Built to Grill


Built to Grill, Portland


SW 3rd and Washington


When I walked by Built to Grill the other day, something caught my nose, intriguing me. I had already eaten lunch, so vowed to return the next day. Luckily, my lunch buddies wanted to head in that direction for a new Italian cart. We were headed in the exact same direction. I guess I had missed the big Italian flag on the side of the cart.

Built to Grill is new on the scene, having opened just two weeks ago. The owners, Brooke and Aisha, had the cart built special for them in Florida and then shipped up – hence the name. Oh, and such a beautiful cart with everything they need to product a great meal. Built to Grill specializes in Italian sandwiches and pasta dishes. Looking over the sandwich choices makes one’s mouth water. There aren’t many places in Portland where one can find a grilled muffuletta. I sometimes need to hit up the local charcuterie and make it myself. I’ve been on a sandwich kick of late, so discovering that Built to Grill is more than pasta encourages me that the food cart gods are listening to my pleas.

I opted for the grilled muffuletta while my partners chose the Italian hero and the penne with basil pesto. All three meals were top notch. While I was noshing on the first half of my sandwich, my friend offered up a trade for half of his grilled hero. Who could pass that up? The chance to try two different sandwiches in one sitting was great.

Italian Hero courtesy of @Mondofresh

Italian Hero courtesy of @Mondofresh

Grilled Muffuletta

Grilled Muffuletta

The muffuletta was a perfect layering of thinly sliced salami, mortadella, roasted red pepper and provolone, topped with green olive tapenade. All that between artisan bread and thrown on the grill and pressed. The hero was a mix of prosciutto, salami, mortadella, spinach, arugula, peperoncini, provolone and red wine vinaigrette. Both sandwiches were the perfect size and tasted amazing. I’ve tried different olive tapenade both from stores and restaurants and Brooke’s was at the top. Reminded me of the first time I ate a muffuletta in New Orleans. I asked him about it and he informed me that he makes both his tapenade and pesto from scratch. Further, he gets all of his cheeses and meats direct from Italy. Now that’s authentic.

Built to Grill is probably going to become a go to cart for me. I’m a huge fan of paninis and Italian meats. I think I could eat salami and prosciutto for every meal if it were considered a health food. When your out looking for something new, go give Built to Grill a try. Tell them Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Bowtie primavera – $5
  • Penne w/ basil pesto – $5
  • Portabella Panini: grilled portabella mushroom, caramelized onions, mozzarella w/ basil pesto – $6
  • Hot muffuletta: salami, mortadella, roasted red peppers, provolone w/green olive tapenade – $6
  • Meltdown: prosciutto, roasted red peppers, artichokes, provolone w/basil pesto – $6
  • Italian Hero: prosciutto, salami, mortadella, spinach, arugula, pepperoncini, provolone w/red wine vinaigrette – $6
  • Soups, Salads and drinks available

Hours: Monday through Friday 11am-3pm or sell out.
Contact: unknown at this time.



al Forno Ferruzza

Food Carts Portland

Al Forno Ferruzza_1.JPGUpdate 11/2009: This cart has now opened a full blown restaurant at NE 27th and Alberta. The cart is only open once in a while for events. Please call them at (315) 523-3407 to confirm.  Thanks!

Location: Sw 4th Ave and College St. (near PSU)

Description: Portland now has another food cart serving tasty and traditional Sicilian street food.

Pizza, calzones, and daily specials ($5.00) like lasagna, eggplant parmesan, and pastas make up the offerings at this large purple cart on the corner of SW 4th Ave. and College Street near PSU, while desserts such as house made cannolis, cakes, pies, and brownies round out the offerings. The food is good. Really good. For Stephen Ferruzza, the affable young owner, is some kind of Sicilian food savant. Originally from upstate NY, he comes equipped with some pretty impressive credentials including stints working as a chef at the Lake Placid Lodge, and a Sicilian father who taught him his trade. Stephen’s biggest love however, is baking.


And it shows. Pizza aficionados usually agree that one of the most important parts of the pizza is the crust, and Ferruzza makes a crust to rival that of the best in Portland. Equipped with a real pizza oven that gets up to 700 degrees F, a true slow risen dough, and a touch that only a passionate and true baker can have, his crust is a perfect balance between crusty and soft, thin in the right spots and thick around the fat edges, and has little air bubbles and the occasional spot of char on the bottom indicating it was made in the traditional and proper manner. It’s pretty darn close to a slice of heaven if you ask me. Toppings are basic and include the classic pizza margherita, pizza carne (choice of pepperoni or hard salumi), or a pizza verdura that features seasonal veggies. Pizzas come in three sizes – a large slice is $3.00, a nine- inch or so round “personal pizza” is $6.00, and a whole pie goes for $14.00, no matter the toppings. Stephen doesn’t skimp on quality either, using well regarded San Marzano tomatoes for his vibrant sauce and quality mozzarella, fresh basil and different seasonal vegetables for his toppings. Al_Forno_Ovens.JPG

The calzones are large and well worth the $5.00 and come as a choice of Classico (ricotta, mozzarella, and basil),Verdura (seasonal vegetables), or Carne (with pepperoni or salumi). In addition, Stephen, with his love and knowledge of baking, also makes his own bread, “soft and Sicilian style, not that hard crunchy kind found everywhere else in Portland,” he says. Bread comes as a side for the daily specials, or a whole loaf can be purchased for $3.00.

I’m always amazed when I find cart food like this tucked away in the corners and parking lots of Portland, especially when it is of this high caliber and made by someone who truly cares about his craft. Highly recommended!

Sample Menu:

Pizzas – $3.00, $6.00 or $14.00 – Margherita (tomatoes, basil, mozzarella), carne (mozzarella, basil, peperoni or salumi), or verdura (seasonal vegetables).

Calzones – $5.00- with a side of tomato sauce – classico (ricotta, mozzarella, basil), verdura (seasonal vegetables), carne (mozzarella and choice of pepperoni or salumi)

Specials – $5.00 – with fresh baked Sicilian bread – rotating daily specials with things like lasagna, eggplant parmesan, pastas, etc.

Fresh baked bread – $3.00

Rotating desserts – $3.00 – cannoli, cakes, pies, brownies, etc

Hours: (call for hours)

Phone: (315) 523-3407

Website: Unknown