I remember visiting LA around 5 years ago, and my friends boyfriend telling me we had to be at this bar near their house at 10:00 pm. At first I thought to myself, wow, how lame, this person wants to get to the bar so early. But then he told me why: the Kogi Taco Truck would be outside the bar at 10 pm sharp before they moved on the the next location or so said his Twitter. At the time, my mind was blown, wow, you can get super good food, at a bar, and if you miss it at one bar you can just follow them to the next. Well, we made it by 10 an we ate our faces off, and it was delicious, and my world was changed forever.
Flash forward to three years later, I now live in PDX and food trucks are so ubiquitous to me and my coworkers when we are deciding what to eat for lunch, the quote I most often hear is “I just don’t want to eat at a cart.”
My point being, while LA’s Kogi truck may have blazed the trail, Portland has picked up on the cart scene like no other city in America has. There is a food cart pod on every other block and I almost mean that literally. Carts that are social media mavens have taken to a particular kind of fame, the top dog amongst this brand of fame being Big-Ass Sandwiches. Featured on The Travel Channel, The Cooking Channel’s Food Truck Revolution, and America’s Best Bites. These guys have gotten a ton of good press, and good for them!
But I do think the general consensus around carts in Portland is that they’re great and fun (when you have a visitor), but really you wait in line, in the rain, cause hey, it’s Portland, to get a meal that may be a buck or two cheaper than at a sit down place. There is a TON of good food in Portland, the carts add to that list, from the youcanhascheeseburger at Brunchbox, to the Kickstarter funded Paleo diet dedicated cart, Cultured Caveman the possibility are endless for yummy food brought to you in cart form. Sure carts will always be around and thank god for that, they are a part of life in Portland, but while most of the world is just getting into the cart mania, Portland has been on the scene since 2001.