• Photo by Larissa Board


The Green Castle cart pod got off to a rough start: An initial wave of settlers in the parking lot at NE 20th and Everett were forced to relocate after inspectors found the lot lacked proper permits. Fortunately, when the pod reopened this spring, some of the popular original carts returned, including the quintessentially ma 'n' pop GF Chef—a welcoming little trailer whose proprietors are VERY generous with a lavender scone sample. Breakfast sandwiches, at $4, are small but densely packed with egg, cheese, and your choice of meat. After 11:30 am, the Iberian sandwich ($7.50) melts together smoked Gouda with sautéed turkey breast and spices for a sandwich no hangover could withstand. It's telling that I didn't realize until after I'd eaten two sandwiches that the "GF" here stands for "gluten free"—the housemade bread's biscuit-soft texture seems like the result of a deliberate decision made by the chef, rather than the inevitable result of gluten omission. Other options at this friendly little celiac's paradise include pancakes, onion rings, and clam chowder. ALISON HALLETT

1930 NE Everett, Wed-Sat 8:30 am-7 pm,

Sun 9 am-5 pm, gfchefpdx.vpweb.com

  • Photo by Larissa Board


Farm eggs, fresh bread from Grand Central Bakery, excellent meats and cheeses, and house-made spreads allow the Big Egg to compete in a city with high standards for breakfast sandwiches. How else could they generate an hour-long wait at their cart on a weekend morning? (To be fair, the counter lady warns you about this before you order.) I'd advise weekday visits unless someone has a very long and interesting story with which to entertain you while you wait. Satisfaction is guaranteed with their standard PDX Sandwich ($5 for one egg, white cheddar, and stone-ground mustard on brioche—add smoked bacon for an extra $1.50), but the steak and egg sandwich is tempting. Seasonal specials pop up every now and again, always featuring carefully considered pairings and responsible sourcing. The Big Egg shines in their deliciously sustainable concept and consistent execution. CLARE GORDON 4233 N Mississippi, Wed-Fri 8 am-2 pm,

Sat-Sun 9 am-2 pm, facebook.com/thebigeggportland

  • Photo by Nate Miller


The music-based puns are unavoidable at this SE Hawthorne breakfast sandwich cart (you already got suckered into reading one without even knowing what you were doing, sucker), so let's get the menu items out of the way. All of 'em come with a fried egg on toasted sourdough; among others, there's the OK Commuter (over-hard egg, bacon, cheddar, $5.50), the Smells Like Protein Spirit (cheese with ham, bacon, or sausage, $5.50), and the Huevo Mutilation (ham, onions, cheddar, Aardvark aioli, $6). You can swap out any of the meats for veggie sausage, which, due to my delicate vegetarian constitution, I did with the excellent Egg Zeppelin: not one but two fried eggs stacked with two sliced links of chipotle veggie sausage, melted cheddar, and that Aardvark aioli ($8). Delicious, yes, but just as importantly—and unlike too many Portland breakfast sandwiches—it was also substantial enough to kick start my shitty morning. My companion got a Yolko Ono (fried egg, seasoned sausage, parmesan, and pesto that was generously smeared on both slices of sourdough, $6) and was similarly delighted.

The friendly dudes behind Fried Egg have hit that too-rare sweet spot between the comfort of a greasy fried egg and other ingredients that, you know, justify the existence of said fried egg. I'm headed back tomorrow morning for the Tacoing Heads—two corn tortillas instead of sourdough, with eggs, cheese, meat, and salsa. FYI, I almost made a "sugar on my tongue" reference in the preceding sentence; you'll notice that I refrained. You are welcome. ERIK HENRIKSEN

3217 SE Hawthorne, Wed-Fri 8:30 am-3 pm,

Sat-Sun 9 am-3 pm, friedegglove.com

  • Photo by Larissa Board


I arrive at the FlavourSpot cart on N. Lombard at 8:10 am. I leave at 8:25 am, $8.50 lighter, with two warm, seven-inch baked Dutch Tacos in hand. I know that sounds like something a 14-year-old boy invented to describe a sexual act he'll never perform on a woman who will never touch him, but it simply means the waffle is folded in half, sandwiching whatever culinary payload is inside. (The menu offers something even more unfortunately named, the Nut Fluffer, their version of a Fluffernutter featuring homemade marshmallow spread.)

I order the Sausage and Maple for myself, and the Sweet Cream and Raspberry Jam for the wife. The waffle crunches ever-so-slightly upon first bite, and then a lasting, chewy consistency sets in. FlavourSpot's maple spread approximates a syrupy saturation, but without the soggy, used-sponge texture that often accompanies a proper waffle drenching. The flavors blend beautifully; the spread is sweet but not cloying, the sausage mildly spicy and tangy. The wife's waffle wins the day, however. I am allowed one bite, and spend the rest of the morning getting my face pushed in as she Heismans away my lunging attempts on her breakfast. BOBBY ROBERTS

2310 N Lombard, Mon-Fri 6:30 am-2 pm,

Sat-Sun 8 am-3 pm; 810 N Fremont, Mon-Fri 8 am-2 pm,

Sat-Sun 9 am-3 pm, flavourspot.com


I don't mean to be a narc, but I don't think Breakfast Lunch Today really opens at 8 am. I was there twice, like an expectant puppy that wants to have breakfast before working its puppy temp job. On a Saturday at noon, I finally acquired their fanciest Breakfast Sandwich Supreme, $7 (add shrimp for another $2). I worried that the tastes of nutty Gruyère, tangy artichoke hearts, and salty eggs might be overwhelming, but the spinach helped everything balance out nicely and added another textural dimension to the French bread crunch. There's also a less flavorful but still competent $5 breakfast sandwich, with a sturdy egg and all-encompassing cheddar cheese base working together to support your choice of bacon or ham. I'm sold on the Supreme, but next time I might try the Beignet Fried PB&J. Breakfast Lunch Today serves a variety of fried sandwiches to hurt your heart with, but keep in mind: $2.50 homemade tater tots that never sog, $3 frozen custard, also homemade, with varying daily flavors... and my favorite, the $1 CHICORY COFFEE. It's still coffee but it has chicory in it! SUZETTE SMITH

1313 NE Alberta, Wed-Sun 8 am-8 pm,


  • Photo by Nate Miller


Despite plenty of time in the South—I notched a good four years in the buckle of the Bible Belt—I never fully embraced those thick, beige breakfasts of biscuits and gravy. But Blues City Biscuits offers a fresh and appealing lease on gut-bomby Southern classics, like egg sandwiches on massive, flaky, yellow biscuits, as well as the traditional biscuits-and-gravy breakfast. The Isaac Hayes comes with cheddar, collard greens, egg, and gravy, and it's about as salty and stupor inducing as it sounds—but it's worth it. There are also options with glazed ham steak, molasses butter, and something called the "Elvis Presley," with peanut butter, banana, and Nutella. Blues City has grits as well, and black-eyed pea salads that you can augment, of course, with bacon and ham. If the line at Pine State Biscuits has got you down, Blues City offers a chest-tightening but completely delicious alternative. NED LANNAMANN

3221 SE Division, Tues-Wed 11 am-3 pm, Thurs-Fri

11 am-7 pm, Sat-Sun 10 am-8 pm, bluescitybiscuits.com


Like the Amazon, the deeper one journeys into Southeast Portland, the less likely one will discover a legit breakfast spot. That's obviously why beloved breakfast makers Toast (5222 SE 52nd) branched out, and established Yolk, a food cart outpost serving starving Woodstock residents. Boasting a menu of seven hearty/complex sandwiches, one may be tempted to simply go with "The Sandwich" (scrambled egg with cheese and ham or braised greens on a baguette, $4), but there are two other choices that refuse to be ignored. One is the coma-inducing Brother Bad Ass ($8), featuring maple-glazed pork belly, Beecher's cheddar cheese, over-medium egg, and Dijon-tossed spring lettuce on a pretzel roll. This deliciously fatty treat will take care of that hangover by forcing you to convalesce. But the crowd favorite by far is the Glendale ($7)—ground sausage with sautéed onions and peppers, and three Italian cheeses dusting a scrambled egg, encased in a baguette. It is shockingly good—and one of the crown jewels of Southeast's "new world." WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY

4804 SE Woodstock, Wed-Sun 8:30 am–1:30ish

  • Photo by Nate Miller


As has been stated numerously in this issue, waiting in line is for IDIOTS. It's summer—which means a no-wait picnic breakfast is the way to go, and a marvelous idea is lounging in the grass on downtown's waterfront while chowing down on delicious, reasonably priced huevos rancheros ($5.49) from Don Pedro's food cart. You've had this dish before, and while it may certainly bear resemblance to rancheros of the past, this one defies you to stop eating it. Fluffy over-easy eggs, lightly ladled with red ranchero sauce, accompanied by rice and beans and four fresh, warm corn tortillas—every flavor builds upon the next, until you're shoving it in your face with wild abandon. Maybe it's a good thing you're not inside. WSH

SW 5th & Oak, Sun-Fri 10 am–9 pm

  • Photo by Nate Miller


It's a bit counter-intuitive to head downtown to Office Land for weekend brunch at a food cart, but the Heart Cart—which serves up creative, multi-ethnic vegan and gluten-free lunches to working stiffs on weekdays—offers just such a thing. This little blue-hued destination can withstand the inquisition of even your most virulently PC dining companions, serving a small menu of thoroughly local and organic ingredients. Breakfast features such offbeat selections as a sweet potato hash with chocolate sauce, quinoa cakes, and a form of breakfast nachos far more likely to propel you toward the closest yoga studio than to your favorite napping couch, dressed with refried black beans, a mysterious substance known as "raw-cho cheese," and apple-garlic salsa. Don't forget to grab some of the fruit-infused water on your way to breakfast on the waterfront lawn—nothing else washes down this healthiest of health food quite right. Oh, and don't even ask: All of the Heart's takeout containers are 100 percent compostable. Obviously. MARJORIE SKINNER

SW 2nd & Stark, Mon-Fri 11 am-2 pm, Sat-Sun,

10:30 am-2 pm, theheartcart.com

  • Photo by Nate Miller


Like a giant robin's egg, the Egg Carton glimmers on a gritty stretch of SE Foster with its perfect baby-blue shell. For such a small kitchen, this new food cart packs a decadent punch with fare like the FoPo Cristo (two slices of sugared French toast stuffed with cheddar cheese, fried egg, and myriad bacons, with a condiment of strawberry jam and a kick of mustard, $7) and a delicious breakfast sandwich called the Ronald (house-made sausage, egg, cheddar, and maple syrup, tucked into a nest of English muffins, $5 with bacon for $1 more). There's no eating like a bird here. In fact, one weekend special saw the chef experimenting with devil's food pancakes covered with fresh strawberries. She asked, "Weird question: Do you want bacon in that?" Yes. Yes, I do. And it was exactly like eating a huge chocolate bacon cake for breakfast. A word of note, the Egg Carton is still stretching their wings, so if you're super-hangry, just know that you might have a wait, but enjoy their French-pressed coffee and fresh-squeezed orange juice in the sun and quit your squawking. COURTNEY FERGUSON

5205 SE Foster, Thurs-Fri 8:30 am-2 pm, Sat-Sun 9 am-3 pm,


  • Photo by Larissa Board


When you slink up to this outpost of the FlavourSpot empire (plopped next to the friendliest local meat store ever, Western Meat Market), don't make the same mistake I did. I saw "Bagel" in the name and presumed it was the main attraction. I saw "Box" and figured it was a riff on the shape of the cart itself: a red rectangular box. I ordered accordingly. And incorrectly. Sure, the bagel sandwiches we shared were plenty fine (note: the creamy salmon is far more distinctive than the cheese-light bacon-and-egg stalwart). But it was what we ordered as an afterthought—a takeout carton packed with peppery, crusty, chewy home fries—that had us plotting our return trip. Hence, the aforementioned "Box." And if you'd rather dispense with bagels altogether, like I might next time, that same "Box" can even serve as a starchy bed for your choice of breakfast meats. DENIS C. THERIAULT

4707 N Lombard, Mon-Fri 8 am-1 pm,

Sat-Sun 9 am-1 pm, facebook.com/bagelandbox