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Say Cheese!! Herb’s Mac and Cheese Food Cart November 20, 2013

Portland is a food cart mecca of sorts and I know I won’t be able to eat at each and every one but I can’t believe I haven’t been to Herb’s Mac and Cheese until now.   I normally don’t drive through this area so I only noticed it by taking a different route home trying to avoid traffic unsuccessfully.  This is when I noticed out of the corner of my eye a sandwich board on the street that mentioned mac and cheese over here.   I quickly glanced over and saw a small collection of carts nestled in an empty space off SE Division St and 32nd Ave (Aka D-Street Noshery).  I’m a mac and cheese fiend if I allow myself to be and  I don’t mean the bright orange stuff that comes out of a box or the ones that are microwaved to disgusting perfection.  It is the homemade variety that I can eat uncontrollable amounts of if left alone with a fork and no witnesses.   I wasn’t able to try it right at that moment but I made a mental note to go there one day soon and I had a good feeling that I wasn’t going to regret it. 

Well that day finally came and it seemed odd that I was craving it on a 90 degree day but there I was standing in front of the shiny stainless steel cart  all sweaty trying to figure out what to order.  I was already starving at this point and the simple rules they posted on how to place an order failed to register with me.  I could only decide an whether or not I wanted a regular or double container (the first step).  The following add ons were too many for my brain to figure out on an empty grumbling stomach so I just asked for a plain jane one.   If your brain is in working order, the next step is the addition of meats (bacon, chicken or pepperoni)  followed by the third step of adding veggies  (garlic, spinach, jalapenos,broccoli and diced or sundried tomatoes).  Finally, the fourth step is any addition of other cheeses  (crumbled blue, crumbled feta, pepper jack, parmasean, cheddar and asiago) which will complete the ordering process.  I personally like it plain or with breadcrumbs on top but the other stuff isn’t appealing to me unless it’s cheese.  Call me old school when it comes to my mac and cheese because I don’t think I need all the frills.  To me it just isn’t the same. 

Herb’s version uses penne pasta (perhaps a touch overcooked the day I went) but the cheese is the ultimate test of goodness and it’s there that they don’t dissappoint.  It is creamy and cheesy done right. Their secret sauce recipe is a bechamel based one that coats the pasta like a glove.  I’m not sure if the hunger caused me to lick the lid clean of all the cheese or if the cheese made me lick the lid clean.  Either way, I displayed no table manners and since I was in the confines of my office I didn’t really care.  My stomach was full and the only thing I regret is not ordering the double so I could eat more later.  Perhaps that was a good thing.  By the way, the double is literally double in size so a really great deal for a couple dollars more. 

Location: 3221 SE Division St.  Closed Mondays.  Open Tues, Wed, Thurs and Sun 12pm-9pm.  Fri and Sat 12pm-10pm.

Contact: www.herbsmacandcheese.com  503-928-7559

Cost: $5 (small) $7 (large) add ons start at .50 cents and go up to $2 for meats for a large size order.

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Retrolicious ~ Mac & Cheese Please! September 20, 2012

The Green Castle food carts located on NE 20th and Fremont are back in business after disappearing for a while (issues with those pesky city permits) and now features some new carts that will definitely catch your attention.  Retrolicious was just one of those carts I was instantly drawn to.  It’s bright pink, shiny and the design on their cart is totally mid-century stylish (my fav).  They don’t post a menu online or on their cart so the mystery made me all the more interested in trying them out because they take comfort food  then add a modern twist to it.  The menu changes so you’ll just have to follow them on social media or walk up to their chalk board and try to decide what to have.

I really wanted to try chicken and waffles but I wasn’t quite in the mood for the waffle part so I went straight for one of my childhood favorites and ordered their version of mac and cheese.  Their modern twist is made with pimento cheese, kale (to make us think it’s healthy) and a sprinkling of potato chip gratin which is totally awesome.

As I waited for my order at the table, I had second thoughts that I may have ordered the wrong item because I didn’t think I had enough food because I was thinking it was a side order size.  Boy was I wrong.  The weight of the box was downright heavy for food and I knew I needed help eating it before even opening the box.  I had a couple of co-workers there to help me out but they are both on again off again weight watcher people so I knew the dent in the food wouldn’t be much.  The mac and cheese was quite delicious.  Not the creamiest of types which one of my co-worker noted as she prefers that kind but I really liked this version and it made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.  Perhaps that was the feeling of bloating but for about 15 minutes I was in food heaven.  I would definitely order this again and bring along a small family to help me consume it.  It literally is one of the best and worst things I could put in my body.  I think it took me 3 days to finally finish it along with some more outside help.

The owner of this cart came out to check on our meals and was as nice as could be.  I told her I wanted just the fried chicken next time and she told me she has a chicken wing dish she could whip up if I called ahead.  SCORE.  And I will no doubt be calling soon!  Retrolicious has a stamp card too so you earn a free meal after purchasing 1o lunch entrees which is basically unheard of anymore even for coffee shops.  Bravo retrolicious.  You are even radder now!

Top 10 list of the best/worst thing ever

Website: Find them on Facebook or Twitter.  They are mobile now so their location is ever changing.  Their phone number is 541-409-9271

Cost: lunch meals all under $10.  The mac and cheese was $5

 

Waffle Mania ~ Flavour Spot Food Cart February 20, 2012

The Fifth Avenue

Waffle sandwiches…dreamy stuff if you ask me.  I’m definitely on board the waffle craze.  It’s portable, compact and it can be savory or sweet.  I don’t care if people call it a fad either, as long as it’s a tasty fad then I’m in full support of it. 

I was downtown for a meeting, which is never an exciting thing for me, and I needed a quick sugar pick me up to get me through the next hour.  The sweet fix I needed suddenly appeared before me when we parked in the same lot where the Flavour Spot cart sits at.  I was going to get a plain nutella but then I noticed the Fifth Avenue waffle.  Half nutella and half CRUNCHY peanut butter! Say what?  I was sold on this immediately.  What a fantastic combination and now I’m wondering why the heck didn’t I think of this on my own.  I’ve dipped peanut butter cups in nutella so I was on the right track to something spectacular but never quite made it there.  The Flavour Spot made me realize the obvious.  Nutella and crunchy peanut butter are made to be together all warm and gooey nestled in a freshly made waffle.  Is your mouth salivating just thinking about that?  Because it should be. 

Location: SW 3rd and Ash – Old Town

Cost: $3.75 for the Fifth Avenue

Website: http://flavourspot.com/

 

Hot Nuts in NYC February 3, 2012

Filed under: Buy this!,Cheap Eats!,Food,My Favs — Food Freaks Unite @ 4:20 pm
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Mmmmm nuts

 
Anyone who knows me is fully aware of my love for nuts.  I admit, the word “nut” when talked about in reference to food will still make me giggle.  My friends find it juvenile but I can’t help it.  It’s just funny to me and I can’t believe I haven’t written about it sooner.  My love for tasty nuts grew astronomically during a recent trip to New York City.  Who knew Nyc was nut central?  Well, you know what I mean, the food kind.  You hear about the hot dog carts and such but the unexpected star of the carts was the travelling nuts around town.  Now some were better than others but all were served warm and roasted in a sugary coating.  I ate a bag everyday I was there and found a place that will ship it to me once their website is fully revamped.  Yay!!
 
The smell of the nuts will get you immediately and I fell for the intoxicating smell while in line waiting to get a ferry ride to see the Statue of Liberty.  I walked a bit closer and loved what I saw…piles of nuts ready to be eaten and more getting a coating of toffee flavoring.  For $3 I got a bag of mixed nuts (cashews, almonds and peanuts) which were amazing.  Loved every bite and they came in handy later in the day while waiting for subways and in between meals.  A must eat treat while in New York.  Just look around and you’ll find one but more than likely you’ll smell it first.  Oh I miss Nyc. 

Nut cart to Liberty

 

The Grilled Cheese Grill Food Cart ~ The Southsider January 30, 2011

                                                                                           

The Grilled Cheese Grill is a food cart  located in inner NE Portland that serves up the traditional variety along with some added sandwiches to please everyone’s palette.  You really can’t miss this cart with the big yellow school bus that sits on the corner of Alberta and NE 10th Ave.  I love that they play non kid friendly music on the bus and all the graphic artwork along the ceiling and walls is something a child might have nightmares about while napping.  It’s kid friendly but alterna inspired just like the neighborhood it sits in. 

My favorite savory sandwich is called The Southsider (pictured above) consisting of artichokes, sun-dried tomato, mozzarella and mushrooms on grilled sourdough bread for $5.  There are plenty of picnic tables outside and a full size bus for seating so there is enough room to accommodate the crowds even when it’s raining. 

Why else do I love this place?  Well they have a cute guy named Cameron working there although I can’t guarantee he’ll still be around by the time you read this.  In any case at least you walk away with a full stomach if not an eyeful of something more.  Oh yeah,  they accept debit cards and they are open until 2:30am on the weekends.  Ridiculously cheese-tastic. 

Website: grilledcheesegrill.com

Location: 1027 NE Alberta St Portland Oregon

Cost: $5 for the Southsider

Grilled Cheese Grill (Food Cart) on Urbanspoon

 

Garden State’s Chickpea Fries December 17, 2010

Addicting!

I have to thank my boss for discovering this amazing creation.  We were both waiting for our lunch at a different food cart and ended up wandering over to Garden State to check out their menu.  The deep-fried risotto ball caught our eye but unfortunately it was all sold out.  Then we saw the chickpea fries.  A collective hmmmm ensued and our curiosity prompted us to immediately purchase some.   We were surprised they were actually shaped like fries, we thought they were going to just fry up the beans which would have been just as good.  The fries are not greasy and only lightly salted.  They give you enough that you will more than likely share with someone because they are quite filling.  I’m pretty sure there is parsley in it and they give you lemon to squeeze on them too.  Very simple but incredibly good food. 

I try to tell myself everything in moderation so I never feel bad about eating anything but I’ve had these twice already this week and I know number three is just around the corner.  I guess there are worse things to be addicted to. 

Website: www.gardenstatecart.com/

Location: Mississippi Food Carts

Price: $3

Garden State (Food Cart) on Urbanspoon

 

Bruce Lee’s Kitchen Food Cart ~ Tofu Teriyaki October 15, 2010

Filed under: Cheap Eats!,Food,Lunch,My Favs — Food Freaks Unite @ 4:20 pm
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Excellent Teriyaki

Bruce Lee’s Kitchen is my latest favorite food cart located in the Sellwood District of Portland Oregon.  There is a handful of carts set up on 13th and Lexington and this was the first one I wanted to try.  I remember walking by it months earlier during a lunch excursion but  for some reason I opted to eat at a sit down restaurant (mistake).   Part of the draw to this cart was the name, which I have to admit got my attention and made me take a closer look.  For some strange reason I feel like I’m not the only person that was intringued by the name alone.  

I was happy to see fried tofu as an option for some of their entrees.  Unfortunately the teriyaki choice was not one of them but sometimes if you ask, you shall receive.  The owner happily accomodated my request and I was bubbling with anticipation from the smells and sounds coming from the kitchen.  The portion was huge! I had lunch the next day too and it was just as tasty.  Fried tofu, broccoli, carrots and rice smothered in teriyaki sauce and sesame seeds.  The meal was so piping hot that I couldn’t take a picture of it right away because of the steam coming up to my camera lens.  I’m happy to say it was delish! I also found out that I could call in my orders so I took advantage of that perk the next time I was there to cut down on the waiting time. 

Great name.  Great Food.  Leftovers.  For $5.50? Hell yeah

Bruce Lee's Kitchen (Food Cart) on Urbanspoon