A Little Bit of Smoke



bbq food cart portland

A Little Bit of Smoke



Location: SW 9th and Alder
Weekdays, lunchtime

The Story:

When one takes a view of Portland’s cart scene, they will see plenty of Thai and Mexican carts, but few BBQ even though that is one flavor that is truly American. Portland does have carts that specialize in BBQ, but the are few and far between. With the addition of A Little bit of Smoke in southwest Portland, downtown gets another opportunity to try an American original.

Bar b que or BBQ is like NYC pastrami, there is always a discussion as to where it is from, who made it and what style it is in. I’m not a BBQ connoisseur or historian, but I do know there is a different flavor of BBQ for every county in every state south of the Mason-Dixon line. When I first heard of A Little Bit of Smoke, I learned they were doing Carolina style BBQ. My first visit was to try their pulled chicken sandwich which had a vinegar hint to the BBQ sauce. I learned later that that the vinegar is typical of eastern North Carolina BBQ and that western North Carolina BBQ has more of a tomato based BBQ sauce. Crazy I tell ya, but intriguing. To think that what I think is simple BBQ can change from city to city and state to state makes me want to do research. You know what research requires? Eating!

bbq food cart portland

Pulled Pork Sandwich

A Little Bit of Smoke was put together by Scott and Genevieve. The first time I visited, Scott, the man behind the menu was in the cart ready to teach me. What I loved was how laid back he was. It was as if I was visiting him at his home and chillin’ in the backyard with a beer. Scott gets assistance from another Scott and Genevieve who are equally as welcoming and offer up samples and smiles. The pulled chicken sandwich, something I have never had, was a treat with moist chicken chunks on a standard white bun with a sauce that complemented well. Each bite introduced me to a new flavor, but most predominately was vinegar. I am not usually a fan of chicken as my experience has taught me that it normally comes out dry, yet at A Little bit of Smoke, it was far from dry. The second visit introduced me to Scott’s pulled pork which, if you’re a fan of pork, is a divine little sandwich. Plenty of meat, a good sauce on a white bun. That second visit also introduced me to a couple of their sides – a sweet potato salad with nice chunks of orange sweet potato and their black eyed pees with plenty of bacon flavor. These guys know what they’re doing in the kitchen.

A Little Bit of Smoke has been open now for a few weeks and captured a spot at food cart central at SW 9th and Alder. Their prices are comparable to other carts and the service is welcoming and friendly. I’m more excited for the sides they offer than the BBQ, but am a sucker for good pulled pork or chicken. Head over, give Carolina BBQ a try and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Pulled Pork topped w/ slaw – $6
  • Pulled Chicken – $6
  • Add 2 sides to either sandwich – $9


  • Black Eyed Peas – $3
  • Sweet Potato Salad – $3
  • Cole Slaw – $3

Hours: Weekdays, lunchtime
Phone: 503 758 8860
Facebook: A Little Bit of Smoke


  1. Yes it is true: BBQ is a noun not a verb in the south.

  2. I just ordered their hog bowl and it is really good. Comes in a 16 oz paper cup similar to Whole Bowl and has pulled pork, coleslaw, and blackeyed peas. I think the bbq sauce melted into the “gravy” that the peas and coleslaw created but nonetheless its tasty. Smoke is very prevalent and the portion size is decent. I like having the blackeyed peas as a substitute for a bun.

    Definitely give it a shot!

  3. could i get a veggie-q, please?

  4. Mom ordered the pork plate with sweet potato salad and black eyed peas, and I ate more of hers than I did of my own stuff from a different food cart. Went back and ordered a plate for myself to take home and have for dinner. The pork is so tender and the mustard sauce rocks my face off. Keep it up guys. Sooooooo goooooood. U r my new favorite.

  5. I walked around and around the whole 9th & Alder food cart area (even went across 10th) and couldn’t find this one. I would love to find someplace in Portland that serves good Carolina-style BBQ.

  6. dieselboi says

    They are located on SW 9th right in the middle between Alder and Washington

  7. I’m a North Caroline native and I’ve had barbecue at some of the best (Lexington #1, Bridges’ in Shelby, Parkers’ in Wilson and Maurice’s in Columbia), and this is the real deal. I happened upon this truck by accident today (3/6/15) and had the pulled pork sandwich. I could tell they probably knew what they were doing when I saw that they offered the 3 distinct Carolina sauces. As Lester Moran, the Old Road Hog would say, “MIGHTY FINE!”

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.