Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Retrolicious

(UPDATE 10/23/12: Retrolicious left the Green Castle pod in early October 2012, but they currently show up for the lunch rush at the Nike West campus. Retrolicious is also available for catering.)

Retrolicious is a food cart located at the Green Castle food pod (NE 20th and Everett) in Portland, Oregon. Kimmie and Roy head this cart, which opened on May 19. They may do a formal grand opening in the future.


Kimmie and Roy started a business in Arizona, but basically the hot climate proved to be one of the reasons for the move to Portland. They have also lived in the South (such as Georgia), which brought the inspiration for their opening week's menu. The menu changes weekly (or close to it), so if you see something you like, be sure to jump on it!



Opening Day menu!
On Opening Day, I ordered the "Suthun" Mac and Cheese ($5). Perfectly cooked macaroni gets combined with a homemade pimento cheese blend and sauteed garlicky kale. But that's not all! Potato chips were baked in on the top, with some cheddar to finish.

Pimento Mac & Cheese
(Retrolicious)
If this was my introduction to Retrolicious, I'd like a time machine to keep reliving this one. Just fantastic comfort food, and a rather generous portion for the price. This pimento cheese blend was largely mild, with a slight tang from the pimentos and a little pleasing sweetness from other ingredients. Slices of garlic sporadically showed up on my fork. Kale is an extremely healthy option that I wish the Northwest used a lot more of.

But the chips won this panda over. While others probably would use bread crumbs to get that textural contrast, some salty ruffled chips works just as well, if not better.

I'd be the first to tell you that I am not a big pasta guy. Yet, this item was the first to catch my eye. Then I couldn't stop eating it. Like a good son, I shared with my mom, who kept asking me to eat more of this great dish. While not verbatim what I said, the following pretty much sums up my thoughts as I ate.

"Hmm...sure, one more bite."
"OK, just one more. No, really, that's the last one."
"Eh, might as well finish the container."

People also raved about the chicken and waffles from opening week. A buttermilk-soaked thigh or leg, with a yeasted cornmeal waffle and spiced maple syrup. Angelic pandas can start singing now.

Red velvet cupcakes? They had those as well! I had to get a shot of Kimmie dusting the cupcakes with powdered sugar. Vintage action shot! True to the food cart name, Kimmie rocked a vintage outfit and apron.

Red velvet cupcakes
Love this presentation!
The detached cupcake top looks like a stylish hat now!


Retrolicious came out of the gates with great food! I can't wait to see what else comes out of this cart. 8.5/10

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