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