Food Freaks Unite's Blog

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Pork Carnitas Quesadilla ~ Que Sabrosa June 20, 2013

carnitas

I’ve been going to this food cart for a few years now and not only do I love their food but they are super nice as well. It’s located on the corner of Fremont and Vancouver in North Portland with limited parking.  The prices are great and so far I’ve tried their empanadas, tacos, taquitos, quesadillas, breakfast and chips and tomatillo salsa.  I was a non-meat eater when I first started going there and I liked their vegetarian options. If you see something that isn’t vegetarian then just ask them and they can probably put something meatless together for you even if it’s not on their menu. They granted my fried food request for cheese taquitos even though their menu only had meat options. I’ve asked other carts to do the same and they declined even though they weren’t busy and had no customers to serve. Que Sabrosa has never done this and would also suggest other vegetarian options for me (because I tend to get stuck on eating the same thing over and over again).

My food choices opened up when I re-introduced pork and chicken back into my life. I wasn’t sure where to start but I narrowed it down to a quesadilla so I could eat it relatively mess free. That last part didn’t work out so well in this instance but it’s so worth it so just have enough napkins around. I asked one of the staff about the pork choices (carnitas vs pastor). I had no idea what the difference was but I remember her saying one was fried on the grill and that cemented my decision to pick the carnitas. This dish is so good that I ordered it again the next day for lunch and I try to go there as often as I can when I do treat myself out to lunch. I’ve since ordered this dish at a few other places and neither was as flavorful or generous with the meat as Que Sabrosa was.  The juices from the meat and melted cheese just make a mess out of eating this but it’s nothing the right amount of napkins can’t handle.

Call your order ahead of time if you are in a rush at 503-288-5157.  The parking can be an issue during lunch hour or sunny days but that’s never been a biggie for me.  They take debit too ($5 minimum) which is always a big thing for me because I rarely have cash anymore.

Address:  Corner of  N. Fremont and Vancouver (across from the future New Seasons by Emanuel Hospital)

Quesa Brosa on Urbanspoon

 

A Waffle Like No Other..The Liege Waffle ~ The Gaufre Gourmet December 4, 2011

 

Milk & Honey Waffle

Liege Waffle: Named after the city of Liege in Eastern Brussels.  It is dough based rather than batter based which creates a denser and chewier waffle than the traditional variety.  It is also smaller in size and sweeter in nature due to the incorporation of pearl sugar in the dough.  Once baked, the sugar creates a hint of caramelization on the outside and crunchy bits of sweetness in the inside. 

The Gaufre Gourmet waffle cart introduced me to these magical waffles when they moved from their location in Chinatown to the Green Castle Food Court located in inner NE Portland this past June.  (Note: They have since moved to SW 9th and Alder due to Green Castle closing up entirely).  I happened to get a sample on their grand opening day and told the owner I would be back the next day to buy one with a co-worker.  (I ended up coming back there twice that day which didn’t surprise her because  their waffles “have that effect on people”). 

My co-worker ordered the Milk & Honey waffle with goat cheese mousse, honey roasted pistachios and balsamic caramel sauce.  He was blown away with the first bite and said it reminded him of cheesecake.  I got a chance to sample it and it was savory yet sweet but not overly so. 

I, on the other hand, went a little overboard and ordered the Chunky Monkey made of nutella, bananas, balsamic caramel and candied pecans.  I added chunky peanut butter to make it even more decadent!  I definitely got a lot of people staring at my concoction as I walked around to find a place to eat it.  I think it weighed a least a pound and I managed to eat all of it even though it took me about an hour to do it.  Surprisingly, the waffle part didn’t get all mushy or soggy due to the protective layer of carmelized sugar on the outside. 

I went back there 2 days later and ordered a plain one that was served with only a dusting of powdered sugar.  It was just as good without all the toppings.  My only concern is every waffle I eat from this moment on will be compared to the liege style ones and very few will make the cut to waffle greatness.  I know this because I went on vacation to Canada and had to google liege waffles to find a place that makes them because a regular one wasn’t going to satisfy my waffle cravings.  Yup, they are that good!

Chunky Monkey

Location: SW 9th and Alder

Cost: Milk and Honey $6/ Chunky Monkey w/ additions $6.50

 

Chickpea Sandwich at Garden State February 17, 2011

Filed under: Food,Lunch,My Favs — Food Freaks Unite @ 4:20 pm
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My first food order from this cart were the chickpea fries which I instantly fell in love with so naturally I had to try the sandwich counterpart and it certainly does not disappoint.

The sandwich is made using a ciabatta roll then a fried garbanzo patty is placed inside along with lettuce, lemon aioli, butternut squash and a carrot slaw.  There is sweetness from the carrots and tartness from the aioli which plays well together.  A very well constructed veggie friendly sandwich that carnivores and vegetarians alike will enjoy.  Very filling but it may be a little chickpea overkill when paired up w/ the fries.  I suggest getting the fried risotto ball instead or pick up some regular fries from the falafel place a few carts over. 

I also want to add that Garden State is one of the only carts in the Mississippi pod that is consistently open during the rainy months.  We Oregonians still need to eat!!!  I see a lot of carts closing up early or not opening at all when the crowds are not favorable. I’ve come to Garden State on miserable cold and wet days and they are still making food for the handful of people waiting in the rain.   The other carts should just close up until spring and put a sign up if they are not willing to open in the rain. Geez.  It freaking rains here 4 months straight and that’s being conservative.   So thank you Garden State for staying open.  My hips might not be so thankful but my stomach sure is. 

Cost: $6.50

Address: Mississippi Food Carts

Website: http://gardenstatecart.com/

Call ahead: 503-962-9265

Garden State (Food Cart) on Urbanspoon

 

Off The Griddle Food Cart ~ Veggie Burger and Volt December 9, 2010

Sometimes in life, you make an unintended turn onto a street and you end up in food cart heaven.  It happened to me!

It was a sunny day in October and I was too lazy to pack a lunch so I thought it was a perfect time to check out a Mexican food cart that I’ve been meaning to go to just off SE 50th and Division Street.  Then it happened.  I couldn’t find rock star parking anywhere near the cart so I veered off the main road meaning to turn around and circle back.  That is, until I saw a whole parking lot full of other ones that I could go to instead.  This food cart area is called A la Carts Food Pavillion and The Off the Griddle cart  is one of the first to greet you as you enter this pod.  I give props to any cart that exclusively serves vegetarian/vegan friendly food.  I never have to worry about my fries tasting like the fish or chicken that has also been fried in the same oil.  All their burgers looked appetizing to me but I decided to try the regular OTG (Off the griddle) burger made with leeks, mushrooms and wild/brown rice.  It is also served with fried onions, lettuce and tomato and I added cheese to it for an extra 50 cents (vegan cheese also avail).  The menu also had something called a Veggie Volt which is a Yukon gold potato spiraled out and skewered on a bamboo stick then fried to golden perfection.  I had to buy one of those too 🙂

Let me just say this was one of the most satisfying lunch meals I’ve ever eaten.  The flavor of the burger was spot on and the fried onions were a nice addition sandwiched between Dave’s Killer Bread.   The veggie volt was also delicious and fun to eat.  Each spiral was easily pulled off into a chip sized portion and was nicely fried but not too greasy at all.  Seriously good food here.  Did I mention they do this all in a solar-powered cart?  They rock. 

This pod has a covered tent area with propane heaters for the winter!  Yippee!!!

The BEST veggie burger I've eaten EVER!

Location: 50th and Division (4926 SE Division St) Call in your order: 503.989.3908

Cost: Burger $5.50  (cheese additional .50 cents)/ Veggie Volt $2.50

 

Off The Griddle (Food Cart) on Urbanspoon

 

Che Cafe Food Cart ~ Sake Mac and Cheese November 5, 2010

Filed under: Food,Lunch — Food Freaks Unite @ 4:20 pm
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Cream-o-licious

The Che Cafe is a food cart in North Portland that I was quickly drawn to because they deliver!  For realz!!  I was thrilled because sometimes the lazy in me comes out and the convenience of this coupled with my love of food carts just meant lunch heaven.  There are several items on the menu which I will try at some point in time but my first pick was Mr. Riley’s sake mac and cheese.  This creation is made with a 3 cheese sake sauce and then topped with a generous portion of fried onions (not from a can!) and a side of garlic bread.  I loved the onions and the cheese sauce was super creamy and the sake added a nice flavor to the dish. 
 
Did I mention they deliver if you are close by?  Free of charge no less!  Amazing!!  Of course I felt terrible because the person delivering my lunch was also toting her baby still in her car seat.  Ugh.  That serves me right for being lazy.  I will probably just order it ahead of time (503-477-0322  ) until their online orders are up and running.   
 
 
Location: 3954 N Williams Ave 
Cost: $6