Thursday, May 10, 2012

Eat Mobile 2012

(This is not a review, but a recap of a great Portland event)

On April 28, 2012, over 50 Portland food carts and vendors convened at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI), selling sample-sized portions of some of their top dishes. As expected, thousands of people turned up for this annual event. I had received a general admission wristband to Eat Mobile as compensation for my Cartathlon volunteer work in early March. Might as well use it, right?

I parked at OMSI after 2:30 p.m. and decided to kill time in the museum. It cost $12 (and $3 more for parking), but hey, everything else I had that day was free.

To kill even more time, I took a long walk across the Morrison bridge and hit the Portland Saturday Market. It was there that I saw Guyot Family Farms. I can definitely see a nice partnership between them and PBJ's Grilled. I'd especially like the spicy jellies to make a PBJ's appearance -- but you guys all know I'm biased toward spicy food anyway.

When I got back, it was about 4:30 -- and the Eat Mobile line was already long. Due to my own doing, my legs were killing me. I hadn't sat down for hours, and would be in line for at least another 90 minutes. General admission wouldn't be going in until 6.

Roughly another hour passed and the panda's still in line. Granted, it was now a much shorter line; the VIPs had been allowed in and were feasting away on samples.

Then, I guess a "miracle" occurred. By random luck, really, a nice guy named Jeff (several yards up in line) walked down the line and offered me a VIP wristband for free. He explained that someone had given the VIP band to him, but he wanted to give it away because he wanted to stay behind with his friend in the general admission line.

I honestly was shocked at the gesture (I'm sure many would be) and initially questioned if the wristband was even real, but since it wouldn't cost me anything, I jumped at the opportunity to take it. After all, he had been offering it to others in line before getting to me.

As mentioned earlier, VIPs got to go in one hour earlier than the general admission crowd. I used that time to snap photos of virtually all the participating carts. I stayed for maybe an hour and a half.

From what I observed, Lardo and Briskets had the longest lines of the evening.


Each year (for about five years now), Willamette Week offers Carty awards for Judges' Choice and Peoples' Choice. For 2012, PDX671, a Guamanian cart, won the judges over, while Koi Fusion, an extremely popular Korean-fusion cart, took the Peoples' Choice honors. Lardo finished second in both categories, and I honestly wouldn't have been surprised if they had won both.

I had a bit of a sweet tooth at Eat Mobile, and really used most of my time walking around the area.

I took a ton of photos at Eat Mobile, Instead of posting them here, I have uploaded them all to my Facebook page. Please don't forget to "like" the entire page and pass the word on to your friends and family!

Eat Mobile was a tremendous success, and I'm sure the vast majority who went will be looking forward to next year's festivities!

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