PDX Sliders

dieselboi
PDX Sliders

PDX Sliders

Location: 8064 SE 17th, north of Tacoma
Hours: Tus-Thurs, 11am-7pm; Fri/Sat, 11am-close; Sun, 12pm-close

The Story: College introduced me to peers from around the country. I remember a friend asking if I wanted to grab a slider. I honestly had no idea what a slider was and no where in McMinnville offered them, so Safeway sold us ground beef and rolls and we set out to make sliders in the dormitory kitchen. Burned and not that flavorful, a new memory was born. Nowadays, sliders are everywhere and in all shapes and styles. A new food cart – PDX Sliders – is bringing their take on the little burger to southeast Portland.

Ryan Rollins, like many who have dove into the food cart scene in the last few years, had another career in another industry before taking the leap into food service. Granted, his tenure at Dairy Queen as a teen may have stoked the entreprenurial spirit. Ryan’s family, including his wife, have worked or owned businesses in the food industry, creating a support structure for Ryan. The slider concept came about after some time seeing restaurants creating bigger and bigger burgers. Further, there are few businesses who solely focus on the mini-burger. Ryan wanted to do the opposite. Ryan’s wife’s culinary education came into play when crafting the menu and weekly specials come about with the help of friends who both work in the cart and at local restaurants. Truly a collaborative effort between friends and family.

Sellwood Slider from PDX Sliders

Sellwood Slider from PDX Sliders

At PDX Sliders, Ryan and team craft everything from scratch daily. Ryan proudly proclaims they don’t have a freezer. Fries are fresh cut every morning. You can taste the freshness in the burger. On the menu, you find traditional sliders along with cart crafted gems. I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying the Broadway with braised pork, Mamma Lil’s peppers, baby arugula and house maid spicy aioli on a ciabatta bun. Not traditional, yet amazing. On a recent visit, I picked up the Sellwood, a burger with bacon, Beechers Flagship Cheddar, grilled onions, butter lettuce and aioli served on a brioche bun. A juicy, messy treat on a cool winter day. At the prices they charge, why not pick out a couple. There is something for everyone on this menu. The St. Johns is a marinated portabella. The Ross Island, a house-made black bean chipotle patty. Burgers are cooked to medium doneness and you can swap out bread for butter lettuce if you want to make it gluten free.

PDX Sliders is a great addition to the street food scene here in Portland. Located in the Sellwood neighborhood, this is one vendor I hope will expand north. Open every day except Monday for both lunch and beyond, there is plenty of opportunity to pick up some nosh. Drop on by and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

Sliders are $3.50; Fries, $2

  • Sellwood – burger, bacon, Cheddar, grilled onions, butter lettuce on brioche bun
  • Hawthorne – burger, bacon, goat cheese, strawberry preserves on brioche bun
  • Steel – two burgers, bacon, American cheese, grilled onions, aioli on brioche bun
  • Burnside – house made meatballs, roasted romas, Mozzarella on ciabatta bun
  • Ross Island – house made black bean chipotle patty, pepper jack, butter lettuce on brioche bun

Phone: 971 717 5271
Website
: PDXSliders.com
Facebook: PDX Sliders
Twitter: @PDXSliders

Zenbu

dieselboi

Location: SE 13th and Lexington [updated August, 2010]

The Story:

Last week I made the mistake by proclaiming that another cart was the first sushi cart. I screwed up. While that cart is the first to serve Chinese, Zenbu should have received the kudos for being first on the scene with fish sushi as they opened in early May. Along with sushi, Zenbu serves up plenty of other Asian inspired dishes for you to enjoy.

Tucked away in the corner of a burgeoning new pod on N Albina, just south of Blandena street, this vintage airstream is what I always picture as the quintessential food cart. Airstreams remind me of the 70’s when my parents would pack us in the giant station wagon and trek off for 2-3 weeks during the summer to camp across America. During those long drives on America’s byways, the Airstreams would pass and we would marvel at the shiny chrome skin and invent crazy stories about the people who lived inside. Now, I see them being reborn as food carts, my adult love and it makes me smile. [Read more…]

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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Kiko's Taqueria Uruapan

John Chilson

kikos-sign1

Location: SE 13th and Lexington, Sellwood

Description: If you’ve ever been 16, hanging out in Tijuana on Avenida Revolucion on a school night chugging beer, cheap tequila and Cokes and brandy and needed something to eat to soak it up before waiting in the always slow border line to get back to your suburban San Diego home before your parents noticed you were gone – you always went to one of the many taco carts dotted along Revolucion.

That first taste of taco I still remember vividly: a simple corn tortilla, some carne, maybe some cilantro and a squeeze of lemon – pure heaven. And pure simplicity.

Unfortunately, many Mexican restaurants in Portland – especially those offering tacos – drench soppy, sloppy red salsa on their food that dominates what should be a simple affair.

Enter Kiko’s Taqueria Uruapan – a cart/coach in the budding Sellwood food cart mecca. The menu is simple – and is small enough to display in hand-painted writing on the side of the cart: tacos, burritos, quesadillas and tortas.

You don’t have to be loaded on booze or cash or 16 to enjoy the food here either. Not only is the food fresh and delicious, it’s cheap- one dollar for a taco. One dollar.

[Read more…]

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