Location: N Killingsworth and Maryland, Killingsworth Station
Hours: Mon-Fri, 7:30am-3:30pm; Saturday, 10am-2pm
The Story: North Portland continues to attract some great new vendors. With a new food cart lot – Killingsworth Station – now open just off the MAX line, vendors are discovering an underserved community. Om Nom Gluten-Free Waffles opened earlier this fall to offer both breakfast and lunch options throughout the week.
Om Nom was born from a collective passion by both the owner and her friends to create something healthy, but also community driven. Michelle, the owner, doesn’t just want to own and run a food cart, so she engaged her friends who all have a come together to support each other in challenging times to design and launch the venture. I love this cart with its rustic cabin architecture, but emblazoned and sided with recycled materials. Michelle’s son flattened all the recycled metal cans in order to create the siding we see on the front. Such a cool way to finish off a project. Michelle hopes that her cart and her peers can create something for the community which may start with the waffles, but grow and blossom.
I spoke with Michelle about the gluten-free aspect of the waffles and her goal is to source locally and keep it healthy and stay away from corporate and GMO foods. There is also a health aspect behind the cuisine choice, so you’re getting the real deal. Om Nom offers gluten-free freshly made waffles with both savory and sweet options. I chose the Stegasaurus with hummus, feta, mozzarella fresca cheese, tomato, red onion, fresh spinach and sprinkled with balsamic vinegar. How many great flavors can you pack in one dish? Many! The dry feta with the hot red onion and bitter spinach with each bite of a waffle – pretty darn delicious. I loved how the balsamic vinegar worked its way through into almost every bite.
Om Nom Gluten-Free Waffles is open daily during the week for breakfast and lunch and on Saturday for lunch. Killingsworth Station is right off N Killingsworth at Maryland and offers covered seating to get out of the weather. Drop on by, welcome Michelle to the fold and let Om Nom know Food Carts Portland sent ya.
- Butter and Cinnamon and Sugar waffle – $2
- Cream Cheese and Jam – $3
- Nut Butter and Jam – $3
- Cinnamonodon – cream cheese frosting and cinnamon sugar – $3
- Valdosaurus – Ricotta, bacon, berry, maple syrup sweetened whipped cream waffle – $5
- Godzilla – steaming marinara sauce, mozzarella and asiago cheese, pepperoni and tempeh waffle – $5
- Stegasaurus – $5
Location: Roaming & Uptown Market in Beaverton on weeekends
Hours: Varies, Uptown Market, Thurs-Sat, 12-8pm
The Story: I’ve seen a wood fired oven inside a food cart before, yet not on the back of a 1937 Dodge Truck. Maiale Di Volo, otherwise known as “The Flying Pig” is one of the newest pizza slingers to bring us the goods.
Brett Tuft took a vintage flatbed truck and over the back axle built a wood fired oven to cook his pies. He’s the chef, the owner and the Pizzaiolo at the truck. Over the summer, he had taken the truck to different events throughout the city, but on the weekends you could find him set up at Uptown Market on Scholl’s Ferry, a bottle shop and taproom. What’s better than wood fired pizza and a cold beer? Brett looks to source locally first when he can which includes the freshest organic produce, small farm artisanal cheeses, and high quality multi-grain organic flours from Bob’s Red Mill. You can taste it in the end product. After 20 years working in the food service industry including attending Le Cordon Blue WCI, Brett has fulfilled his lifelong journey to bring healthy, great tasting pizza to the people.
Wood fired pizza is really a treat. Using different hardwoods including red and white oak, cherry and alder, the scent from the wood infuses into the pizza ever so slightly. Brett has even sourced some Russian red oak used for packing from a local shipyard. Each pie only takes about 5 minutes to make – 2 minutes to create from scratch, then 2 minutes in the oven. For me, the ever so flavorful Margarita was the pizza of the day. Tomato sauce, fresh basil and fresh mozzarella make up one of the simplest yet amazing pizzas one can order. The crust was charred just right and paired with a local IPA, we dove in and didn’t look back. A 10″ pie is enough for 1 or great to share.
Maiale Di Volo is a passion. You can tell by the choice of truck Brett used to the quality of the pie he produces. Find him on the weekends at Uptown Market or during the week at different events. You can have him at your event also. Drop on by for a pie and let “The Flying Pig” know Food Carts Portland sent ya.
10″ Pies made fresh to order
- Margarita – $9
- Quatro Fromaggi – olive oil, garlic, oregano, fontina, provolone, parmesan, FCC mozzarella – $10
- Spicy Hungarian Sausage – tomato sauce, roasted potatoes, caramelized onions, fresh mozzarella – $11
- Amore di Maiale – tomato sauce, guanciale, capicola, pancetta, prosciutto, mozzarella – $13
- Caesar Salad – $5
Location: N Mississippi and Beech
Hours: Tues-Sat, 11an-8p
The Story: North Mississippi continues to evolve with new street food vendors opening monthly. At a small lot at the intersection of Beech, The Döner Haus has opened, bringing a new type of sandwich Mississippi hasn’t yet seen.
Döner is a Turkish dish made of meat cooked on a vertical spit, usually lamb or a mixture of lamb and beef. I first enjoyed döner travelling in Germany which has a large population of Turkish immigrants and has integrated the dish into their own collective menu. The meat is usually ground and seasoned then stacked on the spit which rotates on a vertical rotisserie to sear it. It is then shaved off in thin slices and put into either a sandwich or a wrap.
At The Döner Haus, they offer the döner, a sandwich, the dürüm, a wrap, or the döner box, with döner and veggies atop a bed of fries. You can get any of these dishes with döner, grilled chicken or vegetable. I picked the döner with a fresh ciabatta bun, meat, lettuce, tomato, red onions, cabbage, feta and their house made sauce. I started walking down the street thinking I would just enjoy it on the walk home, but after the first bite, I stopped and found a place to sit so I could enjoy it fully and not spill to much on my coat. Each bite included the coolness of the veggies mixed with the salty meat and dry feta. The ciabatta was fresh and a perfect platform for this sandwich. All in all, a tasty sandwich which I definitely will return for.
The Döner Haus opened in September at the corner of N Mississippi and Beech across from Amnesia Brewing. There is covered seating in the lot and they are open Tuesday to Saturday for lunch through the dinner hour. Drop on by next time you’re in the mood for a new lunch. Let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.
- Döner – sandwich made with meat, vegetables and cheese on ciabatta roll – $7
- Dürüm – choice of meat and sauce, vegetables wrapped in lavash – $7
- Döner Box – choice of meat and sauce, vegetables atop a bed of fries – $7
Phone: (360) 607-8017
Facebook: The Döner Haus
Location: SE 43rd and Belmont, Good Food Here
Hours: Weekdays and weekends, lunch
The Story: I was just telling someone the other day that we really don’t have much cuisine out of South America represented in the street food scene and then, Boom!, I discover Brazilian House at Good Food Here. Woo hoo!
Brazilian House is one of the newer carts on the lot and seems to already have a following. At least threw different groups were sharing a plate from the vendor. Menu items include Moqueca, Tropeiro and Feijoada. Moqueca is a stew made with red pepper, green pepper, onions, tomato, palm oil and coconut milk. Traditionally served with fish, at the cart you can get it with fish, shrimp or chicken. I was sold on that knowing I could return for the other dishes, but the owner convinced us to get her most famous dish – Feijoada, a black bean, bacon, beef and sausage stew served with rice and covered with thinly sliced collard greens. What a dish. The greens were fresh and bright and melded perfectly with the salty and meaty stew. An excellent and hearty dish for the coming winter months.
Brazilian House is one of the only vendors in town doing Brazilian cuisine. We didn’t have room for dessert, but others had picked up the Pudim, a sweet condensed milk flan which looked simply divine. Find Brazilian House at the Good Food Here pod on SE 43rd and Belmont and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.
- Coxinha – chicken balls shaped into drumsticks, battered and fried – $4.50
- Moqueca – stew served with rice and tomato – $8
- Tropeiro – beans, bacon, beef, sausage, eggs, green onion, garlic, served with rice and collard greens – $8
- Feijoada – black beans, bacon, beef, sausage, green onions and served with rice and collard greens – $8
Phone: (503) 360-7688
Location: N Lombard and N Richmond – Next to the Fixin’ To bar and restaurant
Hours: Tues – Sat 2pm – 11pm, Sun 1pm – 8pm
The Story: I love the St. Johns neighborhood. It sometimes feels like a completely different city in Portland – a little separate village, a small town almost. It feels like an island with Lombard and Willamette Blvd along with the majestic St Johns Bridge the only real main roads in and out to connect it with other neighborhoods in Portland. St Johns is still one of the most blue collar feeling neighborhoods, in my opinion, with industrial and dock workers from the nearby Columbia Blvd and Willamette River industrial areas mingling with long term residents, and a newer influx of young families, artists and others. Mixed in between the old man dive bars, and the quaint where your grandma might buy cookies Tulip Bakery, there’s some cool, funky newish businesses emerging, and sometimes they blur together.
Pizza Contadino is one such business and can seem a bit of an enigma at times. Is it a cart or is it a pizza restaurant? Where is it? Is it at the Crystal Gardens food cart pod on Lombard or did it move? No wait, now it’s a pop-up restaurant in the Fixin’ To bar, no wait, it’s a cart again. That’s the beauty of mobile vending, it’s FLEXIBLE and MOBILE, man. Keeps you on your toes and keeps things interesting if you ask me, and it’s nice a local bar that has it’s own kitchen was able to take on and support a cart as well. Bravo for the help your neighbor in need is a good deed indeed motto. Whew, location out of the way, if you can’t find Pizza Contadino, just call them – they’ll give you directions, no problem.
The pizza here is crave worthy. I’m not going to get into the whole thick crust vs. thin vs. NYC style vs. Neopolotin vs. New Haven Style vs whateverstyleyouthinkitis style discussion. Head on over to Serious Eats Slice for the cult of the pizza discussion. I will say this: The pizza at Pizza Contadino is GOOD. Here’s how Pizza Contadino describes their pizza (and business):
… We serve fresh handcrafted pizza with a sourdough crust that is made with a starter from the Alaskan gold rush. It is baked in a 650 degree oven that creates a crisp exterior with a chewy interior. Our menu is ever changing with mostly organic produce and ingredients that we source locally.
Some of those toppings include a perfectly cheesy cheese pie and a pepperoni for you pizza purists. Then things get interesting…between the roasted garlic, sausage, onions, you might find fresh Ricotta, Swiss Chard, Roasted Sliced Potatoes, Summer Squash. Meat options are available, but this pizza joint loves it’s veggies equally. Vegetarian pies are available, vegan pies – yeah, they can probably do those too. Just ask at Pizza Contadino and they are happy to accommodate if they can.
Slices or whole pies are always available. Cash only! And do call ahead, they will have your pizza hot n’ ready for you, and it’s a good way to confirm that Pizza Contadino is indeed right where they say they are and are open when they say they are and can help you fill your hungry pie hole.
- Whole Pies $14 and up for a cheese, add on more depending on ingredients, Ingredients vary depending on what’s in season and chef’s inspirations.
- Slices: $3 range
Phone: 503 935-4375
Website: Pizza Contadino
Facebook: Pizza Contadino
Some news from Portland’s food cart world:
- The Imp and Nada – NE 15th and Alberta
- Brazilian House – SE 43rd and Belmont
- All Jarred Up – SE 2nd and Stark
- TeePee’s – SE 50th and Division
- Just Wing It – SE 9th and Burnside
- Shish Kabob – N Mississippi and Beech
- Doner Haus – N Mississippi and Beech
- E Side Thai – SE 43rd and Belmont
- Duende – Spanish – SE 32nd and Hawthorne
- Dalo’s Ethiopian – SE MLK and Stark
- Noah – SW 10th and Washington
- Hapa Ramen – A la Carts Food Pavilion – SE 50th and Division
We saw a few closures this last week. Sad to see some of these vendors go.
- The Honey Pot closed last week, all locations
- Okinoshima on 3rd closed
- Picnic has closed for winter
- Pepper Box has announced they will be closing October 26. They need to find a new location.
- El Cubano has closed
- Hog Time has closed
- Rescue Bagels has closed
- Skewed Concoctions has closed
Big-Ass Sandwiches announced earlier this month a second cart to be located at Mississippi Marketplace. Watch for the cart to open early November.
Killingsworth Station, a new food cart pod on N Killingsworth and Montana has attracted some new vendors. Om Nom Gluten Free Sandwiches is the latest to join and open.
Some Moves and other changes:
- Pork Chop City has moved out to Beaverton Hillsdale Highway by Jesuit High
- The Sugar Shop has moved to NE 23rd and Alberta
- Roshambo has relocated and re-opened at Rose City Food Park on NE 52nd and Sandy
- Jaffles and Wraps has moved to SE MLK and Stark
- Sausage Shack is now open at SE MLK and Stark
- I Heart This Cart is under new management with a new menu and all – SW 3rd and Washington
While this week and last week and next week have provided Portland with one amazingly sunny October, winter is on the way which is a challenge for many vendors. We can all do our part by continuing to support our favorite vendors whether it be sunny or rainy, warm or cold. Thank you for your continued support of the Portland street food scene.
Location: NE 52nd and Sandy – Rose City Food Cart Pod
Hours: Mon-Fri, 7am-1pm; Sat & Sun, 8am – 2pm
The Story: I call it the collective “Portland Bagel Freakout”. I’m not quite sure why, but out of all the cities I have lived, worked in, and visited (and there have been many), Portland rivals only NYC and Montreal for what can only be described as a love of good bagels that borders on crazy zealously. That is, Google “bagels Portland, Oregon” and you’ll see countless, passionate (and sometimes uncivil) discussions on who has the best bagels in PDX, lamentations that Portland “has no real bagels”, cries for “I wish we had authentic bagels here!”…you get the idea. Mike Russell, the food critic for the Oregonian, sure found out about the Portland Bagel Freakout when he dared write about “Portland’s Best Bagels”. Check out these reader comments from that article for a chuckle for a chuckle. The message is clear: DON’T MESS WITH PORTLAND’S BAGELS. Portlanders will cut a biche over a bad, or even a mediocre bagel. It’s a BAGEL WAR.
So when a great bagel does appear on our fair streets of Bridgetown, people get a whole bunch of excited. Enter Bridgetown Bagel Company. Created by owner/baker Jonathan Park, an alum from the much loved, now sadly gone Kettleman Bagels, Bridgetown does the bagel right.
I won’t make claims this is THE BEST bagel in Portland (I’m not up for that knife fight). For I’ve learned, them there’s fightin’ words among Portland’s bagel cabal (that’s a joke, people). However, if you are looking for a very quality, fresh bagel of the East Coast style made they way they should – yes they are boiled, yes they use malt, yes, they are golden on the outside and dense and chewy within, yes, they aren’t super sized like some Godzilla bastard bagel – then Bridgetown Bagels is for you.
Along with the usual cream cheese spreads, Bridgetown bagel offers the classic bagel and lox combo (with tomato, sliced red onions, and capers if you wish), breakfast and other bagel sandwiches.
I do want to give one big caveat about Bridgetown Bagels. And it’s no dis on them. Bridgetown, like most food carts is a small (read TINY) operation run by one person. He’s the one up at 2 in the morning making and proofing dough, cooking them just the right way, preparing and serving and cleaning up. And because Portlanders are such Bagel Hoarders, it’s hard to gauge from day to day how many crowds will show up and when and if they will buy the cart out on the spot. If you really really have your heart set on a bagel from Bridgetown, as we recommend here at Food Carts Portland for any cart visit, CALL AHEAD. Although they are consistent with their hours, Bridgetown can’t snap their fingers and make new bagels in 15 minutes if they have a rush and run out, and I bet you they’d rather close down than serve a crappy frozen and defrosted bagel. And so, when Bridgetown runs out, they run out for the day. They are often sold out by noon, especially on weekends.
Still, as the old saying goes, absence makes the heart grow fonder. So, get out your cell phone, call ahead, get there early and enjoy a Bridgetown Bagel before a bonkers bagel band of Portlanders beats you to it.
- Bagels: Plain, Sesame, Poppy, Garlic, Onion, Salt, Everything. Each – $1, ½ Dozen- $5.50 Baker’s Dozen- $10
- Spreads: Cream Cheese (Plain, Scallion, Smoked Salmon) – $1, Tofutti, Hummus, $1, Butter, $0.50
- Cheeses: Cheddar, Provolone, Swiss, Mozzarella – $1,
- Veggies: Lettuce, Red Onions, Black Olives, Pickles, Capers- $0.25, Tomatoes – $0.50, Avocados: -$0.75
- Meats - Ham, Sausage, Bacon, Salami, Pepperoni – $1 Lox: $6, Whitefish: $4
- Breakfast Sandwich – Egg & Cheese Bagel: $3, add meat: $1
- 3 Little Pigs Sandwich (Ham, Sausage, Bacon, Cheese, Egg) – $5
- The Bridgetown Sandwich (Ham, salami, pepperoni, mozzarella, provolone, black olives, pickles, tomato): $7
- Pizza Bagel: 1 Topping: $5 add topping – $0.50/each
Website: Bridgetown Bagel
Phone: (503) 268-2522
Facebook: Bridgetown Bagel
Location: NE 26th and Alberta
Hours: Tues-Sat, 11:00 am -7 pm
The Story: On a street with at least four Taquerias, in a neighborhood with just as many taco trucks and carts, we bring you yet another traditional Mexican food street vendor to the Alberta Street mix. Chefinos is a bright red cart with homey touches such as potted plants and a covered area with benches and a tables for eating out of the rain. Over the years, several food carts have come and gone on this tire shop’s parking lot: I can recall a baked potato cart, a couple of different taco trucks, and I think at one point there was a juice truck. It’s hard to keep track.
No matter the reasons the other carts have come and gone, Chefinos is making a go of it, serving more than just tacos and burritos. Originating from the Mexican state of Oaxaca, owner Maria (last name not given) offers regional Oaxacan fare as well as burritos and tacos. Dust off your Spanish and look for items usually found in Mexican street markets such as Tamales de mole oaxaqueno an hoja de platano (Tamales with mole sauce Oxacan style wrapped in banana leaves) and when in season, Elote Asado (Corn on the cob with mayonnaise, spices, shaved Queso Fresca cheese, and lime).
Chefino also has Molotes – described by this Oaxacan food and culture website as:
…a very special “holiday street food”, found in Oaxaca during Guelaguetza, Easter, and Christmas times. It is made with a disk of fresh masa then filled with a Chorizo and Potato filling, fried, then topped with Black Bean Puree, Queso Fresco and garnished with sliced radishes.
On one of my visits, I tried the Tlayuda – a 14″ toasted tortilla with refried beans, shredded chicken, lettuce, red chopped radish, Oaxaca cheese (like a string cheese), and avocado. In some distant way you can see this dish might be a traditional precursor to a Taco Hell Tostado, or heck you might even call Tlayuda the original Nachos. Although, obviously resembling nothing like the neon orange cheese and salt-lick tortillas found in convenience stores across the great U.S. of A.
Hours here are spotty, and there’s no website, phone or even printed menu to take home. It’s what I call a “worth the hunt” kind of a food cart. One of the reasons we love food carts is the sense of adventure and discovery and the hunt. Sure, there’s carts you can rely on over and over – order online and pick up when ready even. Then there’s carts like this one – traditional to a capital Taco. Yes they use lard, and no they don’t take credit cards – it’s cash only, por favor.
Chefinos – keeping it real. One Tlayuda, Taco and Tamales de mole oaxaqueno an hoja de platano at a time.
- Burritos (choice of meats from asada, chorizo, chicken, beans, among others) – $4.50 – $5.50
- Tamales – $4.50
- Tlayuda – $10.00
- Elote – $2.50
- Tostada – $3.00