After living in New York, eating at food carts was out of the question. They’re called roach coaches, boys and girls. Then in L.A., there were all these stories of people getting worms from eating at taco trucks. So yeah, it took me a year to finally come around to the Portland cart culture.
Some are trailers and some are like sheds. Some even have tables and chairs in front of them. And you can do your homework before heading out to the cart clusters so you know who you can trust and what’s going to be awesome. Food Carts Portland covers everything, including 38 listings (as of today) for vegan options. Also, Stumptown Vegans and VeganFabulous both cover carts in their dining-out blogs.
Tom and I took a funday on Friday, and on a 9-mile circuit bike ride of all four Portland quadrants, we stopped for a bite to eat at the SW 10th carts. (By the way, every time I take my bike out I love Portland a little more.) Tom comes here pretty regularly, riding his bike or taking the Max from his office, so he knew exactly what he wanted.
This is a red curry from DNA Thai. The vegetables were really fresh, and there was a surprising amount of tofu in there. Plus they give you a free bottle of water. I tried the salad rolls, since they were huge and $3, but they turned out to be lettuce-and-rice noodle-with-a-sliver-of-tofu rolls, so about halfway through the first I realized I couldn’t go on and had to find something else.
That brought me to Ziba’s Pitas. I asked the woman in the cart what else was in the Tikvenica (zucchini pita)—it was marked “vegan,” but who knows what else could be in there, ya know? It’s just zucchini. Big chunks of zucchini are baked into this flaky bread. It was crazy fresh, still a little warm, and after I stole some salt from a Mexican cart, it was a super yummy treat. I really wanted to finish it, but no dice. Too much food. I’d say this would be great to split with someone if you supplemented it with a little snacky treat.
I didn’t even mind that it was so crowded we ended up sitting on asphalt in a parking lot and had to brush gravelly bits off my butt when we got up.