Over the past year or so Portland has been hit with an explosion of new food carts. From sinfully rich Guinness cupcakes and spicy, comforting khao man gai, to a veritable army of burritos, pierogis and blintzes, Portland is an Epcot Center of food options for those with cash in hand. However, very few of these carts have reflected a truly Portland culinary vibe, until now.
At first glance, the Davis Street Tavern seems like the kind of place that a scruffy, dirt-poor college student has no business frequenting. The interior has the sort of Northwestern rugged-yet-exceedingly-expensive look so popular in the restaurants of the foodie-sphere.
What was once confined to a small handful of carts on Fourth Avenue has lately exploded into a strip packed with over a dozen options. From burritos to shwarma, and soon to be Korean tacos from KOifusion, the menu options should keep the mouths of even the most avid cart aficionados busy for some time to come. The Vanguard has sampled from each to bring you a run down of the highlights and low points on the carts of Fourth Avenue.
As those of you who live on campus are no doubt aware, the Safeway on Southwest 10th Avenue has changed hours during its remodel. This means the store is only open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., Sunday through Thursday.
Rounding the corner of Stark, the little black tripod grill was easier to spot than the restaurant’s tiny sign above the door, making the grill appear more as creative advertising than functional cooking device.
When I heard through the local rumor mill that Acorn, the second venture from the owners of Crowsenberg’s Half and Half, was going to be replaced with a new coffee shop, my first instinct was to roll my eyes and comment that the Pearl would soon be welcoming yet another Starbucks.
Fifty years ago, college kids around the globe sought an answer to the question, “How many of us can we cram into a phone booth?” Now in 2009, it seems the fine folks at Brunch Box are asking a similar question: “How much awesome can we cram in to one tiny food cart?”
Local comic fans, rejoice. The Rose City is now home to Chris Onstad and his menagerie of neurotic, crazed and fucking hilarious creations. Forget about that giant neon sign over Burnside, Portland’s new Golden Gate Bridge is Achewood.
I really want to like Ping. The staff is friendly, the food is uniformly delicious, the decor reminds me somewhat of a Gibson novel and it is located within walking distance to my home. What’s not to love, right?
By now it is common knowledge: The River City has a cocktail scene with few rivals across the country. Our best bartenders are as well-known as our best chefs, our latest and greatest watering holes are written up in The New York Times, and some, such as Mint/820 owner Lucy Brennan, are even writing books on the subject.
Javier’s Taco Shop is a great place to go for cheap SoCal-style Mexican food if you are drunk. Or stoned. Or if you find yourself suddenly entwined in a summer action film about rebellious youths finding themselves in the middle of the rough urban landscape.