It was not that long ago that Hillsboro had very few if any food carts. In the past, we have all seen food trucks cruising construction sites or parking lots but they have always been transient. It was not until Carts on Main set up their food cart pod on Main Street a couple of years ago that Hillsboro had an option for this type of food. Now the City seems to be coming alive with individual carts and some more elaborate plans for “Pods” where multiple food options are going to pop up. This is food lovers excited about the options they will have to try more and more types of food.
Carts On Main Paves The Way-
The Carts On Main pod was the first of its kind in our city and it remains the only fully established. Featuring 5 carts, the location is right next to the Hillsboro Bar and Grill and across from Noble Hop Tab House where those tipping the suds can bring food in and enjoy! They have clean tables, covered dining areas, and a secured environment for visitors to enjoy the experience. Here is a look at the choices offered right now by the carts and they are all #Delicious and creative.
Larry, the creator, is the man seen above at the Carts On Main and one of the great food promoters in Hillsboro. His former ‘BORO Burger truck was a real hit with locals and this is but one of his food ventures now. He knows food and has been a real leader in the efforts to promote safe and successful food cart pods in Hillsboro. From zoning to health and safety compliance, his work has been crucial in Hillsboro where no codes existed until now. The result of his efforts are notable because Cart on Main is a hit. There is a great group of carts including Bun Intended, Mama Lily’s, Chadwicks Pit, and Chili Goat Gruff. If you have not been there to try the food make it a point. This pod has added vibrancy to the Main Street offerings and made that block a destination along with Pizzatio, Noble Hop, Amelia’s, Bag and Bagge, Hillsboro Bar and Grill, and others!
On the eastern edge of our City, a new option has popped up recently. Taco’s el Patron has a food cart and a fantastic covered eating area just West of Harvey the White Rabbit. This cart is excellent and the effort of local boy Efrain Abarca. The food is incredible and for those looking for a spot to eat fast and get out of the weather, they have your hook up. The lot appears to have room for a few more spots and that is a part of the plan moving forward. This is the original location of the historic J.B. Imlay and Sons flour and grain business from the late 1800s. They shipped grain from local farms from Hillsboro to Portland and beyond and their original building is still standing. Check them out.
Back downtown at 320 SE Oak Street, a more ambitious effort is underway. Hillsboro Downtown Station is going in on the SE corner of 3rd and Baseline Streets. The formerly burned-out building has been partly removed in recent weeks and the rest of the building is being refurbished as food hall. That will support 28 food carts which are slated for the lot as per the attached plans below.
The carts will be designed in rows in a secured setting. That is an ambitious plan modeled after the Rose Biggi in central Beaverton. The developer is hard at work right now and we should see this facility open by year’s end. No parking is being provided which could be a limiting factor. Once finished the project will add 28 more options for diners to try out. At that point, we should be able to see Hillsboro become a leader in this category and a foodies’ dream destination.
More is not always better. Quality needs to be the key for anyone getting into the business. Rumors of three or four more locations are floating around the city. Local building and zoning codes are being updated to manage this food cart mania because it is widely an unregulated business. The Herald will continue to bring you information and stories about new opportunities as they roll out.
Suffice it to say this is an exciting trend for food lovers and the community at large.