6 Great Summer Food Cart Sandwiches

Everyone knows Portland has a solid repertoire of brick-and-mortar sandwich joints, so we’ve drawn up a list of sandos slung from carts around town to help you rethink your lunch routine.

By Erica Iannitti August 26, 2014

The Torta Special at Guero

1. The Torta Special ($9)
From Güero, or “The Seasonal Mother of All BLT’s”

The base of this sandwich is a golden huarache, a house-made potato patty with a perfectly crisped exterior and impossibly fluffy interior. The patty is then topped with bacon and a layer of stunning heirloom tomato slices (delivered fresh from Mud Joy Farm). Finally, it’s given a few final touches: some arugula, a piquant house-made escabeche, and, of course, some of that tried and true chile-lime aioli found on all of their tortas. Don’t forget the fire-roasted serrano chile.

113 SE 28th Ave
Mon-Sun 11:30 am-9 pm

2. THE MIDGE ($10) 
From Carte Blanche

The Midge from Carte Blanche

Fried Togarashi chicken or eggplant with za’atar and honey, roasted sweet potato, caramelized onion, apple, pesto, avocado, rosemary-tomato jam, arugula, pickled beets, Israeli feta, and sautéed mushrooms on a Grand Central roll. This is the spirit of Portland in sandwich form: it’s weird, it’s totally unique, delicious, and pretty much in a league of its own.

Carte Blanche 
3207 SE Hawthorne Blvd 

3. THE KJG HOT DOG ($6) 
From Kim Jong Grillin’

The KJG Hot Dog from Kim Jong Grillin’

A NYC-style Sabrett hot dog served on a banh mi baguette, slathered with kimchi aioli and stuffed with sesame sprouts and daikon kimchi, garnished with slices of pickled mango. Fusion at its finest, this sandwich marries textures and flavors of American, Korean, and French/Vietnamese cuisine impeccably.

Kim Jong Grillin’
SE 46
th and Division


From The Big Egg

The Seasonal Sandwich from The Big Egg

A beautiful over-medium egg rests atop thick slices of grilled summer squash from Sauvie’s Island, and is topped with a mixture of wild organic arugula, local sweet onions, and an herbed lemon ricotta spread on a grilled ciabatta roll from Grand Central Bakery. The sandwich is certainly filling, but the fresh and bright ingredients make it feel light, and the citrusy brightness of the lemon ricotta—with notes of basil, thyme, and rosemary—make it a refreshing breakfast option. Pro tip: arrive early, they often sell out before noon.

The Big Egg
4233 N Mississippi Ave

From Gabagool

Guanciale-Caprese BLT from Gabagool

This sandwich is Italian-American fusion done right—an awesome mashup of the humble American BLT with the elegant Italian caprese salad. The bacon in this equation takes the form of guanciale: cured in-house for 10 days in a mix of salt, sugar, juniper, and spices, and fried-to-order before making its way into each wrap. Then there's the caprese elements: meaty slices of heirloom tomato and fresh mozzarella, layered with basil, and wrapped in a toasty, rolled-to-order piadina (an Italian flatbread, the cart’s specialty).

3710 N Mississippi Ave 

6. THE SMAAKEN ($7.50) 
From Smaaken Waffles

The Smaaken from Smaaken Waffles

Their namesake and most popular dish, the Smaaken is a waffle layered with Cascade Farms bacon, melty brie cheese, and slices of lightly cooked spiced apples. The star of the sandwich, however, is the waffle itself: made from organic heirloom wheat from Greenwillow Grains in Corvallis, the batter is left to rest for a full 24 hours, giving it a rich, malty flavor. At once crisp and fluffy and subtly sweet, these waffles are so delicious in their own right that we might even prefer to eat them plain.

Smaaken Waffles
2880 SE Division St

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