Bake on the Run

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Location: Piknik Park – 1122 SE Tacoma

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Bake on the Run

The Story: Do you know where Guyana is? Did you know Portland has an authentic Guyanese food cart? Most don’t, but when you visit Bake on the Run at Piknik Park in Sellwood, owner and chef Michael Singh will use hand gestures to describe the country’s location sandwiched between Venezuela and Suriname and north of Brazil. A pretty cool description to get you in the mood for some authentic Guyanese cuisine.

Michael and his mother Bibi are the team behind Bake on the Run. I had the pleasure of meeting them awhile ago on one of my food cart tours while they were visiting Portland to see how we do it. Even then, I was intrigued to hear about the different dishes they were planning to offer, so when I discovered they opened the cart, I ventured south. Guyana has a number of culinary and cultural influences going back centuries ranging from Portuguese to Chinese and those influences are showcased in the dishes Mike and Bibi offer. On the menu you’ll find Bibi’s Chow Mein, noodles in teriyaki and soy mixed with veggies and chicken.

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Egg and Baclhau Bake from Bake on the Run

I was intrigued by the the namesake dish, the bake. A lightly fried bread which I can only describe as a modded puffed pastry, but less sweet is filled with your choice of items. I chose the Portuguese salted cod omelette. While we think of omelettes for breakfast, placing it in the bake was perfect for lunch. The mix of fried bread and the salty cod was divine and to top if off, Michael proffered some of his homemade spicy sauce which gave the dish the perfect amount of kick. You can also get the bake with a chickpea and potato curry or go sweet with jam and Nutella.

Portland’s food cart scene continues to evolve and I’m happy to report that new vendors like Bake on the Run are here to feed a new generation of eaters. You can find Bake on the Run’s authentic Guyanese cuisine at Piknik Park Food Cart Pod in Sellwood off Tacoma. They are open daily for lunch and offer covered and heated seating and a beer cart. When you visit, say hi to Mike and Bibi and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Facebook: Bake on the Run
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PDX Sliders

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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…]

Kiko's Taqueria Uruapan

John Chilson

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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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