Dining Out in Cartlandia

She asked me if I wanted to go to a food cart. It was over text message so I thought she might have been auto-corrected and was actually saying “go-karts” which was still weird, actually. I was confused. Terribly, terribly confused. When I asked her about it, I think I broke a piece of her brain because she went from text messaging to voicemail in a matter of seconds. “You don’t know what a food cart is!?” Oh. Like a taco truck? Yep. I definitely broke her brain.
Welcome to Cartlandia. A parking lot filled with food carts (trucks if you’re asking me) of all different styles! It’s been a while since I lived in real civilization. The closest big city to where I’ve been living is 50,000 strong. In fact, the city of Portland beats Wyoming’s entire population by just over 25,000 people! So whenever a food cart or taco truck comes rolling into our little towns we aren’t exactly falling over ourselves to stand in line for some grub. Portland, like many of the other major US cities, has made food carts and mini-restaurants an artform and I’m so thankful Sierra introduced me to their glory while I was feeling brave enough to try.

There are these pods of food carts all over the area so if one seems full, just keep on driving until you reach the next. It’s a little adventure all on its own and worth the trip into parts of the city you might otherwise be unfamiliar with!
Cartlandia was our first stop of our day spent exploring our old haunts downtown and it was a great experience. It was particularly wonderful because I felt like Indian food while she felt like anything else but that and all we had to do was pick the cart we wanted and meet in the middle under the tent to eat. It’s the perfect solution for any group of friends or couples who can’t agree on where to go to eat!

I decided to eat here:

Their Saag Paneer. I know it doesn’t look appetizing, but I promise you it was delicious!

I love this because I know that the family who cooked and served my food own the truck and are building their own business and I get to help support that family’s dream. It’s like that for all of the carts. Everyone is an entrepreneur and everyone is trying to carve out their niche in the industry. It’s amazing.
Sierra decided to eat here:

And it looks amazing!
There were vegetarian options and omnivore options. American, Mexican, Indian, Chinese, and everything mixed in between options. The prices are remarkably fair and the service friendly.

I will definitely come here again my next time through town. I hope this is a trend that sticks around for years to come!
Next stop: Pendleton, Oregon!

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Jaymee is the writing force and creative director behind the Beaux Cooper brand. She loves to collaborate with other writers and journalists across the genres. Jaymee lives under the beautiful foothills of the Front Range in Colorado with her cat, Ada, and partner.

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