits and mile long lines at many PDX breakfast joints will attest. So here’s a tip – check out the new breakfast food cart The Egg Carton on SE Foster. Besides the clever pun of a name, this cart has plenty of covered seating, high quality breakfast vittles, and no long lines. Hurrah! Power to the Portland Breakfast People!

Do you like Eggs Benedict in all it’s rich, buttery, velvety, Hollandaise Sauce glory? The Egg Carton offers three versions of it: the traditional Canadian Bacon version, one with fresh tomato and basil, or a Louisiana style Benedict with Andouille sausage.

Or if something sweeter starts your morning engine, try their French Toast with maple Bourbon syrup, or the French Toast with fresh Oregon Strawberries and whipped cream. Yes please!

breakfast food cart portlandBut it’s the FoPo Cristo that already seems to be The Egg Carton’s signature dish: A perfect combo of sweet and savory. Named after the nickname for the Foster-Powell neighborhood this cart is located in, The Egg Carton’s version of the Monte Cristo sandwich is outrageously good and decadent – stuffed with an oozey yolk fried egg, cheddar cheese, bacon, Canadian bacon, sweet and spicy mustard, strawberry jam, all between two thick cut pieces of French Toast and dusted with powdered sugar. Yes, it’s rich. Yes, it’s filling. And whew, did I not just satisfy two hungry adults with this sandwich for a total of $7? I did! Thanks Egg Carton!

breakfast food cart portlandIn between sips of The Egg Carton’s refreshing Red Sunrise (a mimosa mocktail made with fresh squeezed OJ, gingerale, and fresh raspberries), I managed to talk with the very friendly and enthusiastic owners of The Egg Carton. Sarah and Tim left solid careers in retail (Sarah) and in law (Tim) to open up their little blue dream cart. Sarah started methodically and slow – working at the Woodstock Farmers Market for two years doing various food related jobs, studying food, catering, and even writing about food on her own blog =

Local, seasonal foods are part of this cart’s mission, and the quality of ingredients shines through. They do warn everyone about their newness with a sign, “…The Egg Carton is a work in progress…,” but we can’t wait to see what else they have in store. Keep your eyes on The Egg Carton, they have all the makings to become a Portland food cart classic.

Sample Menu:

  • Eggs Benedict. With Canadian Bacon, Tomato & Basil, or Andouille Sausage Patty – $7 (half order $5)
  • French Toast with Maple Bourbon Syrup – $6
  • French Toast with Fresh Seasonal Fruit and Whipped Cream – $7
  • FoPo Cristo – Fried egg, cheddar cheese, Canadian bacon, bacon, strawberry jam. Served between French Toast slices and dusted with powdered sugar – $7
  • Fresh Fruit Side – $1
  • Bacon, two slices – $1
  • Fresh Squeezed OJ – $2
  • Red Sunrise (Mimosa Mocktail) – $3
  • Cellar Door Coffee (Local Microroast) – $1.50/$2/$2.25

Hours: Mon, Thurs, Fri, 8:30am-2pm; Sat, Sun, 9am-3pm


Kusina sa Gulong

Edna's Philippine Cuisine

Edna’s Philippine Cuisine

Location: SE 52nd and Foster

Hours: lunchtime, weekdays and weekends

The Story:

Philippine Cuisine featuring pork adobo, tilapia with steamed vegetables, chicken afritada and other delights. More details coming soon.


Sanjai’s Teriyaki

Sanjai's Teriyaki

Sanjai's Teriyaki

Location: SE 52nd and Foster
Hours: Everyday, 11am-6pm

The Story:

Some of the first street food I enjoyed back as a younger man was yakisoba noodles. While it is now widely available throughout the city, finding it on a cool winter day while driving through southeast Portland brought back some great memories. Sanjai’s Teriyaki has some great yakisoba.

Sanjai’s Teriyaki started as a street vendor doing events and catering. I had heard about them and how good they were from friends who had enjoyed their food at the Pirate Festival. When I saw the cart at the lot on 52nd and Foster, I did a loop around the neighborhood and parked. I needed some lunch. The menu offers yakisoba noodles, Pad Thai noodles and fried rice – with or without chicken. Pretty straightforward and simple which allows them to focus on what they do well. I asked for my vegetarian yakisoba noodles to be super spicy – Thai spicy. They obliged and even threw in a small cup of their spicy Thai pepper oil. I commented that I love the Thai oil and the owner, Tony, detailed how to make it at home for myself. I ended up walking away with some great noodles which were blazingly spicy and a recipe for myself. A win-win situation. The noodles, with chopped cabbage, sliced carrot and plenty of hot oil were just what I was looking for and satisfied my craving.

Yakisoba Noodles from Sanjai's Teriyaki

Yakisoba Noodles from Sanjai's Teriyaki

Sanjai’s Teriyaki is now open at the pod at SE 52nd and Foster which now has indoor seating and is looking to add a cocktail cart in the near future. If you’re in the area, drop on by and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Yakisoba Noodles – $6; w/chicken, $8
  • Pad Thai Noodles – $6; w/chicken, $8
  • Fried Rice – $6; w/chicken, $8
  • Combo plate with all of the above – $10
  • Eggroll – $2

Hours: Everyday, 11am-6pm
Contact: 503 453 3096
Facebook: Sanjai’s Teriyaki