Options on where to eat in Bend are not scarce. Restaurants, pubs, cafes and food carts are in abundance in this food-loving town. Food carts, in particular are one popular way to get some grub on the go, but which ones are worthy? Recently, the Source asked its Facebook readers where some of the best food carts were in town. The responses were great, and in no particular order, it was narrowed down to four of the best curbside spots in Bend.
Sitting next to Aspect Boards & Brews on NW Galveston, this is a must-stop cart for anyone and everyone who is a "shredder" at heart. Owner Kurt Voorhees takes his culinary influence from all over the world, making dishes that range from Mexican to Asian. Each has some type of shredded aspect to it, whether it's shredded pork, lettuce, cheese or all of the above. Voorhees is excited to see where his cart is going, both figuratively and literally. "I love all of the progress and growth that I can see happening," says Voorhees. After two and a half years in business, this owner and operator is looking to expand his cart to the Big Island in Hawaii. He will be making a trip there to investigate opportunities in expansion.
In the meantime, for those in Bend, Tyler Brown, who works in the cart invites people in Bend to "come and have a seat," and "enjoy the new tables and umbrellas."
1009 NW Galveston Ave., Bend
Everyday 8 a.m to 7 p.m.
Yes, this is true. Owner Runi Srikantaiah has informed the Source that he is moving his awesomely authentic food cart to the more accessible, as well as more developed Box Factory on April 18. Does that name not ring a bell? The Old Mill Marketplace has also changed a bit and is now called the Box Factory. Enough about the where, let's talk about the what. The Curry Shack, "offers people a second option in Indian food," says Srikantaiah. "We provide Indian street food that moves away from the lunch buffets people associate it with, and I think people want that second option." This tasty cart prides itself on sourcing locally as many ingredients as possible, lamb being one of them, from a farm just outside of Madras. The Curry Shack gets the best of the best and tops that off with a method of cooking that is passed down through the family.
The Curry Shack
184 NE Greenwood Ave., Bend
Location starting April 18: The Box Factory a.k.a: The Old Mill Marketplace
Check FB for days and hours open.
Dump City Dumplings is all about good food and good fun, making this Bend food cart a staple stop-over. On the ever-changing menu is just about everything you can imagine stuffed inside of a steamed Chinese bun. Owner and beloved resident Dan Butters enjoys putting as many cuisine styles as possible into these airy buns of goodness; yes, even cheese pizza. He doesn't just go for the usual, although the pork bun is pretty killer. The hours that the food cart operates certainly do "cater to the drunk crowd," says Butters. Often times the fact that this dumpling cart is as local, organic and sustainable as it can get is overshadowed (or forgotten) by the tastiness. If unable to attend the downtown Bend night life, fear not. Butters tells the Source that he will open up a lunch option starting early May in the Mirror Pond Plaza. Hours and days for now include: Monday through Wednesday 11 a.m. to 2/3 p.m.
Dump City Dumplings
Corner of NW Bond & Oregon Streets, Bend
Friday & Saturday 10 p.m. to 3 a.m.
Husband and wife Tyler and Adrianne Baumann bought what used to be a BBQ truck about three years ago when both owners were, as Tyler Baumann described, "maxed out," in their non-food cart lives. This cart, as the name suggests, is full of some seriously amazing Hawaiian-style cuisine. The Big Island Nachos has their signature Spicy Kona sauce, shredded pork and cheese on top of corn chips sprinkled with a few other goodies. It's enough to share, and with Crux being a few steps away, it's easy to enjoy both food and beverage at this great outdoor location. "We are pretty stoked to be here and to serve such awesome people," says Tyler Baumann. With everything going so right for this cart, bigger things are the obvious next step, and for the pair, that may mean branching out into the cider business. They plan on sourcing all juices locally and are dubbing it Legend Cider.
Mauna Kea Grill
Outside Crux: 50 SW Division St., Bend
Tuesday to Sunday noon to 8 p.m.
Monday 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.