Estacada food cart focuses on bubble tea
Watermelon lemonade with peach popping bubbles and raspberry green tea with tapioca balls are just a few of the options at one of Estacada's newest food carts.
Ivan and Gil Gongora opened Bobablastic Estacada at 380 S.W. Zobrist St. in April. The food cart will be open daily from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Boba, also known as bubble tea, typically consists of tea or lemonade accompanied by toppings like tapioca balls, fruit flavored popping bubbles, jelly or pudding. The drink originated in Taiwan.
To celebrate its opening, Bobablastic ran a buy-one-get-one drink for free on April 20. The Gongoras gave out 180 complimentary drinks
"From before we opened to 8 p.m., there were lines of people," Gil said. "Busy would be an understatement."
Ivan and Gil, who are twins, wanted the cart to be open around their birthday on April 19.
"It was like a celebration," Gil said.
Bobablastic is one of four new food carts on Zobrist Street, along with Kellan's Dogs, Sabor Yucateco and M and D Downhome BBQ.
"Our menus play off of each other," Ivan said, noting that there's not a lot of overlap between the food each establishment offers. "By the time they've gone around to each of the carts, they'll want to return to the first one again."
The Gongoras eventually hope to create a Facebook group where local food carts can share their menus and other information. It will be open to all food carts and trucks in the area — not only the ones on Zobrist Street.
"We want to bring in anyone," Gil said.
The restaurant business runs in the Gongoras' family. Ivan and Gil's mom, Julissa Camara, operates Sabor Yucateco, a food cart that opened on Zobrist Street in March.
"My mom's been behind us this whole time, and we've been behind her," Gil said.
Some customers at Bobablastic haven't tried bubble tea before.
"When people try it for the first time, they say, 'Oh my God, this is actually good,'" Ivan said. "We convince them to try it and then they're back the next day."
Additionally, if a customer doesn't like a drink, they can receive a replacement.
"We want you to leave with something you enjoy," Ivan said.
Gil and Ivan grew up in the community and graduated from Estacada High School in 2007.
They hope to give back by sponsoring local sports teams and hosting community fundraisers.
They're looking forward to serving familiar faces and meeting new people.
"There's been a lot of negativity because of the pandemic, but since we've opened, we can tell people are smiling through their masks," Gil said.
If you go
What: Bobablastic Estacada
Where: 380 S.W. Zobrist St.
Hours: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily
More information: Bobablastic Estacada on Facebook
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