Tired of cooking? Visit a walk-up local 'food cart', for a change
By now, the joy of cooking has likely worn off for those who are "social distancing at home", but restaurants are closed for dining in, and delivered food can be expensive.
The solution may be as close as a nearby food cart.
THE BEE took a tour of some of the "cart pods" in Inner Southeast on a recent Wednesday afternoon, and found several of them still open and serving customers.
The best selection of open carts proved to be at Cartlandia, on S.E. 82nd Avenue of Roses, near the Springwater Corridor Trail.
"Actually, things are going well, because our businesses here were designed for providing 'take out food' from the very start," grinned Cartlandia owner Roger Goldingay.
At any given time, about half of the carts – 15 of them – are open for business. "Some of our people are reporting large orders; some of those going to health-service providers. But there remains a steady stream of customers coming in for take-out food," Goldingay told THE BEE. "And, most of our carts also offer delivery through popular services."
To see which of their carts are open, go online – www.cartlandia.com
Dining in Westmoreland
In Westmoreland, Summer Pommier said her cart, Samurai Lunch Box, at 6661 S.E. Milwaukie Avenue – in the parking lot across from the Moreland Theater – is still open for business seven days a week.
"It's been different; we're stable, but we've definitely seen a decline in business, because people aren't out and about," Pommier said, as she grilled teriyaki marinated chicken breast for an order of "Samurai Chicken Bento". "We've had to change our own processes, here, at the cart, to make it safer for our customers and for us. But, this business has been in this spot since 1998, with different owners, and I'm glad that the community really supports it."
Learn more about Samurai Lunch Box online – www.samuraipdx.com
There are also a couple of food carts just north on Milwaukie Avenue across from Banfield Pet Hospital that have been open, and are worth checking out.
Foster-Powell food choices
At the Portland Mercado, on S.E. Foster Road at 72nd Avenue, several of the carts are open, as well as the open-air "Barrio Bar". Dining while at the location is prohibited, but the open-air Barrio Bar wine bar is open for business, assured "wine nomad" and owner, Chris Shimamoto.
See what's open now at the Portland Mercado on their website – www.portlandmercado.org
Stopping by Carts on Foster, also on Foster Road – at 52nd Avenue, not many carts were open, but we were assured that typically, a good selection of food was available from those that are. Although indoor dining is verboten there and everywhere at the moment, the "Pod Bar Food Cart" is stocked with the unique beers and wines for which they're known, and providing growler fills.
Stay in touch with Carts on Foster online – www.facebook.com/CartsOnFoster
Many Sellwood carts closed
Hurry Back Ice Cream, La Mai Plate, Luang Prabang Food Cart, and Tubular Tacos, located in the large cart lot across from the Sellwood Branch Library on S.E. 13th, are open intermittently, but all were closed during our visit. You may find more information about them online.
The "Dive Bar" beer garden was open at Piknik Park, on S.E. Tacoma Street just west of the New Seasons Market, but several carts had signs indicating they were "Closed for the Duration". Find out more online – www.piknikparkpdx.com
So, in addition to the many local restaurants offering food to go, you can also consider the many local food carts as a takeout dining choice.
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