El Pilon Colombian Food

El Pilon Columbian Food

El Pilon Colombian Food

Location: SW 2nd and Oak
Hours: Weekdays, lunchtime

The Story: As an eater and street food fan, I’ve eaten at more than 500 different carts throughout the city. There are few who truly surprise me, force me to stop and find a place to sit down, maybe a curb or park bench. El Pilon Colombian Food did just that. They served a dish that gave me pause, a pause to enjoy every bite.

El Pilon Colombian Food has been around for a couple of years. The owner, Fernando Montagut, came to America with years of experience in architectural design, yet was unable to find employment in the field. Knowing he needed to provide for his family, he pursued his passion – cooking -and launched his business as a food stand at a local farmers market. Fernando knew he wanted to grow beyond the stand, so secured a food cart on SW 2nd and Oak and with the help of Kiva.Org who provided a micro-loan, was able to upgrade equipment and produce his menus and marketing materials. The menu is unique telling the eater about each dish and its place in Colombian culture. The descriptions alone will make your mouth water.

Patacones from El Pilon Columbian Food

Patacones from El Pilon Colombian Food

El Pilon offers traditional Colombian street food in the form of empanadas, arepas, pan de yuca and their signature dish, patacones (pa-ta-con.) Patacones are traditional side dishes served in South America and Colombia. Fernando uses plantains to create a bowl that is fried twice before the goodies are added. Imagine a flower with cheese at the bottom topped with shredded beef and a thin slice of red pepper. For one, a beautiful presentation and two, it tastes sublime. The plantain is semi-sweet, so with the savory meat and cheese, he creates a memorable combination. Truly one of the most unique dishes I have found in awhile.

El Pilon brings Colombian food to Portland, a city with only a few South American street food options. I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying the empanadas and patacones and look forward to the arepas and salpicon, a fruit cocktail. If you’re a food cart fan, this is the cart you need to put on your bucket list. A special find. Drop on by and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Arepas – meat, chicken, cheese, egg, vegetables – $3.99-$4.60 depending on ingredient
  • Empanadas – chicken, cheese or meat – $2
  • Patacones – chicken, cheese, meat or hogao, a tomato and onion sauce – $4.60
  • Salpicon – fruit cocktail – $2.50

A Taste of Greek


A Taste of Greek

A Taste of Greek

Location: SW 2nd and Oak
Hours: M-F 10:30-close

The Story:

On a sunny day in Portland, the last thing you want is a hot scalding meal for lunch. I usually choose to go with a cool salad or sandwich to fill me up without making me sweat more than I already am. On a hot day in August, I decided to get some Greek food. I thought – Greece is in a hotter part of the world, so their food must taste great in the heat. A Taste of Greek didn’t let me down.

There is plenty of Mediterranean influenced food available in the city whether it be Greek or Turkish or Lebanese or Israeli. Dishes like hummus, tabouli, kafta, gyros, falafel – they all come from a special place in the world where the food is made with love and family in mind. Whenever I have eaten food from the region, it is always been served family style so everyone can participate. It brings people together. I know some may disagree and argue that Greek is different than Turkish which is different from Lebanese which…., but I love food and love that the people of the Mediterranean and the middle east have created some amazing flavors from such simple ingredients. [Read more…]