This week, Dustin Knox of Perierra Creperie (and the shuttered Old Town bar Central), along with partner Todd Radcliffe opened a new food cart in the Cartopia cart pod, adding another option to Portland's burgeoning Latin American-style grilled-chicken craze.
Called Chicken and Guns, the cart focuses on locally raised chickens from Scratch Farms in Canby, grilled over white oak and served by the quarter, half or whole bird. On the side there are crispy potatoes doused in spicy Peruvian aji sauce, or a grain and vegetable salad topped with chimichurri sauce. For those who don't eat chicken, you can opt for a farm egg or just the salad and potatoes.
The inspiration, says Radcliffe via email, comes from frequent trips south of the border. "Dustin and I have both taken bike/surf trips down to Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean. In all of these places you would find people on roadsides cooking chickens on makeshift wood-fired grills, so we wanted to create a cart where we could capture the smoke and fire and flavors we enjoyed on these expeditions."
To recreate that make-shift look, they built the cart using wood salvaged from a 200-year-old barn and added an old corrugated metal overhang. Hours are still in flux as they get staff hired and trained, but Radcliffe says they're aiming for Tuesdays through Sundays, with late night hours on the weekends. Sunday night is movie night at Cartopia, after all.
Chicken & Guns: 1207 SE Hawthorne, Portland.