“Food Carts Portland” is an online magazine covering the food cart scene of Portland. Brett Burmeister, managing editor, covers and writes about what is happening, what is new, and what is about to happen in the world of Portland’s food carts. Each year, Brett (a.k.a. Dieselboi) looks back at what has taken place within Portland’s street food universe and creates a year-end review of all the news from the past twelve months.
This valuable resource has been made available to both fans and newbies alike since 2009. Food cart pods can give the impression that the world of food carts and street food is a stable resource for the Rose City. While that is true in the larger sense, within the food cart community itself, change is the only real constant. While the majority of food carts enjoy a semi-permanent permanence, each year there a number of vendors who close down their operations.
Whether from redevelopment, closings, remodeling of pods, or for other factors, this turnover is an undercurrent that aids Portland’s food cart world in maintaining a continuous feeling of expectation and renewal. During 2015, two pods closed while three more opened to the public. One pod, Happy Valley Station, brought a food cart pod to the far east side of Portland. The first of its kind in both Portland, and in fact the nation, Happy Valley Station once again proves that Portland is the heart and mecca of the food cart world.
The 500 to 600 food cart vendors and 40-ish pods that make up the infrastructure that is the world of food carts in PDX, can be mildly daunting for someone either visiting or new to Portland. There are frankly an abundance of choices. For those who’re not familiar with the food carts of PDX, picking an initial food cart to experience can be a bit overwhelming. A common question for Brett then is which food cart he considers to be his favorite. Rather than pick a single cart Brett suggests five to seven carts which had an experience that he was still thinking of even a few weeks later.
Two carts that made the list of carts that left an impression on Brett were La Camel and Chicken and Guns. Several pods also made that list of places to recommend. The aforementioned Happy Valley Station on Sunnyside Road, The Portland Mercado on SE Foster, and Cartopia at SE 12th and Hawthorne. Cartopia received a full makeover and is the home of Chicken & Guns which provides two good reasons to plan a visit.
2015 also brought something new for Brett as well. Home, A Bar, opened on SE 7th and Morrison in the former Morrison Hotel. Brett, in collaboration with Scott of the BroDogs food cart, have begun a partnership as proprietors of this establishment. Brett manages the bar and Scott runs the kitchen. The food is an extension of BroDogs menu and the bar serves craft beers, a few well-known national beers, and cocktails.
Listen now as Steven Shomler and Ken Wilson talk with Brett Burmeister about the past year and the coming year, what has occurred and what may be in the world of Portland’s food carts.