After reading the food trailer post on BRO, one reader who moved back to Buffalo from Portland, Oregon sent me an email pointing out that Portland has gone in yet another direction when it comes to food options throughout the city. “Just saw the post about your friend checking out food carts in Austin,” he wrote. “He should check Portland out as well. They have food cart ‘Pods’ all over the city. Pods are groups of carts in parking or vacant lots – often having shelter with heaters for inclement weather – or shade in the summer. They serve every kind of food imaginable (there’s a list by food type/map on this site) and now some sell beer and wine, too.
“Portland has over 500 food carts available at any given time. Listed below are maps of some of the pods. The entire map listing the vendors is available here. A map of just the Pods is here. iPhone and Android apps are always updated with the current location of the carts. You can find that here. Plus food carts/Pods are greener.
“I’ve been trying to convince a friend to set up this type of Pod in Buffalo. There are vacant lots for sale around town for $5k. It wouldn’t cost much to outfit them with electric hookups, a central heated tent (maybe even porta potties) and rent out spaces to 10 or 12 vendors, who create and bring in their own carts.”
This is a strategy that is good for both lot owners and food start-ups. The cost of entry on both sides is minimal, and it sounds like a ton of fun, with plenty of opportunities for everyone involved.
Photo: Travel Portland