Which came first: Jojo’s fried chicken sandwich or its Instagram account? Obviously, that’s not an entirely rhetorical question.
But two years after arriving on the scene, it’s hard to tell if owner Justin Hintze’s Dril-like social media presence drove Portland to his food cart or if the cart helped boost his social media presence.
In either case, Hintze, a former real estate agent, is now poised to become one of the new leaders of Portland food post-pandemic, and no amount of goofy Instagram captions would’ve helped if the grub didn’t match the hype. (Although the captions are still pretty great. A recent example: “jojo is good for bones. teeth bones, leg bones, baby bones. skeletons love this shit [they have lots of bones].”)
The aforementioned signature Southern fried chicken sandwich was a classic the second the inaugural batch came out of the fryer: equal parts crispy and juicy; topped with vinegary coleslaw and a not-so-secret sauce of ketchup and Duke’s Mayo; big enough to bulge the eyes without forcing you to unhinge your jaw.
A brick-and-mortar is coming to the Pearl in summer proper, but for now, you can get it from a sky-blue cart tucked in the back of a gravel pit in a parking lot off Southeast Powell Boulevard, next to the newish John’s Marketplace beer emporium. It is, admittedly, not the most attractive pod in town, but there are few trips as essential.
3582 SE Powell Blvd., 971-331-4284, jojopdx.com. 11 am-9 pm daily.