Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Gourmet de la Portland

Dear Portland Suburbanites,

You're doing it wrong. I know you don't like being told what to do, but I feel a moral obligation to save your souls.

I have noticed a disturbing trend. When we converse and I casually mention that I had lunch at a food cart, you give me a weird look as if to say "he's eating cheap and dirty hot dogs sold on the street by some guy who has never showered?" (sigh) You have much to learn, fellow suburbanite.

First off, there are over 250 food carts all over Portland. Very, very few sell hot dogs. Instead, any variety of cuisine can be found (Egyptian, Thai, Vegan, Peruvian, Vietnamese, Pasta, Soups, Fried Pies, German, sandwich, Czech, barbecue, ice cream, brick-oven pizza, N'Orleans, just to name a few) and they are all carefully prepared by food-handler licensed cooks for very cheap prices. The best food in Portland is on the streets.

Take my favorite cart for example: Portland Soup Company.

Beautiful, isn't it?

Unfortunately for my waistline, this cart is right across the corner from my office. It's owned by chef Jeremy Davidson who cut his teeth at Restaurant 503 in West Linn. Upon realizing that he could run his own place and that restaurants are far too expensive, he decided to open a food cart (which also caters) instead. On slower days, I'll ask him to describe what's in one of his various soups, salads, or sandwiches. He inevitably wells up with pride as he discusses culinary terms and ingredients I've never heard of before.

See? Jeremy runs a clean ship!

Think about it - one of the premier chefs in Portland and he's dishing up food in a street cart. Now, Jeremy might have a little different story than most, but all good carters know they can cook one type of food better than 95% of the population...and they stick to that one thing in their cart. You can't go wrong. Plus, food carts don't have to worry about the overhead at a typical restaurant. Most of the lunches I get downtown are better than any restaurant (sorry, VQ...I still love you) and cost around 6 bucks.

Half a Pork Butt sandwich (with apple slaw) and a cup of Leek and Mushroom soup from Portland Soup Company...$7.

Truth be told, fellow Suburbanites...if you want to experience Portland's culture, you MUST get out to the food carts! Repent of your evil ways and let your taste buds rejoice.

1 comment:

  1. Okay, Okay, already! We already want to visit you. Every time I check the blog, the kids say, "I miss Jordan & Carter." Now you got to keep rubbing it in about the food carts--with mouthwatering pictures no less. You're cruel.