Foster Food Cart Love
If viewership is any indicator, the number of people reading our original post on the arrival of food carts on Foster would suggest the cart craze has not yet peaked in Portland. Or, at the very least, FOPO’ians are eager to join in the frenzy, even if late-comers to the game. And why wouldn’t they? While the rest of the nation has taken notice, Portland has produced some of the best culinary pleasures at a fraction’s cost of dine-in options. If you’re willing to weather the elements and forgo silverware and tablecloth, dining options abound on four wheels, and it is often unmatched in quality and variety.
It is no wonder, then, that the street food concept, more typically found in bustling urban cores, but often limited to hot dogs, philly cheese steaks, and pretzels, caught on so quickly in a city increasingly recognized for its “food scene.” So when plans for a food cart pod on Foster Road surfaced, the neighborhood rejoiced…or at least the foodies did…or, well, I did. As described back in October, the design called for the pod to include more than just food carts. Focusing more on aesthetic features and gathering space, the plan included a fire pit, a water feature, a heated gazebo, event space, and, in the works now, renovation of the former All Pets Playhouse building, which would showcase and serve beer and wine. In a neighborhood devoid of public space and street appeal, ‘Carts on Foster,’ in its original conception, would be a godsend.
While still in its infancy, ‘Carts on Foster’ has already grabbed the attention of locals and other food cart fans and critics. Most recently, two carts in particular, Big Top Waffles and Robb’s Really Good Food, received some recognition from local publications. In January, Big Top Waffles, and owners Josh and Katya, received a nice introduction on Food Carts Portland, a local blog dedicated to food cart culture. And in the latest Willamette Week, Robb Sloan and his beer-infused barbecue sauces, chili, and pulled pork got a favorable plug. Robb’s Really Good Food cart also serves as an in-house factory for distribution of his well-known pulled Pork to Migration Brewing.
As the pod evolves and takes shape, it remains to be seen which of the original elements will be included. In the meantime, there are a half dozen vendors, each with their own culinary twist. Check them out and let us know what you all think. If you have a favorite, leave a comment and plug your local business.