Thursday, February 9, 2012

Prickly Ash

(NOTE: In February 2013, Prickly Ash announced the closing of its cart at the Mississippi Marketplace pod. They still plan to do catering events in the summer.)

(Second Review -- March 2012)

Prickly Ash is a Chinese-inspired street food cart located at the Mississippi Marketplace food pod (corner of N Mississippi and Skidmore) in Portland, Oregon. They currently occupy the same cart Garden State worked out of.

Karen and Scott on opening night!
FYI, the customer is Jamey, the cart owner at Burgatroyd
Karen and Scott run this cart, which opened on February 2, just one week ago! Right now, they will be open just Thu-Sat evenings, about 5:30 to midnight. They have plans to stay open much later and possibly for more days in the week.

Opening night menu (2/2/12)
I arrived on opening night, a bit after 7 p.m. As of this post, there are seven sandwiches total, either $5 or $5.50. Add a side and drink for $2 more. Six sides are available, from Szechuan chips to sesame noodles. The noodle and soup dishes are $7, and 50 more cents gets you some pork belly or chicken.

The menu at Prickly Ash consists of various Chinese flatbread sandwiches and noodle soups. Karen and Scott make each flatbread by hand, and it is similar to a tortilla.

I scanned the menu and came across Bruce Lee. A sandwich named after the martial arts legend, I reckon. No one messed with this guy. So therefore, I didn't delay any further and ordered this sandwich. The "Bruce Lee Mo" (mo meaning sandwich...?) has "char siu pork belly, avocado, Napa cabbage, basil-cilantro aioli, sriracha aioli, and cotija cheese, topped with pickled chilies." A darn nice deal for $5.50.

Bruce Lee Mo
(Prickly Ash)
It's safe to say Bruce Lee kicked my ass.

The myriad of flavors forced me to sit down. It's like that one-inch bite and BOOM, down for the count. The pork belly was incredible, moist and pelting my taste buds with calming, slightly savory-sweet tones. The cabbage added a bit of crunch, the pickled chiles a cool zest. Creamy avocado, so heartwarming. Should I have been born in California? The refreshing (yet non-spicy to me) aiolis tag-teamed on me, not fair! They punched, kicked, swept, did handstands and one-finger pushups.

Two bites in, I paused and took my much-needed breather. Hmm. That was cool! Being the fearless beast I am, I polished that Bruce Lee Mo off -- very carefully.

I'll ask for something spicier next time. Bruce Lee doesn't need help with extra heat. If mega spice and Bruce Lee teamed up on me, I'd be a dead panda. But I'll die happy!

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