Head to Portland’s coolest new hang-out spot, Moore Food & Company, for Philly-inspired food and attitude. (P.S. It’s very kid welcoming!)
Right off the bat, we knew Moore Food & Company was going to be a cart to which we’d return. My husband, who hails from the East Coast, jokingly asked co-owner Sue Amick, who took our order, if they had any “Baltimore cheesesteaks.” Her husband, and co-owner, Tom Amick fired back from the grill, “What’s a Baltimore cheesesteak?!” My husband started to explain, and then started laughing at Tom’s joke because he knew a Maryland-style steak sandwich with steak, cheese, lettuce, tomato and pickles is really called a hoagie. Sue did kindly say that they were considering a hoagie as a special. All this to say — Moore Food is legit East Coast chow and attitude. They even offer a New Jersey staple: pork roll, a processed, minced ham usually sliced and fried.
The menu section names — despite the exclamation points — might give kids who can read the giggles: The Sh!t, This Sh!t, Other Sh!t and Kids Stuff. But, confession, half my son’s kindergarten class may have heard much worse from me the time I logged him in on the wrong day despite his protests. I didn’t call attention to the section names and instead focused on what to order. My 9-year-old daughter, Adela, ordered the kids’ quesadilla ($5) and my 6-year-old son, Cruz, asked for the corn dog nuggets ($6). My husband got the cheesesteak ($12) and I was curious about the Monte Cristo egg roll ($9). We also got an order of steak-cut fries to split ($4). Moore Food also has wine and several beers and ciders on tap.
Once the hoagie discussion was tabled and we placed our orders. Adela and my husband started a game of chess while we waited. The outdoor space features an assortment of long picnic tables, comfy chairs, hanging lanterns, and yes, a chess set. The cart is tucked away from Division Street and paired with Moore Coffee cart, also owned by the Amicks. The carts, and the welcoming outdoor seating, are referred to as Moore Alley. We were there on an 84-degree evening, but in the shaded area cooled by softly rotating ceiling fans, it felt quite pleasant. A perfect spot to spend a late-summer evening.
Our food came out quickly, and it was piping hot. Cruz was hungry and waved his corn dog nuggets around to cool them between bites. Adela gave her quesadilla a thumbs up because she was able to stretch out the cheese. My Monte Cristo egg roll was also too hot to eat at first. Moore’s version swapped out traditional egg-battered bread for egg roll wrappers. The egg roll was much heftier than an egg roll you’d find in a Chinese restaurant — and that was good and bad. Yes, it was packed with turkey, ham and cheese, but the egg roll wrapper was uncooked in a few parts. (I just ate around the doughy sections.) Nevertheless, it had that classic Monte Cristo taste and came with pancake syrup and jam for dipping. The cheesesteak sandwich was meaty and delicious — loaded with thick slabs of mushrooms and spicy pickled jalapeños. My husband proclaimed it the best cheesesteak he’d had in Portland. And we all loved the thick-cut fries. And like I said, we’ll head back, probably with visitors from the East Coast in tow.
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO:
3576 B SE Division St.
Closed Mondays and Tuesdays.
Wednesday to Thursday, noon-9 pm.
Friday to Saturday, noon-10 pm.
Sunday, noon-8 pm.