Posted by: David Stewart | May 3, 2009

Mobile Foodies

Food carts – they don’t evoke for me an image of gourmet delights.

Yet in Bangkok or Taipei, for example, some of the best eating is found in temporary homes, which can shuttle to a new location in minutes.

A few weekends ago, Laura turned us on to Willamette Week’s Eat Mobile – Portland’s Food Cart Festival in North Portland. "You’ll thank me," she promised.

Eat Mobile - Portland Food Cart Festival

The event was a collection of 15 of Portland’s food carts, relocated to a single venue in the Kenton neighborhood of North Portland.

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A good example is Toddbott’s Triangles. Todd makes O-nigiri, which are Japanese triangular rice balls, a common snack there often found in supermarkets or train stations. As each person would step up, Todd hand formed the rice ball from warm rice and stuff it with a cool filling which in my case was salmon. Fantastic! Each one made one at a time.

Eat Mobile - Portland Food Cart Festival

Or Fat Kitty Felafel. But note above the incredibly long lines. The food was all hand made on the spot, so the wait at any given cart was epic. The small venue made it even more cramped feeling, though with the human touch added to each sample, I’m not sure a larger venue would have been any better.

The weekend’s weather was stunning as well – incredibly rare for Portland in April. I suspect that rain would have dampened the crowd a bit, since half of the booths were outside.

Eat Mobile - Portland Food Cart Festival

A funky indie band tootled in one corner.

Eat Mobile - Portland Food Cart Festival

Each participant was given a bead to choose their favorite vendor. Although almost all were fantastic, I would have to give the nod to Garden State, with their, um, not sure what it was. But it was quite good.

Eat Mobile - Portland Food Cart Festival

So yes, indeed, we ended up saying, "Thank you, Laura." It was good food and a fun time.

Eat Mobile - Portland Food Cart Festival Eat Mobile - Portland Food Cart Festival

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