Graffiti Sandwich

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Graffiti Sandwich

Graffiti Sandwich

Location: SE 48th and Woodstock
Hours: Wed-Sun, 11-7

The Story: What’s the definition of graffiti? Is it art or mischief? I’ve seen some amazing graffiti out there – a mishmash of styles and colors almost indiscernable as either a word or name or object. At Graffiti Sandwich, the chef takes traditional style sandwiches and paints his own creations.

Travis, the sandwich chef, worked his way up the restaurant food chain from sous chef in Montana to head chef in Idaho to owner of The Tartan in Coeur d’alene before coming down to Portland and building out a superb cart and opening in Woodstock. He and his wife Maureen have known each other since high school and even then were crafty. Fast forward 20 years and the cart was born. Travis needed to get back in the kitchen. Looking at the menu he offers, you see familiar looking sandwiches you may have enjoyed in the past, yet then there are subtle differences and you think to yourself – “I never thought to do that with pork belly”. His Ono Chicken sandwich, for example, started as a Japanese-Hawaiian pasta dish which he tweaked and put on a bun. Fermented black beans mixed with cream cheese and garlic soy marinated chicken. Oh, and the buns from Fluer de Lis bakery here in town are some of the best. I honestly don’t mind getting that light bit of flour from the top of the bun all over my dark shirt.

Da Nang Pork Sandwich from Graffiti Sandwich

Da Nang Pork Sandwich from Graffiti Sandwich

The Da Nang Pork is Travis’ version of a banh mi. Pork meatballs, Vietnamese slaw, cilantro, sriracha may and hoisin peanut butter make up this creation. The bun is chewy and moist, a perfect delivery device for the savory pork mixed with the spice of the sriracha and the sweet of the hoisin butter. I have enjoyed many traiditional banh mi sandwiches over the years and this modified version stands out. The flavors are so diverse and so well managed, it truly is art, not just someone throwing paint on the wall.

Graffiti Sandwich is a new player in the gourmet sandwich game here in Portland. Why Graffiti? Here is their explanation from their website:

Why graffiti? Well, we both like graffiti. We like the way it sounds. We like its double f’s and every other i and just one t. We like to take pictures of graffiti anywhere from Bushwick to Boyle Heights. And, well, Portland doesn’t really have graffiti. Until now.

Well said. I challenge you to head out to Woodstock and see for yourself the magic Travis does. Open Wednesday to Saturday from 11-7, there is seating in the pod and plenty of parking in the area. Drop on by and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Smoked Ham & Egg: smoked ham, bacon onion jam, chive cream cheese, deviled egg and Tillamook cheddar – $7.50
  • Da Nang Pork – $8
  • Medianoche: braised pork shoulder, smoked ham, bacon onion jam, Graffiti pickles, Swiss, yellow mustard – $7.50
  • Guisado Pork: stewed pork shoulder, caramelized onions, black beans, jack cheese, lime crema and pickled jalapeno – $8
  • Dan Nang Cauliflower: spiced roasted cauliflower, Vietnamese slaw, cilantro, sriracha mayo, hoisin peanut butter – $7.50

Hours: Wednesday-Sunday, 11-7
Phone: 503.819.5827
Website: GraffitiPDX.com
Facebook: Graffiti Sandwich

Yolk

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Yolk

Yolk

Location: SE 48th and Woodstock
Hours: Wednesday-Sunday, 9am-2:30ish

The Story:

There is something new afoot in the food carts in Portland – restaurants expanding to carts. We’re not talking chains, we’re talking wonderful established joints opening carts to spread the love of their menu. Yolk is newest of these carts.

Yolk is the work of Toast, a great little restaurant in SE Portland. In a bright yellow cart not far from the homestead, Yolk is where you can pick up a stunning breakfast made fresh with local ingredients and some unique combinations. Patrick and Meagan team up during those morning hours along with a cookbook of recipes gathered over the years to create hashes, sandwiches and special breakfasts.

The Breakfast

The Breakfast

The menu item that caught my eye was “The Breakfast.”

Here’s the deal. It’s Breakfast our way. No options. No substitutions. No allergies, diets or, “I’m free of…” No texture issues. If you don’t like it, give it away. Will it ever be the same? Maybe. Will you get the same as your buddy? Maybe. It might be a similar dish for a year, or it might be different for the next person. Can you share it? Yes!

Seriously, how awesome is that. I’ve always wanted to show up and have someone tell me what to eat instead of having to decide. The day I visited, The Breakfast was a type of tomato stew served with an over easy duck egg, some thick cut bacon and a housemade English muffin. A dish I would have never have imagined as a breakfast. The tomato based stew simmered overnight and prior to serving summer veggies like delicata squash, romanesco broccoli and orange cauliflower were added to create a rich texture. The duck egg, my first, had a fresh sweetness to it that when placed on the muffin with some bacon was a match made in heaven. This was a truly unique imagination for breakfast. I’m glad I ordered it and took the chance.

Yolk makes some great dishes and uses seasonal veggies, so what we list here in the menu section may change. There is seating available at the lot, so head on down and give it a try. Let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Toby Hash: late summer corn with heirloom tomatoes, chili creme, potatoes, saba with 2 sunny side up eggs – $8
  • Mary had a Little Lamb Hash: Sudan Farm ground lamb mixed with roasted potatoes, braised greens, squash and tossed with mint and herbs and toped with duck egg – $9
  • The Sandwich: ham or braised greens and cheese with a scrambled egg on a baguette – $4
  • Run For the Hills: sauteed mixed vegetables and herbs with scrambled eggs on an english muffin – $6
  • Brother: maple glazed pork belly with Beecher’s cheese, over medium eggs, dijon tossed lettuce greens on a pretzel roll – $8
  • The Breakfast as described above – $10

Hours: Wednesday-Sunday, 9am-2:30ish
Contact: 503 568-0787

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El Gallo Taqueria

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El Gallo Taqueria

El Gallo Taqueria

Location: SE 48th and Woodstock (parking lot of The Joinery)

Description:

El Gallo Taqueria is the latest taco and burrito cart to come to the sprawling neighborhood of SE Portland. Located down off SE 48th and Woodstock in the Woodstock neighborhood, Jake Brown, the owner, is offering up rustic Mexican cuisine while sourcing his ingredients locally.

Tacos from El Gallo Taqueria

Tacos from El Gallo Taqueria

I am a sucker for tacos and whenever I visit a new cart, tacos are my barometer. If you can make a good taco, you probably do everything else pretty well also. I ordered up one each chorizo, carnitas and fish. El Gallo espouses that they make everything from scratch, so I wasn’t surprised that the tortillas were different than what I normally get. They were larger and had that fresh flavor you get from corn tortillas made by hand. So great! Of the three, I enjoyed them all equally, but would order the chorizo again. I realize just how much I love this spicy Mexican sausage and how El Gallo prepared it with chopped onions and cilantro made it pop.

Tostada from El Gallo Taqueria

Tostada from El Gallo Taqueria

The other dish we ordered was the signature dish – the Nevada Tostada – fry bread topped with beans, cabbage, pickled onions, pic de gallo, cotija, citrus sour cream. A great combination of flavors. The citrus sour cream gave the entire dish a mild citrus flavor that we loved. Mix that with the beans and onions and cilantro and it turned out to be a great meal. We had it vegetarian, but Jake does offer it with your choice of meat. El Gallo does offer some hot sauces. I had to try the “melt yer face” habanero sauce – true to the name, it was pretty darn spicy…but flavorful. A great accent to these dishes.

Jake Brown has a good thing going here in Woodstock being the only cart in the area. When we arrived, he regretfully informed us that he was out of some items because of such a busy lunch. As we were leaving, a line was forming of 5-7 people at 3:30pm. I love when a neighborhood supports the carts. When you are down in the SE, swing on down to the Woodstock neighborhood and say hi to Jake and his El Gallo Taqueria and tell them Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Tacos – choice of asada, carnitas, chorizo, pollo, vegetarian, or fish – $2
  • Nevada Tostada – described above – $7.50
  • Breakfast burrito – chorizo, eggs, potatoes, pepper jack cheese, cotija cheese, pico de gallo, cilanto and onions wrapped in a tortilla – $6.50
  • Burrito de Gallo – choice of meat, beans, cabbage, pepper jack cheese, cotija cheese, pico de gallo, cilantro and onions in a tortilla – $6

Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 12-7pm
Phone: 503 481 7537
Website: ElGalloPDX.com
Facebook:
El Gallo Taqueria on Facebook

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