Sunday, October 9, 2011

Wolf & Bear's

(UPDATE 11/8/12: Wolf & Bear's has moved to SE 28th and Ankeny, joining other carts to form a new pod there.)

Wolf & Bear's is a Jewish food cart located at the corner of SE 20th and Morrison St. in Portland, Oregon.

Menu (as of September 2011)

Wolf & Bear's is known for their Falafel ($6.50): a vegan meal consisting of hummus, caramelized, onion, roasted red peppers, grilled eggplant, freshly cooked falafel, and salad greens, topped with their house tahini sauce and encased in a pita.

According to Food Carts Portland, Wolf & Bear's makes their hummus and labneh (a Middle Eastern yogurt cheese) from scratch.

Being the adventurous type, I ordered the Sabich ($7), a traditional Iraqi-Jewish breakfast. Hummus, grilled eggplant, hard boiled eggs, diced onions, diced cucumbers, pickles, parsley, and salad greens are topped with their house tahini saice and amba (mango pickles), then and wrapped in a pita.

Wolf & Bear's offers skhug (or zhug), a Middle Eastern hot sauce, with your meal. Skhug is originally from Yemen, but also popular in Israel. It can be either a red sauce (skhug adom) or a green sauce (skhug yarok), depending on what types of peppers you use. Skhug is generally made with fresh peppers, coriander, garlic, and other spices.

Sabich (Wolf & Bear's)
This is skhug (or zhug), a Middle Eastern hot sauce
The sabich was good, just not mind-blowing. The hummus provided a hint of garlic and did not overwhelm anything. I appreciated the textural contrasts between the softer ingredients and the crunchy vegetables. The greens gave that wrap a refreshing aura. I might not have had many hard-boiled eggs at breakfast, but they worked in this pita. That skhug was a great complement for the sabich, but I did not find the condiment to be spicy. The pita was fresh and pliable, ready to be devoured.

Overall, a fairly average experience, largely because the meal itself didn't really stand out with a "wow" factor. If I go back, I'm probably trying their falafel. Wolf & Bear's has reasonable prices, decent service, and a respectable product. 5.25/10

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