Food Carting in Portland, Part 2: Downtown

Tamara Palmer
The Dump Truck's bacon cheeseburger dumpling.
Downtown Portland has several areas, including parking lots called pods, dedicated to street food. We decided to check out the scene on S.W. Alder between 9th and 10th Streets, where a few relatively new carts are parked alongside some stalwarts. There are about 15 in all within a one-block radius, many of them the size of miniature trailers. An international selection that includes German, Polish, Korean, Chinese, Thai, and Vietnamese accompanies some harder-to-pigeonhole offerings. We had to walk around it all twice before making any decisions, and even then we wish we had a second stomach. (Or a third, since a friend was present.)

Tamara Palmer
The food carts at Alder and Ninth Streets, Portland.
​One of the newest on the street is the Dump Truck, which actually looks like a dump truck and serves dumplings. The bacon cheeseburger dumpling easily trounced the competent pork/ginger and portabello/vermicelli offerings, with or without the zesty Thousand Island-esque secret sauce. The owner had already been making dumplings at the nearby Voicebox Karaoke Lounge, and this was a natural extension of that business. More wacky offerings are on the way and, based on the ones we tried, they'll be worth a taste.

Addy's Sandwich Bar, replete with chandelier and disco ball, was out of its devilish-looking duck confit and cranberry relish sandwich, forcing us practically at gunpoint instead to indulge in dark chocolate slathered across a Little T baguette seasoned with sea salt and olive oil. We were not in the least upset by the substitution.

The day we were there, it had cooled down considerably from triple digits to something more San Franciscan, yet new frozen yogurt cart Cool Harry's was still a smart choice. We enjoyed how our tart ginger yogurt mixed with distinctly Oregon marionberries to make a gorgeous vermillion pool in the "way small" cup. If we'd been allowed to bring some home on the plane, we would have stuffed our bag full of the fruit without a moment's hesitation. We did sneak the rest of our chocolate sandwich on board.

S.W. Alder and 10th St., Portland

Also in this series:

  • Food Carting in Portland, Part 1: Cartopia

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