PDX: Eating on the Go Go Go!

Voodoo Doughnuts

Voodoo Doughnuts

Portland is the land of good fast casual spots and it seems getting Voodoo Doughnuts a couple of different times in a week isn’t that unusual. They make a good breakfast, dessert and late night snack.

I had noticed on my last visit the doughnuts seemed to have gotten smaller. I clearly remember the voodoo doll one being much longer back in 2008 when I first tried them. Ah well, probably better that I don’t eat too many donuts, right?

Voodoo Doughnuts

22 SW 3rd Ave., Portland, OR 97204 – (503) 241-4704

sausage egg muffin from Grendel's

ham and egg muffin from Grendel’s

Conveniently next to Jupiter Hotel is Grendel’s Coffee Shop. I ran in one morning intending to get a pastry but ditched that idea as soon as I saw they made breakfast sandwiches. I got a ham and egg muffin, a bottle of water and a hard-boiled egg for a snack later for under $5. Amazing.

I also got pepperjack with my ham and egg sandwich and it made a nice breakfast. I don’t usually drink coffee but I’d give their latte a shot next time.

Grendel’s Coffee Shop

729 E. Burnside., Portland, OR 97214  —  (503) 595-9550
Nong's Khao Mai Gai

Nong’s Khao Man Gai

I ate at Nong’s Khao Man Gai two days in a row. I found myself scarfing down my chicken and rice in class for Portland Cocktail Week so no pics other than this one snapped in front of the stall. But you can check ’em out the last time I had it a couple of years ago. Not much has changed. Nong’s is still as popular as ever  and there are even two more locations. I was happy though Nong was working the food cart at 10th & Alder.

My only regret is not ordering the larger portion.

Nong’s Khao Man Gai

SW 10th & Alder St., Portland, OR 97205  —  (971) 255-3480
(vegetarian) mabo tofu from Beijing House

(vegetarian) mabo tofu from Beijing House

I actually ate at the food carts at 10th & Alder quite a bit. When I didn’t want to get chicken and rice twice in one day, I went to check out Beijing House. I love mabo tofu and gave theirs a shot. It turns out theirs is vegetarian. It wasn’t bad but I prefer mine to have bits of pork. It also wasn’t very spicy which was probably a good thing since I didn’t want to search for water. It was a pretty huge portion so I would recommend splitting with a friend.

Side note, Portland just banned plastic bags. Later I discovered mabo tofu gravy went everywhere- my feet, my hoodie, my jeans, my hands… oops. Bring back plastic bags, Portland! I will bring reusable bags to the grocery stores but it makes sense to have plastic bags for food orders. Or at least paper bags. Something!

Beijing House

SW 9th Ave & SW Alder St.,  Portland, OR 97205

combo from Tandoor's Saffron Indian Kitchen

combo from Tandoor’s Saffron Indian Kitchen

The best deal I found was at Tandoor’s Saffron Indian Kitchen. For $6, I got two types of curry (palak paneer and chicken tikka masala), aloo gobi and lamb biryani rice. It was all sorts of amazing. I really liked the palak paneer and aloo gobi. The cauliflower and potatoes were so soft. I probably would get regular veggie rice next time. As much as I loved the idea of lamb, it was a little bit tough.

Tandoor’s Saffron Indian Kitchen

SW 10th & Washington., Portland, OR 97204  —  (503) 243-7777
seafood pad thai at Bangkok Palace

seafood pad thai at Bangkok Palace

On my first day in Portland, I wandered around downtown until I found Bangkok Palace. I didn’t read any reviews and there were a few tables just after 4 p.m. It was an odd hour so I took it as a good sign people were eating. I originally was going to get some soup since I knew I had a big dinner coming up but the noodles monster that lives in my stomach reared its ugly maw and uttered “seafood Pad Thai” before I could say anything else.

I felt the flavors weren’t there for this dish. While the sauce was well incorporated, the seafood seemed like it had been blanched without seasoning. It was disconcerting to eat mildly flavored noodles with flavorless shrimp and scallops. Perhaps I didn’t get their best dish but I probably wouldn’t return.

Bangkok Palace

300 SW Taylor St., Portland, OR 97204  —  (503) 525-2212
duck fat fries and wings at Punch Bowl

duck fat fries and wings at Punch Bowl

One late night, I was feeling snacky and found Punch Bowl Social Food and Drink near our hotel. I got the duck fat fries which unfortunately were overfried and the wings. I liked the wings well enough. Paired with a glass of Blanton’s bourbon, this was pretty great.

Note: the duck fat fries can be made vegan by telling them you want them so. Isn’t that just regular fries then?

Punch Bowl Social Food & Drink at the mall

340 SW Morrison St., 3rd Floor, Portland, OR 97204  —  (503) 334-0360
poutine from Potato Champion

poutine from Potato Champion

I was bummed when I didn’t get to try Potato Champion on my last trip to Portland. I was quite happy when I saw them parked at Jupiter Hotel for Portland Cocktail Week.

I got the poutine with the meat gravy and had a happy time chowing down.

Potato Champion

1207 SE Hawthorne Blvd., Portland, OR 97214  —  (503) 683-3797
kielbasa from Bro-Dogs

kielbasa from Bro-Dogs

I loved that House Spirits brought in Bro-Dogs to serve sausages at the Aviation Gin party for Portland Cocktail Week.

I got the kielbasa with sauerkraut and plenty of whole grain mustard. I give props to those who topped their dogs with jalepenos, cheese and other toppings. Eating on the go go go means I usually marked my clothing so I tried not to order too many messy things. I would have liked grilled mushrooms and onions but could see all that shooting off the dog along with my sauerkraut.


SW 5th Ave & SW Stark St., Portland, OR 97204  —  (503) 277-0870
Kokfta combo

Kofta combo

I utterly failed to get the name of this food cart located at SW 3rd and Washington. We had told our cabbie to take us somewhere open and he brought us to a food carts pod that was mostly closed. We had a choice of falafel and more falafel. I opted for the bright white cart in the middle with a huge blue  “halal” sign across the top. The friendly proprietor introduced us to his regulars and gifted me with a falafel while I waited for my kofta plate. I got the impression the cart was Iranian but don’t quote me on that.

I really enjoyed my kofta and was glad I got the sauce on the side. The pita was really good too — still moist and I made quick work of it with generous portions of yogurt and hummus. I surprised and happy about the bit of salad. It made me feel healthy at 1:30 a.m.

Halal Cart

SW 3rd & Washington, Portland, OR 97204

© The Minty 2013