Herb’s Mac & Cheese

Herb's Mac & Cheese

Herb's Mac & Cheese

Location: SE 43rd and Belmont – Good Food Here
Hours: Wed-Sun, 12-8pm

The Story:

Pasta and cheese go hand in hand. There should be a bumper sticker about it. Herb’s Mac & Cheese opened to focus on that combination and add their own taste combinations.

I’m a child of mac & cheese. Seriously. I loved it and ate it whenever I could. I even remember making a batch for dinner but burning the butter before adding the cheese powder. My parents were so nice, they ate it anyways. As I grew older, the boxed goods I grew up on bored me. It was then a friend introduced me to home-made mac & cheese and I was hooked. Taking pasta and different types of cheese and layering it together with extra ingredients and then baking it is probably one of the best dishes out there. I was excited to see Herb’s Mac & Cheese open and offer up dishes that go beyond the standard macaroni and cheese.

Herb's Mac & Cheese

Herb's Mac & Cheese

At Herb’s you can get traditional mac & cheese made with penne macaroni and his signature Mornay sauce. Herb’s starts with white sauce at its base and then mixes in his own secret combination of no less than 4 different cheeses. You can get the traditional dish or create your own with ingredients that include chicken, pepperoni, bacon, garlic, jalapenos, tomatoes, and more. Add extra cheese with choices ranging from blue cheese crumbles to pepper jack to Asiago. If you don’t think you can create your own, Herb will always have a couple of specials for you to choose from. We opted for the Micro-Raptor, a daily special with bacon, tomatoes, garlic, blue cheese and topped with Frank’s Red Hot Sauce. I added in jalapenos to give it a little more kick. With two size options, the small was enough for two people to share, so if you opt for the large, be prepared. The pasta a large tube style penne captured all the creamyness of the sauce much better than old style macaroni does. The jalapenos and hot sauce gave the entire dish the spice we love with flavoring and not just heat. I had eaten throughout the day and didn’t think I was hungry, but it was so tasty I devoured it right there, event getting in a bit of trouble for eating more than my share.

Herb’s Mac & Cheese offers up a childhood favorite with some artistry in one of the most unique shaped carts seen to date. If you’re a pasta and cheese fan, you need to visit and enjoy what Herb has to offer. Let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

Two Sizes: Small, $5; Large, $7. Choose to add from the following ingredients:

  • Meats: Bacon, Chicken, Pepperoni
  • Veggies: garlic, spinach, broccoli, jalapenos, diced tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes
  • Extra Cheese: blue cheese, feta cheese, pepper jack, cheddar, Parmesan, Asagio

Hours: Wed-Sun, 12-8pm
Phone: 503 928 7559
Website: HerbsMacandCheese.com
Twitter: @HerbsMacandCheese
Facebook: Herb’s Mac & Cheese


Viking Soul Food


norwegian food cart portland

Location: SE 43rd and Belmont

Hours: Thurs to Sun, 12am-8pm

The Story:

Portland has been known to re-invent food whether it be organic, locavore or just re-visiting old ideas. With the carts, we keep getting introduced to cuisine that we just can’t get at a local restaurant. With the opening of Viking Soul Food this past summer, we now have a Norwegian¬†cart, and I think they are the first.

Megan Walhood contacted us here at Food Carts Portland last summer to let us know she was opening the cart and all I could do was giggle with joy. To have Norse inspired food in my neighborhood was a dream come true. Growing up, every holiday introduced my siblings and I to new family recipes which included either lefse or pickled herring and even lutefisk, a whitefish preserved in lye then reconstituted. While my parents and grandparents believed it was a treat, as an 8 yr old, it was one of the scariest dishes I had ever seen or tasted. Though trying new dishes was an adventure. As an adult though, I have come to appreciate those complex flavors and am glad they are part of my heritage. Whether Megan will serve us some of these old world delicacies, we’ll see. [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