There’s a reason why Portland, Oregon, is known as food truck city. Even in the coldest months of winter, the food trucks have lines that bend around the corner. Coming from Edmonton, where food trucks are only associated with the hottest days of summer, it was a refreshing experience to sample some delicious local cuisine with styles that spanned five continents. Portland holds the secret to your food truck cuisine cravings. Not only is the food delicious, it is highly affordable and comes in massive portion sizes. It is almost inevitable to run into rows upon rows of food trucks even while taking a short stroll across downtown Portland. Here are some of the items I tried on my most recent visit.
A traditional Chinese street side food, the Jian Bing consist of a thin crepe encasing eggs, cilantro, sweet sauce and a crunchy doughy cracker. Words simply do not do this crepe appetizer justice. To try this Jian Bing on the street side of Beijing is one thing, but trying this authentic, flavorful breakfast item on the street-side of Portland is quite unlike any other experience I’ve had before. This Jian Bing stayed true to its Chinese ancestry and took me by massive surprise.
You might know this as a traditional truck food item. However, did you know the portion sizes could be enough for not one, but two people? Having encountered multiple streets lined with food trucks, I stopped at one for lunch. Given this was the first thing I sampled, there was very little I could compare to, and I wasn’t sure what to expect. However, the flavor of the lamb, the garlic sauce, and tzatziki blew me away. Even the rice underneath the bed of lamb had a mesh of complex flavors.
Didn’t think they could sell rolled ice cream out of a food truck? Think again! Even in the winter, rolled ice cream never gets cold for a particular audience, including myself. Rolled ice cream has been a recent sensation that has taken the Western countries by storm, and this is no exception when it comes to food trucks. Watching the man inside make this delicious masterpiece only fueled my salivation. Overall, the chocolatey concoction topped with pistachios and pretzel sticks taste like dessert from a top tier restaurant.
We wrapped up our food truck experience with a drink from a Thai-themed food truck specializing in milkshakes. The coconut milkshake we ordered came with lychee pieces that added a unique touch to the traditional milkshake. While waiting for our order, I noticed a new row of food trucks that were initially hidden from view. If only our stomachs could tolerate another serving!