Portland's fabulous street food

  • Article by: RICK NELSON , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 31, 2012 - 1:59 PM
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Food trucks line a street in Portland's city center.

Portland teems with hundreds of food trucks, carts and stands, many collected into impromptu food courts (or "pods" in the local lingo). It's easy to find them: Log into Twitter, get your bearings and start walking. Here are five don't-miss experiences:

Students from a nearby culinary school were huddled around Addy's Sandwich Bar (www.addyssandwich bar.com, @addys sandwich), and with good reason: Owner Addy Bittner carefully builds her two-fisted sandwiches with locally raised meats and turns out gorgeous, seasonally attuned salads.

Lunchtime perfection came in the form of the soup flight option at Savor Soup House (www.savorsoup house.com, @savor souphouse). On the day I visited, owner Nancy Ettinger had prepared an orange- and fennel-scented tomato soup topped with croutons, a sweet-hot kale and sweet potato puree with coconut accents and a rich chicken tortilla soup, all for $6.

The olfactory overload wafting from the 8-by-8-foot Nong's Khao Man Gai trailer (www.khaoman gai.com, @Nongs khaomangai) is a priceless advertisement for owner Nong Poonsukwattana's signature dish: succulent poached chicken, sliced thin and served with herb-scented rice, a funky fermented soybean-Thai chile paste and a palate-cleansing chicken broth.

I nearly ate myself into a food coma at the People's Pig (www.thepeoples pig.com), where owner Cliff Allen does justice to pepper-crusted porchetta and a superb slow-roasted pulled pork (from pigs nurtured in nearby Eugene, Ore.), giving them starring roles in massive sandwiches topped with tart greens, vinegar-laced cabbage and other thoughtful garnishes.

At the Portland Farmers Market (www.portlandfarmers market.org), the line at Pine State Biscuits (www.pinestate biscuits.com, @pinest8biscuits) was daunting. But so worth it, if only for a crack at "the Reggie," a golden buttermilk biscuit, split and stacked with crispy fried chicken, smoky bacon, Cheddar and a zesty pork sausage gravy.

Rick Nelson • 612-673-4757

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