The first two of three (so far) carts in the Portland International Airport's new mini cart pod open today, with a schmancy new seating area, too.
Koi Fusion is bringing it's familiar Korean-fusion menu, serving up the usual bulgogi tacos, Seoul Sliders and K-dogs. But the PDX menu also includes a Korean Cheesesteak, and a Korean Rueben, which are usually rotating specials at the brick-and-mortar locations. There are even mini-portions for kids. On average prices are just 50 cents to $1 more than Koi Fusion's other locations.
And as Eater reported several weeks ago, Andy Ricker is finally giving Portland its own Pok Pok Wing outpost. (New York had one, before Ricker closed it in the summer of 2012 due to overwhelming demand. It's due to reincarnate as Pok Pok Phat Thai in a new Brooklyn location.)
The Pok Pok Wing cart is focusing on the famous, insideously crave-inducing Ike's Vietnamese Fish Sauce Wings, of course, but it also has three varieties of Chinese steamed buns called mantou. Fans of now-shuttered Ping will happily recognize the mantou muu waan: savory-sweet pulled pork topped with crispy fried shallots. The other two are lighter: Thai-style fried eggs with Sriracha; and fried tofu glazed with wing caramel, pickled vegetables and lettuce (the "wing caramel" has fish sauce). Wash it all down with Thai iced tea and Som Soda, a new line of sodas made with Pok Pok's Som drinking vinegars. Prices are identical to the Pok Pok's other Portland locations, and Ricker has said the cart is contracted for six months. And procrastinators take note: The cart sells Pok Pok gear like cookbooks and T-shirts, in case you need to pick up a last-minute gift on your way out of town.
If those Koi specials and Pok Pok buns are enough to make you want to book a flight, keep in mind the carts are located before security, so, really, there's no need, and hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
There's a third cart, but officials at the airport haven't disclosed who will take it over. A spokesperson for the concessions office said permits are still pending and she "didn't want to get anyone's hopes up." And a statement released today says that two more carts will eventually appear, for a total of five.
Meanwhile, the owners of the airport's Caper's Cafe started a mini farmers market over the summer. Open on Tuesdays and Thursdays, Oregon Farm-to-Table is literally a table with bins of locally grown produce sourced directly from farmers, like padron peppers, heirloom tomatoes, apples, peaches, and even lobster mushrooms. All produce is inspected before it can enter the airport.
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