A Cajun Life

cajun food cart portland

A Cajun Life

Location: SE 43rd and Belmont – Good Food Here
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, lunch and dinner

The Story:

[A Cajun Life Food Cart moved to SE Portland’s Good Food Here in November 2014]

I grew up in deep SE Portland. We actually lived in unincorporated east Multnomah county, a mysterious rural land between Portland and Gresham. I raised pigs that usually went to “pig camp” while I was at summer camp. Food options in the area consisted of jojo’s at the local market or Subway or Dairy Queen. What I would give to have have been able to eat at A Cajun Life while a kid. It would have been childhood favorite.

A Cajun Life is the work of Chris Fontenot and his wife Hillary. Chris, a Louisiana native who ended up moving around the nation a bit before landing in Damascus, discovered the one thing he truly missed about home was the food. A common theme heard when talking with transplants to our fine town. Luckily for us, they chased this dream down and opened the cart named Roux down off HWY 212 and SE 202nd right in the heart of Damascus. It wasn’t easy. Damascus is a new city with little or no regulations regarding mobile vendors, so Clackamas County became the final arbiter. They too are new to mobile vending, so in the end, everyone has been on a learning curve trying to support this small business, get them open and keep them open.

Cajun food cart portland

Bayou Boogie and Crawfish étouffée

A Cajun Life’s menu features all the dishes I have fell in love with during my numerous trips to New Orleans. While everything on the menu looked simply amazing, I asked Chris for his specialty and he put together a combo of his Bayou Boogie and crawfish étouffée. Normally, this quantity of food would give me pause, but after that first bite of hot sausage and rice with a bit of chicken, I couldn’t put the fork down. The hot of the sausage was so different than what I’ve had, I couldn’t get enough. I quickly realized I had picked out most of the sausage and left everything else there. I felt like a kid separating items on the plate. The difference here was that the rest of the dish was amazing even though I had already ate the sausage. The crawfish étouffée, crawfish tails smothered in sauce, was equally flavorful and a treat. I asked Chris about a crawfish boil and he stated it may end up on the menu in the future. Mmmm, crawfish!

A Cajun Life, located in Damascus, may be a bit far for many of our readers here, but it is on the way to and from Mt. Hood and elsewhere east. Take a different route next time you’re out for a hike and drop on by. Their hours are weekend focused open on Friday at the cart and Saturday at the Gresham Farmers Market. If you’re a Timbers fan, you can check them out at Saturday, September 29th’s match against DC United. I’m happy to see mobile vendors succeeding beyond Portland but close enough to visit. Drop on by if you’re in the area and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Authentic Cajun Gumbo: chicken, sausage, Tasso served with potatoes in roux based sauce over rice – $8
  • Crawfish étouffée: crawfish tails smothered in sauce served over rice – $8
  • Bayou Boogie: chicken, sausage and Tasso gravy served over rice – $8
  • Crawfish Pistolettes: French bread stuffed with crawfish cheese sauce – $3.50 each

Website: ACajunLife.com
Facebook: A Cajun Life


  1. One question… Do they have Bodan? I love that sausage and the only time I can get it is when I go to visit my sister in Denham Springs every couple years lol.

  2. Not on the menu, but it may be worth contacting them to see if they can get it. Such a treat.

  3. mynamesbilly says

    boudin, not bodan!

  4. Boudin is not currently on the menu but its definitely something we are considering adding for next year. Check out our website and/or facebook page for menu updates as boudin and boiled crawfish are at the top of our list of potential additions for the new year! Thanks for asking!

  5. on saturdays, is ” a cajun life ” located in damascus or gresham? and are they open 11-2 or 11-7 ? because their website says they are in damascus from 11-7 or there abouts?

  6. I believe they were only in Gresham when the Farmers Market was running.

  7. Hi- looking forward to some authentic Cajun food. We visited New Orleans this past summer and loved the food. Are you open Sat. Eve ? If so what are your hours? Would love to come tonight:)

  8. We are currently open Fridays 3:00-7:00 and Saturdays 11:00-7:00 at our cart in Damascus. We plan on expanding our hours to Wednesday and Thursdays starting this spring. We plan on returning to a few farmers markets as well in addition to the cart this summer. Also, we have added boiled crawfish to the menu as a special order. Check out our website or facebook for details. http://www.acajunlife.com http://www.facebook.com/acajunlife

  9. This just in! We are on schedule to have our first seasoning available by end of May! Check FB and website for the pre-order link in the next few weeks!

  10. Daniel Hawthorne says

    I have many years in the cajun style of cooking and would love a job in or on you’re cart… My goal is to have my own cart here in Portland. I am attending the AI culinary school at the moment, and in the second quarter. As far as I know it takes approx. 4000 to 6000 to start a cart. Is that right? If you would need a hand part time style I would enjoy helping out.
    One of my favorite specials that I came up with is blackened salmon over a bed of fresh greens,( letting the fish rest until room temp.) with a rasberry vinagrette?…
    Look forward to hearing from another foody.
    Note: The way I make a black roux for gumbo is cooking process and cheating for color with Kitchen Bouquet. I wait until the smell of the roux is proper.

  11. William Daily says

    It’s not at this location any more! Moved to SE Sunnyside Rd

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