Thursday, October 27, 2011

Local Girls

(Please also read Part 2, posted in July 2012!) 

Local Girls is a Hawaiian shave ice and plate lunch food cart located at the Cartlandia food pod in Portland, Oregon. Note that Local Girls tends to close during the winter months and re-open again in the spring. It's a move several food cart owners make to save costs; the winter tends to be quite slow anyway.

Best friends Sarah Culp and Emily Hunt run this food cart, but on the day I went, Sarah's father, Jim, ran the cart solo.

Getting into the Halloween spirit here....

Complete with the shaka!
Menu (as of early October 2011)
I ordered one of Local Girls' top-selling plate lunches, the Teriyaki Chicken ($6). While it usually comes with one scoop each of rice and macaroni salad, Jim kindly told me the rice wasn't ready yet -- but he could offer me some plain yakisoba as a substitute (it would otherwise come with chicken and veggies). I happily accepted, since I was actually interested in trying that one day as well.

I chatted with Jim as he prepared my meal. A real pleasure to talk to. They've only been in business for about a month or two, so Local Girls is still a newbie to the food cart scene.

Local Girls is also known for their Hawaiian-style shave ice. They add a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the bottom of each order, making it a wonderful after-meal treat -- or simply an ideal hot-weather item. Their top unique flavors are Tiger's Blood (generally a strawberry-coconut flavor or a strawberry-watermelon taste) and Wedding Cake. For the more traditional flavors, strawberry is the clear-cut winner. Some of Local Girls' newest flavors include Cherry Coke, Coffee, and POG (passion-orange-guava for those not in the know about that, a classic Hawaii thing there).

If you purchase a plate lunch, you can get $1 off a medium or a large shave ice on that visit. Unfortunately, with the chilly, rainy weather that day, I opted to pass on the shave ice. I know I'll be back to try that in the future.

Anyway, on to the Teriyaki Chicken plate. Local Girls also carries Noh's Hawaiian Hot sauce, sriracha, garlic chili sauce (sambal oelek), sweet chili sauce, and more.

Teriyaki Chicken plate lunch (with yakisoba instead of rice)
(Local Girls)

Hawaiian Hot Sauce! Win!
With the chicken cut up into pieces, I was worried that I would be receiving dry, overcooked poultry. However, I bit into juicy, flavorful chicken. The marinade had penetrated the chicken breast enough to give me a comforting nudge, like "Hi, I'm really here, just not gonna nuke you with teriyaki flavor today."

The macaroni salad -- the true test for any Hawaiian plate lunch -- was pretty good. Nice flavor here, and yes, it was cold mac salad! Probably just a little more black pepper for me would be great, but I'm sure the majority of customers will like this one.

The yakisoba had wonderful flavor as well and definitely reminded me of home. Probably just a bit too oily/slick for my tastes, but my friend took a bite and she loved it, so what can I say? Thumbs up here too!

As stated above, I'll be back for the shave ice in the future. Eventually, I'm just gonna not care about Mother Nature and eat cold treats in the chilly weather.

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