Taqueria El Rodeo


Taqueria El Rodeo

Taqueria El Rodeo

Location: SW 10th and Alder
Daily for breakfast and lunch

The Story:

As the second most popular street food in Portland, Mexican can be found at each pod. Some are great, some are simple, but all of them offer a good product at a low price. Taqueria El Rodeo opened in May to compete against the longtime Tito’s just around the corner.

In the cart that use to be SaBaiDee Thai for many years, Taqueria El Rodeo didn’t do much other than put up new signage. With a traditional menu of Mexican fare, they have something for everyone, including breakfast burritos and vegetarian options. We were in a hurry with only a few dollars in cash, so chose the $1.50 tacos with carnitas, chicken, fish and machaca. Served with the two small tortillas stacked, the tacos were overflowing with meat, chopped onions and fresh cilantro. I think these had twice the amount of filling as other carts in town. Everything tasted great and was made to order. The fish taco though was the stand-out with plenty of fish, a good white sauce and finely chopped cabbage. All in all, a cart I would return to.

Taqueria El Rodeo sits among the numerous Thai carts on that corner. As stated, it is the former bright red SaBaiDee Thai cart, so if you would normally pass it, stop by to try some of their items. Let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

Options for meat and fillings: asada, chicken, carnitas, pastor, shredded beef, chorizo, machaca, fish and veggies

  • Tacos: $1.50
  • Burritos: beans, rice, pico de gallo, guacamole, sour cream and choice of meat or veggies – $5
  • Dinner Plates – served with sides of rice and beans, lettuce, pico de gallo, guacamole, sour cream – $6
    • Enchilada Burrito
    • Quesadilla
    • Chile Relleno
    • Taco Salad
    • Nachos
  • Tortas: Mexican sandwich served with your choice of meat – $6
  • Breakfast Burritos – ingredients can include meat, eggs, hash browns, rice and veggies – $4

Hours: Weekdays – open for breakfast and lunch
Phone: 503 810 9303


Altengartz German Bratwurst


Altengartz Bratwurst

Location: SW 10th and Alder Parking Lot


Bratwurst. Brat. The best known and most basic of German Sausages. Everyone knows it and everyone has had one – even veggie brats. Jameson Wittkopp, the owner of Altengartz has built a business behind the Brat. Not the bier sausage, not the weisswurst, not the kielbasa – just the Brat. Jameson’s bratwurst are all natural pork sausages and he prides himself that the dogs are hormone free and Made in Oregon.

I have enjoyed a few Altengartz Brats over the years. The truck has been in the 9th and Alder lot for a few years now, kinda the elder statesman of the bunch. I recently visited and enjoyed the garlic brat. I assumed it may be a brat with chunks of garlic in it, but as I pointed out above, there isn’t anything but a traditional brat sold there. The dog I enjoyed was a perfectly cooked brat with fresh garlic mixed in with Sauerkraut. Throw in some stone ground mustard and…well…yum.

The Altengartz cart offers both a traditional Bratwurst and a Veggie Brat with all the fixins.  They also do a hamburger if that is your thing.  Salads? Yep. And they are affordable.


Sample Menu:

  • Bratwurst – $4.50
  • Double Bratwurst – $6.50
  • Veggie Brat (chickpea base) – $4.50
  • Toppings – 5oc each – grilled onions, sauerkraut, cheese, garlic
  • Potato Salad  – $1.25
  • Baked Beans or 4 bean salad – $1.25
  • drinks and sodas and chips also

Hours: Lunch weekdays
503 699 4962 or 1 866 Top Brat



Jonathan Amato

UPDATED December 05, 2008


Location: SW 10th, between Alder and Washington

Description: A Vietnamese cart serving rice noodle bowls, grilled dishes, a Bahn Mi sandwich variety or two, a couple of lesser known Vietnamese options and the great soup export known as Pho. Huong’s has also recently expanded their vegetarian menu. There are now an equal number of vegetarian and meat focused entrees.

Once upon a time I got stuck in Hanoi, Vietnam for an extended, yet unplanned stay. The story of this little adventure is long and complicated, but the end result? I fell in love with this ancient city, met some wonderful locals who adopted me as their friend and I absolutely fell head over heals in love with the food. I especially loved discovering some of the thousands of street stands, carts and humble little huts serving up some of the best food I’ve ever eaten, anywhere.

Huong’s reminds me of the little food stands I came to love in Hanoi, and in subsequent trips, other parts of Vietnam as well.  Especially the Pho, found at street stands from Sapa on the border of China all the way to the Southern tip of the Mekong delta. Pho is eaten for breakfast, lunch, dinner and as a late night snack all throughout the country, features many regional variations on a theme, and is cheap, filling and healthy. It’s the perfect cart food really, and I’m excited that Huong’s is serving it.

$6.00 Pho Bo at Huong's
Huong’s offers three types of pho: pho ga (chicken), pho bo (beef) and vegetarian pho. All come as a generous portions that could easily provide 2 meals for less ravenous appetites. Huong’s phos have quite aromatic and richly flavored broths, contain a good ratio of broth to rice noodles and are served with the accompaniments of lime, jalapeno peppers, basil and bean sprouts as well as the standard hot and savory sauces. For the price of $6.00, Huong’s pho certainly stands up to most others in Portland. My one beef (no pun intended) is that Huong’s doesn’t offer a nice ceramic or plastic bowl to eat the stuff at at their little table in situ, but the large paper carton they do provide works just fine. However, the tiny little teaspoons provided with the wooden chopsticks and paper napkins do not hold more than an eyedropper of broth at a time and make picking up the noodles, as per Asian noodle soup slurping custom, impossible. Huong’s, please invest in some Asian style soup spoons. My preference given their current soup spoon situation, is to take the pho back to my office where I can transfer it into my own large pho bowl to be eaten with my own chopsticks and spoon.

The best way to eat pho. Note the large Asian spoon.

The best way to eat pho. Note the large Asian spoon.

[Read more…]

Aybla Grill – Mediterranean

Jonathan Amato
mediterranean food cart portland

Aybla Grill

Location: Three Locations – SW 10th and Alder; SW 5th and Oak; SE 43rd and Belmont

Description: Quality Mediterranean and Greek Food including lots of vegetarian and some vegan options. The Gyros especially, are highly recommended.

Aybla is open later than most carts (5:30 PM) making it doable for an early dinner before a movie or to grab dinner to go on your way home after work. Aybla is also open on Saturdays from 12-4 PM, yet another rarity in the Portland food cart realm.

I’ve heard lots of feedback that Aybla’s gyros are just about the best in town and I’m happy to report that they are quite tasty, fresh, and the meat is tender and well portioned. Overall I’d say the gyros here are a very good value for the money (regular gyros $4.50, giant “enough for 2 meals” super gyros are $6.00). Gyros come in either the grilled lamb variety or with seasoned chicken served in a billowy thick and soft Greek style pita and include tzatziki sauce, and chopped onion, tomato, and parsley. Feta cheese can be added for $0.50. Another delicious pita sandwich is the traditional grilled skewers of ground seasoned lamb known as kafta kebobs.

Salads include a standard Greek salad ($4.00 large, $2.00 small), or traditional Tabouli ($3.00).

The Mezzas here are also quite fresh and much better than average. In the $3.00 – 6.00 range, most of them can be ordered as sandwiches or full plates and include things such falafel, hummous, baba ghanouj, the Greek spinach phyllo triangles known as Tyropita, and vegetarian Dolmades (grape leaves stuffed with seasoned rice). Plates come with a delicious Syrian seasoned rice made with rice and roasted wheat berries.

Vegetarians will be quite happy with Aybla’s variety, and many dishes can be made vegan by simply requesting them without feta or tzatziki sauce.

I also adore the owner and cook Saied Samaiel. Born in Syria, Saied learned to cook professionally on the Greek Island of Crete where he lived and worked for over a decade. This experience, coupled with his professionalism in the kitchen and friendliness with his customers (not to mention his killer food) are outstanding features that keep me returning to Aybla time and time again.

[Updated Jan 2011: Aybla opened a 3rd cart at Good Food Here at SE 43rd and Belmont in Fall of 2010]

Sample Menu: See the Aybla Website

Hours: Mon-Fri 11-5:30 , Sat 12-4

Phone: 503-490-3387

Website: http://www.ayblagrill.com

E-mail: ayblagrill@hotmail.com