Monday, May 30, 2011

J & K Do Portland (& Seattle!) Food Carts: Month 5.

Pizza, tacos, & ice cream edition! There is no better combo! Yayy!

Okay look. So we WENT BACK TO A LA CARTS. YEAH THE SAME FOOD CART POD I'VE ALREADY HIGHLIGHTED TWICE IN HERE. I know we have to branch out more. Leave us alone.

But really...there are so many carts in each pod (and often rotating carts--for instance, Big Top Waffles which I talked about in February, is no longer at the Foster & 52nd pod, but at Mississippi I believe. As a side comment, the Foster & 52nd area is kind of a fledgling, sad little space. Come on, Foster-Powell! We can do it!) that I could probably spend a year just profiling each cart in one single pod! So there! Not that I would really call my ramblings about stuff "profiling"! That sounds like something real journalists do!

Anyway, so we went to Southwestern Pizza Company and it was awesome. The couple who was working there/are perhaps the owners were adorable and friendly, their logo includes a cute howling wolf, their prices are really pretty reasonable for a decently sized pizza (I recently paid almost the same amount at the Kennedy School for a single slice), they have a frequent buyer card thing (!!! love these, and it's the first cart we've been to that has one), and they have a ton of great sounding pizzas.

Kathy's choice: Yeah, we obviously got two pizzas. If you thought we would've gotten one to share, you clearly don't know us at all. I'm mentioning hers first (pictured above) because it was the clear winner. She chose the Texan, an amazing combo of BBQ sauce (already a winner), fajita chicken, APPLES, onions, and cheese. I think the apples were really what gave this an interesting, delicious twist.

My choice: I got the Sagebrush, which was a much simpler pizza: basically a white pizza with alfredo and sausage. While having a slightly heavier, less unique taste combo than the Texan, I still liked it a whole bunch. I mean, you can't really go wrong with alfredo and sausage. There were also a few pluses to it: since it was slightly richer I wasn't able to eat as much and could save some for lunch the next day (always exciting!), whereas we gobbled all of Kathy's right up, in true disgusting form. Also, since there were simpler ingredients, it cost $1.50 less than Kathy's! This was a really solid meal(s) for $5.50.

Next: I feel a lot better about ourselves now that we've finally visited a taco cart. On the night we were downtown to see Bridesmaids, we wanted to grab a quick bite to eat first, and cheaply. Enter the heavenly chorus of food carts being relatively nearby. We ended up at Francisco Taqueria, because 1) tacos are always a good idea, and 2) it was one of the only carts open. This is definitely one of the plights of the food carts downtown (along with a bunch of restaurants/cultural life in general downtown)--most of them close up shop as soon as the 9-5 business crowd leaves. It's annoying. There are people who want to be downtown--and have choices of food other than the Macaroni Grill and Chipotle--past 5pm, people! It's like the Pearl is the only spot that has any night life in it, but, well, sometimes you're not in the Pearl. 

Anyway, rant aside, I love the simplicity of this name--Francisco Taqueria. A taqueria run by a dude named Francisco! Who was really, really stinking nice! He also has a choice of homemade red sauce or green sauce to go on your tacos--I splashed one on each of the two tacos I got and they were both delicious, and he also provided an abundance of limes, which I looooved. Give me a lot of limes with my tacos, and I'll love you forever. I got a chicken and a chorizo, and loved the chorizo about ten times more, because YOU CAN NEVER GO WRONG WITH CHORIZO. I THINK I AM IN LOVE WITH CHORIZO. WHICH IS PROBABLY (DEFINITELY) BAD FOR MY HEART (LIKE A LOT). Kathy got carnitas, which she also gave good ratings to. Overall, I wouldn't say they were the bestest bestest tacos ever in the world, but still really really good and really hit the spot of what we were looking for. And Francisco. Seriously. So nice. I would go back just to see his smile!

Oh hey, AND NOW WE'RE IN SEATTLE. BAM. I am actually really pumped to do my first other-city-than-Portland food cart write-up. Hopefully I will make this a trend! And hopefully I will think of a better phrase/name for this trend than "other-city-than-Portland food cart write-up."

The beautiful, gorgeous, lovely, wondrous Ashley took us to Street Treats during our brief visit up to our fair city in the north last week. She had really hyped this Street Treats business, and her hype was so. right.

While the lady who runs this cart bakes and makes a variety of amazing goodies, the best thing about it is the MAKE YOUR OWN ICE CREAM SANDWICH PORTION. I'll repeat in case you just missed it: MAKE YOUR OWN ICE CREAM SANDWICH. As in, you choose your cookie. Be crazy and choose two different cookies if you want! Then choose your ice cream! It's awesome! I went with the classic, chocolate chip, for my cookie selection, and peanut butter for my ice cream. Because there is no better combination than chocolate and peanut butter. This thing...was so good. So good I had to pause for dramatic effect. (Actually I just paused because I thought I could think of something better than "was so good," but turns out, I couldn't.) The cookies were soft and rich and slightly warm and the peanut butter ice cream was the best peanut butter ice cream I've ever had. 

The other neat thing about Street Treats, and I'm assuming other food carts in Seattle and elsewhere, is that they live up to the whole mobile nature of the food cart, moving around the city throughout the course of the week. We visited it at the parking lot of Starbucks Headquarters (I know...I felt weird), where I'm pretty sure it sits every Wednesday. Most carts in Portland seem to hunker down in one spot or pod and stay there, for the most part. Or, as I just discussed with Big Top Waffles, they hunker down in one place, and then hunker down in another place for awhile, but they still hunker down. I think there are positives and negatives to both. With the hunkering down, you may be like, "Oh man, I would love some more of Nong's Khao Man Gai. But it is SO FAR AWAY. And I am SO LAZY." But if it was mobile, you could just wait for it to come closer to you. At the same time, if it was mobile, you might be all, "I want some Nong's Khao Man Gai, but I have NO IDEA WHERE IT IS RIGHT NOW! ARGH!" What do you think?

But, back to the treats. The only downside to my heavenly ice cream sandwich experience was that it was the only thing I had consumed in at least 12 hours other than a bagel, a chai, and a whoooooole lot of beer. And after stuffing the ice cream sandwich down my gullet, and then getting back in a car and driving around city streets for approximately five seconds, I felt immediately very, very, very bad. Weirdly, it was like my body was overloaded on processing sugar or something. So, don't do that, boys and girls.

But on the plus side, my friends felt really bad for me after I moaned and groaned about how bad I felt, and then that beautiful, gorgeous, amazing Ashley took us to a great place where I got some good mac and cheese, which of course made me feel right better. So, maybe you SHOULD do that. Just sayin'.

(No, get the mac and cheese first.)


  1. "jill, what would make you feel better? what would calm your tummy right now?"
    "a burger... or mac and cheese."

  2. Love you Jill! This is amazing! Oh, here's an idea, COME BACK DAMN IT.