written by Jen Stevenson
When the weather’s fair, lunch is best enjoyed on the sun-warmed brick steps of Pioneer Courthouse Square. Last fall, Portland’s living room added four permanent food carts, including this punny Sunnyside favorite’s second outpost. The signature sandwich is the Yolko Ono, but heat seekers will zero in on the Sriracha Mix-a-Lot—two slices of toasted Portland French Bakery sourdough cradling a fried egg, slab of seared ham, fresh avocado, tomato, havarti and a generous squirt of fiery Sriracha chili sauce.
These days, it seems like there’s a food cart tied to every Oregon hitching post, so it should come as no surprise to find one tucked behind an outdoor sports shop in friendly small-town Sisters. Danny St. Lawrence, who developed the bakery program at Bend’s popular Jackson’s Corner, struck out on his own four wheels this past winter, baking beautiful 10-inch West Coast-style wood-fired pizzas in his cozy cart. Eat your spicy sausage and Mama Lil’s peppers-topped pie on the patio, or step inside Eurosports and dine at the simple wood-slab beer bar.
Local ingredients rule the roost at this beautiful brunch charmer, a fully- restored 1977 Airstream trailer occupying a flower-box-fringed corner of The Eugene Backyard Farmer parking lot. Inside, tiny terrariums hang over polished wood tables, pale pink mimosas fly across the bar, and cozied-up couples share savory macarons. Chef Crystal Platt flips chanterelle and cherry tomato omelets and tops tender oat pancakes with Bing cherries, candied fennel, whipped ricotta and fresh thyme, while her partner and wife Kirsten Hansen oversees the front-of-the- trailer duties and bubbles-centric beverage menu.
If you weren’t expecting to find some of the best fish tacos in Oregon in a Newberg pawn shop parking lot, prepare to be schooled. After stints at The Painted Lady and The Allison Inn, chef Jesus Hernandez opened his trim little steel-blue cart where he and his son, Eddie Rodriguez, serve lovingly prepared Oaxacan-style fare like chicken enchiladas swimming in homemade mole, carne asada-stuffed tortas, cochinita pibil tostadas dotted with delicate nasturtium leaves, and yes, tacos—from pastor to pork belly to the fantastic fried rockfish heaped with fresh cabbage, pico de gallo and homemade aioli.