PDX Dönerländ

german food cart portland

PDX Dönerländ

Location: NE 7th and Killingsworth at Piedmont Station
Hours: Tues-Fri, 11:30-2:30 and 5-930pm; Sat/Sun, 12-9:30

The Story: Piedmont Station, one of Portland’s newest food cart pods, brings tasty treats to northeast Portland just off MLK Blvd and Killingsworth. Of the new food carts, PDX Dönerländ offers up a dish rarely found on the east side – döner kebab.

Owners Ron and Franziska are the team behind PDX Dönerländ. Franziska hails from Karlsruhe in Germany and Ron from San Francisco, yet they began their love over meat sandwiches while traveling in Germany. Franziska grew up with döner, a dish originating in Turkey and brought to Germany in the 50’s by guest workers, so opening a food cart and sharing the love came to pass. Franziska also has more than a few years as a professional chef under her belt, so that helps. Their mission is to serve the highest quality ingredients and use organic when possible and 100% GMO free. Everything served is made from scratch in the cart and you can tell by the freshness of every bite.

I’ve enjoyed a myriad of döner kebab over the years. Some served atop rice or with salad, others in a pita or other type of pocket bread. While traditional döner was usually mutton, most everyone now serves a mix of chicken and turkey, with some offering beef or lamb. At PDX Dönerländ, the kebab flatbread sandwich is stuffed with sliced chicken and turkey döner meat, lettuce, tomatoes, red cabbage, onions, pepperoncini and your choice of a yogurt-dill or red sauce. I was expecting thin slices of meat, but here, they were chunks, adding a texture and breadth of flavor I hadn’t expected. The sauce dripped throughout the meat and veggies, adding a cool sweetness to the entire meal. Lastly, the flatbread. Everything comes down to the bread right? Franziska nailed it, creating the best possible vessel for the cacophony of meat, veggies and sauce.

german food cart portland

Doner Kebab

I’m excited to see vendors bringing traditional street foods from Europe to Portland. There are excellent dishes under represented in the vast array of vendors throughout this fine town. Welcome to Portland PDX Dönerländ. Next time you’re up in the neighborhood, drop on by the pod, enjoy a döner kebab, maybe a beer and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Döner kebab sandwich – $9
  • Vegetarian/Vegan Doner – $9
  • Mediterranean Salads  – $7-9 depending on toppings

Website: PDX-Donerland.com
Facebook: PDX Donerland
Twitter: @PDXDonerland

Istanbul Delight

turkish food cart portland

Istanbul Delight

Location: SE 50th and Division, A la Carts Food Pavilion
Hours: Weekdays and weekends, lunch and dinner

The Story:

The food pod at North Station has gone through some big changes over the last year with some carts leaving and being replaced by new ones. One of these new carts, Istanbul Delight, is an excellent addition that may surprise you.

I have been able to enjoy all the flavors of the Middle East as a result of the cart scene here in Portland. I have heard arguments that the food throughout the region is all the same – falafel and gyros and hummus. I disagree with that generalization and argue that each country and culture has their own distinct flavors and spices and methods for creating meals. At Istanbul Delight, Kamo, the owner, presents dishes from Turkey, inviting you to enjoy his creations.

turkish food cart portland

Vegetarian Plate at Istanbul Delight

We were in the mood for a light snack so we wouldn’t arrive at a BBQ later in the day stuffed and at Istanbul Delight, we were able to get small plates with big flavor. The Gül Börek, a phyllo dough roll with spinach, feta and onion baked inside is made fresh every morning. Kamo stated that you wouldn’t normally find this item later in the day because they make them in batches in the early morning and sell out quickly. The circular roll is deceiving. It looks big and heavy, but is light and airy and when you bite in. The buttery phyllo melts in your mouth with the wonderful mixture of the spinach, feta and onion. So good, it is hard not to stuff it all in your mouth. You slow down and enjoy every bite. The gül börek is served with a crisp Mediterranean salad of chopped cucumbers and tomatoes and spiced with a bit of mint and topped with a sprinkle of sumac. Cool and tangy and perfect for a light snack.

Istanbul Delight is now open at North Station in the Arbor Lodge neighborhood of north Portland. Look for the bright blue cart. Kamo’s menu goes beyond the gül börek and offers daily specials along with Turkish Coffee. Let him know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

[Moved to SE Portland in 2013]

Sample Menu:

  • Beef/Lamb Gyro Wrap: served wrapped in pita with lettuce, tomato, cucumber, onion and tzatziki sauce – $6
  • Falafel Wrap: chickpea patties wrapped in pita with lettuce, tomato, cucumber, onion and  tzatziki or tahini sauce – $5
  • Gül Börek: spinach, feta and onion rolled and baked in phyllo dough. Served with Mediterranean salad – $4
  • Vegetarian Plate: 1 gül börek, 2 falafel patties and Mediterranean salad – $6.50
  • Cheese Borek: deep fried pastry filled with feta cheese and parsley – 4 for $4
  • Turkish Coffee: $2

Hours: Weekdays and weekends, lunch and dinner
Phone: 503 894 4605
Website: IstanbulDelightPDX.blogspot.com
Twitter: @IstanbulPDX          Facebook: Istanbul Delight

Sultan’s Kitchen

Sultan's Kitchen

Sultan's Kitchen

Location: SW 4th and College
Hours: Lunchtime, weekdays

The Story:

As you walk down the street on the west side of 4th avenue where the food carts are, you have your choice of Thai or Mexican, burgers, Vietnamese, sandwiches and soups. A new player has joined the pod serving up Turkish fare and Sultan’s Kitchen won’t disappoint.

When I think of Turkish food, I immediately think of all things middle eastern like hummus and pita along with variations on falafel. I’m naive in this because I’m putting every nation in that region into the same culinary basket without appreciating each culture’s dishes. Here in Portland, my foray into Turkish dishes came with the introduction of Ali Baba’s Turkish Kitchen this past year. I have enjoyed kofte and doner and various other dishes along with some great hospitality. Sultan’s Kitchen continues that trend with both a great menu and kind staff.

Chicken IskenderThe offerings at Sultan’s Kitchen range from doner to kofte to other Turkish dishes I have yet to try. I perused the menu and decided on what I thought was the Sultan’s Delight only to learn that was the name for the daily special. The owner/chef knew what I was trying to order, chuckled and put together a plate of chicken iskender. A tasty dish of crispy pita smothered with grilled chicken, spicy tomato sauce, melted butter and then topped with creamy yogurt, you gotta know this one is a mouth pleaser. So many divergent flavors with the creamy yogurt mixed with the spicy tomato and still crunchy pita, I enjoyed it to the last bite.

Sultan’s Kitchen opened earlier this fall and is serving up some wonderful Turkish fare. They are open for lunch daily and if you’re lucky, may just offer you a little dessert as part of their hospitality. Check them out and let ’em know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Chicken Iskender: crispy pita bread smothered with grilled chicken, spicy tomato sauce, melted butter and topped with creamy yogurt – $7
  • Kofte: spicy grilled beef kofte, Turkish rice and Cobon salad – $6
  • Doner Plate: grilled chicken, Turkish rice and Cobon salad – $6
  • Sultan’s Toast: toasted bread with kasar cheese – $5
  • Kuru & Pilav: white beans simmered in a zesty tomato sauce served with Turkish rice – $5
  • Borek: hot crispy pastry stuffed with spinach, onion and feta cheese – $4

Hours: weekdays for lunch
Phone: 503-400-8580
Website: SultansKitchenPDX.com