You're in a foreign country, immersed by the sights, sounds and tastes of the nation you're visiting. While you're loving the experience and the many foods that the adventure brings, after a little while a small part of you starts to wish that for just a few minutes you could transport yourself into your mama's kitchen, or perhaps your favorite restaurant in your hometown. This, friends, is the feeling of living between two worlds. It's far from a bad feeling.
It's the scene that came to mind when I first bit into one of the clay oven flatbread sandwiches offered by Scoutpost, one of the newest food carts on the scene in Bend. The flatbread's light, soft-yet-crispy consistency is decidedly Indian tandoor-style; meanwhile the ingredients inside—including Cascade chicken and crispy pork shoulder with pickled veggies—are decidedly Americana. Trying one of these sandwiches allows you to hover somewhere between North America and the Indian subcontinent, where tandoor originated. Best of both worlds indeed.
Scoutpost's owners call their creations "Americana with ethnic flavors," and I'd say that's an apt description. You'd normally only get a taste of that delicious wood or charcoal-baked bread when you're in an Indian or Pakistani (or similar) restaurant, paired with any number of curries—but here the clay-oven baked breads come with locally-sourced, pasture-raised meats. The plentiful sauces that come with each sandwich are also a mashup; the crispy roast pork shoulder sandwich comes with cashew romesco and pickled red onion, while the chicken version comes with pickled fennel slaw and poblano pepper harissa. Harissa, as you might know, is a delectable sauce from North Africa combining peppers, herbs and oil. In this melting-pot society in which we can so easily pair the best flavors from multiple cultures, I say, God Bless America.
But let us not forget the glorious sides—nor the delicious veggie sandwich option, featuring cauliflower and chickpeas, cucumber yogurt and arugula. (If you thought that sounded like falafel, you'd be wrong.) Other delightful sides we tried included the bacon Brussels sprouts with delicata squash, caramelized onions and Parmesan—the perfect fall side—but not to be outdone by the delightful butternut squash soup.
Oh, you wanted to do a full dinner? Then try the cart's roasted half-chicken cooked in the clay oven with your choice of sides.
Need dessert? They have that, too. The chefs stock Spoken Moto's food case every Wednesday with light, airy donuts, hand pies and other pastries. Fridays and Saturdays they also have fried donut holes with sauces. Do not miss these. I mean it.
In case you're the type who needs the back story before you go give this one a try, here it is: Scoutpost is owned by the family team of Will Forbes, former sous chef at Jackson's Corner, and his sister Brittaney MacFarland, the pastry chef, who's married to Brasada Ranch chef Doug MacFarland. The trio opened the cart, now located in the Spoken Moto cart pod, about two and a half months ago and have been busy with weddings, events and riding the line between Americana and world cuisines ever since.
So the next time you're feeling slightly nostalgic for the bliss trip you took to India after college (but only want to dip partway into multiculturalism once again), or you're just looking for something besides the regular sando fare found in Bend, this should be your jam.
310 SW Industrial Way, Bend
Order online at scoutpostbend.com