Cartopia – Hawthorne – Portland

by Kristina Sloggett

in Food Carts, Portland, restaurants

Portland is becoming very well known for our food carts. At any given time this city has over 200 carts, with any and all types of food you can imagine. Food Carts Portland is an awesome resource for information about it all.

The food cart pod at 12th and Southeast Hawthorne is called Cartopia, and Jason, Basil and I visited the other day while out running errands. There are several food choices at this location, with two rows of picnic tables in the middle.

Basil checks out the menus with a boost from Jason:

Our first stop was Potato Champion, where they serve up Belgian-style pomme frites with a huge list of amazing dipping sauces to choose from. They also have poutine and pb & j fries on the menu.

We ordered a medium cone of fries with a rosemary truffle ketchup and a pesto mayo. Their fries are perfectly seasoned, crispy with soft centers. The rosemary truffle ketchup was amazing, and for not really liking mayo, the pesto mayo was tasty too. Making the fries when you order them means you wait for fresh hot fries.

We also shared a crepe from Perierra Crêperie. I ordered and then watched them pour the crepe and fill it.

Prosciutto, fig, goat cheese and honey. Sweet and savory and lovely and delicious! This was a perfect midday snack to fuel our errands, and Basil enjoyed the people watching…

Does your city have many food carts?


Potato Champion (Food Cart) on Urbanspoon

Perierra Crêperie (Food Cart) on Urbanspoon

{ 48 comments… read them below or add one }

1 lindsay April 14, 2011 at 4:15 am

we have tons of those here in austin. I love it! Basil is too cute. Did he get a fry?

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2 Christin@purplebirdblog April 14, 2011 at 11:11 am

I have never been to the food carts here! What is wrong with me?!

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3 spabettie April 14, 2011 at 5:36 pm

Christin!! I’ve even been to your food carts! Austin has some amazing ones! ;)

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4 Christin@purplebirdblog April 15, 2011 at 5:15 am

Girl, I know…. I suck! hahahahahhahaha I’ve got to rectify this with a quickness! Sooooo funny that you’ve been to the food carts in my city… cracking me up!!! :)

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5 spabettie April 15, 2011 at 2:04 pm

we used to go to Austin at least once a year, sometimes twice… :D

6 spabettie April 14, 2011 at 5:54 pm

I know – I have been to many of Austin’s carts! um, Christin just commented that she has NEVER been to any there!! WHAAA? ;) go take her to some!

…Basil got ONE fry. maybe two. ;)

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7 Heather (Where's the Beach) April 14, 2011 at 5:38 am

We’re starting to see more and more food trucks here. There is actually a vegetarian one. I haven’t been or tried it yet. Jason got their chili one day (he’s kind of obsessed with the food trucks) and said our chili was better ;-)

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8 spabettie April 14, 2011 at 5:52 pm

well, of course yours is better!! :D cool to see vegetarian carts, though – we have so many here!

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9 Holly @ The Runny Egg April 14, 2011 at 6:19 am

The trucks that I know of do not have food like that! It is all taco trucks or burgers/hot dogs. There is a really good taco truck near my work and we go there almost every Friday in the summer.

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10 spabettie April 14, 2011 at 5:51 pm

we have some traditional taco trucks around different areas of town too – they are FABULOUS!

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11 Alayna @ Thyme Bombe April 14, 2011 at 6:33 am

OMG that is like my dream crepe! The food cart scene in Atlanta is a little different. I think there are ordinances against trucks setting up shop in any one place, so there are a few big mobile trucks that make several stops a day at office buildings and parks and tweet about where they are and where they’re heading.

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12 spabettie April 14, 2011 at 5:50 pm

that’s cool – I think that’s how it is in many areas – good that they tweet and let you know! oh, and I’m behind on my comment replies, I’ve been meaning to say I LOVE your name – thyme bombe – so awesome!!

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13 Christine @ Merf In Progress April 14, 2011 at 6:39 am

That’s it. Basil absolutely has to be in EVERY post you ever do from here on out. He is tooooo cute!

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14 spabettie April 14, 2011 at 5:48 pm

yaa! he *is* frequently featured… but sometimes his fans ask for him if he hasn’t been around… :D

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15 Theresa @ActiveEggplant April 14, 2011 at 7:19 am

I think I’ve only seen one food card in our area. And it’s only open on weekends…from midnight til 4am…outside of the county music bar. Seriously – it’s SCARY! I’d love to have the fancy schmancy food carts like so many cities have – I guess that’s what I get for living in a relatively small city.

p.s. as always, awesome pictures of Basil! He has the sweetest puppy eyes ever!

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16 spabettie April 14, 2011 at 5:47 pm

ha – I bet that cart is BUSY for those few hours! ;)

and THANK YOU… isn’t Basil sweeeet?

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17 Joy April 14, 2011 at 7:31 am

What was your question? I got distracted by doggie cuteness.

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18 spabettie April 14, 2011 at 5:45 pm

hee! thanks… he IS kinda cute, huh?? :D

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19 Carbzilla April 14, 2011 at 7:55 am

Yay – that’s within walking distance from our new place! OMG, those fries! I won’t be able to resist next time (though PB&J sounds icky). I had a veggie burrito and a Whiffie pie for the road last time. I’m drooling just thinking about it. Will definitely have to try a crepe next time! Thanks for spotlighting!

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20 spabettie April 14, 2011 at 5:45 pm

yeah, I’m not trying the pb & j either! SO cool you’re going to be close to this – and just in the Hawthorne area in general, AND IN PORTLAND!! weee!

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21 Annie@A Gluten-Less Foodie April 14, 2011 at 8:21 am

Oh my GOODNESS! All of that food looks so fabulous. PB&J fries? YUM!

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22 spabettie April 14, 2011 at 5:39 pm

the pb & j fries didn’t sound good to me, but I know they are super popular! :D

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23 kalin April 14, 2011 at 9:00 am

We’ve got plans to take my brother to Cartopia this weekend-the fried pies are basically his idea of heaven.

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24 spabettie April 14, 2011 at 5:39 pm

I haven’t been to Whiffies yet, I do not know why!! have fun!

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25 Lisa April 14, 2011 at 9:02 am

Those fries look good!

I’ve been dreaming of that crepe cart ever since I saw they had one with bananas and nutella. I need to get one asap!

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26 spabettie April 14, 2011 at 5:38 pm

they’re open late;)

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27 Allie April 14, 2011 at 9:20 am

So jealous! That all looks amazing! There are no food carts in my city, just a grilled cheese truck that is never anywhere near my work (and even has vegan cheese…I must track it down one of these days). Mmm, I want real and delicious fries.

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28 spabettie April 14, 2011 at 5:38 pm

ooh, I’d be all over that grilled cheese truck! :) we have one here – the Grilled Cheese Grill – in a permanent location but it’s a double decker bus! you get on the bus to sit and eat!! :)

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29 Lana @ Never Enough Thyme April 14, 2011 at 11:32 am

Unfortunately there are no food carts at all where I live. If we had ones like you do, though, I might never cook again! My goodness that looks divine.

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30 spabettie April 14, 2011 at 5:36 pm

ha! they ARE convenient and delicious! :)

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31 Kath (My Funny Little Life) April 14, 2011 at 11:49 am

Rosemary truffle ketchup? :D How awesome is that?!

Looks like the three of you had a wonderful day! I don’t exactly know what food carts are, something like little stalls / houses (on wheels?) where food is sold? We have these only on special occasions in Germany, like Christmas market.

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32 spabettie April 14, 2011 at 5:35 pm

OH MY YES, the rosemary truffle ketchup was SO awesome. truly. and you’re the first of two people to say something about Christmas market / Christmas fair and the temporary food “carts” – the other is from Glasgow :)

our food carts here are more permanent – they are like little houses and they have “pods” of them, several in one location, like this one we visited last is on the corner of 12th + Hawthorne – the pods are all over the city in different areas. amazing foods, too – lots of veggie and vegan options.

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33 Trekky April 14, 2011 at 2:33 pm

Your post makes me want to go back on holiday to Portland! We spent a lazy day wandering around Hawthorne. Was good fun – especially when we discovered the happy hour at the Bagdad pub! That ruby beer was quite something! :)

We don’t really do food carts in Glasgow. Maybe an ice cream van in the summer or roast chestnuts at at Christmas fair. Plenty of takeaway joints though – you will never go hungry here!

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34 spabettie April 14, 2011 at 5:30 pm

Hawthorne is most definitely a great place to spend a day, and yes, Ruby is good stuff! :) Christmas fair, Christmas market – you are the second reader to say something about the food stalls – (the other was Germany!) :)

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35 Lexi April 14, 2011 at 3:33 pm

My family is hoping to travel to Portland this summer (for the food). I’m pretty stoked!

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36 spabettie April 14, 2011 at 5:26 pm

that will be a great trip – Portland can definitely stand up to a whole itinerary planned around food!

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37 Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) April 14, 2011 at 4:46 pm

I’m sure they do, but we live about an hour outside of the city. I need that crepe. I almost made crepes tonight for dinner, but then opted for a savory waffle…I am totally obsessed with them.

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38 spabettie April 14, 2011 at 5:24 pm

Mmm, savory waffles sound great too!

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39 Lisa April 14, 2011 at 5:12 pm

Oh I’m so envious! In Rochester…we don’t have food carts, unless you count the “street meat” vendors…but I don’t! Those are just gross greasy hot dogs and sausages…

I’ve heard so many great things about Portland—it’s on my list of destinations!

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40 spabettie April 14, 2011 at 5:24 pm

street meat!! sounds so gross! ;) we really have some amazing stuff, and lots of it vegetarian and vegan. you would love Portland for many reasons!

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41 Amanda April 14, 2011 at 9:39 pm

I want to come visit soon and try some of these food carts. L.A. has tons and I’ve been to quite a few but crepes? That sounds out of this world good!

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42 spabettie April 14, 2011 at 11:18 pm

oooh, you guys would LOVE Portland’s food carts AND our beer!! :D have you ever been? come up this summer – like, July or after – that’s perfect weather!

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43 Mike April 15, 2011 at 12:38 pm

Great post! It’s always nice to read a slice of life post to get an idea of what people are eating in other parts of the world!

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44 Heather @ kissmybroccoli April 16, 2011 at 5:58 am

Stop it!! Every description made my mouth water even more! I was like “ohh, those fries look amazing”…”wow, pb&j fries?”…”rosemary ketchup!”…”PROSCIUTTO, FIG, GOAT CHEESE AND HONEY CREPE?!?!”

Love that first pic of Basil too…looks like he’s about to make a go for that crepe if you ask me! ;)

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45 spabettie April 18, 2011 at 4:06 pm

Basil definitely LUNGED for the crepe a few times as Jason and I passed it back & forth… and I gave him ONE small piece of fry, then he’d try to take Jason’s each time – hee!

YES – the crepe was AMAAAAAAZING ! so was the rosemary truffle ketchup – going back for that one!!

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46 Heather @ kissmybroccoli April 18, 2011 at 8:05 pm

Ohhh, pups are like teenagers…you give em an inch… ;)

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47 Tom September 25, 2011 at 9:40 pm

you have such a cute dog, I just have to say! I am traveleing to Portland soon and want to try all the carts, thank you for your overview here, I cant wait!

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48 spabettie September 27, 2011 at 10:27 am

oh, I hope you enjoy! there are so many – please let me know if you need any navigation help, or are looking for a particular type of food! :D

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