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An Expat of the Wolfgang Puck Empire Is Slinging Chicken Tenders in Hawthorne Asylum

Food cart Your Side Chicks comes from Daniel Stramm, a chef formerly on the Las Vegas Strip who now specializes in super crispy tenders

Paper boats filled with fries and chicken tenders from Your Side Chicks.
Chicken and fries from Your Side Chicks, a new chicken tender cart.
Artem D.
Brooke Jackson-Glidden is the editor of Eater Portland.

Five years ago, Daniel Stramm was slicing hamachi crudo and filling agnolotti on the Las Vegas Strip. Now, he’s frying chicken tenders out of a Southeast Portland food cart.

Stramm is the owner of Your Side Chicks, a new chicken cart within the Hawthorne Asylum pod. The cart specializes in fried chicken tenders and nuggets, buttermilk brined and finished with house seasoning blends and sauces. “I try to hyper-focus on one product,” he says. “My grandma was born and raised in Tennessee, and a lot of my family is from Mississippi. I have a Southern background; I just haven’t expressed it in my career.”

Stramm didn’t originally plan to open a fried chicken cart. The chef started his career around 10 years ago following culinary school, hopping around various restaurants in the West and landing within Wolfgang Puck’s Las Vegas orbit — Spago, Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill.

But Stramm wanted to do his own thing, and opted for wagyu beef burgers. Boujee Burgerz, which first opened in Las Vegas, used American wagyu raised in the Pacific Northwest for patties topped with truffle goat cheese or caramelized onions. He tried to open a second location in Portland, but the cart lasted just a few weeks. Soon afterward, both businesses were gone. “I brought a concept up here into a space that I thought I could make work, and it was just too small of a space,” he says.

So instead, he focused on something smaller scale: Gluten-free chicken tenders, fried well, with just a handful of accoutrements. The chicken spends 24 hours in a buttermilk brine, seasoned with around 12 herbs and spices he keeps close to the chest, before it lands in a seasoned six-flour dredge that primarily relies on starch flours. The tenders come with a choice of seasoning blend, with sauces like truffle or hot honey, as well as black garlic ranch.

Combo meals involve a kale slaw with lemon vinaigrette or crinkle-cut fries, fried well done for a really crisp exterior, Stramm says. But as the cart settles in, the chef wants to introduce new seasonal sides and specials. Currently, he’s serving things like chicken-fried oyster mushrooms and Korean barbecue Brussels sprouts; he’s working on a pickled corn, succotash-style salad, as well as lion’s mane mushroom nuggets. And in terms of beverages, he serves an Oregon raspberry lemonade. “I really want to have the concept born and bred in the Pacific Northwest,” he says.

Your Side Chicks is located at 1080 SE Madison Street.