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inexpensive lunch locations

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Hi, I will be visiting Portland with a friend for a week coming up shortly. We will mainly be out and about during the day and would like some great cheap lunch eats. Certainly not opposed to a great food cart/truck. Here are some areas we will be:

Newberg (wine tasting day)
Carlton/Dayton (another wine tasting day)
Multnomah, northwest/nob hill, Pearl district, sellwood and Hawthorne (shopping days)

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  1. For your Hawthorne excursion I recommend the food cart pod at 12th and Hawthorne, and another at 43rd and Belmont. At the former I love Bernie's BBQ -- very tasty, spicy Cajun bbq (n.b. not much in veggie fare, however), items are large and ought to be shared ($9 for a trough-load of jambalaya). At the latter I like the middle-eastern truck (Abyla?); had a great falafel sandwich for $5.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Dr Chow

      I actually like the carts at SE 12th and Hawthorne for late night rather than lunch (somehow fried pies, french fries, and crepes are things I only want late at night). The Belmont carts have a lot of good lunch options--I've enjoyed the food at the Hawaiian/Korean place by the entrance, and the Euro Trash cart (European food, but trashier), and Lardos and the Mediterranean place look interesting, too.

      1. re: Nettie

        I have heard great things about Euro Trash and Lardo. Also heard great things about The People's Pig which is downtown.

        And who can resist the siren call of the Schnitzelwich from Tabor (downtown)?? Who?! ;o)

        1. re: JillO

          Nobody, is the (unnecessary) answer to your rhetorical question re: Tabor above...

          ;)

          I just missed out on Lardo the other day, passed by for lunch around 11:40 but they didn't open for twenty minutes and I couldn't stick around.

          (cue pose from "The Scream" painting...)

          Really, really wanted to try their pork belly, tomato and arugula sandwich. Doubt tomatoes will be around by the next time I can make it up there. Bunch of other great looking stuff on their menu, though. The (lard-cooked) hand-cut parmesan & herb fries sound really good.

          The People's Pig porchetta is very good.

          The other nearby East Side cart pod I'd recommend is A La Carts, SE 50th & Ivon just south of Division. Very eclectic selection - wild game burgers, seafood, coffee, a SW tortilla take on 'pizza', barbecue, vegetarian, fondue, hot dogs & meatball sandwiches, schnitzel & currywurst, and of course the obligatory above-average Mexican truck with a larger-than-usual menu. And a few other things I'm not remembering off the top of my head...

          If I had to choose one East Side cart pod, I'd go with A La Carts these days.

          1. re: JayinPortland

            Thanks so much for the recs. We ended up at the carts on Belmont, looking forward specifically to Lardo. Unfortunately they were out of their Porchetta sandwich. Opted for fries from Lardo and a burger from Violetta. Both were fantastic!

            I have to make a trip back just to tour the various carts, what a unique culture you have. :)

    2. The middle-eastern (what the cart calls "mediterranean") on 43rd & Belmont is Aybla. They are also downtown, SW 9th/Alder.

      What do you mean by "Multnomah"? That is the county where Portland is, a neighborhood called Multnomah Village in SW PDX, and a street in NE PDX.

      In Carlton I recommend Horse Radish. Do not eat at Cana's Feast. Shockingly rude, unaccommodating, uppity, and we walked out without even ordering.

      Best cheap eat near Hawthorne that is open for lunch would be the Bad Kitty Felafel on SE Division & 21st.

      Cheap in the Pearl would be Hot Lips Pizza. Don't forget that from the Pearl, just cross Burnside and you're less than five minute-walk from the carts at SW 9th/Alder.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Leonardo

        The falafel place on Division is called Fat Kitty, and it is good. Also on Division is Little T American Bakery. Their Continental plate is a really good snack. It's one of the best baguettes in town with butter and jam and cheese. All of their other baked goods are also top notch.