Cultured Caveman

The West Coast’s first 100% Paleo-friendly food cart is set to debut on NE Alberta on May 31st, and we’ve got the story behind the gourmet offerings without gluten, dairy, added sugar, soy, legumes, or conventionally processed food.

By Allison Jones April 18, 2012

Joe Ban and Heather Hunter had been bandying the idea of opening a coffee shop for ages, but as recently as three weeks ago they were happy with their day jobs and content to pursue their food business in their imaginations.

Content, that is, until a late-night conversation about the potential of putting the shop idea on wheels sparked a Kickstarter Campaign that launch the plan into the fast lane.

Within days of posting their video explaining what it would take to launch Portland’s first Paleo food cart, the couple and business partners had enough donated cash to commission a locally-designed custom mobile kitchen outfitted to serve gourmet dishes without gluten, dairy, added sugar, soy, legumes, or conventionally processed food of any sort.

Though Ban and Hunter are still shell shocked by the generosity of the Portland and national Paleo community, they’re ready to return the high-protein favor.

The Food: High-protein, low-carb grub for everyone. The initial menu will include Egg Frittata Muffins made with organic coconut flour and omega-3 eggs with either kale and bacon or vegetarian with wild mushroom and red pepper; Locally-sourced, grass-fed beef cheeks with jicama slaw served as a nori hand roll; and Paleo fried chicken drumsticks coated in almond flour and a blend of Colonel-inspired spices. In addition, the cart will dish up kale chips, sweet potato fries fried in grass-fed beef tallow, and high-protein smoothies with Ban’s own protein blend.

The Drink: The dream started as a coffee shop, so locally-roasted beans will play a starring role in the cart. The team will be sourcing beans from Paleo enthusiast Jordy Isaac of One Drop Roasting, based in Clackamas. In addition to local kombucha and yerba mate, the team plans to apply for a liquor license in a few months to serve sake and wine.

The Cart: Designed and built by the custom cart experts at Independent Mobile Kitchens and hand-painted by local muralist Gary Herd, the cart will be a modern marvel of locally-produced ©artwork. Ban is 6 foot 3, so Cultured Caveman is designed for his height in mind, with a raised ceiling, higher counter tops, and some high tech equipment like a pressure roaster for perfect fried chicken.

The Location: The cart will perch pretty in a new pod on NE Alberta and 15th. Originally, the pod was designed to house exclusively Asian street food, but the Caveman team approached the developer and successfully pitched their inclusion. Ban now proudly promotes the pod as "Asian food with a twist—and we’re the twist". The pod will feature heated and covered seating, mobile restrooms and handwashing stations, and projected Blazers games and movies.

The Opening: The cart is set to debut on May 31st, the kick-off of Alberta’s Last Thursday street fair. Stay tuned for photos and first bites, here on Eat Beat!

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