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Chicken-and-Rice Sensation Nong’s Very First Cart Will Close Tomorrow

Pour out some ginger sauce for the cart that started it all

Nong’s Khao Man Gai/Facebook
Brooke Jackson-Glidden is the editor of Eater Portland.

Huge, heartbreaking news comes from Portland Monthly this afternoon: The very first Thai chicken-and-rice cart from national sensation Nong’s Khao Man Gai will close August 31. The SW 10th and Alder cart’s closure has been a ticking time bomb as developers eyed the food cart hotspot for construction; now, all carts need to vacate the space by early October to make way for The Moxy Hotel, owner Nong Poonsukwattana told PoMo’s Benjamin Tepler. “You know, I met so many people there,” she says in the story. “The cart has given me everything. When I pull it out, I don’t even know if it’ll stay together.”

It’s hard to overstate the importance of Poonsukwattana and her khao man gai cart. After opening the first Nong’s in 2009, she has opened two permanent locations, has been semifinalist for James Beard Awards, and won Food Network’s Chopped. In a profile for Eater National, restaurant editor Hillary Dixler Canavan tells the chef-owner’s origin story: arriving in Oregon with only $70 and a suitcase, saving for six years to open the cart.

“By the end of the first year, I had some people tell me, ‘You are the American dream,’” Poonsukwattana told Canavan. “I didn’t know what that was until the end of the second year. I was in my own apartment, and [thought], ‘Wow, I can afford to live without roommates.’ That’s when I felt I succeeded at something.”

Nong’s Khao Man Gai [Official]
Nong’s Original Downtown Cart to Close August 31 [PoMo]
Plans Filed to Build Hotel on Famous Downtown Portland Food Cart Pod [Willamette Week]
Moxy Hotel approved by design commission [NextPortland]
All Nong’s Khao Man Gai coverage [EPDX]
At Nong’s Khao Man Gai, Chicken and Rice Is Actually Life-Changing [E]

Nong's Khao Man Gai

609 Southeast Ankeny Street, , OR 97214 (503) 740-2907 Visit Website