So living across the street from a small pod of food carts, and working next to the largest pod of food carts in Portland, you'd think that I would partake in food cart cuisine often. But honestly, 99% of carts just don't interest me. Most carts are Iraqi/Middle Eastern, Thai, Japanese, Chinese or Indian - all cuisines that I quite enjoy - and cuisines I feel that the atmosphere of the restaurant I'm eating them in lends itself to the experience. Every once in a while I'll run by a food cart that piques my interest, but this happens VERY rarely. Fortunately for me, I had such an occasion last week, when I ran by Cultured Caveman. The very bright, DIY cart caught my eye, as did the dinosaur doodle with "100% paleo friendly" scribbled next to his head.
I set out last week to walk the 8 blocks to the small pod of food carts where Cultured Caveman is located. It was a clear, cool day and the crisp autumn air was delightful. I thoroughly enjoyed the walk (even though I had mistakenly thought this cart was located in a different pod, so 8 blocks turned into 14 by the time I realized I had turned the wrong way and had to backtrack).
Their menu is simple and delicious. Everything is gluten free, paleo friendly, dairy free, and soy free. There is no mystery meat, or hard to pronounce sauces/ingredients. Everything is natural and unprocessed.
They have a short menu, you basically choose half meat, half veggie, or all meat or all veggie. Choices are chili, mini meatballs, pulled chicken, broccoli Brussels mash, Ethiopian cabbage, sweet potato mash and warm collards and bacon. You can choose small, medium or large. They also have bone broth, salads and desserts.
I opted for a medium Paleo bowl with 1/2 meat and 1/2 veggie. I chose the Rosemary Sweet Potato Mash with coconut oil, salt and pepper and the Brazilian Pulled Chicken with cabbage, coconut milk and spices.
It came neatly packaged in a bowl with a lid.
It smelled DIVINE. It was a rough eight blocks back to the office. I couldn't wait to open the lid and taste it! I had two different people stop me on my walk and ask me what it was that smelled so good. The interest in my meal continued when I returned to the office, quite a few people came into the kitchen to ask me what it was once the smell started wafting through the office.
Here it is with the lid removed. The sweet potato mash is the bottom layer, with the chicken on top. The chicken was VERY good. Excellent quality, TONS of chicken, and a perfect spicy sauce. While I was eating it I started planning my return trip to Cultured Caveman to have it again.
I forgot about taking a photo of the sweet potato mash until I had almost finished it. Oops. It was that good, I couldn't pause for a photo! The sweet potatoes were seasoned just right so that they weren't bland (as they often can be after a couple of fork fulls) but their sweetness still shone through.
The Cultured Caveman has three locations, each having a slightly different menu. Their two locations on the East side have paleo chicken tenders - I badly want to try these, but I'm just never in the area of either of the East side carts. I hope they bring them to the West side cart soon!
I had a medium bowl with Rosemary Sweet Potato Mash and Brazilian Pulled Chicken - $6.00
If you'd like to check out Cultured Caveman, their website is www.culturedcavemanpdx.com, they're located at the food cart pod at SW 3rd Ave and SW Stark St and are open seven days per week from 11:00am to 4:00pm.
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