First off, an apology and a bit of hard-won advice to pass on. The apology: I am sorry I have not finished this entry and written more about Silicon Valley food trucks lately. The advice: if you sit at a computer and type for a living and/or as a passionate avocation, don’t become a victim of a herniated cervical disk. It really messes with your entire life.
OK, that said, we were afoot on an adventure with Brett Burmeister in downtown Portland, following him like so many hungry ducklings.
The first place he took us on our tour of Portland food carts was the Dump Truck – a truck at Alder and 9th street converted to a mobile dumpling stand. He got us a nice selection of dumplings, including some without meat for us veggie types – and they were absolutely delicious. They disappeared so quickly I didn’t even get a picture of them, but they looked as good as they tasted, and they tasted REALLY good!
The next stop on the tour was a newer cart called “Euro Trash” – conveniently just down the street from one of the carts mentioned in the previous post, “Euro Dish.” Brett explained that Euro Trash is trying to bring some traditional European treats to Portland, but with some modern flair. As an example, he treated us to an order of “Fish Heads” – actually, served with the rest of the fish, nice little white Anchovies, lightly coated and deep-fried. Both the heads and the bodies were delicious, served with a light dipping sauce that accentuated but didn’t hide the natural flavor of these wonderful little morsels.
After that, we walked to almost the opposite corner of the block for “dessert” at Gaufre Gourmet. Had you ever heard of Liege-style Belgian waffles? We hadn’t either, but we got a quick education at Gaufre. For instance, they’re made from a dough instead of a batter, and the dough is infused with “pearl sugar.” It seems there’s always a line there, and it’s easy to understand why – once again, they disappeared way too fast for a picture.
We then walked down to the 3rd street cart pod for some more sightseeing and deliciousness.
We were introduced to Roger at Salmon Fusion on 3rd Street. This is a fairly new cart, and he is bringing fresh salmon down from Alaska, smoking it himself, and serving it in a number of amazing and wonderful dishes, from the traditional salmon-and-cream-cheese bagel to an amazing smoked salmon chowder.
We got to sample a little of Salmon Fusion’s fare, but the tour was over, it was lunchtime, and I was still just a bit peckish. On our way to Salmon Fusion we had passed some trucks, and I just had a hankering for what one of them was dishing up. So, after bidding Brett a fond farewell (and a promise to give him a tour of our food trucks when he comes down our way), we went over to Give Pizza a Chance.
Now, I can eat pizza any time of the day or night, multiple times a day, and in almost any conditions. The prospect of a nice fresh slice from a cart on a rainy day was almost more than I could handle.
But we managed to put away a couple of their gourmet, New York-style slices, with toppings ranging from the usual to the very unusual (mine was carmelized onion and gorgonzola – yum!).
Over the next couple of days, we wandered the city, saw the sights, and had a number of excellent meals, both at carts and in regular restaurants. I celebrated my birthday at the Portland City Grill, which, on the 30th story of the tallest building in downtown Portland, is about as far from a food cart as you can get.
We’ll finish this up with some more Portland food carts, however, before bidding the Rose City farewell.