Ono Luau Grinds is a Hawaiian plate lunch cart near the corner of SW 3rd and Washington in downtown Portland, Oregon. As of this writing, this cart operates out of the old Gin Northern Thai food cart (which closed down in October 2011).
Ono Luau Grinds has been in business since the beginning of November 2011. I was in the area in mid-November (when they were about two weeks old), and decided to try them out.
|Note that they are still using the Gin Northern Thai truck|
(Can still see Gin's logo near the upper left of the photo)
|Menu (mid-November 2011)|
|Pupuli Chicken (Teriyaki Chicken)|
(Ono Luau Grinds)
The mac salad -- really the true test for almost all Hawaiian plate lunches -- was a success overall. The grated carrot was great from a presentation standpoint. I detected what may have been chopped-up hard-boiled eggs in there, which I personally enjoy (reminds me of my grandma's mac salad). While the mac salad did not have that peppery bite that I generally crave, I'm sure people in general will enjoy it.
$5.75 sounds about right for a mini plate lunch here. They also have Pork Adobo ($6.50), Kalbi Ribs ($7), and Kalua Pig ($6.50), among other items. They even offer Clam Chowder ($4). Although the chowder is not Hawaiian, it should be a popular item during the winter months. Note to Ono Luau Grinds...why not make Portuguese Bean Soup? It's fairly easy to make and it's hella popular in Hawaii! If you're gonna make a Hawaiian food cart, stay true to that culinary point of view!
Ono Luau Grinds even offers a loyalty program. I believe if you return around a dozen times, you'll get the next meal free (but apparently you have to save these stamps the person at the window will give you).
|They even inherited Gin's stamps!|