No, Kargi Gogo is not a phrase that describes fast driving or a toddlers way of asking for a ride in the car. Nor is it the name of a New York disco from the seventies. Kargi Gogo is a term of endearment from the Georgian culture that means ‘good girl.’ Here in Portland Kargi GoGo is the name of a food cart that specializes in the national foods of Georgia (the country, not the U.S. state where “The Walking Dead” is made).
Kargi Gogo is a term of endearment used in the Georgian language and culture that literally translates as “good girl.” The compliment is given to Georgian women of all ages as a way of recognizing when they have prepared an especially delicious meal. At the Kargi GoGo food cart, a delicious meal is what you’re gonna get.
Khachapuri (translates as ‘cheese bread’) is arguably the most ubiquitous food served in Georgia. Each of the regions of Georgia has their own version of this bread and cheese combo. In fact, the classic imeruli khachapuri has been the most-requested menu item since Kargi Gogo opened in 2013.
Georgia’s most famous khachapuri dish is acharuli khachapuri. The bread is shaped like a boat (it’s about the same size as, and looks a lot like, a deflated football), covered with sulguni cheese and baked. Once the cheese has melted an egg is placed on top of the cheese and the acharuli is baked a bit more. When the khachapuri is ready to serve, a pat of butter is then placed on top of the cheese.
Other khachapuri varieties on Kargi Gogo’s menu are rachlui khachapuri which features smoked ham combined with the cheese and magruli khachapuri which is a khachapuri topped with smoked sulguni cheese. All the khachapuri is made daily from scratch.
Kargi Gogo also has khinkali, a juicy dumpling designed to be eaten with the fingers. Not your traditional dumpling, khingali is a small, pleated, pouch of dough that contains meats or veggies and a broth. The khinkali will be offered frozen ‘to go’ item so that customers can take as many as they like back home to be cooked and then consumed while they, say, are watching football.
Kargi Gogo is located in downtown Portland at 950 SW Washington St, between SW 9th and 10th. You can get your khachapuri every day between eleven in the morning till four in the afternoon.
Listen now as Steven Shomler and Ken Wilson talk with Sean and McKinze of Kargi Gogo about the popularity, and varieties of khachapuri, Georgia’s national food, which they have brought to Portland.