Earlier in the week I reviewed the London Pasty Company, a food cart in one of the best food cart pods in Portland, Cartlandia. Cartlandia is pretty awesome. It has a ton of food carts and a beer garden. Can it get any better than that?
Unfortunately, I do not get out to Cartlandia as much as I would want to. It is a bit out of the way. It is down on SE 82nd and Johnson Creek Blvd, which is out there. Cartlandia is an hour by bus from Pioneer square. Also, other than Cartlandia there really isn’t any other reason to be out there. The good news is that Cartlandia itself is a worthy destination.
The variety of food carts is pretty impressive. At Cartlandia you can eat Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese, Mexican, cheese steaks, chicken & waffles, crepes, coffee, BBQ, wraps, burgers, gyros, sloppy joes, Laotian, pasties, pizza, Salvadorian, and Russian. To top of the impressive list of cuisine there is also a beer garden. Nothing on tap, just bottles, but still nice. Kids and dogs are also welcome in the beer garden.
Basically, Cartlandia is a big parking lot with food carts sprawled out all over the place.
I’ve tried three things at Cartlandia, the pasties, the cheese steaks, and shaved ice. The shaved ice cart is no longer there, which is too bad because it was the closest thing in Portland to what you get on the islands. But the pasties are awesome and so are the cheese steaks. I have been meaning to try the Salvadorian cart because they sell pupusas, which I love, but I haven’t made it yet. Hopefully I will try it out sometime soon (if you have tried it leave a comment and let me know how good they are, or any other cart for that matter).
If you want to check out Cartlandia I would suggest driving. If you do not have a car, another option if you wanted to make a fun day out of it would be to rent a bicycle. Cartlandia happens to be adjacent to the Springwater Corridor Trail. If you were to rent a bike from downtown you could ride along the east bank esplanade down into the Sellwood neighborhood (terrific neighborhood by the way), then cut across SE Umatilla St to SE 19th Ave, take a right, and ride down to the Springwater Trail. Ride the trail all the way out to Cartlandia. It is about an hour bike ride.
Plus riding your bike would allow you to pig out a bit and enjoy all the awesome food available at Cartlandia. Checking out Portland’s street food culture is quickly becoming part of the Portland experience. While there are some really good pods downtown, if you can swing it, I highly recommend a trip out to Cartlandia.by