It's a hopeful story about the unexpected gifts born of adversity, but that's not why you should go. You should go, because street food is GOOD. Other cities, like NY, LA, SF, NOLA, and MSP, have embraced the food cart concept with open arms, so you don't have to travel to P-town for a good taco or falafel. That said, Portland's scene is especially awesome, and has inspired many a food cart in other locales.
I may have mentioned something in my last post about how much I love Portland (still recovering from P.O.S.) ... So, as one more blog-post homage to my new favorite city, I want to give you a PDX food cart breakdown.
First, one of the best resources if you're lucky enough to hit the scene is the Food Carts Portland website. This will help you figure out what there is to eat in your 'hood.
I went on a walking tour of Portland's downtown street carts as part of the IACP Conference. We literally ate ourselves into a stupor, and I feared I may have to purchase one of these to get through the rest of the conference. This merely scratches the surface but it will give you a window into what the fuss is about:
Get a bunch of culinarians together and what's the first thing we want?
Yep, PORK. We kicked off the tasting with the Porchetta Sandwich from The People's Pig. Uber juicy. Napkins required. Porchetta, I've noticed, is kinda hot these days in the food world. It's a savory Italian pork roast, including meat, fat, and skin of the pig, seasoned with herbs and slow-cooked until melty-goodness stage is reached.
With what could we possibly follow that?
Yep, that's a 10 inch wiener.
Bro Dogs serves up crazy good hot dogs and sausages in a special bun they call a "Panagle"-- part panini, part bagel. It's fluffy and sturdy enough to hold a heck of a lot of toppings, but honestly, just a plain bro dog with mustard is totally righteous on it's own.
Right next to Bro Dogs is the perfect morning-after spot: The Brunch Box on SW 5th and Stark. This place serves up burgers and sandwiches that will cure (or at least sedate) the nastiest of hangovers. We tried the "Youcanhascheeseburger": A burger patty with pickles and the works, served between two grilled cheese sandwiches made with Texas toast. The "Redonkadonk Burger" is all that PLUS egg, ham, Spam, bacon, and more American cheese, and no I'm not kidding.
Our next stop was Potato Champion:
Here's where it gets really crazy: