Like many projects in Portland, this book was a result of a collaborative effort.  Since we are new to the publishing industry, we are incredibly indebted to dozens of people for the guidance and support they’ve provided. You may ask: “Why try to navigate the publishing world yourselves, without the wisdom and reach of a publisher?” We decided to self-publish – not that we expected it to be easier or cheaper or to get rich from the famously lucrative book industry – as it seemed more consistent with the way we do things here in Portland. Particularly when writing about the Portland food carts, self-publishing seemed like a more fitting approach. More than Do-It-Yourself, Portland’s approach to creative projects and social entrepreneurship is better described as Do-It-Together. With that goal in mind, we began by finding our creative partners.

Our first task was to find contributing writers willing to submit their thoughts on aspects of the Portland carts. Carol Mayer Reed, Michael Reed, Brett Burmeister, and Paul Gerald dutifully completed their assignments and helped frame the content of the book. As a seasoned author, Paul Gerald was also helpful in explaining and connecting us with people familiar with the publishing world. Late in the process, we also recruited Hannah Carlen to conduct food reviews and develop vendor profiles (thanks for your patience while we worked through the writing!). Next, we found an incredible resource in our editor, Christina Henry de Tessan from Girl Friday Productions, who somehow managed to discern a story arc from the incredible volume of materials we gave her–superpowers are the only possible explanation. Photographer Drew Burdick has been so delightful to work with that we dragged out his assignment for months beyond what he he’d initially scheduled. Lucky for us, he is both a patient person, as well as a talented photographer. Then, we found Jeniffer Cogliantry, a wizard of a graphic designer, who nailed the book design concept on her first attempt. Many others helped us with editing, selecting photos, and providing feedback. Thanks to everyone who took the time to interview with us. Your stories shaped the book.


Christina Henry de Tessan of Girl Friday Productions

Book Designer

Jen Cogliantry of Jen Cogliantry Design

Copy Editor

Amy L. Scott of Nomad Editorial Services


Andrew Burdick of Drew Bird Photography

Contributing Writers

ANDREW BURDICK specializes in long-term photojournalistic storytelling and creative writing. His work focuses on the ever-evolving relationship between people, the world in which we live, and the natural systems we depend on for survival, security, and happiness. Using images as an educational and storytelling tool, he aims to help reconnect people with our environments in order to promote a necessary culture of stewardship for people, life, and the planet.  More of his work can be found at:

BRETT BURMEISTER, a lifelong Portlander, ate at his first food cart back in 1991 during a college trip into the city. That first Honkin’ Huge burrito from Shelly’s Garden in Pioneer Courthouse Square made Brett a believer.  He has been evangelizing the glories of Portland’s street food ever since. Over those 19 years, Brett has introduced skeptical coworkers, visiting guests, and even close family to the downtown carts. Whether it be Hawaiian bento or Thai noodles or the famous Schnitzelwitch from Tabor, Brett has eaten there. Brett began writing about the city on several blogs, including Portland Metblogs and OurPDX. He combined his love of writing with his passion for food carts when he joined Lizzy Caston at Food Carts Portland in 2008. Since then, Brett has taken over the daily management of the website and become the unofficial ambassador of Portland’s food carts. has been featured on CNN, and in the New York Times, the LosAngeles Times and Gourmet magazine as the source for all matters related to Portland’s food carts. Brett is what the cart owners refer to as a Cartivore and he wears that title proudly. Most days, you can find Brett wandering through the city visiting the different pods and sampling the tasty items on offer.

HANNAH CARLEN is a music publicist and occasional freelance writer living in Portland, OR. Her primary professional focus is publicity geared toward college and public radio programming. A native New Yorker, Hannah became a food enthusiast in college, and expanded her palette through travel and waitressing. Her favorite foods are those that bring a little rusticity to complex, elevated flavors, so her love of Portland food and food carts comes as no surprise. Hannah hopes to launch a supermarket blog in 2011.

PAUL GERALD’s writing career began at the sports desks of various daily newspapers in the South, where he grew up. Since then, he’s been a freelance travel, outdoors, and sports writer, and his articles have appeared in the Memphis Flyer, Northwest Airlines’ WorldTraveler, Willamette Week and The Oregonian. He’s also worked in landscaping, restaurants, public relations, social work, an amusement park, Alaskan fishing boats, the YMCA, corporate marketing, and as a package handler for FedEx. Such is the life of a writer who really, really wants to avoid having a regular job. He wrote 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles of Portland (the fourth edition came out in 2010) and Day and Overnight Hikes: Oregon’s Pacific Crest Trail, and he revised Best Tent Camping: Oregon for its 2009 second edition. He’s even become his own publisher, putting out Breakfast in Bridgetown: The Definitive Guide to Portland’s Favorite Meal in 2008, under the name Bacon and Eggs Press. And he now hosts a weekly internet radio show of the same title for PDX.FM. Basically, he likes to go to interesting places, do fun stuff, eat, and write about it. Getting paid for such things seems like quite the benefit.

CAROL MAYER-REED, FASLA, is a partner with Portland-based design firm Mayer/Reed.  As a landscape architect and urban designer, she designs parks, waterfronts, streetscapes, college campuses and public open spaces in the Pacific Northwest. Carol is intrigued by the evolution of street vendors in Portland. She is particularly interested in studying how the food cart phenomenon and has activated the public realm, how it has created vitality out of vacant and underutilized space, and its positive social effects on the street life of Portland’s downtown and neighborhoods.

MICHAEL REED is a partner with Portland-based design firm Mayer/Reed.  As a product and graphic designer, he designs wayfinding and signage programs for public spaces associated with streetscapes, public transit, cultural facilities, university and corporate campuses in the United States. Michael is engaged with how visual communication informs users and defines place in the built environment. He is interested in how clusters of food carts located in vacant lots and parking lots contribute to the character of neighborhoods through the materials, site amenities, and iconographic elements they employ.


Kevin Cavenaugh, Architect and Guerilla Developer
Marcy McInelly, Architect, SERA Architects
Joseph Readdy, Architect
Charles Heying, Portland State University
Jack Corbett, Portland State University
Alma Flores, City of Portland, Bureau of Planning and Sustainability
Mike Ebling, City of Portland, Bureau of Development Services
Joe Botkins, City of Portland, Bureau of Development Services
Richard Eisenhauer, City of Portland, Bureau of Transportation
Kim Kosmass, City of Portland, Fire Bureau
Randall Howath, Multnomah County, Department of Health
Dave Martin, Oregon Department of Health Services
Sarah Castagnola, Mercy Corps
Jonath Colon, Hispanic Metropolitan Chamber
Neeley Wells, Urban Development Partners
Jason King, TERRA.fluxus, LLC
Bryan Johnson, Innovision Homes, LLC
Jason Britsas, Northwest Mobile Kitchens
Rick Zeidman, Northwest Mobile Kitchens
Ray Koernig, Curbside Grill
Addy Bittner, Addy’s Sandwich Bar
Trey Corken, The Swamp Shack
Supakjanat Brunjongaksorn and Kris Haefker, Phong’s
Shelley Sorensen, Honkin’ Huge Burritos
Kirsten Jensen, Sugar Cube
Matt Breslow, Grilled Cheese Grill
Andrea Spella, Spella’s Caffe
Bernie Franceschi
Trevor Hunt, City of Cleveland
Gabriela Juarez, City of Los Angeles
Maria Garcia, City of New York
Mike Krell, Austin Food Carts
Christiane Lauterbach, Atlanta Street Food Coalition


Thanks to all of the food cart vendors who submitted your stories and endured our incessant questioning. You make writing a book about you fun!

Others who have helped, provided feedback, support and more!

Amelia Armstrong
Eric Black
Meredith Frengs
Ben Hufford
Anthony Roy
TENpod Burnside
Jennie Vinson of Mission First Marketing

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