You know what’s exciting to me? Changing menus.  As hard as it is saying good-bye to your favorites, when a restaurant or food truck you trust switches things up a bit, it’s an easy way to try something new.

My friends over at The Cheese Plate PDX (I wrote about them just after they opened here) are already getting ready to move into their third menu, autumn, part two. New stuff will include a kaley, mushroomy, squashy pasta, ginger-cardamom cider, and maaaaybe a full-on vegan version of their fancy cheese plate. (I know they’re working on it.)

But let’s take a look at what we just picked up, what you can still mow down on with autumn, part one, and will probably make the part two cut. Remember, the pickles can change from week to week, as they’re refrigerator pickles.

The vegan grilled cheese started out as a special and has graduated to the permanent menu. This is Daiya cheddar fancied up with a tangy homemade vegan fromage fort. Wanna add tomato? Just ask.

I’m a sucker for the picnic plate. You don’t see the homemade crackers in this shot. What you do see is pickled beets and beans, melon with cardamom sea salt, red pepper jam, and mushroom pâté with vegan caviar. I love how each little component holds its own. There’s no filler. The melon isn’t garnish, it’s its own set of flavors and textures. The pepper jam is a bright, crisp combination of sweet and savory; sure, you could hide it in a burger, but alone on a cracker you can appreciate its complexity.

The downside of the changing seasons is shortened hours for this little cart. I’d highly suggest you like them on Facebook if you’re around—they’re really good at keeping people posted about unusual hours (including when some good-for-nothing so-and-so slashes and steals their power cord—boo). Also, they love input, so they’re always throwing out ideas and questions to bounce off the public. (That’s you!)

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