Location: SE MLK and Stark at Central Eastside Food Carts
Hours: weekdays, lunch
The Story: A few years ago, I took a couple of weeks and sampled salad rolls at the different vendors downtown to discover the differences in how they were prepared. I hatched an idea – why not make salad rolls with steak or pepperoni or even ham and eggs. I crafted them at home for fun and enjoyed them immensely. The owners of GO Cart were reading my mind as they have opened offering up American Salad Rolls. Just my style.
I’m surprised that salad rolls from many carts weren’t just salad. Pork and shrimp were added. At GO Cart, that’s the norm, not the exception. At GO Cart, you get a traditional styled salad roll with rice paper and Napa cabbage, yet the menu offers up pulled pork, chicken, bacon, avocado and more as additions. Truly, savory, scrumpous salad rolls. The Blue Cheese and Cucumber with celery, radish, cashews and green onions exploded with cold and crunchy flavors. I sat there, truly enjoying the dry blue cheese notes wondering why I hadn’t ordered the pulled pork with dried cherries and pumpkin seeds. Oh well, there will be a return visit for sure.
GO Cart not only does the twist on the salad roll, they offer whole fruit smoothies as well. The list is chalk full of apples and oranges and strawberries and mangos. Salad rolls and smoothies. A great pair. GO Cart is located at the Central Eastside Food Carts on SE MLK and Stark. There are a number of great vendors there along with picnic tables and tenting to keep out of the elements. Drop on by and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.
- Pulled Pork Salad Roll: cheddar, bacon, dried cherries, red bell pepper, green onions, pumpkin seeds – 2 for $5.99
- Bacon Apple Spinach: carrot, manghego cheese, red bell pepper, smoked almonds – 2 for $5.49
- Blue Cheese and Cucumber – $4.99
- Chicken Bacon Avocado: red bell pepper, radish, green onions, blue cheese – 2 for $5.99
- Roasted Tofu – spinach, radish, green onions, cashews, celery, cilantro – 2 for $5.59
- Smoothies are $4.50
Just a few weeks ago, some were writing the eulogy for Portland’s three decade old street food scene. News had broke that three popular pods on the east side would close by summer’s end along with a pod in downtown at the end of June. Well, the street food scene continues to evolve and change and news this week about a new pod has brought new opportunities for displaced vendors. Tidbit Food Farm and Nursery will open in mid August on SE 28th and Division, right in the heart of the ever growing restaurant row that has occurred in that neighborhood. The lot will boast an impressive array of vendors including Pyro Pizza, Fishbox, Brazil House, Namu, Aybla Grill, Tandoor’s Saffron Kitchen, Sushi PDX, Timber’s Doghouse and the Scout Beer Garden. Beyond food carts, the lot will have a nursery and farm stand provided by Thicket. Food Cart spots are still available – email email@example.com for details.
Street food in SE just got a shot in the arm. The soon to be displaced vendors now have a place to go while still taking advantage of the 2014 summer. Tidbit will be one of the larger lots on the east side and will become a destination spot for many. We’ll keep track of the developments and let you know about an opening date when we learn it. Portland’s street food scene is alive and thriving.
Here is a rundown of Food Cart and Truck events for this coming weekend:
Friday, June 20:
The Hillsboro Hops are doing food truck Friday this season in Hillsboro and Home Plate Sliders will bring their baseball inspired truck to the park. One of the coolest trucks in town, the serving window is a baseball home plate. Boom! Game starts at 7. More details here.
Bunk Sandwiches will bring their truck out to Vertigo Brewing in Hillsboro for the evening. Find the brewery at 21420 NW Nicholas Ct, Hillsboro, OR
Saturday, June 21
The Summer Food Cart Festival happens at Mt. Hood Community College in Gresham from 12-7pm. A wonderful collection of some of Portland’s top vendors will bring out their top eats for the community. More details and tickets here.
Sam Adams Brewing is hosting Brew and View at Sellwood River Front Park on Saturday night. A summer party with cold beer, lawn games, food trucks including Bro-Dogs and Burgers and Bunk Sandwiches and live music. The move Wedding Crashers starts at dusk. More details here.
Have a great weekend!
Location: SE 13th and Lexington in Sellwood
Hours: Wed, 11-3, Thurs-Sat, 11-6, Sun, 12-3
The Story: When asked what we’re missing in the Portland street food scene, I realize we don’t have a good presence of eastern European or Russian cuisine. That has changed in the last year with a couple of vendors opening and now the Sellwood district has the Russian Horse food cart to sate their pierogie needs.
Russian Horse opened early this spring offering a menu inspired by the simple peasant foods of Russia, Ukraine, and Poland. Carmel and John Theesfeld, came to Portland chasing a dream of opening a food cart. After some discussion on cuisine, they came up with the idea of pierogies, a traditional staple of that region. John’s family is the inspiration behind the pierogi, so they obtained the recipe and a cart and launched. Initially, it was just pierogies and borscht, but the menu quickly expanded to salads and dessert.
Pierogies are a type of dumplings made of unleavened dough. First boiled, then baked or fried usually in butter with onions. Traditionally, they are stuffed with potato filling, sauerkraut, ground meat, cheese, or fruit. At Russian Horse, they have traditional pirogies with a potato filling served with caramelized sautéed onions or you can enjoy their tater tot or garlic mash pierogie. Such ingenuity from the food carts. I love it. Pierogies are a simple wholesome dish to enjoy with a bit of sour cream and pickle. Nothing spicy or eccentric, just good filling food. I enjoy that. I reminds me of an earlier part of my life when I was able to enjoy home cooking from the region.
Russian Horse is now open in the Sellwood district Tuesday-Sunday for lunch and Wednesday through Saturday into the dinner hour. They offer more than pierogies, so check out their menu and enjoy. Let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.
Sample Menu: (see website for updated menu and prices)
- Vinegret: mix of beets, potatoes, carrots, onions, pickles and kraut in a sunflower oil dressing – $4.50
- Borscht: beet and cabbage soup – sm, $2.50; lg, $3.50
- Chicken Wings Kiev – 4 chicken wing drumsticks deep fried and tossed in Kiev butter sauce – $7.50
- Pierogies – 3 for $5
- Dark Chocolate Pierogies – 3 for $5
Some items of interest for you food cart fans:
Artigiano is hosting a Friday the 13th party with jazz duo Zac Allen and Jon Letts. Located on SE 33rd and Division, Artigiano boasts an amazing menu of handmade seasonal Italian food. I still remember the garlic scape pasta I enjoyed there on a previous visit. The party starts at 5 with happy hour from 5-6 and jazz from 6-9. Plenty of seating. A great event for a spring Friday. More details can be found here.
The Summer Food Cart Festival is just around the corner on June 21 at Mt. Hood Community College. They have garnered an impressive array of vendors for the event – Koi Fusion, Gaufre Gourmet, The Cheese Plate, A Cajun Life, Hapa Ramen, Moberi, Ole Latte, Pulehu Pizza and more. Get your tickets now. June 21 from noon-7pm. There will be a beer garden and live music. More details here.
Cartopia has re-launched their Night Movies at Cartopia series. Head on down to the pod on SE 12th and Hawthorne for some great food and a flick. On June 15, they will show The Fall and Slither. More details and the list of movies here.
Rockin’ Robyn’s Sassy Burger has moved from Rose City Food Park to SE 34th and Belmonth, a pod which they are working to bring back to life. Now open for lunch and dinner Wednesday-Sunday.
A couple of restaurant announcements. Cultured Caveman has opened their restaurant, the only Paleo focused spot in town. Located in the Kenton neighborhood, they are still in “soft-opening” phase, so hours are 11-3pm and 5-9pm. 8233 N Denver Ave.
The Whole Bowl is expanding yet again having signed a lease for a space in one of the new buildings being constructed at the corner of N Vancouver and Fremont. Look for a fall 2014 opening.
Summer is here and so are summer events. If you’re looking for a food truck at your family gathering or company picnic, let us know. We work with a number of fully mobile food trucks – some of the best in the city. They are affordable and a fun and dynamic edition to any gathering. Email us at events@FoodCartsPortland.com for more details.
Thank you for your continued support of Portland’s dynamic street food scene.
Want to watch the FIFA World Cup and also enjoy some amazing food carts? The matches start Thursday, June 12 at 1pm. Here are some locations where you can watch most if not every match:
Mississippi Marketplace: Prost!, the onsite German pub will be showing all the world cup games and even opening earlier than normal so die hard fans can indulge. Mississippi Marketplace is home to The Big Egg for breakfast and the following for lunch and into the dinner hours: Meet, Minizo, Big-Ass Sandwiches, Koi Fusion, HomeGrown Smoker Vegan BBQ, Native Bowl, Miss Kate’s Southern Kitchen and Midwest Pizza Co. Prost allows you to bring food from the carts into the pub, so you can watch the games, enjoy a beer and nosh. N Mississipi and Skidmore
Cartlandia: Located out on SE 82nd Ave, the boast both a beer garden with big screen tv’s along with the Blue Room, an indoor bar. The lot boasts an impressive 27 food carts. You can get anything from Mexican to Greek to Thai and even a lobster roll. All screens will be focused on the World Cup starting Thursday. Full list of food carts at Cartlandia can be found at Cartlandia.com. SE 82nd and Harney
World Cup Beer Garden PDX: A popup beer garden and food cart lot in NW will show every game. Bus Stop Cafe, an authentic London bus turned food cart will be serving up fish and chips. Portland’s Merit Badge will provide cocktails. Fried Egg I’m in Love will have their tasty fried egg sandwiches. What else? Oh, coffee by Sterling Coffee Roasters. The popup is at 621 NW 21st and will have covered seating to minimize glare on the TVs. All 64 games will be shown. More details.
You can also just grab your favorite item from your favorite vendor and head home. Where are you going to watch the matches? GO USA!
Location: SE 13th and Lexington in Sellwood
Hours: Tues, 11:30-3pm; Wed-Sat, 11:30-3 and 5-8pm; Sun, 11:30-3
The Story: A few years ago, a food truck the size of a shipping container debuted with a wood fired pizza oven. Huge! Yet, you don’t have to go big to create a quality product. Ash Wood Fired Pizza has a wood fired pizza oven inside their diminutive food truck and still have room for two people to craft the magic.
Ash Wood Fired Pizza opened last month in the Sellwood district at one of Portland’s oldest east side food cart pods. The owners, Ted and Alexandra Scharpnick traveled as far as B.C. to pick up the truck already outfitted with the yellow tiled wood fired pizza oven. The truck is eye catching- smaller than the behemoths that roam the streets of many cities with a flat black finish and their welcoming logo. I see a lot of trucks and Ash Wood Fired is one of the best. Ted let me in on how they make their dough. Using grapes, water and flour, he created a starter. The yeast is all wild and the starter continues to grow to create a unique and changing flavor in the dough. Pretty cool. I’ve heard of using vodka in pasta, but not grapes in dough.
Ash Wood Fired has a great list of pizza options and offers up specials daily. On my visit, the ubiquitous and always amazing Margherita topped the menu. Other options included mushroom and garlic with pesto and maitake mushrooms or mustard greens and zucchini with a house made marinara. I’m a sucker for the Margherita, a clean, uncomplicated pizza with fresh lively flavors and at this time of the year, fresh basil. A single pizza is great for one person, so get two and share with a friend. I hadn’t planned on finishing it, but suddenly and surprisingly, I was devouring the fourth slice. Excellent crust.
The pod in Sellwood has five different vendors with Ash Wood Fired right on the corner. They have covered seating and a welcoming atmosphere. If you’re down on antique row, drop on by and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.
Sample Menu: menu changes daily, so check their Facebook page
- Margherita – house made marinara, fresh mozzarella and basil – $8
- Peppers and Tomatoes – cilantro pesto, padron peppers, sungold tomatoes, ovoline Mozzarella
- Asparagus and Fennel – house made marinara, Viridian Farms asparagus, shaved fennel, scallions, Ovoline Mozzarella
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.
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.
- 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
Facebook: Gastro Mania