Food Cart Profile: Potato Champion
Portland, Oregon with its nearly 700 carts, lining its streets, has quickly become a destination spot for foodies around the world. Portland’s street food scene is a bit different than most food truck cities in the country, due to the use of food carts instead of mobile food trucks. These carts are parked in groups (pods) and lined up along sidewalks throughout the city.
No matter what your taste buds are in need of, there’s a cart to quell your desire.
In April of 2008, Mike McKinnon opened Potato Champion, becoming the city’s only late night cart that specializes in fries. Since that time the 12th and Hawthorne cart pod McKinnon is located in has blossomed into the late night hub of Portland.
Potato Champion serves up Belgian-style pomme frites with a huge list of dipping sauces to choose from. Please note, these are not your typical chain sold French fries, they’re Belgian Fries. McKinnon did extensive research on the methods and technologies of cooking fries and choose to use the style made in Holland and Belgium.
The potatoes are peeled, cut, washed, fried, blanched and then fried again. The result: the perfect Belgian fries.
For diners making a quick late-night stop to satisfy a fry craving, choose an extra small ($2.50), small ($3.75), large “cone” ($5.00) or extra-large “cone” ($7.75) of well-prepared fried potatoes will definitely do the job; all sizes of fries at Potato Champion come with at least one dipping sauce.
Sauces: Horseradish Ketchup*, Rosemary Truffle Ketchup*, Fritessaus, Pesto Mayo, Tarragon Anchovy Mayo, Remoulade, Harder Sweet Hot Mustard*, Satay Sauce*, Chipotle Mayo, Wasabi Mayo, Buttermilk Ranch, Curry Sauce, Veganaise*, Banana Ketchup*, Bourbon Honey Mustard, Chipotle Veganaise*, Curry Ketchup (*vegan)
Should you want to try out more sauces than what is handed out with each order you can add additional sauce to your order for 50 cents each.
They also serve poutine (A traditional Canadian comfort food which originated in Quebec), which are fries topped with beef gravy and fresh cheese curds. With that said, poutine is no longer just for the Canadians. At least for people of Portland, Oregon
This is the type of place you might not eat at everyday but provides a spot for those with late night after bar hour cravings (Potato Champion is open until 3am).
The Potato Champion food cart can be found at SE 12th Ave & SE Hawthorne Blvd, in Portland, OR.
The PB&J FRIES: Their signature fries topped with a peanut satay sauce and raspberry chipotle jelly. They may look a bit daunting, but after your first bite…any hesitation will vanish. Oh and be sure to order their Watermelon Basil Juice to wash these fries down with.
What their fans have said:
“My friend was really insistent that this was the best poutine like EVER. And as far as I was concerned, it was pretty heavenly at 1 AM, all ooey and gooey and tangy salty crispy. In fact, it was so good that I made my mom eat it when she was visiting.” Lin H. – Portland, OR