Saturday, June 16, 2012

Cultured Caveman

(UPDATE 10/14/12: Cultured Caveman held their official grand opening of their SECOND cart yesterday! It can be found at SE 41st and Hawthorne in Portland!)

Cultured Caveman is a food cart located at the newly formed Alberta-15 food pod in Portland, Oregon. Heather Hunter and Joe Ban run the cart, which boasts an all-paleo, gluten-free menu. To my knowledge, it's the only paleo food cart in Portland (as of this blog entry). They picked a great first day: May 31, 2012. Not only was it the Alberta-15 pod's grand opening, but Last Thursday on Alberta would attract thousands more that night!

For the record, I don't adhere to any specific diet. I merely accept any food that comes into my line of sight. Feel free to call it the "panda diet" -- especially if it contains a towering helping of hot sauce.

Anyway, Cultured Caveman has one of the coolest-looking carts around. A caveman, a dinosaur, trees, you name it. The colorful artwork screams some form of prehistoric time.

On opening day, their menu was limited to a few entrees and some "rainbow fries" (using different colors of potatoes). The New Mexican beef cheeks ($5) sounded amazing, being pressure-cooked in New Mexican chile and cocoa, but I would have needed to wait until later in the afternoon to enjoy it. Not to worry, it's a regular menu item and I'll have other shots to order it.

Menu on opening day!
Their takeout menu
I went with one Bacon Egg Frittata Muffin ($3). Egg, kale, bacon, grape tomatoes, shallots, garlic, and coconut flour. A lot in this one, but very good. Certainly denser than I initially expected. I loved how healthy this one was overall. Yes, I proclaim that bacon is still healthy. We need fat and protein in our diet!

Bacon Egg Frittata Muffin
(Cultured Caveman)
Joe sold me on the Paleo Chicken Tenders (two for $4). Chicken breast pieces are coated in coconut flour, salt, and white pepper, then fried in grass-fed beef tallow. Yup, rendered beef fat.

These extremely juicy chicken tenders are served with a green chile aioli-like condiment. I think the tenders and aioli could have used a bit more seasoning, but the execution is spot-on.

Paleo Chicken Tenders
(Cultured Caveman)
This is a great food cart for people with dietary restrictions. No gluten, dairy, or soy at this cart. Basically grass-fed meat, wild fish, pasteurized eggs, vegetables, fruits, and nuts.

Heather's the self-described foodie and "coffee freak." Sounds like me. Joe is the science guy who lifts heavy things. Wow, that also sounds a bit like me. Thus, it shouldn't surprise people that I could easily transform into a cave-panda, throwing all dining etiquette out the window.

Other menu items that weren't available at the time included a chocolate protein shake and a "caveman energy bar." Joe said they may run specials in the future. Right now, they plan to open daily from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Specials on June 15, 2012
I hear the chili is fantastic!
One Yelper mentioned requesting a paleo BBQ sauce. I'd second that sentiment, especially for the chicken tenders. A Google search brings up a few recipes to try.

I'd love to come back in the future, when I can experience the full menu. You'll get good food, lots of smiles, and a full stomach here! 7.5/10

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