A Guide to the Killer Carts at the New Food Cart Pod Collective Oregon Eateries – Eater Portland

When Hanry Ho and Mandy Kao started renting out spaces for their food cart pod, Collective Oregon Eateries (or CORE), it wasn’t just about filling spaces; they wanted to come up with an eclectic, diverse set of cuisines to highlight. “We want to have a certain standard, so we taste each cart before we sign on,” Kao says. “We’re looking for a high caliber. Everyone has to do something different.”

CORE, after all, has been years in the making: Ho was originally planning on opening the SE 82nd pod in 2018, but carts didn’t start rolling in until the beginning of this year, parked outside a shiny new indoor dining space with bathrooms, massive glass windows, and rows of indoor picnic tables. These carts began selling everything from seafood boils to Hainanese chicken to lechon sandwiches, quickly drawing the attention of food writers. Portland big-names like Chicken & Guns and Breakside Brewing landed in the pod, and now, CORE has become one of the most competitive new food cart pods in town, vying for the title of the city’s best.

Kao and Ho have far more in mind for the space than just the carts: Kao wants to run a bar out of a small space on the ground floor of the pod’s building, with drinks that play off each of the food cart’s menus. On the top floor balcony, Ho and Kao want to host bands and djs, to play over the strolling
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