Earth Burgers

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earth burgers portland

Earth Burgers

Location: SE 28th Pl and Division – Tidbit
Hours: Wed-Sun, 12-3pm, 5:30-8:30pm

The Story: Portland restaurants offer up some of the best burgers and even dedicate an entire week to them. At Earth Burgers, a food cart at Tidbit, they offer up tasty vegetarian and vegan options for burger lovers who don’t want to eat meat.

Earth Burgers opened earlier this year and moved to the Tidbit lot in August. Owners Diane and Stan came to Portland to launch their business after attending the ROAM Mobile Food Conference in 2013. Diane is a graduate of the New York French Culinary Institute and worked in a number of New York establishments to create a stellar resume and understand food and the complexity of flavors. The two of them put together an idea and ran with it, launching Earth Burgers focusing on healthy vegetarian and vegan burgers.

Earth burgers portland

PDmeX Veggie Burger

At Earth Burgers, the burgers are handmade with black beans and garbanzo beans from Washington’s Haricot Farms. Grains and flours are from Bob’s Red Mill. All mixed greens and spices are organic. See the theme? They offer Gluten Free buns from Happy Campers in Tigard. The American Graffiti first piqued my interest with a black bean and sweet potato burger,  mixed greens, onion, ketchup and mustard. Just what a burger should be. Then I spied the PDmeX which added pickled jalapenos and a tomatillo-avocado salsa. Mix in spice with any burger and I’m sold. The PDmeX started off with great flavors in the burger and bun with the spice from the jalapenos coming in around the halfway mark. Whew, it spiced it up in a good way. What I loved about the handmade patty was it didn’t mush up and fall apart like some veggie burgers. The bun and burger stayed together till the last bite. Looking forward to a return trip to try one of the chickpea burgers.

Earth Burgers is a great addition to our overall burger scene here in the city. At Tidbit they have found a home in one of Portland’s most welcoming spots. Drop on by when you’re craving something new and let Diane and Stan know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • The Casbah – chickpea burger, cucumbers, tomato, pickled red onions, organic mixed greens, tahini sauce – $8
  • Electric Sitar – potato and vegetable burger, caramelized onions, cilantro chutney, organic mixed greens, masala sauce – $8
  • PDmeX – $8.50
  • Beautiful South – black-eyed pea burger, vinegar based coleslaw, organic mixed greens, bbq sauce – $7.50
  • American Graffiti – $7

Website: EarthBurgersPDX.com
Twitter: @EarthBurgers

Wabi Sabi

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Japanese street food

Wabi Sabi

Location: SE Stark and MLK at Central East Side Food Cart Lot
Hours: Mon-Sat, 11am-4pm

The Story: In a 1965 Grumman Olson step van brought all the way from Long Island, Chefs/Owners Jason and Makoto Cooper are excited to offer traditional Japanese street food and ocean safe sushi. They have brought Wabi Sabi to Portland.

The vintage Grumman Olson van is hard to miss. Shiny silver, simlar to the iconic Airstream, the truck will knock your socks off when you first see it. Jason and Makoto sourced it in NYC where it was built and brought it to Portland on an epic journey they liken to traveling the original Oregon Trail. Somewhere in Indiana, the RV they were towing the truck with died, so Jason sold it for $100 and rented a Uhaul for the remainder of the trip. I know opening a food cart or truck is hard work for anyone. But a story like this? There had to be times when they threw up their hands and almost called it quits. Nope. They powered on and opened earlier this summer in SE Portland. Wabi Sabi’s mission is to offer traditional Japanese street food and ocean safe sushi using sustainable fish, non-gmo soy, organic produce as often as possible and serving in compostable recycled material. They were destined to be part of Portland’s street food scene.

Japanese street food

Yakisoba from Wabi Sabi

At Wabi Sabi you’ll find Hako Zushi, sushi pressed in a Hinoki wood box layered with ingredients, traditionaly used in old Japan for travel. Albacore tuna, pickled mackerel, tilapia sashimi or a mix of all in the chirashi bowl. They also do vegetarian sushi. My eyes though skipped past the sushi to the non-sushi yummies like ramen, hiyashichuka – a cold egg noodle type salad, and yakisoba. I’ve been a fan of yakisoba since I was a kid, so couldn’t pass up this traditional Japanese festival noodle dish. The noodles are sauteed in in a tangy J-BBQ sauce, mung bean and cabbage then tossed with bonito flakes, Kewpie mayo and pickled ginger. I added in spicy kimchee for fun. The first thing you see is the mountain of bonita flakes, but diving into the noodles, you find treasures hidden in every bite. The kimchee added a depth of spice, but didn’t overpower the yakisoba which was some of the best noodles I’ve eaten in awhile. Salty, spicy, a generous amount of ginger and sweetness. A dish I’ll recommend to anyone who asks.

Wabi Sabi is a great addition to our ever evolving street food scene. We have other vendors tackling Japanese street food which is awesome and to see Jason and Makoto bring in their style is even more exciting. Head on down to the Central East Side Food Cart Lot and check out not only the coolest vintage van in town, but some tasty Japanese street food. Let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Hako Zushi – different styles with tuna, tilapia or mackerel – $8
  • Combo of Hako Zushi – $10
  • Vegetarian Sushi – $7
  • Yakisoba – $7. add kimchee for $1
  • Shoyu Ramen  – $8
  • Hiyashichuka – $8

Website: Wabi-Sabi-Kitchen.com
Facebook: Wabi–Sabi-Kitchen

Gastro Mania

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Gastro Mania

Gastro Mania

Location: NW 19th and Quimby
Hours: M-Sun, 11am-3pm

The Story: Looking for some grilled porchetta or a foie gras burger? Look no further than Gastro Mania, a new food truck posted up at Q19 in NW Portland.

Gastro Mania opened this past spring promoting “The Best of Mediterranean Cuisine,” yet except for the top item of a Gyro, the menu is chalk full of treats that we don’t think of as from that part of the world. Salmon Sliders, Swordfish Steak, a Porchetta sandwich and what has caught the most attention – the foie gras burger. While getting foie gras is a treat for many, I opted for the Porchetta, a monster of a sandwich with more than enough grilled pork belly and charred fat. I tend to describe porchetta as bacon wrapped pork, so use your imagination. Alex, the chef, believes he has the best porchetta in town, so I had to give it a shot. A thick layer of porchetta between a crunchy seared roll with plenty of dripping fat and butter. Crazy delicious and oh so wrong. I couldn’t put it down. Each bite, a palatable bliss. This sandwich is not for those who cut off the fat when eating steaks. You have to dive right in and clean up later. The Porchetta is served with a side greek salad with feta so you can at least claim you ate your veggies that day.

Porchetta from Gastro Mania

Porchetta from Gastro Mania

Gastro Mania is at Q19, the lot adjacent to Quimby’s where you can sit indoors and enjoy a libation while chowing down. Open daily for lunch. Drop on by and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Gyros – chicken or lamb – $7
  • Porchetta sandwich – $8
  • Foie Gras burger – $8
  • Salmon Sliders – $8
  • Tuna Steak served over salad – $8
  • Chicken Breast Scallopini – $8

Phone: 5036893794
Facebook: Gastro Mania

Satay Indonesia

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Satay Indonesia

Satay Indonesia

Location: SW 9th and Alder
Hours: Monday-Saturday, lunch and dinner

The Story: If you’ve traveled in Southeast Asia, when you hear the word satay, maybe you wax poetic about a certain vendor or the exotic smells of the streets. When I think of satay, I am reminded of the pile of sticks laying there after we devoured so many little morsels of grilled meat. Satay Indonesia is one of the newest carts in the Alder pod bringing skewered meats to the streets of Portland.

Satay or sate is a dish which originated in Java, Indonesia and is made up of seasoned skewered and grilled meat. Or as they say at the cart, “a bite of heaven on a stick.” Satay Indonesia sources local beef, chicken and pork and also offers organic tempeh and tofu for vegetarians. For $5, you get a full plate with five skewers, rice, marinated cucumber salad and grilled veggies. A good portion of food for the price. I got a mix of chicken, pork and beef and asked for some daily special lemongrass coconut curry sauce to top the rice. That first bite of succulent grilled pork had a hint of coconut sweetness. The chicken almost fell of the stick. The lemongrass curry sauce with the rice – divine. Finish everything with a simple marinated cucumber slice – cold and sweet. I enjoyed every last bit.

Satay from Satay Indonesia

Satay from Satay Indonesia

Satay Indonesia is open Monday through Saturday for lunch and dinner, yet sell out almost daily. If you’re in the mood for something new or just like meat on a stick, check them out and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Individual Satay – $1
  • Sate Lunch – 5 satay with spicy long beans and steamed rice or with salad – $5

Phone: 5034596477
Facebook: Satay Indonesia

Steak Frites PDX

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Steak Frites PDX

Steak Frites PDX

Location: SE 28th and Ankeny
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 11 am-7 pm , Sunday, noon-5 pm

The Story: I may have found the best dish ever created. New food cart Steak Frites PDX, just the name, defines what this cart does and that makes me a happy eater.

Steak Frites PDX is the latest addition to Pod 28 with some other stellar vendors like The Grilled Cheese Grill, Burrasca, Guero, Wolf and Bear’s and The Captured by Porches Beer Bus. Wow! Owner Sean wanted to do a food cart and was surprised no one had done the Belgian classic steak and fries. He sources prime cuts of beef and hand cuts the fries daily. Pair with one of the beers from Captured and you’re in bliss.

The day I visited, Sean was offering flank, top sirloin and hanger steak. On other days, he has offered teres major, a cut taken from the shoulder muscle. I opted for flank steak with fries and creamy horseradish sauce. Each bite, greasy and for sure against my doctor’s orders, was sublime. Sean sprinkles sea salt on the fries and the steak had a hint of fresh rosemary. Thin slices of flank steak dipped in horseradish paired with an IPA on a cool spring day and all I wanted to do was order a second plate. You can substitute the fries for sweet potato fries and Sean does offer a variety of veggies like asparagus, brussels sprouts and more.

Flank Steak and Fries from Steak Frites PDX

Flank Steak and Fries from Steak Frites PDX

Steak Frites PDX is one of those carts that just launched and yet is selling out daily. Bring something no one else is doing to the scene and do it well and you’ll be the king of the pod. Next time you’re down off SE 28th and Ankeny, drop on by Steak Frites PDX and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu: 

  • Choice of steak and fries with aioli – $8.50
  • Substitute sweet potato fries for extra $.50
  • Add plants – $.50

Facebook: Steak Frites PDX

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