I always like to support local businesses, and after returning a library book I had borrowed to read during my flights to/from Baltimore, I decided to take an extra few blocks of walking to circle the food carts at SW Alder and Washington and SW 9th/10th. During that little stroll, I discovered a new food cart has just recently opened, Kargi Gogo, showcasing food from Georgia. No, I know you went naturally to southern food from Georgia, USA, but actually this cart specializes in the Republic of Georgia, the country in Eastern Europe.
That face of that cartoony wide eyed girl made this cart hard to miss, and endearing to me immediately. I had to give them a try, and as I was reading their menu I found them very reasonably priced and liked their attention to detail in descriptions of the food, and the helpful photos as well on the cart, and the ALSO endearing illustrations of the food next to each menu item. What great design!
So feeling not very hungry, but very adventurous, I went with the #8, the Supra Feast of a sampler of all of the 5 items on their menu:
- Khachapuri: Georgian Cheese Bread. Melted cheeses wrapped in crust and cut in a triangle. I was tempted to go back and just get a whole order of this to have for dinner, and even after walking 2 blocks away after eating it I was still thinking about it. Yes it is reminiscent of a quesadilla and a grilled cheese sandwich, with the bread is more like a doughy pizza or foccacia bread. I went back later and just got an order of these and had all 4 pieces for lunch and dinner
- Lobiani: Stuffed Bean and Onion Bread. Ground red beans and caramelized onions and Georgian spices stuffed inside crust
- Khinkali: Not Your Average Dumplings. More like gigantic dumplings the size of my palm that are full of a soupy filling that includes beef pork and herbs, like a supersized Chinese soup dumpling but with a Georgian take, and the dough here of the dumpling is thicker which reminded me a bit more of pierogi.
- Badrijani: Eggplant, Garlic and Walnut rolls. Small strips of eggplant rolled in a mixture that includes ground walnuts, garlic, and Georgian spices, topped with a pomegranate seed… Looking lovely like a fancy appetizer, and this seemed to have a bit more of a Mediterranean feel to the flavors.
- Peasant’s Salad: a light acidic salad of tomatoes, cucumbers, onions and parsley in a walnut garlic dressing: walnuts are very abundant in Georgia
As a tidbit I found out while still thinking about that deliciously savory and cheesy Khachapuri, I learned that per Wikipedia’s article on Khachapuri, since is a Georgian staple food, the price of making a Khachapuri is used as a measure of inflation in different Georgian cities by the Khachapuri index! I did go back a week later just to get the Khachapuri.
Speaking of food carts, tomorrow is the Willamette Week’s Sixth Annual Eat Mobile Food Cart Festival, boasting a single price admission ticket (no food tickets needed) and then small tastings from almost 50 food carts from all round Portland until 9pm (starts at 5:30 for general admission, 4pm for pre-tasting early admission which is the ticket I have). Just as last year, it will be held in the parking lot area of Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI), and this year OMSI is going to partner with Eat Mobile to also include food demonstrations and a Whole Foods Eat Mobile Culinary Science Stage. I’ve been going since 2010- see my blogs/photos there from my first time, and then my visits for 2011 and 2012, and enjoyed every single one.