Who said food cart modules should be relegated to empty lots? This year, two new spots, Moore Alley and CORE, made us rethink what a pod can be. These are not just places with plenty of dining options close at hand, but places that offer their own thoughtful and curated vibe, places where we want to linger and show our dates and our family and friends. friends out of town.
Moore Alley beckons with its Alice in Wonderland-inspired mural and a very different take on the hidden Division pod. Both hipster and grandpa-cool living room, the covered patio is half made up of luscious walls, bar stools and wooden picnic tables, while the other half is filled with chartreuse upholstered chairs. or orange velvet, as well as a barber’s chair, chess table and period radio. Sometimes you’ll find the crowd shaking their heads to the sound of 70s rock beaming from the speakers; other times live bands appear, giving the aura of an exclusive house show.
What to eat: Cheesesteaks served on chewy Amoroso rolls and dusted with Philadelphia cornmeal, where the finely shaved steak mixes with American (or Provolone or Cheez Wiz), melted until every bit of meat is coated in translucent cheese. Or: pork sandwiches for New Jersey locals and sweet and savory Monte Cristo spring rolls combining turkey, ham and Provolone in a crisp wrap with maple syrup and berry jam for dipping. There’s quesadillas for the kids, there’s local beer for the adults, and by day, a red-orange Volkswagen motorhome converted into a cafe-bar lets you stock up on espresso and filter coffee. . 3576 SE Division St, @moorefoodandcompany
From the outside, CORE (short for Collective Oregon Eateries) may look like your standard food cart mod, but the options are more adventurous and high-caliber than most. Mitat, one of our favorite new carts of the year, makes nifty and vibrant vegan sushi; Sou’s specializes in salt and pepper calamari, with one of Portland’s best take on the dish; Summit hut serves cheffy sandwiches, chicken parmesan porchetta, with sides like grape must and chickpea flour kale chips; The Drip’n Crab cajun-style seafood boils; At Papi Sal’s uniquely fuses Philadelphia hoagies and Puerto Rican lechon. But the innovative other half of CORE is yet to come: the indoor food hall. Already, pod guests can sit inside the heated and air-conditioned space. Indoor vendors are coming soon, including the famous mochi donut maker Apogee. 3612 SE 82nd Avenue, corepdx.com, @corepdx