Ed. Note: Bazkari Food Cart and Catering closed in the Winter of 2010.
At around 10 a.m. Wednesday, I got the food scoop email from Roomie A. who works on Monument Square: There's a new food cart outside my office. I'll try it today and let you know of its deliciousness. If good, maybe we could meet there some time for lunch.
My friends are always on the lookout for bloggable ideas—love them. But I figured, hey, why wait for second-hand news. Let's track down this food cart and hit the Farmers' Market too.
Bazkari Catering is one of the new businesses in the Portland Public Market- they are downstairs in the spot formally occupied by the Greek food guy (and when will I be able get my gyro fix again!?). Bazkari is owned by a couple that serves Spanish-influenced food. Their food cart was hanging out down towards the Free St. end of Monument Square, serving grilled cheeses, special rice, desserts, and Pellegrino sodas.
Roomie A. and I split a $5 grilled cheese called 'The Baz,' with Manchego, Serrano ham, and Salmoroja, a cold Spanish soup that was used as a spread in our sandwich. We also sampled their fruit salad, which was delicious. It was saucy, cold, and fresh, with none of the boring fruit that usually makes up the bulk of fruit salads (I'm looking at you, cantelope).
Our sandwich was good; the ham was salty and the Manchego didn't melt very well, giving it a nice bite. I'm also intrigued by this Salmoroja—I want to experience this great cold soup in its original form. But putting tomato soup on a grilled cheese is pretty genius- it's like it's already been dipped for you.
I'm looking forward to trying Bazkari's Special Rice ($6.50), which I've heard is awesome, a dish of shrimp, egg, green onions, ham, other stuff, and rice. Bazkari has lots of other menu items, so I hope the offerings at the food cart rotate through and I can sample some variety. Because my first impression is that there's some talent in the kitchen.
Update: Ben from Bazkari says the business' new home is the street cart. The Portland Public Market House was a temporary space while they launched their cart. Coming soon: breakfast and snow cones with homemade organic fruit syrup. I'm so excited. The cart can be found across from One City Center Monday-Friday from 11am to 2pm.