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Food Carts @ Hawthorne & 12th


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#81 jmatt

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Posted 06 April 2009 - 10:47 AM

and Potato champion Rocks!!

I just had my first Poutine. It was Great. Can't wait to try it in Belgium this summer.


You might be out of luck there. Poutine is French-Canadian food--I don't think I ever saw it in Belgium. Certainly plenty of frites shops though.

The last poutine I had was in Manchester, NH, at a French-Canadian diner--for breakfast. Not really the best way to start the day, but tasty nevertheless.

#82 jdsconed

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Posted 10 April 2009 - 11:51 AM

An old friend of mine is opening a new cart at the end of the month. It's called Whiffies and will feature deep fried handpies. Will focus on vegan offerings and will also serve vegan fried chicken.


I am so freaking excited about this cart.
yeah, I'm vegan.

#83 ExtraMSG

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 12:01 AM

Met my wife at the happenin' Hawthorne pod the other night for some latenight eats. As usual, the place was hopping with hipsters.

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Original aim was Potato Champion, which my wife had never tried before. We ordered a large with remoulade and rosemary truffle ketchup. My wife sat in the shadow of the taterjack,

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while I perused the menu at Perierra, a new creperie, right next door.

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As you can see, items are split into savory and sweet, ranging from $3-$8, plus extra for additions. I was really tempted by the sweet items. They were making a banana-strawberry-nutella crepe with a drizzle of rum as I waited to order.

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They have a great crepe pan. Would be perfect for making dosai, sonoran tortillas, and tlayudas. My wife insisted I go savory, and there were plenty of drool-worthy options. Opted for the fig-prosciutto-chevre-honey.

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Meanwhile, the fries came up. Damn, PC makes good fries. These are the only fresh-cut, non-shoestring fries in town that I crave. They've really nailed them. Sauces could use some refining, though I do really like some of them, eg, the remoulade, even if not perfect.

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Crepe came shortly thereafter. Thin, pliable, crispy around the edges, and folded into multiple layers making for a perfect pastry.

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With just one layer, it wouldn't work, but with the multiple layers of deeply sweet fig, salty cured ham, and creamy-tangy chevre, you get a little bit of each in every bite. This is a really nice addition, fits well with potato champion's European theme, and is perfect food for hipsters out for a late snack. And those of us who aren't hip, too.

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

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#84 rottentreats

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 03:46 AM

I had no idea a place like that existed!! Mmmm, am dying to eat now..

#85 Lizzy

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 09:37 PM

I decided to try Potato Champion a couple of weeks ago and was so excited to see all the carts there. The fries are awesome - the rosemary truffle ketchup is my favorite. And the poutine is amazing.

Perriera Creperie is delicious, sweet and sometime soon I'm going to try a savory one.

Yarp?! is seriously rocking pasta - I loved it. Huge portions (lasted me 3 meals!) and fresh, flavorful sauce.

Bubba Bernie's is quite good as well. The Pastrami sandwich was perfectly simple and delicious and the po'boys look amazing.

Since I discovered these late night carts, I can't stop going.

I'm excited to try the Whiffies cart that LadyConcierge was talking about, too...

#86 LadyConcierge

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Posted 18 April 2009 - 07:10 AM

Re: Whiffies - he is on twitter (@whiffies) so you can follow along with the progress on the cart.

#87 jasie

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Posted 26 April 2009 - 04:58 AM

Went to the foodcarts this AM/last night (midnight'ish. LOL)...

Got a crepe (Fig, procuitto, honey, chevre) - $8
Small poutine $4.50
large fries w/ satay sauce $4.50
turkey leg + roll $6 (Did the price go up? Was $4.75 on the portland foodcart website?)
Clam strips Po' Boy (Can't remember cost)

We ate the poutine there while waiting for the other stuff. It was goooooood! Fries were Awesome. Didn't like the satay sauce as it tasted more like a weird curry sauce rather than a PEANUT sauce. Nothing wrong with curry, just not what was expected. But back to the fries... OMG. crisp on the outside, fluffy/creamy on the inside. It was worth the drive from west linn JUST for the fries and fries alone. :D

The crepe was also pretty good. Hit all the sweet/salty notes :D MmMMM.
Didn't have any of the po' boy as hubs gobbled it up~ He said it was pretty good tho!!

Turkey leg is sitting in the fridge... TOO FULL after munching on all that starch! And it is HUGE. LOL.

Will definitely go there again. I still wanna try Yarp?! , and more FRIESSSSSSSSSS :rolleyes:

#88 ExtraMSG

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 06:40 PM

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I went last night on my way home, about 2am. I knew that Whiffies, the fried pie place, was going to be open for their second night and I wanted to give them a try.

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Whiffies was just serving their dessert pies, cherry, apple, and lemon at $3 each. They'll have savory pies next week, probably by Thursday. The dessert pies are all vegan, but the savory pies will range, including meat, fish, and veggie.

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I got an apple. It was freshly fried, but not greasy at all. I thought it was a fair size for $3.

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The crust was very light and flakey. Really nicely layered. I thought at first bite or two, before I got the filling, that I could taste a bit of the oil. Not in a bad way, just in my ultra-sensitive-to-chemically-flavors way. I even get that taste from our French fries now and then and yet I've had that flavor less from our French fries than just about anyone else's. (I think it's the rice/bran oil we use that does a great job.) This is where butter in the dough might help a little. Once I got a bite with the filling, though, I never thought about it again.

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I thought the filling was good. It had a nice consistency, prominent cinnamon flavor, and well-cooked apple chunks. It was a bit generic, maybe. I asked the owner about it and he said that they have the fillings made for them in large batches, but to their specifications. I'll have to try the lemon and cherry. Any processing will show themselves more in them. I think with the apple I'd just like to see it with a bit more of a homemade flavor, either a less generic flavor or a less goopy texture. I'm nitpicking here, but I'm trying to outline what would take them from good to great for me. But they were good. I think I'll be most interested in the savory versions, though. They do make the dough from scratch themselves and put each pie together themselves. They even cut in the fat by hand.

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Tried to go back to my car and some girl had her head leaning out of the car next to it and was puking all over. Went back and got a shrimp po'boy from Bernie's. Never seen his line that long before. He just tosses frozen, breaded shrimp in the frier, but they were tasty enough. Roll is pretty thick and dry. I wish he'd put some of that tasty remoulade inside on the roll. A decent sandwich, though. I still haven't tried his pastrami.

Talked with the owner of El Brasero a bit and got a couple tacos from him. His new people need to work on their technique a little. But they can't screw up the barbacoa. Also saw Nick from Pok Pok there and Jon from Meat Cheese Bread. It was a busy night.

Stepped over the puddle of puke, got in my car, and went home stuffed at 3am. This place has become a hipster party spot. Sounds like there's a lot of comradery among the carts, too. They apparently had a kickball tournament today.
The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

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#89 ExtraMSG

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 08:11 PM

Whiffies started doing savory pies tonight. Blackened salmon or BBQ brisket. Underpriced at $4. I really enjoyed the brisket pictured below. There's cheese in there.

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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 & Kenny & Zuke's

#90 LadyConcierge

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 05:38 AM

YUM! I'm going to have to hit up Gregg this weekend.

#91 Amanda

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 06:38 AM

That looks hella tasty! I'm totally into meat pies, too!

Best regards,

Amanda

#92 philthyanimal

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 09:08 AM

i had a late nite cravnig last night and drove all the way down at 130 am for some potato champion...yum. rosemary truffle was good, but i wish i would have gotten the poutine instead.

#93 jdsconed

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Posted 02 June 2009 - 02:00 PM

Whiffies pies (I've only had the vegan) are dangerously good. Dangerously a short walk from my apartment, dangerously open late, and dangerously cheap. And fried! They're super nice and super enthusiastic about what they're doing as well.

If you don't eat meat, check out the chicken seitan pot pie - so savoury!
yeah, I'm vegan.

#94 vj

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Posted 02 June 2009 - 07:17 PM

I'm looking so forward to trying Whiffies vegan pies. That apple pie, Nick, damn. Beautiful stuff.

And I too love Potato Champion -- of course, what is there not to love?

The crepe place - eh - maybe I got the wrong crepe. I was underwhelmed. But I love our little hipster pod. So sweet!

#95 vj

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Posted 02 June 2009 - 07:18 PM

And Jdsconed, good to see you! Welcome to the board!

#96 ExtraMSG

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Posted 02 June 2009 - 07:34 PM

I was just in Vancouver this weekend and went to Fritz, a latenight hot spot for frites and poutine along Granville in the entertainment zone. The fries at Potato Champion were definitely better that what I got, though these were good. However, PC has some work to do on their poutine, for sure. Especially since I got the smoked meat poutine. Smoked meat is Montreal's version of pastrami. Maybe I'll have to bring my own from the deli and have them put it on. (Main difference was the gravy. PC's gravy is not good. While similar in style, Fritz's gravy was much better.)
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 & Kenny & Zuke's

#97 pdxscoob

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Posted 02 June 2009 - 11:51 PM

I had the chicken pot pie with red potatoes and leeks from Whiffies tonight. Fantastic! There sweet pies this evening were strawberry, blueberry, and peach. I am looking forward to trying them next visit.

#98 ExtraMSG

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Posted 05 June 2009 - 03:23 PM

http://www.oregonliv...he_best_fo.html

Welcome to Portland's most intriguing late-night food scene, where a convergence of supply (talented young entrepreneurs perfecting the street foods of their dreams) and demand (a hungry population looking for after-dark divertissements) has brought something new to a city not known for its after-hours appetite. After fits and starts -- like the milkshake stand that folded after it turned out no one wanted milkshakes in the winter -- the Hawthorne lot is now the best place in town to find yourself hungry after midnight, and at other hours too. The crepes, fries, tacos and more rival any the city has to offer, and it's difficult to spend more than $10 at any of the lot's five full-time carts.

....

Though hardly a Portland invention, food carts are a distinctly local phenomenon. The city is a well documented haven for obsessive foodies, and they've got willing allies in local government. Whereas some municipalities ban carts altogether, Multnomah County makes it fairly easy to operate one, requiring only a yearly license, compliance with zoning and other ordinances, and regular health inspections. As a result, Portland boasts several bustling "cart pods" downtown, plus many dozens of individual carts scattered throughout the metro area. As of May 2009, there were 387 licensed carts in Portland, according to Jon Kawaguchi of the Multnomah County Health Department.

....

And those crowds, while diverse -- hungry ex-pats lined up for El Brasero's fragrant lamb barbacoa, a gaggle of Pacific Islanders stopping for fries with hot sambal sauce, the art director types who slouch out of their BMWs for a couple of paper-wrapped crepes -- are united in simple pleasures: The joy of staying up past bedtime, eating on the run, mingling with like-minded strangers on the way to the next scene. It's a slice of the city, feeding off of the special energy at Portland's late-night food oasis.


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 & Kenny & Zuke's

#99 ExtraMSG

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Posted 05 June 2009 - 03:25 PM

They missed Whiffies in the article. I think it was written before they opened, although it would have been nice to update it. I'd say the missed the BBQ truck except it sucks and I haven't seen it open in a while.
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 & Kenny & Zuke's

#100 vj

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Posted 05 June 2009 - 09:31 PM

Okay. I just made a pit stop at Potato Champion and Whiffies.

First of all -- there are more tables in the center, so if you are used to driving into the pod, you can't really do that anymore.

I got my usual small fries/pomme frites, whatever at PC, this time with pesto mayonaise. You know, what is not to love with that? Delicious, hot, crispy.

I also went to Whiffies. On JD's suggestion, I asked about the chicken seitan -- they didn't have it, and the only vegan option was the BBQ Tofu, which does nothing for me. So I ordered the chicken pot pie.

I noticed the current pie champion was a geek acquaintance, and whaddya know, there he was. He's vegan so I asked him about the seitan, which he also has never had, but he said the BBQ Tofu was the best he'd ever had, and by the sounds of things, he makes a pilgrimage every night they're open. And honestly, the pod has a quite a few vegan options -- if I were in his boat, I'd be there all the time, too.

There was another geek there, another omnivore obviously, who made good noises about the BBQ tofu at the Delta. There are many things about the Delta I love, but the food isn't one of them. Hmm.

My aquaintance also mentioned the Los Gorditos cart, all vegan he said. I was thinking of the Los Gorditos at 50th & Division, which has a vegan portion of the menu and I brought that up, but I guess there is an all vegan all the time Los Gorditos behind City Bikes off 8th & Ankeny. He was crazy about the food there too. I asked him if he had tried NutriTaco, because so far it's been the best taco truck vegan I've had -- but since that crosses the imaginary line into Eastern Oregon, he hadn't. And perhaps he wouldn't like it as it isn't purely vegan.

Anyways, the chicken pot pie pie was an absolute winner -- savory, delicious, gravy but not too much, and veggies that may well have been frozen originally but were perfectly cooked in the pie.

I love it when I'm out late enough to take advantage of the hipster pod. It was a nice mix of geeks and dykes and totally normal people, and truth be told, not that many hipsters. But it has such a great party feel, and people are walking around, offering each other food, and chatting each other up. I love it.