Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Portland Food Carts

Portland has become rightfully famous for it's food carts. Unlike food trucks in LA or street vendors in NY, Portland's carts are basically trailers gathered onto the sidewalk edge of city parking lots into what Portlanders call a "pod." These carts don't move from day to day but gather together to form semi-permanent food courts. And there are a lot of carts and pods to choose from.
Amid Thai and Lebanese and BBQ and salmon burgers and specialty soups, I somehow was drawn to Sonny Boy where two friends Portanders mix up vegan dishes like brown rice bowls with a seemingly endless list of possible toppings, shakes, and the tofu veggie scramble I opted for. It was breakfast after all.
Certainly not the prettiest dish I've ever been handed but chock full of flavor. Instead of zeroing in on one ethnicity or style of cooking, Sonny Boy, like many vegan and vegetarian restaurants take stem most flavorful parts of several styles of cuisine and blends them not one dish. My sautéed tofu, cabbage and squash (with spicy warm potatoes on the side) was topped with a cashew sesame sauce they called "cashew cheese" and another that seemed almost to carry a hint of curry and paprika. On top a dollop of "herb chorizo". I honestly have no idea what was in that "chorizo" and I certainly would call it by another name but it was delicious. Well seasoned, flavorful, vibrant  -- a scrumptious paté with no need for labels.
Throughout the city Portland's carts are serving up high quality food at fast food prices. There always seems to be a pod within walking distance and yet sit-down restaurants, micro-breweries, and casual cafes flourish on the same blocks. What a lucky city.

No comments:

Post a Comment