Yeah, I know, we're a little bit food cart-ed out, too, but I couldn't let this one pass without comment because I have been waiting and watching so long:
For the past 2 1/2 years, John Dovydenas
has been planning to open a food cart.
For all those (including us
) who criticize the flash-in-the-pan, bandwagon-jumping wannabe chefs selling junk out the back of a camper van, Dovydenas should serve as a reminder that some people put just as much time and sweat into this street-food caper as brick-and-mortar outlets
Since September 2008
, Dovydenas has been meticulously building his cart
and menu, blogging
the entire adventure along the way.
“My father spent five years building a wooden airplane in his garage, so I think I wanted to do something similar,” he says.
This week—958 days after his first post—he finally opened
the handmade window shutters
to his cart, Picnic
, at Southwest 9th Avenue and Washington Street.
The DIY fan built his cart from scratch—from installing septic tanks
to selecting the right font
to hand-making the brackets
. “I kind of slowly decided I would focus very closely on every detail. I spent a week at one point cutting two decorative joints for the front.”
Dovydenas, who previously ran a supper club at his house for two years, is applying the same scratch-made approach to his food.
“I'll make everything I can in the cart. So for a ham sandwich, I will salt and smoke the ham, make pickles and aioli, and bake sourdough bread every morning.
The menu will focus on “re-imagined” versions of sandwiches he ate growing up, such as: “a white bean frittata and cilantro sandwich; a Reuben with my own corned beef, Thousand Island dressing, and sauerkraut; [and] a beet and chèvre sandwich.”
The debut menu also includes chocolate chip cookies baked by his mom. That's just freaking adorable. EAT:
Picnic, SW 9th and Washington, pdxpicnic.com
. Tuesday-Friday 11 am-2 pm. $ Inexpensive.