Logo for Mama Chow's Kitchen

What’s the best way to start a food cart? Ask your mom of course. At least in the case of Jeff Chow and Mama Chow’s Kitchen that’s how it’s done. Jeff’s mom Lalie had a recipe for wontons that was considered to be the best in her Oakland, CA, neighborhood. Jeff was feeling the need to try something different in his culinary adventure having just left a position as a sous chef in the Bay Area.

Jeff Chow in the kitchen at Mama Chow's

It was while visiting his mother and enjoying some of her wontons that Jeff decided to start a restaurant featuring his mother’s recipes. Also looking for a different challenge as a chef, Jeff decided that best thing to do was to (what else?) move to Portland and open a food cart (I’m sensing a theme here).

Mama Chow’s Kitchen opened as food cart early in 2014 and quickly became a favorite of its patrons and the culinary community as well. Jeff’s food cart is located at SW 2nd & Stark. Mama Chow’s Kitchen is open from 11–3 weekdays.

Mama Chow's Kitchen food cart

With just a few months in business under his belt, Jeff and Mama Chow’s Kitchen were chosen to be a featured cart at two local food cart events that took place in 2014, Eat Mobile and the Portland Summer Food Cart Festival. Being chosen to participate in these festivals is a testament to the quality and care that goes into each item on Mama Chow’s menu.

lollipop chicken wings

Mama Chow’s menu includes; Wonton Soup and baby bok choi (made with Mom Lalie’s recipe) that includes your choice of chicken, pork or shrimp, Wonton soup with noodles, and Jeff’s signature dish of Lollipop chicken with baby bok choi on a bed of rice.

Bowl of noodles from Mama Chow's Kitchen

Listen now as Steven Shomler, Ken Wilson talk with Jeff Chow of Mama Chow’s Kitchen about his culinary journey and his devotion to Oakland sports teams.

Ken Wilson
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