The Local Grind

The Local Grind

The Local Grind

Location: Ira Keller Fountain Park – SW 4th and Clay
Hours: weekdays, lunchtime


Whenever I think of the first food carts I ate at, I harken back to the early 90’s and the carts that were available in Pioneer Courthouse Square. I forget about the love that we discovered when working down by PSU of the Hawaiian cart at the Ira Keller Fountain. Over the years, I can’t tell you how many rice bowls I ate there because early on, we were there every day – even in the rain. There is nothing like grabbing an excellent mix of marinated grilled chicken over rice and sitting at the edge of the fountain and enjoying the quiet while you eat. Over the years, the cart has come and gone and changed names and ownership. I’m happy to tell you that The Local Grind offers up what I remember and it is pretty darn tasty.

Some call it bento, others call it rice bowls, I call it chicken over rice. The Local Grind offers up three different types of marinated grilled chicken over rice – as simple as that. I’m glad it is simple as it doesn’t force me to choose from a large menu and it allows them to focus their energy on what they do well. The three types are garlic/honey, teriyaki and “da shred.” All are chicken marinated over night and then grilled and fresh for lunch every day. I usually choose two different types of chicken – garlic and honey and da shred. “Da Shred” is shredded chicken simmered in fresh ginger and garlic sauce and I’ll tell you, it is some of the best chicken I have tasted.

Da Shred and Garlic Honey over brown rice

Da Shred and Garlic Honey over brown rice

Sitting there with the slightly overcast sky, listening to the fountain was a great day to enjoy this lunch. I got a large, which is more than I really should be eating, but I finished it. The rice was a generous portion (I chose brown rice) and the chicken was moist and fully flavored throughout. No dry chicken here.

The Local Grind can be found at the top of the fountain across from Keller Auditorium. I would suggest them for before the opera, but I don’t think they do anything but lunch. While the weather is still nice, head on down to enjoy some local flavor and tell them Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • All meals are a bed of rice covered with a small or large portion of chicken. Brown or white rice available. Small -$5; large – $6
  • Teriyaki – marinated overnight in homemade teriyaki sauce
  • Da shred – tasty morsels of chicken simmered in fresh ginger and garlic
  • Garlic honey – a blend of honey, sesame and fresh ginger and garlic
  • Sides – Island style mac salad; fresh sauteed veggies – $1

Hours: Monday through Friday, 11am-2pm
Facebook: Local Grind



  1. Hey, that’s me in the picture! I personally love the teriyaki.

  2. Excellent – glad you covered this cart! I was down at the fountain the other day with my homemade lunch and watched the guy set up, and the smell was amazing. I was tempted to ditch my lunch to get something there. Looks tasty – will have to check it out.

  3. Hierarchyfive says

    Ate there today, the teryaki sauce is amazing and the portion for the small is quite large. New favorite and worth the walk for lunch.

  4. Hierarchyfive says

    Is this place still there? I went last week and he was no where to be found.

  5. When is this guy coming back for the summer?

  6. I’ve been wondering the same thing. This is one of my favorite carts and I’m eagerly awaiting its return. I only got to try it once in the fall before he disappeared for the winter, but that was enough to get me hooked.

  7. Amazing!! Tried this place last year and I have been hooked ever since. Probably the best I have ever had! Large portions – great price – and even better service!

  8. The Local Grind can now be found in the PSU Park Blocks at Park and Montgomery and he will return to the Ira Keller Fountain as soon as the weather gets a little nicer. Check out The Local Grind on facebook for daily details.

  9. Thanks for the review back in 2009. I have a new look and website—-please check it out!


  10. dieselboi says

    Larry, thanks for the heads up. We’ll update the post.

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