The next sunny morning or evening you find yourselves hungry, thirsty and somewhere in the vicinity of St. Johns, get yourselves down to the food cart pod on N. Lombard. This foodie haven is not only driven by breakfast sandwiches, cheesesteaks, pies, burgers, Mexican and Thai food, but it’s also a a hive of family activity with ample indoor and outdoor seating, a fire pit and freshly brewed beer served in Mason jars. Read on to discover why you should check it out.
photo: N Lombard Food Cart Pod by Suzie Ridgway
An array of long, red picnic tables with umbrellas invites large parties and smaller groups alike to sit together while they enjoy their consumables. A large, tented porch, named St. Johns Beer Porch sits in the center of it all. Tunes from the tent can be heard all over the pod. The beer porch houses a bar that doles out brews by Captured by Porches. People walk around with their jars of beer and their dogs on leashes while the kids run around.
photo: N Lombard Food Cart Pod by Suzie Ridgway
The Food Trucks
The Grind Coffee: If you get in between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m., you can grab a hot cup of coffee or a fresh juice smoothie, like Fennel Kale Apple Ginger or, a kid pleasing Strawberry Banana Orange. Prices range from $3.50 to $6.
Farmfood: Breakfast sandwiches on croissoints, hard rolls or gluten-free bread are served all day long, from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Pickier kids may gravitate to The Bare Minimum, with fried organic eggs, Tillamook cheese and bacon. They have plenty of dinner options, as well, like Amazeballs, a dish with meatloaf, bacon and organic greens, and their Farm Food Mac, for lunch or dinner. It comes rounded out nicely with a side salad and bread. $4.50-$9.50.
Paiku: This mobile cart serves breakfast all day, too. Biscuits and gravy, anyone? Their menu features an omelette du jour as well as a a Mini Brunch with 2 eggs, a biscuit and a salad. For lunch or dinner, grab one of their chicken, vegan or Easter pot pies an Italian pie with chopped salami, ham, provolone, parmesan and a hard boiled egg. They also have sweet pies and soft baked cookies for that after dinner treat. $2-$7.
photo: Che Cafe by Suzie Ridgway
Ché Cafe: You want French toast, bacon and eggs for dinner? It’s all yours. This cart has breakfast all day, as well, and they do up a hearty dinner, with food items including a half-pound Bubby Burger, pulled pork sandwiches, a barbecue chicken sandwich, sake mac ‘n’ cheese and creamy tomato basil soup with grilled cheese. $4-$9.
Chowdah: If you’ve been looking for an incredible Philly cheesesteak, this is your spot. In fact, Chowdah’s cheesesteak was recently rated #7 on Thrillist’s top Portland sandwiches, and for good reason. The artisan roll is piled high with house-shaved Angus beef and your choice of red peppers, onions, mushrooms, salami and housemade cheddar cheese. For vegetarians, there’s also the Build Your Own Grilled Cheese with five cheeses and four breads to choose from, as well as extras, like bacon, avocado and ham. They also have thick, creamy New England clam chowder made with 2 types of Atlantic clams, and other tasty soups, too, by the cup, bowl or quart. $3-$7.
Thai Food: This simple food cart is very clear in communicating what it offers with food photos on the side of the truck to make ordering easy. Here, you’ll find crispy rolls, Thai fried rice, yellow curry and Teriyaki chicken with rice for the masses. $5.95-$6.95
El Burrito Mojado: At the back of the food cart pod sits a white Mexican truck that does a brisk business with its reasonably priced plates, huge burritos and tacos made from soft, corn tortillas, filled with marinated pork, chicken or shredded beef for$1.50.
photo: St. Johns Beer Porch by Suzie Ridgway
Captured By Porches: This bar lives inside the St. Johns Beer Porch heated tent (depending on the weather) and the music Music is pumping from the enclosed St. Johns Beer Porch. . Families are welcome to sit in this space. Familes can sit outside at the picnic tables, around the fire pit or inside the tent, where a unmatched tables and booths create a comfy environment. The rust-colored Captured By Porches bus creates one full wall of the tented area with several beer taps affixed to its side.
Bruce’s Sausage Meats: Also inside the beer porch, to the right of the bar, and part of the bus, is a step up window for ordering savory dishes, like roasted pork belly on a ciabiatta roll with grilled onions, greens and pepperocini, Daphne’s sweet pepper and coconut soup or a pulled pork sandwich. $9.
Insider’s Tip: Kids running around and dogs on leashes are welcome and, although most of the food cart pod is surrounded by low-walls, there are a couple of spots that open to the sidewalk on busy N. Lombard Street. So, be sure to keep an eye on those lightning-quick, smaller children. Also, don’t forget to pop next door to the Kruger’s Farm Market to buy your farm-fresh produce before heading home.
Location: 7316 N. Lombard
What’s your favorite food cart pod in Portland? Let us know in the Comments below!