Happily for me, the latest all-vegan food cart to hit the streets nearby is Juniper, located downtown on the corner of 3rd and Washington, just about a ten minute walk from my apartment. Rick and I dropped by for lunch recently, just a few minutes before the rush hit. As we waited on the sidewalk for our food, we watched a steady line of downtown businessy-looking folks began to form. Although it's fairly new, Juniper is already a hot spot, and for good reason.
The menu is fairly simple. It has to be with such a tiny kitchen, and what I imagine to be minimal storage space (Worse than my own kitchen? Hardly possible! I use my dishwasher as a pantry...). But Juniper offers plenty of variety, with bowls, noodle dishes, and sandwiches, as well as smoothies, tonics, and other beverages. I really don't know how they do it all in that tiny space, but they do it beautifully.
Rick and I shared both the Five-Spice Noodles and The Don. The noodle bowl was hot, comforting, rich, flavorful, and packed with goodies. It was my favorite of the two - not that The Don wasn't excellent. It was! I sheepishly have to say that my own recipe for mac and cheese is very hard to compete with. However, Juniper's smoky, creamy take on the dish, with the addition of pepper relish and olives was really wonderful, and far superior to others I've tried around town.
I was really hoping to get Juniper to cater Portland Fashion Week this year. The logistics weren't right, but I'll be working on it for next year! We'll be going back again soon, and often. If you're ever in town, let me know and I'll meet you there! Check their hours before you go (as of this writing they're closed Sundays), and find out more about Juniper on their website, juniperpdx.com.