I'd argue that the best way to eat in Portland, Oregon is by visiting the city's many food carts. If you've ever doubted that street food could be serious food, these carts will convince you otherwise.
'street food' on Serious Eats
Most Javanese food can attribute its relative simplicity to the fact that it's an indigenous cuisine that has remained largely unaffected by outside forces, save for a bit of Chinese influence in certain dishes. Martabak, a roti-like stuffed fried flatbread, is a notable exception. Even on Java, folks I talked to said "this isn't Javanese food, it's Indian." Others trace its origins to the Middle East. Either way, it's one of the best street foods around.
You can wander the streets of Bangkok for weeks, pointing at every single thing that looks tasty, handing over a couple dozen baht, and eating until you burst, all without ever eating the same thing twice. And you'd have difficulty spending more than around $10 a day doing it. And, in fact, that's pretty much what my wife and I did for the few days we were there. Here's just a taste of what you'll get.
How does a collection of food carts come together? A thriving example in Portland, Oregon shares a few secrets to success.
Cucina Zapata, a Thai-Mexican-fusion food truck on Drexel University's campus in Philadelphia, combines Cap'n Crunch with fish (and a deep fryer) to surprisingly good effect.
On Wednsdays through Sundays on an empty lot at Prospect Avenue and 156th Street in Woodstock, you'll find Mama Isbaella's Place, a seasonal, stationary Puerto Rican food truck devoted to pastelillos and alcapurrias.
This past Friday, Viva La Comida, the Elmhurst 82nd Street Partnership's food festival, celebrated its second year with even more street food, music, and fun. Take a look at at some highlights from the day.
'They Basically Wiped Out Our Profit for the Day': A Street Vendor Speaks Out About the Department of Health
Do the DOH's letter grades and punitive fines actually improve food safety? Do they educate street vendors and restaurants about improving food safety? Here is one account to help you decide, in a street vendor's own words, about the time she lost a day's earnings to two tickets.
This weekend, the Vendy Awards, New York's biggest love letter to street food, hit Industry City for a day-long feast of nearly 25 street vendors feeding a grateful crowd. Lines were waited on, tacos were eaten, and the venerated Vendy Cup for best street food of the year was awarded once again. Here are the highlights.
A few weeks ago, the Small Axe Truck debuted its burger, the Smokestack Lightning, and proclaimed it the best burger around. Ordinarily, I'd say that's a bold statement to make, but in this case it might well be true.
Take a look inside New York's only Neapolitan pizza truck, one of the rookie finalists up for this weekend's Vendy Awards.
Years ago, on a trip home to Buenos Aires, owner Ariel Barbouth found inspiration for Nuchas in the empanadas that are ubiquitous there but largely absent downtown. He launched the first Kiosk in Times Square in 2011 and last summer took the show on the road with the Nuchas truck. Through it, he serves many varieties of hand-held snacks, including empanadas filled with short rib, shiitake curry, or seafood.
Although Malaysian food is gaining a growing foothold in New York, Mamak, which launched back in April, is one of the first to bring rendang to the city's street food scene.
4 Portland food cart empanadas to grab for your lunch, snack or dessert.
You can always count on three or four food trucks parking alongside the Durham Farmers' Market, ready to serve an eclectic mix of portable breakfast and lunch offerings to the town's locavores and early risers.
An Italian sandwich truck with sliced-to-order meat and cheese from Di Palo's? Sign us up.
Fugu, Bing Liu's bright blue truck based out of Malden, was born this past spring after Liu wrapped up stints working in France and at a couple Michelin-starred restaurants in New York and rallied some college buddies to go into business with him.
If Boston were a desert island where I was to be stranded and had to pick one food truck to eat from indefinitely, Mei Mei would be it.
In downtown Portland, Sideshow Eatery slings some seriously tasty (if not totally authentic) poutine alongside classic (or gourmet) cheeseburgers.
In addition to the typical corn-based Salvadoran griddle cakes, this pupusa star is doing some incredible things with plantains.