Wednesday, February 22, 2012

True Grits

(UPDATE 9/30/12: Not sure if this cart has moved or closed in the months since I posted this review. Please let me know. Thanks everyone!)

True Grits is a food cart located at the corner of N Williams and N Tillamook in Portland, Oregon. It is in the same parking lot as Solar Waffle Works. While the waffle cart was closed at the time of my visit, my Southern palate pretty much dragged me to True Grits.

Wren says hi!
Glenn and Wren were running this cart. When not running the business, Wren is a yoga instructor at The Lotus Seed across the street, while Glenn is a carpenter. Wren's Southern roots led to this cart's opening (only a few months old) and focus on grits. There are a few places serving Southern comfort food, but this is the only cart I know that truly sticks with grits.

So how does a Hawaii-raised dude ultimately turn into a grit-craving spicoholic? Hey, if the food tastes great, I'll eat it!

Menu (February 2012)
They do breakfast specials and are open six days a week!
Cajun Shrimp and Grits. Holy Southern heck of awesomeness. Do my eyes deceive me? I think my palate had a foodgasm just reading the dang thing. Sure, it'll take a little while since the shrimp are cooked to order, but argh, my mouth was practically forcing the words out. "I'll take the small cajun shrimp and grits." Yeah, stomach, I don't want you to explode and die happy just yet.

The cajun spices emanating from the cart tortured every fiber of my being. Can't time go faster? I was like that impatient kid who hated school, looking at the clock and ignoring the teacher, watching that second hand slowly tick.

Glenn mentioned something about the cajun shrimp being spicy? Oh, thanks, I'd like more spice added. Several choices, but I went with Louisiana Hot Sauce. Gotta stay true to form here! Tangy and a bit more spice for the tongue.

Cajun Shrimp and Grits w/Louisiana Hot Sauce
(True Grits) closeup
Finally, the food! The cajun flavors detonated little jolts of eye-awakening pleasure. Perfectly cooked shrimp. The grits maintained their texture. Good grief, now I think I shoulda been born in the South. You watch, tomorrow, I'll find another great dish and wish I was born there, too. Is it possible to be born in multiple places at the same time?

Wren says one part grits to four parts water. A watery concoction, yes, but put that cajun shrimp and hot sauce on top, and it's delicious.

If anything, I'd like a bit more shrimp, but, to be fair, it was the small portion. This only means the large portion is on death row -- and I'm the executioner. Law school helped for something! I get to be judge, jury, and executioner for foodie purposes.

True Grits still has espressos and great breakfast sandwiches. Sure, coffee works for me, but I'll be doing enough Warriors, Downward Dogs, and Tree Poses to work up an appetite only grits can cure. 8/10

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