'Chicken sundaes' dished up at Bridgeport Village
After years of creating so-called "chicken sundaes" during family camping trips, Dennis Gorton decided a few years ago that his creations might be good enough to sell to the public.
He was right.
"We started in 2015 in a pop-up and in 2017 we built our truck, which obviously opened a lot more doors and wasn't so much work," said Gorton of his business, Chop Chop Chicken Sundaes & Salads. "Building a truck opened a lot more avenues … and then just last month, we opened a permanent location here at Bridgeport Village."
What those "sundaes" include are choices for the base — a bed of rice, quinoa or bean sprouts — before adding a protein, such as chipotle lime chicken or soy ginger tofu. They are then topped off with up to 11 customized toppings, which include slivered almonds, fresh tomatoes, cheddar cheese, celery and more.
Gorton said his original pop-up made its first appearance at the Vernonia Friendship Jamboree — which turned out to be a watershed moment, as the weekend put Chop Chop's unique food stand completely in the black and led Gorton to think, "We might have something here."
From there, he quickly moved on to the Hillsboro Tuesday Night Market, where Chop Chop has retained a presence. The food truck began making regular stops to business parks and office buildings, from Gresham to the Portland International Airport to Hillsboro and over to Wilsonville.
The Chop Chop Chicken Sundae food truck made USA Today's 10 Best Food Trucks in Portland 2019 list, the same year Gorton began looking at commercial properties. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, he thought it might be a good time to take advantage of any vacancies for his first brick-and-mortar enterprise.
"We almost signed a lease in Northwest Portland, and I just happened to turn into Bridgeport at the first entrance instead of the second entrance to go to the Container Store and saw the sign that said 'picture your business here,'" Gorton said. "We did, and now here we are.'"
Joining him as partners in the restaurant are Gorton's wife, Debbie, along with Jon and Kinnell Steward. Another partner, Cathy Rottle, is also an investor in the business.
In addition to the two sizes of sundaes, the restaurant offers chopped salads including Cobb, Mediterranean, Caesar, Far East, Southeast and the ability to create one's own salad. Gorton said gluten-free is a big focus of Chop Chop Chicken Sundae, which can also accommodate other dietary restrictions such as vegan and keto.
For those visiting the restaurant for the first time, Gorton said his staff is more than happy to help new customers wade through the selection of sundaes and toppings.
"We walk every customer through it," said Gorton. "We're not robots, so we don't have people walk up and say, 'I'll have a No. 3, please.'"
While Gorton admits that the pandemic meant a slow time at Christmas, he's optimistic about the future, noting that "everything will open up at some time."
The restaurant at 7403 S.W. Bridgeport Road, Suite K6, in Tualatin will host its grand opening with a free giveaways of its 16-ounce bowls on Saturday, Jan. 9, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
For more information, visit ChopPDX.com.
Chop Chop Chicken Sundaes & Salads is the latest in a trend of out-of-the-box culinary concepts at the Bridgeport Village shopping center.
Last July, Tao Huang opened a Happy Lemon Tea Shop franchise at Bridgeport Village. Among its specialties is a salted cheese tea drink, as well as milk teas that can be customized with dessert toppings.
In August, Portland-based Ruby Jewel moved a Jewel Bus into Bridgeport Village temporarily. Ruby Jewel sells "artisan" ice cream sandwiches, with flavors like honey-lavender and butterscotch.
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