Portland, OR – The Dump Truck

Fevered anticipation surrounded the opening of this new cart, at the top of the heap (address wise) on Alder between SW 10th and 11th. What could it be, asked people in my circle? OK, I was asking myself. Not in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine the cart would be the purveyor of one of my favorite foods in the whole world, Chinese dumplings!

I have a great story about them from my eight years in China, and a better pic, of one day my “interpreter” and I were in a small town a couple hours out of Beijing, and we went into a local dumpling restaurant and ordered the entire menu! I think it was about $4. Man, I loved that interpreter, er,restaurant!

Every culture in the world has a dumpling – ravioli, perogies, empanadas…. and I love them all. The Chinese version many of you have had lightly pan-fried, and called “potstickers” here in the USA, but in China, often they are simply steamed, and filled with shrimp, pork, vegetables, or some combination thereof. My favorites appear on menus in China as “cucumber,” but that vegetable is not available in the US, not even in China towns. Subject to some trade war, I suspect. OK, kidding on that. It’s a great tradion for families to sit around the kitchen table and make dumplings together on special holidays.

The Dump Truck has taken a fresh approach to fillings, and in addition to more traditional jiaozi (Mandarin for dumpling), serves up some innovations, like the bacon cheeseburger dumpling w/ special cheeseburger sauce. In China, dumplings are served with a wide choice of sauces, including soy, vinegar, chili garlic, minced whole garlic, and more. Dump Truck has combined some of these flavors for interesting variations, like their soy/vinegar, tahini/chili, and the previously referred to cheeseburger sauce, which was a kind of creamy Chinese mustard, but not blistering hot.

I went with the sampler, which included two each of the bacon cheeseburger, a more traditional pork, and a portobello one. They come on a small bed of julienned vegetables. Larger, individual orders of each variety are available, if I recall, the top price was $6. The Sampler was %$5. Help yourself to sauces and chopsticks or a fork.

How utterly fun, and how absolutely Portland, to mash up great food in unconventional ways. Kinda like the Hillbilly Bento guy. How fortunate we are to live in food wonderland!

Thanks, Dump Truck. I’ll be baaaaaaaaaaaaaack.

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