Tag Archives: food carts

food cart friday- and a giveaway!

12 Nov

Portland is known as the land of food carts. You literally can’t pass an unused parking lot or street corner without tripping over one. You think it would get old- I think it’s heaven.

For most people from other parts of the country, the idea of eating out of an old airstream, a renovated Roach Coach or a bus sounds unappealing. That is, until you eat food made by amazing chefs with good sense- the overhead is low, they are still held to the same health code standards as standard restaurants and they are much easier to start up, and from there decide if they really want to have a restaurant. The food carts in Portland are so amazing, I literally would be content if I never stepped foot in a regular restaurant again (with the exception of my beloved BL, of course).

The food carts I’m featuring here aren’t neccesarily new to the Portland scene, quite the contrary in most cases, but they are some of my favorites and I had pictures of their food on my phone. So there. 🙂

Best “Dutch burrito”- Flavour Spot

Flavour Spot not only wins for having an awesome vegan waffle sandwich (a crisp waffle stuffed with vegan sausage and schmeared with maple cream), they get extra points for spelling “flavour” with a “u”. They have three locations in Portland, with their Old Town location having night time hours. Excellent.

Best tofu from a truck- Los Gorditos

Los Gorditos, the famed Portland Mexican food truck (and now a brick and mortar restaurant as well), with an exhaustive vegan menu, has the best Mexican food I’ve ever had. My favorite item is the Tofu Bowl, which is actually a large plate (go figure), full of seasoned tofu chunks, creamy refried beans, rice, lettuce, tomatoes, soy sour cream and avocado. It’s served with piping hot corn tortillas to use to scoop up the magic mix. They also do things with soy curls that make your eyes roll in the back of your head with pleasure.

Most mouth-gasm inducing meal- Wolf & Bear’s

If you think you like falafel, you don’t know anything until you’ve had Wolf & Bear’s. This cart is run by two folks of Israeli descent. I’ve never been to the Middle East, but I have heard from many a credible source that this falafel is the best they’ve ever had in the US. Everything about it is mind-blowing- from the flavorful falafel patty (which is flat rather than in round balls, making it much easier to eat and allowing for falafel-maximizing bites), the fresh pita, the hummus, the tahini, the caramelized onions and grilled pepper and eggplant to the little mix of olives and Israeli pickles (cured in salt brine, not vinegar) on the side. When eating at Wolf & Bear’s, Jim and I can’t even speak, we are so intoxicated with our food. Sadly, the cart owners close down for the soggy winter months, alas, there will be no falafel until next spring. Bummer, but worth the wait.

Best health-infused meal from a cheekily-named cart- Lucille’s Balls

Lucille’s is a newer cart in Portland, in the Good Food Here pod (a pod is a congregation of carts, like an outdoor food court but much more delicious). While the vegan options are limited, they are awesome. This is food cart food you can feel good about eating. The idea is this: pick your balls, pick your sauce, with your base and chow down. I like the sweet potato/spinach balls with coconut curry sauce over polenta. SO GOOD. It’s also served up with a little side salad, which has a tasty viniagrette with a little kick to it. Also in the Good Food Here pod is Kitchen Dances, which is run by Piper, formerly of Proper Eats. They also have great food (including raw options!), but alas I have no pictures.

What are other people’s favorite food carts? I realize I didn’t add Whiffies or Potato Champion, which are good and enormously popular, but I’m just not much of a fried food person.

************************************

And now, for this week’s MoFo winner- the post I picked from was my post on healthy baking and winner was lucky commentor #5, Lizzie! Lizzie, in honor of my fun interview with the fabulous Celine, you win a copy of 500 Vegan Recipes!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

i love you, alberta

8 Oct

No, Alberta is not a person (although I work with someone by that name, so that could be weird). Alberta is a street in NE Portland and it’s quickly becoming one of the tastiest streets in town.

Homegrown Smoker is the vegan BBQ foodcart that opened a couple of months ago. They used to be 4 blocks down the street from their new location at 27th and Alberta. The new location seems better equipped for Portland weather and even has a heated eating tent. Excellent.

smoker1

There is food that is good and then there is food laced with addictive flavors and textures and plain old comforting goodness. This falls into the latter category. There are four different protein choices including chorizo, tofu steaks, tempeh ribs and soy curls. In this platter most people pick two small portions of two different proteins, but I went with all soy curls. If we all have a predestined fate in life, being smoked and slathered with BBQ sauce is the destiny of a soy curl. In this form it is truly at it’s full potential. Oh momma, these things are amazing! On the side, maple BBQ beans and mac no cheese. The beans are good, reliably tasty beans. The mac no cheese isn’t like gourmet mac ‘n cheese, but there’s just something good and noochy about it. Must. Eat. More.

smoker2

You’d think I haven’t been food blogging for 4 years. I didn’t turn the cornbread around so you could see the inside of it! Darn, now I’ll have to go back. The sacrifices I make for this blog… Seriously, though, this is a gluten-free cornbread that has pretty flecks of flax in it. That’s fun to say, flex of flax. Now, I haven’t had much Southern cooking in my life and am very much naive to the art of cornbread, but this cornbread rocks. The texture, moisture, flavor, it’s all there. I never even thought I cared much about cornbread, until I started craving theirs. Add the sweet mint tea on the side… serious food heaven.

After you’ve stuffed yourself with smoked goodness, a mere four blocks away is Back to Eden, the new vegan bakery in town. A four block walk is exercise, right? That means it’s time for dessert.

Back to Eden is about as pretty a place as it gets. Decorated in 1930s farm house chic, the colors are warm and inviting, the decor is sharp with attention to detail and aside from the bakery items, they have all sorts of goodies to buy. Locally made jams, aprons, cards, a section of vegan cookbooks, and fun baking supplies, like fancy sprinkles fill the shelves. Plus they have, you know, the baked goods. They also have soft serve in TWO different flavors, which means… wait for it…. TWIST ice cream!

shown here with caramel sauce

shown here with caramel sauce

They carry Temptation soft serve, which you can get with a variety of topping/sauce combos or as a milkshake! And there are a variety of baked goods available each day, from breakfasty scones to decadent cakes and tarts. They have lots of gluten-free options, too.

eden2

A strawberry filled chocolate cupcake. When I read the sign for it, I thought it said “strawberry fields cupcake” and I got all sorts of Beatles-excited… I was wrong, but I still needed the cupcake to calm me down. Even the frosting had a pronounced strawberry flavor that was amazing.

eden1

A pumpkin whoopie pie. Soft, moist cookie outer and spiced creamy inner filling… Devilishly good. So devilish, in fact, that an evil kitteh couldn’t keep her mouth off of the pumpkin cookie part.

100_4638

Who knew bad kittehs liked pumpkin?

So this is my ode to Alberta Street, with new attractions motivating me to leave the SE bubble for things other than concerts.