Dining out, food cart style

Dec 17, 2009

I love food.  Sometimes the white tablecloth experience is nice, but I'm a food cart junkie.  So is my friend who works in downtown Portland, just blocks away from food cart central.  A couple of months ago, she introduced me to a Venezuelan cart that was appropriately called Caraquena: Michelle's Amazing Venezuelan Kitchen.  I was sold by the colorful cart alone.  On the side of the cart was a sweet bird on a branch and at the order window, welcoming colors of bright pink, yellow, and turqoise (the same color as my mantel!).

We split a couple of dishes that day that included arepas (cornmeal cakes) with maple-flavored beef and empanadas (stuffed bread pockets).  The homemade Venezuelan fruit drink was quite lovely, too- if only I could remember the name. We sat at the "bar," which was a narrow shelf attached to the side of the cart. As I dived into my plate of yumminess and a brown painted bird watched from above, I was in my happy place once again.

Whether it's affordable art or affordable food, pure enjoyment many times comes from the creative labor of others.


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