The Great Food Truck Race is back for another round and is actively seeking entrepreneurs and thrill seekers who want to open their own Food Truck. Hang out with Tyler Florence and drive around the country are an added bonus. The Great Food Truck Race is an excellent opportunity for newbies who are interested in opening a food truck to get behind the scenes experience and have great fun along the way. You and two teammates would make up the team and the Food Network and the producers supply the rest.
To apply, send the following information – Name, age, phone number, photo, proposed teammates and photos, description of your culinary background and the idea of your truck to the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Location: SW 3rd and Washington
Hours: 8am-6pm, Monday-Friday
The Story: I’m a child of pizza. I can’t tell you how pizza was so integral in the enjoyment of my childhood and teenage years. Portland had the thin crust pizza covered, but when I visited Chicago, I was introduced to the deep dish style. Thick, a new food cart on SW 3rd and Washington, brings Chicago style pizza to the streets of our fine town.
Thick opened a few months ago and was selling out daily immediately. First time I visited, just after 1pm – totally sold out of slices and making a couple of suit-clad businessmen their own personal pie. Michael Cline is the man behind the pizza. A Chicagoan by birth, Michael saw Portland was lacking in his favorite cuisine, so decided to open the cart. He crafts everything from scratch including the house made Italian sausage, and pies are fresh made daily.
A Chicago deep dish pie is exactly that – deep dish with thick crust. A standard pie takes almost an hour to bake, so Michael makes a specific number of pies each day and when the slices sell out, that’s it. You can pre-order a pie though, so don’t fret. I picked up a slice of handmade Italian sausage – Michael heated it up and handed me a small box which weighed a couple of pounds. While stalwarts may pick it up, I used a fork and knife to enjoy every last bite. Buttery crust acted well as the base layer topped first with Mozzarella then the sausage, and crushed tomatoes. The sausage was spot on and cheese in every bite made for a great lunch.
Thick Deep Dish Pizza is also open for breakfast, so if you’re coming into town early, feel free to stop by for local ham, melted onions, and Comte cheese encased in a classic buttery pastry crust. Sounds good to me. If you do want your own pie, be sure to call ahead and give Michael some time. All good things take time and patience. Drop on by for a thick slice of ‘za and let Michael know Food Carts Portland sent ya.
- Homemade Italian Sausage- $5/slice
- Spinach – $4/slice
- Whole pies available
Location: SW 9th and Alder
Hours: Monday-Saturday, lunchtime
The Story: To make a truly excellent green chile dish, roasting the chiles is paramount. At Sabrosa Barbosa, owner Cyl hand-roasts pounds of chiles in a cast iron skillet every night. That attention to detail is what garners this new food cart a gold star.
Sabrosa Barbosa opened late last year with a bright red paintjob and bold signs at the ever popular Alder food cart pod. Cyl, chef and owner is originally from LA where she, like many of us in the street food biz, worked 20 years in a different career. It wasn’t until the last few years that she began dabbling and experimenting in the kitchen when her friends and family recognized she had a hidden talent. No formal training, just late nights and attention to the right ingredients and experimentation has led Cyl to open her cart for us Portlanders to enjoy. Most of her dishes are prepared a full 24hrs in advance so flavors can mature and infuse. A celebration of Mexican cuisine made with love.
The menu at Sabrosa Barbosa offers up dinner plates, bowls, quesadillas and even nachos. The mole is made with molasses and honey, no refined sugars here. Cyl uses Peruvian beans with their mild sweetness and thin skins – the longer you cook, the more buttery they become. The Pork Green Chile Bowl is a treat for anyone looking for a spicy dish. And not just for heat sake, Cyl utilizes both jalapeño and serrano peppers to yield a fruity, smoky and spicy effect. Served over spanish rice, this bowl may compete with the others available on the lot for flavor and excitement.
Sabrosa Barbosa is the newest player on the lot. While some may see their cuisine as similar to other vendors, that is the magic of street food. Everyone does it different and Cyl is no slouch when it comes to flavor. The food cart is just one step in her journey to bring passion for cooking to the masses. Keep an eye out for this one. Drop on by next time you’re up that way and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.
- Chicken Mole Dinner – Peruvian beans, Spanish Rice and tortillas – $8.75
- Green Chile Dinner – pork or chicken – $8.75
- Quesadilla Dinner – tortillas, sliced avocado, tomato and cilantro, spicy house crema, peruvian beans, spanish rice – $7.50
- Chicken Mole Bowl – served over Peruvian beans and Spanish rice- $5.75
- Fresh Peruvian Bean Bowl – Peruvian beans topped with fresh onion, tomato, cilantro, diced avocado, fresh feta cheese – $4.50
Facebook: Sabrosa Barbosa
Phone: (503) 278-5606
Want to win free food cart food for a year? Yes you do! The awe inspiring Cartathlon IV scavenger hunt and over-indulgence race put on by Willamette Week returns in 2014 on Sunday March 2. Well costumed teams of five will have four hours to: decipher riddles; eat; ride Tri-Met; find Portland landmarks; eat; complete random tasks; take photos; and eat. Southeast, Southwest, Northeast and North Portland are among the neighborhoods they will visit. A race between some of Portland’s most popular pods, points are earned for the grand prize of free food cart food for a year! Prizes also will be awarded for best dressed team, best team name and more.
Teams of five may register for $60 per team. The participation fee includes breakfast snacks and Ninkasi samples, free Tri-Met passes, free food along the route, free Cartathlon swag for each team member and admission to an after-party where each member of your team will receive a free pint of Ninkasi.
To sign up your team of five, email email@example.com. Please include:
1. Team name
2. Team captain name
3. Daytime telephone number
More info about Cartathlon IV can be found at WWeek.com
Location: N Williams Ave between Failing and Shaver
Hours: Wednesday-Saturday, 9am-5pm
The Story: A simple grilled cheese sandwich is a treat for anyone, young or old. Melty is the word I’m thinking of. EthelKays Grilled Cheese and Lemonade is the newest food cart in town serving up delightful little morsels of cheese and bread.
Julie McBee opened the EthelKays food cart in 2013 in the Cully district in NE Portland after many years working in the service industry and restaurants. She always knew she wanted her own business and used the different positions to educate herself in cooking and managing a business. Before the cart was launched, Julie and her former partner had a stand at the Woodstock Farmers Market selling lemonade and grilled cheese – that business is still there named Urban Cheese. Julie moved on, opening the cart and then after a year in NE, moved to N Williams avenue, posting up next to Lodekka and the Hopworks Bike Bar. A prime location for any vendor.
EthelKay’s Grilled Cheese and Lemonade focuses on just that – cheese and lemons. Yet, with an extra bit of love. On the menu, you’ll find hot gooey grilled cheese sandwiches made with everything from cheddar to bacon to avocado to fruit and veggie chips. Think of it and she probably has it. Being a fan of tomatoes, basil and balsamic, I chose the Tuscan with buffalo Mozzarella, tomatoes, basil, balsamic and olive oil grilled between two slices of a bolo roll. Toasted just right, the Mozzarella doesn’t get really melty, but the flavors all infuse creating what I refer to as a reverse Margherita pizza. Every chomp – balsamic and oil blended with tomato juices dripped down my chin. I didn’t mind a bit. A great choice of bread made it even better than expected.
Julie has a great little cart with an amazing menu. Her lemonade is made fresh with wedges of lemon to make it extra tangy. I can’t wait till summer when I can sit on the curb, enjoy one and people watch. Drop on by next time you’re in the neighborhood and let Julie know Food Carts Portland sent ya.
- Ruthie – como bread, cheddar, sharp cheddar and havartti – $5
- Pappy – como bread, chaddar, sharp cheddar, havartti, bacon and tomato – $7
- French Connection – bolo roll, brie, pear, arugula, balsamic, olive oil – $6.50
- Tuscan – $6
- Monte Cristo – como bread, swiss, gruyere, black forest ham, dijon, blackberry jam, dipped in egg, grilled and dusted with powdered sugar – $7.50
- Soups – $3
- Spicy Peanut Noodles – noodles, cabbage, carrots, broccoli, peapods, peanuts, asian pepper sauce – $4
- Lemonade – $3
- Raspberry Lemonade – $3.50
Location: SW 2nd and Stark
Hours: Mon-Fri, 8am-4pm – winter hours may be shorter
The Story: Like pie? I do. Forking up warm chunks of hot apple pie is a year around pleasure. Ever thought of eating a pie out of a jar? All Jarred Up, a food cart in downtown Portland has that covered.
All Jarred Up is by no means a new business. Opened in the Etsy marketplace in 2010, owner Teri Hiles started packaging and shipping pie in small jam sized mason jars before opening the cart. Such and interesting and unique concept. Teri started the business after seeing a cupcake in a jar. Her offerings on Etsy make my mouth water – Very Very Berry, Caramel Apple, Pecan, Banana and even toffee or cookies. Every jar is freshly packed and sealed so all you have to do is open and enjoy.
Teri launched the All Jarred Up food cart in fall of 2012 at the corner of SW 2nd and Stark. At the cart, beyond pie in a jar, she also offers fresh made brownies, cookies, coffee, sodas and more. The menu changes regularly, so you’ll need to visit to see what’s on special that day. I picked up the spiced apple crumble with granny smith apples in Teri’s very own spice mix and topped with an oat crumble. Once opened, I just sat there an ogled – a pie in a jar. I devoured it, oat crumbles everywhere. The choice of granny smith apples was spot on, adding that summer tang to a winter treat.
All Jarred Up is bucking the trend by offering sweet options downtown. She also recycles the jars, so if you order a pie, bring the jar back for a 50c credit toward your next order. Or, use it in your own jamming. If you’re not from around here, you can order her treats off Etsy. Drop on by for a pie and let Teri know Food Carts Portland sent ya.
Sample Menu: (subject to change with seasonal offerings)
- Pie in a Jar – various flavors – $7
- Red Velvet Brownies – $2
- Chocolate Chip Cookies – $1.50
- Cranberry Scones – $2
- Truffled Hot Chocolate – $2.50
won the beverly hills pie contest
Location: NE 15th and Alberta
Hours: Mon-Sun, 12pm-12am
The Story: Alberta street really has changed since I first moved to N Portland last century. With all the new restaurants, boutiques and buildings, I’m glad spots for food carts have continued to thrive. East of NE 15th is a new lot with a few food carts including Margarita’s Recipes who focuses on Colombian and Italian cuisine.
I’m a fan of pictures when I order. A photo of a dish will draw me to it more than the description. Trust me, I’ve had some strange dishes due to picking a photo instead of a name. But, street food is an adventure. Margarita’s Recipes offers up a fusion of Colombian and Italian-American items. Camilo, the owner works long days to create some excellent dishes at affordable prices. You can enjoy spaghetti with Alfredo sauce or empanadas. Based on the photo, I picked up Ceviche de Camarón, a shrimp cocktail mixed with fresh green onions, cilantro and house made sauce. A 16oz cup chock full of spicy shrimp and a super fragrant sauce thanks to the fresh herbs. I also picked up some empanadas – light and fluffy. Only $11 for everything. A great value for great food.
Margarita’s Recipes may not be in the most beautiful food lot on Alberta, yet Camilo has a beautiful cart and soul. Open daily for lunch through dinner and into the night, drop on by, enjoy what he has to offer and let him know Food Carts Portland sent ya.
- Empanadas – chicken, beef or vegetarian – 3 for $2, 5 for $3
- Ravioli – beef or chicken with Alfredo sauce – $5
- Ceviche de Cameron – $9
- Spaghetti – $3; add meatballs, $5
- Bunuelo – fried cheese balls – 2 for $1.50
Phone: (503) 754-9817
Some News from the Portland Food Cart Scene
Cheese & Crack has closed their cart down off SE Hawthorne with the plan to open a brick and mortar space on East Burnside across from the Laurelhurst Theater. The Cheese & Crack Snack Shop will feature their wonderful array of cheeses, housemade crackers (the crack in the name) and beer. Congrats Will on the upgrade. Opening in February.
Right At The Fork, a new podcast hosted by Christ Angelus of Portland Food Adventures and Heather Jones has three episodes out now about Portland’s food scene. I was on episode 3 to chat about the food cart scene. Chris and I enjoyed a casual conversation about Portland and more. Find the episodes at RightattheFork.com.
New vendors and Moves
- Wrap Daddy – wraps – Rose City Food Park at NE 52nd and Sandy
- Leyland Cafe – Rose City Food Park
- Kanoa’s Kalua Pig – SW 3rd and Stark
- E-san Thai – SW 3rd and Washington
- Traditional Russian Cuisine has moved to Rose City Food Park
- Moberi has moved to N Mississippi and Beech
- PDXSliders has opened at SE 17th and Spokane in Sellwood
- Chez Dodo has moved downtown to SW 5th and Stark and reopened
- STIX has closed
- Give Pizza A Chance (after 6 years)
Spring and Summer is just around the corner. If you’re looking for a food truck or cart for your event, wedding, school carnival or birthday party, contact us at Events@FoodCartsPortland.com.
Have a great weekend.