Have reports of the death of Portland's food cart scene been greatly exaggerated? It's probably still too early to tell, but for now, its growth seems to continue unabated.
Last week alone saw five new carts hit the streets:
On SW 2nd and Stark, two new Thai carts (sigh) have opened up next door to each other: Thai Tea has taken over The People's Pig's old spot and Thai Street Food has repurposed the distinctive cart that has previously housed Joslyn's Ciao Chow and the Spud Locker. This is within spitting distance of Just Thai, Gin Northern Thai and Thai Basil.
On the ever-expanding SW 9th/10th and Alder pod, Rotissol & Greens started serving up "Puerto Rican inspired American" cuisine, which appears to be marinated meats, sandwiches and soups, amongst others.
Up at the Crystal Gardens pod in St John's (N Richmond and Lombard) is the even-more-cutely-named Lebaneser Scrooge, dishing up fatayar pastries and other Lebanese dishes from breakfast to dinner.
This week, Koi Fusion launches a permanent location at the new D-Street Noshery pod (SE 3rd and Division), which will be open Tuesdays-Sundays and offer some dishes not available from the mobile carts. You can get a coupon for some free not-particularly-Korean-sounding sweet potato fries with any purchase here. That lot is also home to another new addition, Herb's Mac and Cheese, which serves, yes, mac and cheese.
And Garden State owner and chef Kevin Sandri is retiring his short-lived gluten-free pita cart T-Rex to make way for a burger cart called Burgatroyd, which will also be at Mississippi Marketplace (N Mississippi and Skidmore). He twatted today that there will be a soft-launch on Wednesday.
And in less optimistic news for the plastic spork economy, downtown's Portland Smoothie Company and veteran cart India Chaat House have both closed their doors (well, window shutters), while the excellent Havana Cafe has closed indefinitely, and Lucille's Balls (news via Food Carts Portland), the Grill Hut, and Killa Dilla are all up for sale.