Haan Ghin

Laotian food cart portland

Haan Ghin

Location: SW Park and Harrison at PSU Park Blocks
Hours: M-F, lunch

The Story: Most every Portlander I speak with comment on the number of Thai eateries we have throughout the city. Yet I rarely hear about other cuisines from Southeast Asia and have been wanting to explore. Then I learned of Haan Ghin, a new Laotian cart at Portland State University and paid a visit.

Historically, downtown Portland was divided by what we now refer to as the north and south park blocks. City founders designated the land as a division between commerce and housing and the industry that was further west. Those long city blocks of mature trees and rose bushes and public art are still enjoyed daily by many. By Portland State University, the park blocks are an integral part of the campus and since I can remember, there have been food carts there to feed the students. At Park and Harrison, a mini-pod has anchored with five vendors allowed to keep their little carts there overnight during the week. Haan Ghin is one of those, along with a soup vendor, BBQ and a noodle shop.

Laotian food cart portland

Laap Gai from Haan Ghin

Haan Ghin owners Anthony Manivanh and Ann Derryberry put together an adorable wood shingled cart with handmade signs and everything. The menu is small, but I honestly love that. The fewer items, the dedication to each is that much greater. The Laap Gai, a chicken DIY lettuce wrap dish is plated with ground chicken tossed with scallions, mint, cilantro, shallots, chiles and lemongrass, sticky rice and a hunk of lettuce. Yep, make your own lettuce wrap and the work involved is worth it. Lettuce is cold and crisp, whereas the spicy chicken along with a bit of their housemade chili sauce is savory and spicy with a bit of citrus on the back end. Each little nibble is a delight. I love the little touches here at Haan Ghin. The Portland street food scene was born on DIY, so why not have a dish on the menu the customer has to engage with.

Haan Ghin is a great addition to Portland’s street food scene and while it is over by PSU, a bit of a walk for some who normally call the other downtown pods home, it is worth it. Sit among the towering fir trees enjoying your meal and watch college students scurry about. If you’re ever nervous about how to pronounce a dish, they have a pho-net-ic menu posted also. Next time you’re down that way or if you’re up for a special treat, drop on by Haan Ghin Eatshop and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Laap Gai – Chicken DIY lettuce wraps – $7
  • Mii Gai – egg noodles w/chicken, Ong Choy and crispy toppings – $7
  • Specials daily

Facebook: Haan Ghin
Twitter: @HaanGhin
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The Lunch Box

lunch box food cart portland

The Lunch Box

Location: NW 19th and Quimby – Q19
Hours: lunch, weekdays

The Story: There are food trucks and food trailers. Large and small. There are vendors on bikes. But, The Lunch Box is probably the cutest, coziest little food cart I’ve seen in awhile. Creating wraps both hot and cold, the cart sated my lunchtime needs for a cool and crisp Friday.

Wraps for me are either awesome of not. I’m not sure what it is, yet I tend to shy away from them. Maybe because every corporate box lunch ever made had a poorly made wrap in it – all cold and soggy. Yet, I know wraps can be done well and Portland’s food carts have proved that. At The Lunch Box, they offer up both cold and hot pressed wraps with a variety of ingredients. Being a cool fall day, I chose the Tuna Melt hot pressed wrap. A layer of cheese on the tortilla, topped with fresh tuna salad and tomato, the wrap is then pressed similar to a panini until hot with all that tasty cheese melted throughout. Inside Quimby’s, the onsite bar, everyone asked what I had. No one had seen such a glorious sandwich from a cart I guess. Being a sucker for anything with the words tuna and melt in it, I dove in and enjoyed every bite. A great mix of tuna with seasonings and mayo. The wrap was crisp and toasty. Overall, I would trade this over some of the traditional melts I’ve had in town.

lunch box food cart portland

Tuna Melt Hot Pressed Wrap from The Lunch Box

The Lunch Box is located at Q19 Food Cart Pod in NW Portland. There is outdoor seating or you can take you food inside and warm up in the bar. Drop on by and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

Hot Pressed Wraps:

  • Philly Steak – $8
  • Chipotle Chicken – $7
  • Tuna Melt – $7
  • Chicken Cordon Bleu – $7
  • Grilled Cheese w/bacon and tomato – $7

Cold Wraps:

  • Italian – ham, salami, basil – $7
  • Chicken Bacon Club – $7
  • Tuna – $7
  • Veggie – $7
  • Roast Beef – $7

The Good and Evil Wrap Co.

Good and Evil Wraps

Good and Evil Wraps

Location: SE 82nd and Harney
Hours: Tues-Sun, 11:30am-8pm

The Story: There is good and there is evil, but when it comes to food, everyone has their own interpretations. Some think bacon is good, while others believe it is evil. For the record, if bacon is on a BLT, I believe it is good.

At Good and Evil Wraps, if you peruse the menu, they define in the general sense as good = healthier while evil = well, living on the wild side. Tim Gerald opened the cart earlier this year at Cartlandia down off the Springwater Corridor. That lot continues to grow and evolve with new vendors coming in weekly to mix up the food options. Having spent 14 years in the restaurant industry, Tim decided the truck was his next step.

Perusing the menu is honestly a challenge. I want to eat healthier, so looking at the options  on the ‘good’ side with kale, cucumbers, tofu, carrots, tempeh and all kinds of other fresh vegetables, I knew I was in the right place. Yet, when I glance over to the ‘evil’ side, my mouth begins to water. Pepper Jack Steak Wrap with flat iron steak; Fat Boy Wrap with steak, bacon, fries and veggies. Alas, the angel over my left shoulder instructed me to pick the Detox Wrap on the good side. Kale, spinach, daikon radish, cucumbers, carrots, onions, tomatoes, green bell peppers, cilantro and goat cheese drizzled with mandarin citrus vinaigrette. All that, all those amazing fresh flavors mixed together and wrapped in a spinach tortilla. Every bite felt like I was sitting in a large garden picking fresh vegetables and plopping them in my mouth. The bitter greens complimented the acidity of the tomato and coolness of the cuke. One good wrap.

Good and Evil Wraps is open Tuesday-Sunday, from 11:30-8pm and often offers daily specials. They offer kid options, so make it a family affair. Drop on by for something good or evil and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:
  • Detox Wrap – $7
  • Avocado Tempeh Wrap: tempeh, avocado, tomatoes, cucumber, onions, romaine, lettuce, spinach, goat cheese – $7
  • Chicken Wrap: chicken, avocado, tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, goat cheese, dried cranberries, sweet dijon vinaigrette – $7.75
  • Curried Quinoa Wrap: tofu, quinoa, kale, tomatoes, onion, daikon radish, cilantro, carrots, red curry lime sauce – $7.50
  • Fat Boy Wrap: steak, bacon, french fries, tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, cheddar jack, special sauce – $7.50
  • Pepper Jack Steak Wrap: flat iron steak, pepper jack cheese, bacon, sauteed onions and bell peppers, tomatoes, romaine and pepper jack cheese – $7.50

Phone: (503) 707-4695
Website: GoodandEvilWraps.com
Facebook: Good and Evil Wraps
Twitter: @GoodandEvilWrap