Thursday, January 23, 2014

Chez Dodo

(NOTE: Shyam has moved to downtown Portland as of January 2014. You may find Chez Dodo now at SW 5th and Stark!)

Chez Dodo is a Mauritian food cart located at the corner of N Fremont and  N Vancouver Ave in Portland, Oregon. Shyam, a native of Mauritius, opened this cart in 2013.

Chez Dodo when at N Vancouver and N Fremont
Mauritian cuisine is a combination of French, African, Indian, Creole, and Chinese cuisines. That alone intrigued me. After seeing tons of five-star reviews on Yelp and the numerous favorable articles on Chez Dodo, I knew I had to try this place out.

The name "Chez Dodo" is an appropriate one; Mauritius was the home of the dodo bird before the Portuguese came to the island and killed the bird off. Today, Mauritius is a mixture of several ethnic backgrounds.

The menu is a three-step process:

(1) Choice of flatbread, noodles, or rice
(2) Choice of entree (vegetarian or meat); and
(3) How spicy a curry option you want

I went with the Chicken Curry and Pan Fried Noodles ($6.99). The chicken curry is infused with Mauritian spices and flavors, using ingredients like thyme, curry leaves, and red wine. The chicken was extremely moist, shredded dark meat that soaked up the flavors of Mauritius.

Shyam said he used yaki soba noodles for his pan-fried noodles, but otherwise would use "mee foon" (thin rice noodles).

Three curries to choose from: (1) Healthy Vegan, (2) Tropical Happiness, or (3) Island Fever. Obviously, I got the spiciest curry on the menu. "Island Fever" uses a blend of three different peppers, including the habanero. Other ingredients include onions, ginger, garlic, tamarind, lemon, and vinegar.

Shyam presented me with a heaping pile of food. You should have seen the panda's eyes light up as he received this feast. It was a glorious mound of noodles, shredded chicken, and spices. Just a nice hint of habanero kick to take this dish to the next level. This is a food cart where you will get your money's worth.

Shyam also prepared a chutney, a wonderful minty condiment that can go on top of the noodles, rice, or entree.

(Darker in appearance from the lack of sunlight)
This is also a great food cart for vegans, vegetarians, and people with gluten allergies.

Shyam sells his food at Whole Foods, Market of Choice, Alberta Grocery Co-Op, People's Food Co-Op, Food Fight, and Sheridan Fruit Company. By popular demand, Shyam has also served his food at Portland Timbers soccer games.

Huge portions, delicious food, and an awesome spicy option. An elite, highly recommended food cart! 9.25/10

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