I dropped by around 11:30, a good half hour before official opening time. The menu at this solid black cart is simple, using the freshest ingredients.
The panda always has dessert first. Trust me, it makes the meal a heck of a lot better. While Mike rotates his homemade ice creams on a regular basis, he had an ice cream in mid-September that I hope becomes a permanent fixture. Pandas will even eat ice cream in frigid temps, dammit.
|Chocolate and Ghost Pepper ice cream|
(The Last Word)
The ultra creamy texture on this ice cream impressed me the most. He churns his own ice cream and really makes a top-notch product. 5/5 pandas approve.
I had to take my friend to this cart and have him eat that ghost pepper ice cream. Yup, he doesn't have taste buds of steel like me. He was in pain later. You're welcome...?
In August, Mike showed a picture of durian fruit to potentially use in some ice cream. Unfortunately, I couldn't get down there to try it at the time. I may not like durian a lot (see YouTube channel for what I've put myself through on that), but I'd still give it a go -- in the interest of science, of course.
Anyway, I also had a 3-Cheese Grilled Cheese and Creamy Tomato Basil Soup combo ($9). I didn't see if Mike had a panini press in his cart, but the bread appears to be pressed that way. The cheese blend includes gorgonzola. I wasn't a huge fan of that cheese when coming to Oregon, but my taste buds have evolved. Just awesome toasted bread. Interesting that, for this soup-sandwich combo, the sandwich is cut into three mini sandwiches. Awesome if, by chance, someone wanted to share.
|3-Cheese Grilled Cheese and Creamy Tomato Basil Soup Combo|
(The Last Word)
Naturally, you gotta dunk the sandwich in the soup. Creamy, tasty soup. While I would have preferred the soup a bit more temperature hot (served lukewarm to me) and maybe with a bit more fresh basil, it's otherwise a big hit with me.
A side of celery remoulade accompanies this meal, using fresh celery root. It'd really be great with the BBQ pulled pork sandwich or the "Beef on Weck" option.
While the sandwiches and soups are great, the ghost pepper ice cream will forever stay in my mind as the item to get here. Check this Portland food cart out! 8.75/10