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Food trucks at SE 101st & Stark


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#21 Perry Wiggs

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Posted 10 September 2011 - 03:59 PM

It's Filipino by the way. ;)


Not according to the sign on the truck...

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#22 nervousxtian

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 01:00 PM

Pupusa cart has expanded the menu to include lunch plates (chicken, pork ribs, steak) and guisada. Didn't try it, just did a couple pupusas. Will try next to time though.

#23 Kartoffel

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Posted 08 October 2011 - 12:13 PM

BBQ truck and Shalimar are gone.


Still there (or there again?) as of last night. Very mediocre dal and clumpy rice.

Awesome pupusas made up for it!

#24 nervousxtian

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Posted 08 October 2011 - 02:20 PM


BBQ truck and Shalimar are gone.


Still there (or there again?) as of last night. Very mediocre dal and clumpy rice.

Awesome pupusas made up for it!



Shalimar just moved from one side to the other. I meant to update, but being how mediocre Shalimar is.. I forgot.

The pupusa cart is where it's at. It's became a once a week thing, though I'm sure my doctor isn't happy about that.

#25 RachelWithAnR

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Posted 14 October 2011 - 01:19 PM

When my office moved to 101st & Burnside, I was instantly concerned about the lunch options within walking distance-- I'm not really a McMenamin's/Red Robin fan. I've since enjoyed a number of great meals at this pod, and am currently eating a thin-but-relatively-tasty pumpkin curry from the Thai Cart (my first time ordering from them).

Favorites include:
Pollo panuchos and tamales from Taqueria Antojitos Yucatero
Squash & cheese pupusas from La Cocina de Chepe
Chicken adobo from the Filipino/Phillipino cart

Crossed Shalimar off the list pretty quickly for serving consistently bland food. I will revisit the Thai place-- the curry isn't bad, the pieces of pumpkin are cooked nicely, and as the rainy season closes in, a mediocre curry can still hit the spot. Of course, Pho Tien is always waiting around the corner with a steaming bowl of Bun Bo Hue.

#26 ducky

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Posted 14 October 2011 - 03:19 PM

Welcome to the site, Rachel!
Pamela

Eating is not merely a material pleasure. Eating well gives a spectacular joy to life
and contributes immensely to goodwill and happy companionship.
It is of great importance to the morale.

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#27 ExtraMSG

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 10:12 PM

Someone asked me about "the pupusas" at this cart pod the other day and I remembered having some pupusas over there, but it was a while ago and couldn't remember them too well. I felt like an idiot, so I've been wanting to stop by. Very glad I did. These weren't the same pupusas or the same cart. The pupusas I had had before were from a taco truck, I believe. This was La Cocina de Chepe, and, imo, even after just one visit, I think it's one of the best carts in all of PDX and VERY competitive with Sabor Salvadoreno and La Guanaquita for the best Central American food in town.

They obviously care about quality. They had gotten pan dulce that's better than most. They said it was from someone in Hillsboro. My tortillera believes they're from Los Chapines. Wherever, they're pretty good and don't look like the typical Bakemark stuff most panaderias have. The owner also said the cook is obsessed with quality and insists every pupusa be made to order and everything be very fresh. It shows.

Sorry about the phone pics. I'll do real ones some time in the future. This place deserves it.

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Menu has a surprisingly good variety with many of the same dishes you'd find at a full-service restaurant, including platanos fritos, pupusas, yuca frita, pan de pollo, empanadas, tamales, etc. We got the pupusas, one with loroco and one with revueltos, and the pan de pollo.

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I'm not sure if the pupusas are the better than all the rest in town, but if not, they're tied with the best. They're really fantastic -- the quality of the ingredients inside, the balance of flavors and seasoning of the fillings, and the skillful cooking of the pupusas, which are moist, nicely browned, yet not greasy whatsoever. Good ratio of filling to dough, too. It tasted like requeson -- ricotta -- inside the queso y loroco, very fresh and milky. It was delicious.

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You can't really enjoy the majesty of the pan de pollo from this picture. However, if you're heard my exultations of the pan relleno at Sabor Salvadoreno, know this: this sandwich is better. It's similar, in that they both use stewed chicken in a tomatoey sauce, but this one has better flavor and the rest of the ingredients -- fresh and pickled veggies, verdolaga (purslane), plus at least two more sauces -- are all tastier and make for more balanced bites. This is one of the best sandwiches in Portland, without a doubt. It's messy as hell, but worth every stain.

Highly recommended. This and Antojitos Yucatecos are quite good. But this cart is really exactly what gives me hope for carts: it's not just good for a cart, it's good compared to any eatery in Portland. btw, they have a very nice covered area.

The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

Nick Zukin, Mi Mero Mole

Co-Author, Artisan Jewish Deli at Home

Formerly, Kenny & Zuke's


#28 RachelWithAnR

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 09:52 AM

So great that this pod is getting some attention! La Cocina de Chepe, in my mind, provides a combination of quality food, hospitality, and astounding value that is unmatched by most carts in Portland-- and indeed many brick-and-mortar places.

I'll have to try the pan de pollo, which I've not yet ordered there. Maybe that'll be my lunch today...

#29 Prone to Hyperbole

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 12:26 PM

Jeez man...you're killing me! Here I sit at Golden Touch on Barbur... this is total porn!
breakin' the law, breakin' the law!

#30 ExtraMSG

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 01:03 PM

PtH, can you ever get over there for lunch with me? I'd like to take good pics and try more stuff.

The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

Nick Zukin, Mi Mero Mole

Co-Author, Artisan Jewish Deli at Home

Formerly, Kenny & Zuke's


#31 nervousxtian

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 07:39 PM

I was just there today, 2 revueltos to go. They recently (not sure when) started giving a salsa verde instead of a tomato sauce with them. I actually preferred the tomato sauce, but whatever.. still fantastic.

I keep meaning to explore more of the menu, but the pupusas are just too damn good to skip out on.

Also grabbed a couple a panucho from Antojitos to round out the meal. Great lunch for $6.35 and was totally completely stuffed.

#32 ExtraMSG

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 09:34 PM

They gave me the tomato salsa.

The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

Nick Zukin, Mi Mero Mole

Co-Author, Artisan Jewish Deli at Home

Formerly, Kenny & Zuke's


#33 nervousxtian

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 06:28 AM

They gave me the tomato salsa.


Strange, next time I'll just ask. I didn't look until I got back to the office.

You do have me intrigued to explore the menu you more, that sandwich looks fantastic.

#34 austinhaas

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 01:01 PM

La Cocina de Chepe was everything you all said it would be. The food was fantastic and the owner, Chepe, could not have been nicer--he was very concerned that we were getting the full experience. I had the pan de pollo (which was fantastic), but Chepe said the steak sandwich is more popular, so I'll definitely go back for that. I also really loved the jalapeņo pupusa and the cabbage slaw that came on the side.

#35 austinhaas

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 01:05 PM

FoodCartsPortland.com has a nice video of pupusas being made at La Cocina de Chepe: http://www.foodcarts...ocina-de-chepe/

#36 Adam

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 05:18 PM

Joined Austin for this outing and was blown away by a.) how good the food was, and b.) how friendly Chepe was. I agree with Nick: this is one of the best carts in town. And it's easily the best Central American I've had in Portland. As Austin said, Chepe wanted us to have the full experience, so he kept bringing us out little side dishes to try. He obviously has a great love for food and for talking about Salvadoran cuisine.

I wasn't very happy with the photos I took on this visit. Something about the light and the space and my camera just didn't gel today for whatever reason. Oh well, gives me another excuse to go back and get better pics. Here's what we ate this time around:

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Started with the Pan con Pollo. I'll admit it: I have no idea how to photograph this sandwich to, as Nick put it, do it justice. I mean, look at that thing. It's like a delicious spaceship twice the diameter of your mouth. It is gigantic, literally as big as my forearm, and unwieldy as all hell. There is no way you're not getting sauce all over your hands. Just leave your pride at the door, grab a stack of napkins, and dive in face-first is all the advice I can give you.

Lot of components going on here, some of which I need to e-mail Chepe about for further clarification. Sandwich starts with bread they bake in-house; it is very similar to an Amoroso roll. There's a very generous portion of stewed chicken stuffed into the roll along with mayonnaise, mustard, lots of grilled (or at least heavily sweated) onions, beets, radish, tomatoes, cucumbers, and water cress. The menu also says "escabeche," but as that, to my knowledge, is a fish dish, I'm not sure what is meant by it. Perhaps the vinegar-based marinade on the veggies? This is one question I'll have to ask Chepe.

The sandwich is delicious, and again, enormous. Very filling. At $6.50, it's a ridiculous deal. Good luck figuring out how to eat it. The various sauces in the sandwich started to eat through the bottom of the bread about two-thirds of the way through, so I had to resort to plastic-fork-and-knife to finish it off.

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Also ordered the jalapeno and revueltas pupusas. I liked the heat in the jalapeno pupusa, but I thought the revueltas one had a lot more flavor. Both paired wonderfully with the house tomato salsa. I've only had pupusas at a couple places in town. Prior to this, La Guanaquita had the best I had tried. These blew La Guanaquita's out of the water. Just better flavor overall, and I preferred the crisp, brown outer shell of these pupusas, which still managed to stay soft and moist on the inside. Terrific stuff.

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After talking with Chepe a bit, he brought us out some traditional Salvadoran beans & rice, then a plate of fried plantains and sour cream. Both were wonderful. The beans & rice had a hint of chocolate to them, which I really liked. Don't know if there's actually chocolate in the recipe, but I'll ask about it. The fritos platanitos were insanely good. I often find fried plantains too sweet for my palate, but paired with the sour cream they were incredible. I had a hard time not gobbling up the whole plate and leaving none for Austin. The milkiness and tang of the sour cream could not have provided a better foil to the rich fruit. Definitely order these if you're visiting this cart. On the left there is a slaw of cabbage and carrots pickled for a few days in vinegar. I believe it comes with the pupusas.

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I was already stuffed by this point, but Chepe insisted we try one of his banana leaf chicken tamales. As with everything else here, it was spot-on. And really simple. Just moist, tender masa and well-seasoned chicken. As full as we were, we polished it off. It was just too good not to.

I'll echo Austin and thank everyone for pointing me to this cart. I don't think I could have enjoyed it more. And I'm definitely going back. I need a cross-section shot of that chicken sandwich...

Adam Lindsley

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#37 JayinPortland

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 05:44 PM

Wait...

You're not happy with these pics?!?!?

Shit, they've got me figuring out how to head out there next week! Great stuff, thanks. In 2007 I lived right on 102nd just north of Glisan, wish they had stuff like this out there back then...

#38 Adam

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 07:06 PM

Wait...

You're not happy with these pics?!?!?

Shit, they've got me figuring out how to head out there next week! Great stuff, thanks. In 2007 I lived right on 102nd just north of Glisan, wish they had stuff like this out there back then...


You're very kind. Mainly it's the sandwich pic and the one of the slaw, rice, and plantains I'm unhappy with. I only got them looking like they do now after some fussing in Photoshop, and they're not ideal. It's just photographer perfectionism. Which, given that I have no training in photography, is a bad thing to have.

In any case, definitely try to hit up this place before you split town. Chepe also mentioned that his steak sandwich is very popular, if that's more your thing.

Adam Lindsley

This Is Pizza


#39 ExtraMSG

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 11:50 PM

Nah, they're good pics. I was thinking that I'd take the sandwich from the same angle as you did, then cut it in half and do one that way as well so you could really get a sense of the filling and constituent parts.

It's interesting what you said about the platanos fritos. To my eye, they're under-ripe, but you seem to like them partially because of that, since they're less sweet. (You might want to try tostones, fried green plantains that have no sweetness.)

Escabeche is anything vinegared, whether a slaw, pickles, meat, fish, whatever.

The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

Nick Zukin, Mi Mero Mole

Co-Author, Artisan Jewish Deli at Home

Formerly, Kenny & Zuke's


#40 Adam

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 12:29 AM

Good to know about the escabeche. It's definitely possible these plantains might have been a little under-ripe, which may be why I liked them a lot more than most other plantains I've tried. The sour cream helped out, too. Ripe or under-ripe, I loved them. I've had tostones before, but not since I lived in L.A., so I don't really remember them all that well. Where's a good place in town to get them?

Yeah, I think a cross-section shot is in order for the sandwich. I just need to have someone else hold it, because no way is that going to stay together with just five fingers.

Adam Lindsley

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