Tuesday, November 1, 2011


(UPDATE 8/13/13: Wooster's has closed.)

(UPDATE November 2012: After closing up for the winter months last year, Wooster's moved to SW 3rd and Ash in late August, near Voodoo Doughnut!)

Wooster's, specializing in Southern influenced cuisine, is located at the food pod at SE 52nd and Foster in Portland, Oregon.

Matt and Spencer, two Texans that met while attending culinary school in Portland, head this food cart. Their story is quite the epic one: they got their food cart in Florida, spent time in the South, acquired some of grandma's recipes, then headed to Portland to start their business. In fact, their individual stories are summed up on the side of the cart:

(Not the best quality photo, but it works for me)
I ordered one of their most popular menu items: the open-faced brisket sandwich ($8): two slices of bread, topped with smashed new potatoes, slow-cooked beef and mushroom gravy. I received a nice portion for $8.

Menu (as of mid-October 2011)
Menu, part 2 (as of mid-October 2011)

Open-Faced Brisket Sandwich (Wooster's)
A generous portion of brisket here. It was OK overall. I liked the shredded brisket, but it basically consisted of long stringy shreds of meat that proved tough to cut or bite through. The sweetness from the cooked carrots worked well here, and the mushrooms added more welcome flavors. There was no extremely bold flavors anywhere. Instead, it had a simple comfort-food style vibe, trying to take me to a happy place.

The smashed new potatoes were very enjoyable...creamy and colorful (it looked like there was some red cabbage and/or scallion in there). However, it did seem like a bit of starch overload with smashed potatoes on top of two pieces of bread. Also, I would have liked the bread toasted a bit more to provide a more solid foundation for the dish.

Other great entrees at Wooster's include the Country Fried Steak ($9; hand-breaded sirloin and sausage gravy with one side); the Shrimp and Grits ($9; pan-seared shrimp, andouille, and creamy polenta); and their bacon, egg, and cheese croissant (about $4 or $5). Side dishes include curly French fries, sauteed veggies, onion rings, smashed new potatoes, and black-eyed peas.

If you're craving some "original country soul food," head on down to Wooster's to get your food fix! 6.5/10

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