Browsing articles in "food cart"
Apr 19, 2014
Jim Benson

Homeless man thwarts food cart robbery

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A local who regularly donates extra meals to those in need was rewarded when a homeless man reported a robbery at his food cart.

When a woman broke into Gharib Abb’s Elmasry food cart near SW 3rd Ave. and Washington St. early Friday morning, a man sleeping nearby called Abb at home.

“He comes here sometimes, I feed him, take care of him.”

“He was my hero this morning, I gave him a $20 reward,” he said.

“As soon as he found out someone had broken through the door, he sneaked out and called me.”

Police were able to arrest the woman, who had cut the lock on the food cart off and stolen the cash box, on her way out of the cart pod.

“She went straight to the outlet of my security camera and unplugged all of them,” he said.

Abb said Friday marks the first time his cart has been broken in to. Regardless, he said he will be installing a tougher lock, and taking the cash box home from now on.

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Apr 18, 2014
Jim Benson

LR police: Ex-officer dies in fight over food cart


Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Apr 17, 2014
Jim Benson

Viking Soul Food cart closing for good in May

Viking Soul Food, the four-year-old food cart owned by Megan Walhood and Jeremy Daniels, will close next month due to an unforeseen family medical crisis.

The cart opened in 2010 serving tasty Norwegian lefse — the traditional Norwegian potato
flatbread — rolled up with everything from butter and sugar to smoked salmon and dill creme fraiche to meatballs and sour cabbage.

Viking Soul Food, a longtime favorite of this critic, was named one of The Oregonian’s best new carts for 2011.

In an email to The Oregonian, Daniels writes that the cart will remain open from Wednesday to Sunday, from noon to 8 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday until Saturday, May 17, which happens to be Norwegian Constitution Day. Afterward, Viking Soul Food will continue to operate as a business, available for catering, wine dinners and cooking classes.

“This is far from the final chapter for Viking Soul Food,” Daniels writes.

One more note from Daniels: The couple’s super-cute Airstream trailer, affectionately dubbed Gudrun, is up for sale. Contact the cart for more information.

Viking Soul Food: At the Good Food Here pod, 4262 S.E. Belmont St., 503-704-5481,

– Michael Russell

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Apr 17, 2014
Jim Benson

North Station food cart pod slated for redevelopment

North Station, the North Portland food cart pod, could be replaced by a mixed-use development as soon as next year, The Oregonian has learned.

The upcoming project, spearheaded by Lake Oswego’s Jacobsen Development Group, calls for 25 condos, no on-site parking and as much as 2,000-square-feet of retail space, according to a development proposal filed with the city.

The North Killingsworth Street lot is currently home to several businesses, including Farmfood, a farm-to-table sandwich cart, El Retoño Taqueria, a Mexican food cart, and Handsome Pizza, a brick-and-mortar, wood-fired pizzeria.

Handsome owner Will Fain says he heard about the proposal after the development company presented their plans to the Overlook Neighborhood Association earlier this year. Demo on the cart pod could begin in the first quarter of next year.

Fain, whose pizza was named one of The Oregonian’s favorite Portland slices last year, says he hopes to stick around the neighborhood, either in one of the project’s new retail spaces or in a different location in North Portland.

“I’m keeping my eyes open,” Fain said. “I want to stay in the neighborhood, because that’s where my clientele base is.”

– Michael Russell

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Apr 16, 2014
Jim Benson

Sabrosa Barbosa

Silvia Barbosa asks only two questions when presented with
indecisive customers at Sabrosa Barbosa: “Are you a vegetarian?” (No.)
“Do you like spicy foods?” (Yes.) If those are your answers, you’re
given two sample cups. In one hand, a red mole. In the other, a green

you’re still indecisive, order both. The chicken mole bowl and the
chicken green chili bowl (each $6.50) are served over rice and fat,
white Peruvian beans.

says the chicken mole is a traditional Oaxacan recipe from her
grandmother, passed down in the family and only slightly modified to
accommodate her cart’s gluten-free aspirations. And it’s everything
you’d expect a mole to be: moist, fork-tender chicken, and a sauce rich
with a smoky blend of chocolate, peanuts, garlic, onions, bananas, honey
and tomatoes.

green chili, however, is another story. Among my friends and family, I’m
usually the one ordering spicy dishes and laughing at weaker
constitutions. But I was only able to relish the cheesy rice and chicken
through the first bites before being overwhelmed by the kick of those
green jalapeño and serrano chilies.

and her husband, Matthew Knight, hand-peel and roast peppers in their
commissary kitchen before simmering the chicken and pork in the sauce
overnight. Since the green chili is one of only a few things on the
menu, Barbosa is constantly tweaking the recipe. She tells me the chili
recipe has been toned down since I visited. I just might test my luck

  • Order this: Chicken mole bowl ($6.50) and the quesadilla ($2).
  • I’ll pass: Chicken green chili ($6.50)

EAT: Sabrosa Barbosa, Southwest 10th
Avenue and Alder Street, 11 am-3:30 pm
Monday-Thursday, 10:45 am-6:30 pm Friday-Saturday, 11 am-4:30 pm Sunday.

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Apr 15, 2014
Jim Benson

Bon appétit: Food cart season is here – University of Wisconsin

The popular food carts on the State Street Mall open today, and will soon be on the move to make way for construction that will yield a new and improved mall.


The first robin.

Chairs on the Terrace.

And food carts.

They are a few sure signs of spring that we can all look forward to, especially after what was the longest winter in the history of the universe – or maybe just felt like it.

While a few carts brave it through the winter, today marks the first official day of the food cart season, bringing with it the aroma of all sorts of goodness lingering in the air.

But next month, if you don’t find your favorite vendor in the same place, don’t panic. Sustenance is likely just a short walk away. About 20 vendors will be relocated between May 19 and Oct. 31 due to construction in the Library Mall area.

The new locations are still being finalized, but many will be in the East Campus Mall area near the University Club and several on North Lake Street between State Street and Langdon on the Memorial Library side, says Madison Street Vending Coordinator Warren Hansen.

Construction is scheduled to begin after the semester ends and is planned to conclude before the beginning of the fall semester, says Gary Brown, director of campus planning and landscape architecture.

Architect’s rendering of new mall area

An architect’s rendering, looking west on State Street, shows the area where the East Campus Mall meets the newly constructed State Street Mall. Click for larger image.

There will be all new paving, lighting, new seating areas and a new raised pedestrian crosswalk at North Park Street.

“It’s really going to be a new space,” Brown says. “A much livelier and contemporary space.”

New landscaping and public artwork should also make the area more inviting, Brown says.

“Right now, there isn’t a whole lot going on in that area,” Brown says. “This is a good chance to change that.”

Architect’s rendering of new mall area

This drawing shows a bird’s-eye view of the area at the East Campus Mall and State Street once construction is complete. Click for larger image.

Hansen has been working closely with vendors to help them pick a good alternate location while construction takes place.

“The good news is that the whole space is being rethought,” Hansen says of the reconstructed Library Mall area. “I think it will be easier for vendors to get in and out. There will be more space in general.”

Hansen has been the street vending coordinator for Madison since 1998 and has seen the popularity of food carts continue to grow, not just in Madison but nationwide.

“They really are everywhere,” Hansen says.

But Madison was food carting before it was cool. The city had its first food cart in 1977, Hansen says. By 1990, there were 20 food carts downtown. Now you’ll find them spread out in numerous locations.

Starting last year, food carts appeared at University Research Park. They’ll be back by popular demand again Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays starting this week.

Food cart devotees will most likely be willing to take a few more steps to find their favorite cart – and get a bit more exercise.

“After the winter we’ve just experienced, I think Madisonians are eager to be able to spend as much time outside as they possibly can,” Hansen says.

A State Street/Library Mall stakeholder’s pre-construction meeting will take place at 10 a.m. April 29 at Memorial Union, Class of 1924 reception room. More information can be found here.

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Apr 12, 2014
Jim Benson

Portland food cart expands to mall after Food Network challenge(Video)

PORTLAND, Ore. — A Portland food cart business just got a lot bigger. “Food Network” gave “Gaufre Gourmet” free rent at the Three Rivers Mall food court in Kelso for a whole year.

We spoke to the local celebrities about being the newly crowned “Food Court Wars” champions.

Charlene Wesler and Michael Susak have been serving decadent waffle creations through their food cart window three years now. Business is good and is growing. But Charlene describes the last few months as “a crazy ride” after a “Food Network” scout got them on the show, “Food Court Wars”.

The couple took on fellow local food truck “Pressed.”

“Food Court Wars” is a competition to win free space at the mall. It was tough.

“We had a lot of downfalls in the show,” said Charlene.

But they came up from behind on Sunday night’s show with the most sales. They won the space and avoid a year’s worth of rent — worth $100,000.

“The biggest advantage though of being in a mall (is) it’s enclosed space. So we have people smelling waffles all day long!” said Charlene.

“And our kitchen is like 400 square feet; it’s like five of these things; it’s vast!” added Michael. “We’re really excited to become a part of that community.”

Their new “Gaufre Gourmet” restaurant at Three Rivers Mall in Kelso will open later this week.

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Apr 11, 2014
Jim Benson

The Eat Mobile 2014 Food Cart Roster

Eat Mobile, Willamette Week’s seventh annual food cart
festival, has announced its 2014 cart
roster. (Buy tickets here.)

To bring you the best grazing grounds and taste of the
Portland food-cart scene, the list spans a variety of cuisines, locations and
years in operation. Participating carts include

808 Grinds

Bamboo Café

Bardo’s Grill

Bro Dogs

Creperie du Lys

Fifty Licks


Go Cart


Hapa Ramen

Hungry Heart PDX

Kesone Asian Fusion

KOI Fusion

Little Boba Truck

Love Belizean

Maine Street Lobster Co.

Mama Chow’s Kitchen

Masala Pop

Mildred’s Sweet Treats

Mix N Match Creamery


Momo Cart

Native Bowl


Ramy’s Falafel Fusion

Sila Thai Food, LLC.

Sivad’s House of Soul

So Cold

Southern Belle’s

Taqueria La Merced

Thick Deep Dish Pizza


Topped Art

The overall available number of tickets to Eat Mobile 2014 is nearly one-third less than in 2013even though the festival always sells out, reducing total attendance to 2,200. The festival team has promised shorter lines and even more samples for participants

Eat Mobile takes place in OMSI’s parking lot on Sunday, April 27 from 1 to 6 p.m., with VIP admission beginning at 1 and general admission at 2:30. Tickets are on sale now here.

Carts will vie for the coveted Carty Awards in three categories:
People’s Choice, Judge’s Choice, and Style. For the first time, attendees will use Instagram to determine People’s Choice winner. With
repeating carts like KOI Fusion and Garcelon’s (who have both won past People’s
Choice awards) and carts brand new to the city like Mama Chow’s Kitchen and Thick
Deep Dish Pizza, the well-rounded roster brings culinary variety to the Eat
Mobile stage.

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Apr 11, 2014
Jim Benson

Readers name 808 Grinds as their favorite food cart

On Monday, we asked readers for their favorite food cart. You came through with suggestions for trucks, carts and stands across the Portland metropolitan area. Eventually, we had several dozen suggestions to fold into Wednesday’s poll.

Now, after more than 1,000 votes, readers have spoken again.

In a write-in heavy race, readers voted 808 Grinds, the Hawaiian-style food cart with a downtown cart and a mobile truck, as their favorite. Carte Blanche, the Southeast Hawthorne cart serving up international fare, claimed second place. Garden Monsters on Northeast Alberta rounded out the top three.

Readers’ pick their favorite food cart:

1. 808 Grinds
2. Carte Blanche
3. Garden Monsters

The top results here and from other upcoming polls will be rolled up into a Reader Picks section in The Oregonian’s 2014 Restaurant Guide. 

Up next week: We’re looking for your favorite happy hour in the Portland-area. Stay tuned for our call for suggestions next Monday. 

– Samantha Bakall

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Apr 10, 2014
Jim Benson

You have 24 hours left to vote for your favorite food cart: Diner 2014

Here’s your friendly halftime reminder: You have just more than 24 hours remaining to vote for your favorite food cart.

The poll remains open until Friday at noon. At that point, we’ll round up the top three reader favorites here at Those results, along with the results from other upcoming polls, will be included in a Reader’s Choice section of The Oregonian’s 2014 Diner restaurant guide.

What is your favorite food cart in the area? Vote now. And stay tuned for next week’s Reader’s Choice suggestions/poll where we’re asking for your favorite happy hour.

– Samantha Bakall

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