Henry’s Diner

breakfast food carts

Henry’s Diner

Location: Carlton, OR
Hours: Friday-Monday, 8am-2pm

The Story: If you make it well, people will visit from afar to partake in the craft. Isn’t that how it works? Why we drive an hour for a good beer or the best ice cream? Henry’s Diner in Carlton, smack dab in the middle of wine county, is off the beaten path for a food cart, but the dishes they create are worth the journey.

Joseph Zumpano had the urge to return to his roots. Having spent time in high powered restaurants in the east and having lived in Philadelphia for many years, the west, along with a McMinnville born wife, beckoned. The two landed in Carlton where Zumpano opened Henry’s Diner, named after his grandfather. Carlton is one of those cute little valley towns you may miss if you’re highway driving. But when you’re checking out vineyards in the region, it becomes a destination. I remember visiting Carlton in the 80’s for a famous pizza size hamburger. That restaurant burned down and Henry’s Diner is now in the spot with plenty of seating, both covered and not.

breakfast food carts

Philly Breakfast from Henry’s Diner

Joesph’s menu focuses on breakfast, but on the hearty side. I remember the breakfast my grandparents made with everything under the sun put on a plate that was more like a platter. They were farmers, so eating a big breakfast was key. Joseph hails from Philly, a working class city, and his plates overflow with goodies. Fried Jersey Pork Roll anyone? What about scratch biscuits and gravy? For me, it was the Philly Hot Breakfast. Something about seeing pork scrapple on the menu drew me in.Scrapple is scraps of pork stewed with cornmeal and shaped into loaves for slicing and frying. An east coast treat. Joshua sources both his scrapple and Jersey pork roll direct from the east coast. A large plate with potato hash, bacon baked beans, three eggs, toast and scrapple. Sitting there in the sun with the Carlton grain tower peering down, I had one of the best breakfasts I’ve enjoyed in a long while. A simple slice of toast layered with a bit of runny egg and some scrapple brought a smile to my face that didn’t leave until I finished off my coffee. This cart is the real thing.

Henry’s Diner also offers pancakes, coffee and you can mix and match a breakfast with eggs, bacon, biscuits etc. A great breakfast cart with all the trimmings. Next time you’re headed to the beach or taking in some of the bounty the Yamhill County has to offer, drop on by the only food cart in Carlton – Henry’s Diner. Let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • The #7 Breakfast Sandwich – fried Jersey pork roll, Tillamook cheddar, potato hash and 2 fried eggs on toast – $8
  • The Breakfast Burrito – 3 eggs, potato, cheddar, peppers, onions and house salsa-  choice of bacon, sausage or veggie – $8
  • Henry’s Scratch Biscuits and Gravy – $10
  • Perfect Pancake Breakfast with 2 eggs your way and choice of meat – $10
  • Philly Hot Breakfast – $11

Facebook: Henry’s Diner

The Hot Box BBQ

BBQ Food truck portland

The Hot Box BBQ

Location: Moved to Astoria
Hours: Wednesday-Sunday, 11am-7pm

The Story: Boy meets girl. Girl enters BBQ contest and places. The Hot Box BBQ is born. Located in the Sellwood district, this BBQ food truck requires a visit.

The back story on The Hot Box BBQ is pretty cool. Dan and Abby, the owners and BBQ masters, met on a cruise to Mexico. Abby, born and raised in Hong Kong, decided to join Dan in Humboldt County thereafter and having an adventurous spirit decided she wanted to compete in a local BBQ contest. That first entry garnered her a 3rd place ribbon. Not satisfied, she returned for the next 4 years. The Hot Box BBQ cart was born. After much success in Northern California, the pair uprooted and now call Portland home. The menu has expanded along with weekly specials.

BBQ Food truck portland

The Volcano from The Hot Box BBQ

I tell everyone about the mouthwatering BBQ we get at food carts. Since Portland doesn’t have an entrenched BBQ culture like other parts of the country, most of what we enjoy is transplanted. The Hot Box BBQ focuses on pulled pork sandwiches of all different styles. From an original to the Maui Wowie with pickled onion and pineapple, every sandwich screamed goodness. The Volcano, with pulled pork, homemade jalapeno pepper jelly, crisp onion bits and sriracha aioli on a brioche bun rumbled my stomach just reading the description. Dan built one up and I dove in. Heck, while I had plenty of napkins, it was still a glorious mess. The pork, perfectly smoked with just enough fat to keep it moist. The heat from the sriracha aioli and pepper jelly kept a well balanced burn throughout the enjoyment of this beast. And the bun! An excellent choice.

The Hot Box BBQ, slang for a BBQ smoker, is now open to feed ya. Drop on by next time you’re in the area and enjoy some quality pulled pork. Let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

[Hot Box BBQ moved to The Gantry in 2015]

Sample Menu:

  • The Original – smoked pulled pork, homemade coleslaw, mayo, homemade peach BBQ sauce – $8
  • The Maui Wowie – $9
  • The Volcano – $9
  • The Green Meany Salad – smoked pulled pork or marinated smoked tofu, fresh lettuce, pickled onion, carrot, cucumber, tomato, pineapple, Thai peanut dressing – $8

Facebook: The Hot Box BBQ


gluten free food cart portland

SissyMama’s Food Cart, Welches, OR

Location: 67886 E Highway 26, Welches, Oregon
Hours: Daily, 11-6, yet check Facebook for updates

The Story: Amber, the owner of SissyMama’s, emailed a few weeks ago informing me that Mt. Hood does indeed have food carts – and her’s offers up a Gluten Free menu. I’m aware of summer vendors in Gov’t Camp, but Welches, nope. So, a field trip was in order.

Remember field trips as kids? There was always food whether it be a meal at a topical restaurant or a bag lunch made by mom. I enjoy field trips and get out of the city to visit food carts whenever I get the opportunity. Welches is a cute little village on HWY 26 on the way up Mt. Hood. Just before you get to the single stoplight, Amber has set up her red and white camper trailer – SissyMama’s. With snow blanketing the ground, I pulled up for lunch. Amber trained at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, the world’s largest nutrition school and offers up a menu of Gluten Free and Paleo options. She uses the cart as a means to explore food and create amazing dishes for everyone. Being on the mountain in winter, hot soup is daily treat.

gluten free food cart Portland

Cabbage Roll in a Bowl

The menu is ever changing both with the seasons and at Amber’s whim, yet after trying three dishes, I trust there will always be something on the menu that is delicious. The day I visited offered up roasted cauliflower and potato soup, a vegetarian hand pie and a paleo dish of red cabbage, green pepper and Italian sausage. The hot soup, served in a 16oz cup with no spoon was delightful. Standing in the snow, sipping at the soup while chatting food made my day. Also, it fit perfect in the cup holder for the drive home. The hand pie, a newcomer to the menu and one of Amber’s first melted in my mouth. Gluten free and full of goodies, I even dipped it in the soup. The cabbage roll in a bowl offered up Asian flavors with a dash of sesame seeds. All around, three different items with three distinct flavors and all rather delectable.

SussyMama’s is open daily and offers indoor and outdoor seating. I can only imagine how magical a bowl of Amber’s soup would be on a snowy winter afternoon or a sunny summer afternoon. Either way, next time I’m headed up the mountain, I know I’ll stop. Do check her Facebook page for updates on hours. Next time you’re on the mountain, drop on by and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

See SissyMama’s website for menu options and visit Facebook for daily specials.

gluten free food cart Portland

Hand pie from SissyMama’s

Facebook: SissyMama’s
Twitter: @SissyMamas

Maiale Di Volo

Maiale Di Volo

Maiale Di Volo

Location: Roaming & Uptown Market in Beaverton on weeekends
Hours: Varies, Uptown Market, Thurs-Sat, 12-8pm

The Story: I’ve seen a wood fired oven inside a food cart before, yet not on the back of a 1937 Dodge Truck. Maiale Di Volo, otherwise known as “The Flying Pig” is one of the newest pizza slingers to bring us the goods.

Maiale Di Volo

Maiale Di Volo

Brett Tuft took a vintage flatbed truck and over the back axle built a wood fired oven to cook his pies. He’s the chef, the owner and the Pizzaiolo at the truck. Over the summer, he had taken the truck to different events throughout the city, but on the weekends you could find him set up at Uptown Market on Scholl’s Ferry, a bottle shop and taproom. What’s better than wood fired pizza and a cold beer? Brett looks to source locally first when he can which includes the freshest organic produce, small farm artisanal cheeses, and high quality multi-grain organic flours from Bob’s Red Mill. You can taste it in the end product. After 20 years working in the food service industry including attending Le Cordon Blue WCI, Brett has fulfilled his lifelong journey to bring healthy, great tasting pizza to the people.

Margarita Pizza from Maiale Di Volo

Margarita Pizza from Maiale Di Volo

Wood fired pizza is really a treat. Using different hardwoods including red and white oak, cherry and alder, the scent from the wood infuses into the pizza ever so slightly. Brett has even sourced some Russian red oak used for packing from a local shipyard. Each pie only takes about 5 minutes to make – 2 minutes to create from scratch, then 2 minutes in the oven. For me, the ever so flavorful Margarita was the pizza of the day. Tomato sauce, fresh basil and fresh mozzarella make up one of the simplest yet amazing pizzas one can order. The crust was charred just right and paired with a local IPA, we dove in and didn’t look back. A 10″ pie is enough for 1 or great to share.

Maiale Di Volo is a passion. You can tell by the choice of truck Brett used to the quality of the pie he produces. Find him on the weekends at Uptown Market or during the week at different events. You can have him at your event also. Drop on by for a pie and let “The Flying Pig” know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

10″ Pies made fresh to order

  • Margarita – $9
  • Quatro Fromaggi – olive oil, garlic, oregano, fontina, provolone, parmesan, FCC mozzarella – $10
  • Spicy Hungarian Sausage – tomato sauce, roasted potatoes, caramelized onions, fresh mozzarella – $11
  • Amore di Maiale – tomato sauce, guanciale, capicola, pancetta, prosciutto, mozzarella – $13
  • Caesar Salad – $5

Website: MaialedivoloPizza.com
: Maiale Di Volo




Location: Shelton, WA
Hours: Mon-Fri, 11am-7pm

The Story: Dark, a bit of fog and the need to stop for smoked salmon in Taylor Towne off HWY 101 brought us to Eggrollin’! the other night. We were getting back on the highway when we spotted the sign – Got Lumpia? We didn’t, so we stopped.

Rojo from Eggrollin'!

Rojo from Eggrollin’!

Rojo Castillo stood there in the brightly lit cart on this dark night in the middle of what we would call nowhere. In the daytime, one would see he is parked next to the local drive-in movie theater which provides him steady summer business. Rojo’s story is similar to those I hear from many food cart owners. Having spent many years in another industry, he came to open the cart after a change in jobs which afforded him the opportunity to chase a lifelong dream. When he and his wife married twenty some odd years ago, he remembers talking about opening a Filipino restaurant. Twenty years later his dream came true and my belly was happy he did.

At Eggrollin’, Rojo offers lumpias, pancit bowls and chicken adobo over rice. I’m always up for trying everything, so we picked up a combo with all three items along with a veggie-tofu lumpia. A lumpia is a fried spring roll with influences from Asia but also colonial Spanish. The combo was huge, with more than I could eat in once sitting. Luckily, snacktime arrived only a couple hours later and I could finish it all off. The chicken, moist and flavorful over sticky rice. The lumpia – I could eat those for hours. Every bite was enjoyable. I wish he were closer to Portland.

Rojo has been serving up his Filipino dishes in and around the Shelton and O-Lumpia area now for a couple of years, so if you’re from there, you should seek him out for your next event or catering gig. A great guy with a welcoming smile and a hearty laugh. Next time you’re on a road trip to the Olympics, take a detour off 101 and pay him a visit. Let Rojo know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Lumpia – $1 – beef, chicken, veggie-tofu or Lumpia Shanghai
  • Pancit Bowl – $5
  • Chicken Adobo over Rice – $5
  • Turon – $1
  • Combo plates range from $6-8

Phone: 360 463 9266
Facebook: Eggrollin’!