It started with Spork... or was it Sancho and Soupcon? We're not sure whom to credit for the local gourmet-ification of food carts, but whoever it was, they started a revolution. Lately, downtown (and some eastside spots) have seen gourmet food carts popping up like weeds. While they may not be open all the time (and some are often closed during stated hours), the quality and prices can't be beat. Here's a roundup of the most recent additions to Bend's stand-and-eatery scene.
All American BBQ
A new and welcome addition to the Central Oregon BBQ scene, which despite a few hiccups over the years (remember Bernie's?) seems to be on the rebound with the emergence of Slick's Que Co. in Sisters and the recent opening of the mobile All American BBQ on Division Street, which celebrated its grand opening last Friday. Located in a super snazzy converted fifth wheel, All American BBQ is open weekdays from 11-5 p.m. with the ability to take in orders to go or whip up your brisket on the spot, which can be enjoyed in the shaded table seating area on a relatively quiet stretch of Division just north of Revere Ave. In addition to lunches and dinners, AAB is available for catered events.
Dump City Dumplings
This dumpling cart has the right idea, opening for lunch and late night on weekends, when Bend's bar crowd gets alcohol-induced munchies. Dump City opened two months ago and has all but cornered the dumpling market in Bend, with their cheap treats - $2 each or 3 for $5 - in flavors from a spicy Southwest chicken dumpling to strawberry and nutella.
Corner of Oregon St. and Bond St. Hours: Tues. - Wed. 11:30am-2pm, Thurs. 10pm-2am, Fri: 11:30am-2pm, 10pm-2am, Sat 10am-2pm, 10pm-2am
A Crepe Affair
Another welcome worldly addition to the food cart scene is A Crepe Affair, serving French-style crepes for breakfast and lunch. A Crepe Affair recreates street cart crepes straight from the streets of Paris and offers traditional, simple crepes with sugar and cinnamon as well as Americanized creations including a pepperoni pizza crepe and one with grilled chicken and barbeque sauce.
Outside Liberty Bank on Franklin Ave. and Bond St. 7am-1pm.
If you were around three summers ago, you may remember a popular Indian cart outside Liberty Bank. That cart is back and is hawking fresh, all-natural Indian street food to folks at Riverfront Plaza. Café Masala opened three weeks ago and is already starting a buzz with its delicious curry creations, which include chicken curry made with free-range Draper Valley Farms chicken and fresh naam made from scratch.
Riverfront Plaza at Mirror Pond Park. Tues.-Fri. from 11:30am.