It’s always interesting how our city is viewed by others, especially when it comes to food. The New York Times seems to rediscover Portland’s culinary scene once a year, while the UK-based Guardian has a particular hard on for anything PDX—the latest is an enthusiastic, slightly gushing endorsement of our food carts (though that’s understandable when you consider that the UK doesn’t really do food carts—a trailer selling rubber hotdogs outside a soccer stadium is the norm). The writer had the good sense to tap a couple of locals—Brett Burmeister, who offers food cart tours for $37.50 (my wife, reading this, offered to show people around for a couple of beers. Let me know if you’re interested) and food writer Karen Brooks, described as “Portland's best-known (and best-loved) restaurant critic.” (Hmmmmm… maybe? Who knows!) Anyway, no one can really go wrong with these two as tour guides, and the accompanying top 10 list serves well as an introduction to the food cart scene.
It’s certainly an improvement on a previous Guardian writer whose travel piece described Portland as “flat” (even if you don’t get beyond downtown, if nothing else, you can still see the West Hills. The clue is in the name) and is in contrast to GQ writer Alan Richman’s more measured take on how we eat, in which he describes cart pods as a “little like trailer parks and a little like second-rate county fairs”.
Perhaps the oddest thing in the article is the fact that the writer flew to Seattle and then took Amtrak. As we have one of the nicest airports in the country, with bars and restaurants aplenty to satisfy a foodie, she might want to fly straight into town on her next visit—we would gladly welcome her back.