The local food cart scene, which is halfway between restaurant culture and street food culture. At some point, somebody in Portland realized that an empty lot could be filled with a bunch of trailers, each of which could be a mini-restaurant, serving a very limited menu with very limited seating for relatively low prices. There are a few downtown spots that have had a block full of food carts since we’ve been in town, like SW 5th between Oak and Stark, but for some reason they’ve been proliferating like crazy this year. Most are essentially lunch-focused, but some are open for dinner, and the new cart area at SE 12th and Hawthorne specializes in late-night food–a couple of its carts don’t even open until 8 PM.
Now there’s a blog devoted to them; Lisa and I have been checking out some of the newer ones. Enthusiastic thumbs-ups to Wolf & Bear’s (Iranian breakfast sandwiches!!) and The Ruby Dragon (Ethiopian/Indian-inspired vegan food!). Apparently there’s a new cart, Mum’s Kitchen, that serves not just Indian food but South African-style Indian food. I’ll report back when I’ve gotten to try it.