There may be many of you who will be passing through the Portland Airport (PDX) in the upcoming weeks, so I wanted to take the time to remind you that there are food carts there! Unfortunately they are located pre-security, so you will have to be mindful of either arriving early so you can dine there before going through security, or as I did, on the way home I stopped by to grab a bite to eat before I went home. The carts are currently open 9 AM – 9 PM every day.
When I visited, there were currently 3 carts that were open, though I see there are 4 more carts present so there could be more coming anytime soon! The three there include an outpost of Pok Pok of famous Thai food chef (don’t let his whiteness fool you) Andy Ricker called Pok Pok Wing, the well known in Portland mashup of Mexican and Korean of Koi Fusion, and finally Love & Whisky a gourmet burger and sandwiches cart.
Love & Whisky
Love & Whisky offers breakfast sandwiches until 10 AM that include a BLAT Breakfast Sandwich with bacon, arugula, avocado, grilled tomato, eggs and sourdough with breakfast tots, The Classic with bacon, eggs, Tillamook cheddar on a breakfast torta with breakfast tots, to may I point out the Bourbon Buttermilk Pancakes with house bacon compound butter and bourbon infused Vermont maple syrup, among the handful of breakfast only offerings.
Don’t worry, you can also get your fix in burger form though, like their Bourbon Burger with Bulleit bourbon house bacon jam, port bbq sauce, Rogue smoky bleu compound butter, crispy carrot and shallot straws and green leaf lettus with tots, or even go with the Prospect with whisky thyme caramelized onions, sauteed mushrooms, horseradish garlic aioli, Swiss, tomato, and green leaf lettuce. Did I mention that the burger meat is homemade mixture of sirloin and pork belly?
You can even go vegetarian thanks to their Green Grilled Cheese with aged white cheddar, house pesto, avocado, tomato, and spinach on Portland City Sourdough. Definitely NOT vegetarian is their Drunk Philly Sandwich with shaved sirloin, grilled banana peppers, hard cider braised peppers and onions, garlic aioli, and Swiss and Monterey jack cheese sauce.
I’ve never eaten at this cart before, but if you check out their Facebook page these sandwiches look amazing. They will be my stop next time I’m going through the airport.
Pok Pok Wing
If you’re looking for something a little smaller, stop by Pok Pok instead where they offer the famous Ike’s Vietnamese Fish Sauce Chicken Wings, which you can get normal or spicy. You can get a half dozen in a full order, or just a half order of these fresh whole natural chicken wings marinated in fish sauce and sugar, deep fried, and tossed in caramlized Phu Quoo fish sauce and garlic and served with Vietnamese table salad. People wait in the cold in queue for these wings in Portland and New York, but you can have a seat inside the food court for your order with no wind or rain at all.
This is one of Pok Pok’s signature dishes that even Andy Ricker admitted was the initial “food crack” that helped bring people through the door when Pok Pok first opened and helped open the door to people trying the more authentic Thai food and flavors he offers.
If you haven’t had mantou before, they are very soft and simple steamed bread with flour yeast and water that is a Chinese staple.
- Mantou Muu Waan: my favorite of the 3, this is a sweet and savory pulled pork (the Muu Waan) with fried shallots and cilanto on the steam bun
- Mantou Khai Jiew: my second favorite with a Thai style scrambled egg omelette (Khai Jiew) folded on top of the mantou and topped with Sriracha sauce
- Mantou Taohu: fried tofu glazed with wing caramel in a mantou with pickled vegetables and lettuce. For this one, I might suggest adding a dollop of the Sriracha
Besides the wings and mantou, they also have a dish available vegetarian if you wish of Khanom Jiin Naam Yaa, a coconut curry dish with ground catfish or mushrooms over rice vermicelli noodles, a very classic Thai dish. You can wash all this down with some of the tart Som Sodas they offer (they are drinking vinegars to be prepared for the sour tartness – you can dilute with more water if you’d like), Thai Iced Tea with evaporated milk or with fresh lime juice, or Stumptown Cold Brew Coffee and Milk.
I admit I didn’t stop at Koi Fusion as I can easily get to their cart myself in Portland, but in case you haven’t seen or are not familiar with their offerings, here are some previous photos I have taken of their mix of Mexican burritos, tacos, and quesadillas that use marinated Korean meat fillings and pickled vegetables to mash up the flavors. Below you see short rib and the spicy pork tacos.
So, if you are traveling through the Portland airport, or picking or sending someone, think about the convenient Portland Food Carts here that are open known hours, are indoors, have a known food court seating area with tables and chairs… Ha ha or if you are picking someone up, tell them to stop here and come out with a box to go for everyone!
Are you traveling through the PDX airport or visiting the airport during this season?