Click here to see a map of where all of these great restaurants are located!

OLCC approves Portland food cart liquor permit

Well this is exciting news! Ignoring the fact that I am 192 days and 11 hours away from turning 21, Cartlandia's (a pod of food carts located on SE 82nd Avenue) approved liquor license should lead to much more foot traffic around the lot this spring and summer. The different carts include London Pasty shop (traditional pasties and sausage rolls), CheeseSteak Nirvana (phillie-style sandwiches and homemade ice cream), Deb's Blazin' Grill (great weiners), Brotherhood Expresso (traditional and creative Mexican food), Rock House Grill (American and hearty food), La Tinga Tango (spicy Latin food), Relish (specialty hot dogs and more) and GF Chef (the only exclusively gluten-free cart in Portland). Cartlandia is open Monday through Sunday from 6:00 AM to 12:00 AM.

Click here for more information, including Mayor Sam Adam's and various city commissioners' reactions!

The Whole Bowl

The Whole Bowl is one of my favorite food carts in Portland. Today, I went to the one on NW 11th and Glisan in the Pearl District, but there are Whole Bowl carts in two other locations: 4411 SE Hawthorne (which has indoor seating) and SW 9th and Alder.

Described on their website as "eating a hug," the Whole Bowl has two menu options: Bambino Bowl and Big Bowl. One is $5, the other is $5.50. Even though it only costs 50 cents more for the larger size, I consistently find myself unable to even eat the whole Bambino Bowl. Inside the bowl of deliciousness, you can find brown rice, red and black beans, fresh avocado, salsa, black olives, sour cream, Tillamook cheddar cheese, cilantro and Tali Sauce.

What is Tali Sauce you ask? The first time I went, I was a little ambiguous about the Tali Sauce, primarily because I had never heard of it, but also because it is very yellow. While I still do not know the exact ingredients, it has a lemon-garlic taste and, as I now understand, is referred to by many as "crack sauce". Essentially, it makes the Whole Bowl, the Whole Bowl.

Bambino Bowl without Cilantro $5.00

As a side note, I personally hate cilantro. So while cilantro is one of the main ingredients in the Whole Bowl, The Whole Bowl accomodates its customers by taking special orders, so I do not have to pick out the dreaded herb.

All in all, if you're only in Portland for one day and you are dying to try out or are craving food cart food, I highly recommend the Whole Bowl. Even to those who can't eat gluten, because the Whole Bowl is gluten-free!

Sal's Famous Italian Kitchen

Finally I am able to post about a Portland restaurant after two months of being away! While I am only home for a short stint over my spring break, I am attempting to make as many posts as possible before I return to Southern California for two more months before summer.

While Sal's is not necessarily a hip spot in Portland, it is the restaurant my family frequents the most. Located in the Uptown Shopping Center of Northwest Portland, Sal's offers high quality Italian food for a very reasonable price.

Roasted Beet Salad with Oranges, Goat Cheese and Candied Walnuts $7.00 (I was a little too excited to eat this one to remember to take a picture...)

Roasted Tomato Caprese Salad with Fresh Mozzarella, Oven Roasted Tomatoes, Sweet Balsamic Glaze and Homemade Pesto $7.75

Speaking of the great deals to be had at Sal's, my dad went on a little whee about Sal's over dinner. After taking a bite of his Chicken Picatta, my dad described Sal's as having "a convenient location," "a great wine list," and "delicious entrees for a fraction of the price offered by comparable Portland restaurants."

Chicken Piccata with Seared Chicken Medallions in a Lemon-Caper Sauce, Roasted Potatoes and Sauteed Broccolini $15.00

Carmelized Onion Pizza with Carmelized Onions, Goat Cheese and Prosciutto on a Garlic and Olive Oil Base $13.00

While Sal's is not my favorite restaurant in Portland, it gets the job done. And, it makes my mom happy, which is a bonus (of all the places to eat in Portland, she chose Sal's as her Valentine's Day Dinner restaurant).

P.S. I apologize for the quality of the photos. I accidentally left my camera down in California, so I am left with the camera on my iPhone to document my food adventures during this trip home.