Thinking over why food carts, the outdoor food art-form here that I admire but do not engage with often. It may be they require the stand-up-to-eat pose. I'm similarly disinclined toward buffet dinners, cocktail parties. Not much of a casual eater, I want a chair/bench and table!
We had found a place with great middle eastern food around 6th and Broadway (across from a Kettleman's bakery) but it disappeared. We'd buy the very ample dish in the afternoon and take it home for dinner.
Between our place (it may be known as the "West Hills") and our daughter's house in Hawthorne, there's a collection of carts known as Cartopia with benches protected by tents. I learned their proper name not from a sign (maybe there is one) but a massive fact-stuffed blog, Food Carts: Portland. Driving home around 11 p.m. after baby-sitting, we'd see all this action as we turned the corner from Hawthorne onto 12th. All lit up, many young people. What were we missing...we found out when we visited closer to our old-fashioned foodtime, 6 p.m.
El Bracero, a Mexican place, is the early bird opener, in fact hardly closed. We've stopped by for delicious vegetarian burritos--just one big enough to share. A little later the Belgian fries cart, Potato Champion with its Poutines via Canada, comes alive...excellent not-so-good-for-you food but you gotta do something risky once in a while. And choices of things to decorate the greasy things.
I favor the remoulade but you might prefer rosemary truffle ketsup.
Knowing our grandson Zach is a burrito fan who loves to eat out, we took him there one mild evening. Other families with kids are always part of the mix in the early hours. But the pizza cart got his attention first.
The fries worked for him too. He was very interested in the crepe-making (huge productions) at Perriera. Turned out he'd had one recently and mentioned that the milkshakes were very good too. What could we say? We took two very, very rich Girardelli chocolate ones home to his Mom and Dad (his sisters were in bed) and split them among the five of us.
You could call our particular adventure Portland Cart-lite. We have yet to try some of the other places at Cartopia. One very decorated one, Yarp with its long message of mission, comes to life after 8 p.m. Of course, this scene is not here for our crowd; we are the outsiders and they are very polite in an offhand way.
Welcome to Portland, Oregon, Ronni & Ollie!