With a wide variety of delicious dining options, you’ll make out like a bandit at The Heist, a new Woodstock food cart pod that was once a bank parking lot.

Credit: Denise Castañon

In the spring, my kids and I watched the ongoing construction of The Heist food cart pod on the drive to and from school. When actual carts started appearing at the site of a former US Bank that was held up in 2010, we got excited. A cool, new cart pod we could walk to? Yes, please.

When we visited for lunch on a sunny Saturday, the good news kept rolling in. There was plenty of outdoor seating under umbrellas as well as a completely shaded patio behind the old bank building. (Indoor seating in the old bank is still in the works.) I liked the clever railing designed with currency symbols. And some of our favorite types of food could be found all in one spot. My kids counted 15 carts, 13 open. One of the not-yet-open ones had my husband and I downright giddy: Sammich. We are big fans of its Chicago Italian Beef sandwich and Zombie Fries at the Burnside location.

Credit: Denise Castañon

Since Sammich was not open, we tried other vendors. My 8-year-old son, Cruz, can eat breakfast at any time of the day, so he chose to get a kids’ waffle with maple butter and powdered sugar from Smaaken Waffles (pictured above, $5.50). “These are like the ‘good waffles,’” said Cruz. He was referring to the yeasted waffles I make for my family when I have the foresight to prep batter the night before. And he was right, Smaaken’s whole-grain waffles are leavened with yeast for 24 hours, which results in a crispy exterior, and a light and tender interior. He devoured his waffle served folded in half.

My 11-year-old daughter, Adela, was delighted to see smash burgers on the menu at Fresh N’ Funky (pictured below). She ordered the regular smash burger (as opposed to the kids’ one) and didn’t realize it had two patties ($15). It came out quickly and was piping hot, and she tore through it and the fries it came with.

Credit: Denise Castañon

I landed on a Philly sandwich ($14) from Mike’s Cheesesteaks. I asked if I could sub waffle fries for the regular fries that came with it, but it didn’t happen. And I wasn’t asked my name, or given a buzzer or number for my order. This all should have been a clue for me. Long after my husband and kids had their lunches, I was still waiting for mine. In fact, I was still waiting after they finished. Finally my order was up nearly 40 minutes after I placed it. The cheesesteak was hefty and tasty, but it’s clear the cart is still working out some kinks.

My husband was tempted by barbecue from The Pit and Caprese Salad from Romo Licious Cafe, but he ultimately ordered Spicy Dragon rolls filled with spicy tuna, tempura shrimp, avocado and cucumber from Wasabi Sushi ($14) and declared them to be delicious. I’ve never seen him so excited about a cart pod before. “This is the best cart pod ever, they have all my favorite things!” Other carts we did not try included shawarma, fried chicken, vegan and vegetarian bowls, and Thai, Chinese, Himalayan and Indian cuisine. After he’d finished his sushi, he checked to see what time Smaaken opened and was already plotting a time to come back for breakfast.

If You Go:
4727 SE Woodstock Blvd., theheistpdx.com.
8 am-9 pm; and Friday and Saturday, 8 am-10 pm.

Denise Castañon
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