New Mexicans Jim Wilson and Zane Blair's food cart Pepper Box has just jumped the cart scene and made a cannonball-sized splash: On Tuesday, they opened the doors to their new 30-seat cafe in the Buckman neighborhood.
The menu mostly comprises the things that Wilson grew up eating (and later, professionally cooking) in his native Albuquerque, including migas, sopapillas, huevos rancheros, papas, tacos, cornmeal pancakes, and homemade chorizo tortas. New to the cafe menu: green chile cheeseburgers and green chile cheese fries made with peppers grown in the Land of Enchantment's Deming and Hatch regions.
Pepper Box is a breakfast and lunch spot, so don't expect booze. But you should expect calibacitas (green chiles, cheese, kernel of corn and sautéed squash), and something Wilson's calling "potato pile-ups": It's sort of a "dealer's choice" potato dish in which the diner can make-their-own combinations, choosing from a kitchen sink full of New Mexican ingredients.
Pepper Box's brick-and-mortar début makes it Portland's third New Mexican joint — along with La Panza (close enough) and The Blue Goose — to open in the southeast in the last year.
· Pepper Box [Official site]
· All Pepper Box Coverage [-EPDX-]