I went to Portland for a whirlwind weekend of seeing friends who were back in the country, friends who are moving nearly out of the country and all the family in between. The Oregon High School Lacrosse State Championships and of course some amazing food. The Prickly Ash was the winner of the weekend. This cart epitomizes what is great about Portland street carts. There is food that cannot be found anywhere else. The 'Mo is a Portland-Style Chinese Flatbread Sandwich. What?! All I know is that they are absolutely amazing. Crispy, well-seasoned meat, creamy sauce and crunchy pickled vegetables, all wrapped up in a fresh, fried flatbread. The szechuan red oil chicken is topped with garlic-ginger braised greens and pickled vegetables. I devoured the charred pork belly with avocado, nappa cabbage, basil-cilantro aioli, sriracha aioli, cojita cheese and pickled chilies.
The Prickly Ash is housed in the Mississippi Marketplace food cart pod in north Portland. This pod is blessed with the company of Prost! a delightful German pub that welcomes street cart food in the bar. Not only do they serve up tasty beers but the servers are ripe with advice about the carts. Our server warned us to grab a stack of napkins before we dug in, or we would be in real trouble. We listened. We chased our delicious, saucy sandwiches with cold beer on the deck, enjoying the early summer evening air.