24 2014 Jul

Food Carts

PortlandTagged adler, food, food carts, pods

The food cart scene is a little different than the food truck scene. Though there are some that are mobile (see below) the “scene” is based around pods. That is, areas around town dedicated to these businesses. They look more like food stands with kitchens, the ones you find at food festivals. However, they’re permanent kinda like the hawker centers in Singapore. And like the ones in Singapore, there are some gems you’ll have to seek out.

I ate at a couple before wondering why I paid so much for mediocre food and why I didn’t do my research. When I did, I found out why Portland cherishes its food cart scene. And no, there weren’t any ridiculous lines, i.e. 2014 San Francisco Ramen Festival.

My favorite area was Adler Street, around 10th Ave. That’s where I found Nong Khao Man Gai. A great food cart that’s been in the media for quite some time. And the owner was still there, a carbon copy from the news clipping, beaming a smile to each customer. It’s so awesome to see a place showcased for delivering one main dish. A dish they nailed. And walking around, you get the sense that the more specialized food carts, the better it’ll be. Don’t take that as fact. I only deduced that the few places I ate at and my observations of the crowd.

One thing to note, there’s not too much seating. People find benches or curbs to sit down and enjoy their meal. Some do have tables, though, don’t come here expecting one.

Verdict: When in Portland, you need to get yourself out here. I’d recommend lunch time on a nice day.

Modern Food Truck?

Pretty cute looking food truck. I didn't get to eat at it because it was opening up and being the firs tone I saw, I wanted to see others. Thinking back, I should have tried it anyways. I didn't see one of these in my search ever again.

Asia Express Food Cart

Here's a place with a large variety of offerings. Believe it or not, I got pho here. If you ask nicely, they'll even serve it to you in a bowl. Up to you on how you'll eat it. Just remember to return the bowl.

Pho Special @Asia Express

I found a small little spot next to the food cart to have my pho. I should note that my first choice was Pho Le, which happened to be closed, so I opted for this place. Bad decision. Everyone was ordering sandwiches. I ventured for the noodle soup. Which was very salty. I couldn't really finish everything and gave up. So much for street pho. $8USD

Ox Impressions: 

Food Cart Pods

Not sure why they call them pods or even food carts for that matter. All I do really know was that they liven up city blocks and even without a place to sit, people find a way.

Chicken and Rice @Nong's Khao Man Gai

As the name of the food carts says, chicken and rice. Their one specialized dish that's a staple dish in Southeast Asia. Nong's brought the Thai version to the states using local ingredients. Most predominantly, Mary's free chicken. It was a nice touch and the rice, made with chicken broth, had a gelatinous texture to it. Very well done. I was nostalgic. $8USD

Ox Impressions: 

Nong's Khao Man Gai

Here's the storefront of a very popular food cart. She runs it pretty efficiently. By the time you pay, you'll wait at most, 5 minutes before getting your food. Right on!

The OxPosted July 24, 2014 By the hungry ox


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