December 7, 2008

The Adventures of Cart Girl

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Welcome to the first installment of The Adventures of Cart Girl! My sister Chelsea will be guest blogging every so often and giving us a heads up on the good carts to check out in Portland.

I am trying to take advantage of the fall sunshine phenomenon in Portland. Today, running errands downtown and determined to lunch in the crisp autumn air, I happened upon a row of carts. I'd wanted to try them for a while but haven't. Perfect opportunity. Every other cart had a long line, so I chose Ziba's Pitas.

Usually no people near food is a red flag for me but I thought I'd take the chance because on the sign it said "Bosnian Food." I'd never had Bosnian food but I love the Baltics. At least I think I do. I read Zlata's Diary in high school and have had a soft spot for Bosnians ever since.

After staring at the menu a while, I chose the vegetarian. I'm easily overwhelmed with menus and I fancy myself a flexitarian so often I just pick the veggie item to make things simpler. Ziba ( I presume) asked me in her charming accent if I wanted the zucchini or the spinach. "Spinach," I said. Ala carte or on the plate? "A la carte," my wallet said. $4.75. She was precise and her kitchen looked clean. As she handed me my change I glanced over to the side of the window and saw an array of newspaper articles (including Willamette Week, my most trusted food review source aside from Lizzy) proclaiming their approval of this cart. Phew!

As I waited for my Pita, I turned towards the little tables to my right, hoping I'd find an empty one so I could bask in the December Sunshine. There was a cute couple eating lunch. I'd noticed the boy earlier when I approached the cart. I liked his beard and his Portland-y style. His girlfriend was not happy. She stood up, grabbed her bag left her food and walked across the street abandoning her lunchtime date. The boy stood there, his mouth gaping, and arms open. He seemed a little confused, actually. Finally he grabbed all the stuff and left. I felt sad for him. But he left just in time for me to take his table.

Though slightly salty, the pita was light and flaky and yummy. She serves them sliced into four sections I ate three and was full. I am not sure what all the ingredients were but they were simple. Not too much was added in addition to the spinach. A hearty, cheapity-cheap lunch. I'll be back soon.

Photo and text by Chelsea Fuss.

Ziba's Pitas on Urbanspoon


ThirstyApe said...

Lizzy - I think you would enjoy the book The Flexitarian Diet if you consider yourself a flexitarian. It is written by Registered Dietitian Dawn Jackson Blatner. The book has more than 100 flexitarian recipes and is packed with sound nutrition advice as well. She is really knowledgeable and her website is great too. It has a ton of recipes that you can download for free.

Sarah said...

The carts were on the Amazing Race last night. And I'm so glad you added the list bar on the right! Yeah

Laura/DaPFG said...

oh crap. another for the "reading-while-at-work" blog list.

Miss Chelsea, and now YOU, Lizzy, are going to get me fired. :P

Joey said...

If you like pita you should check out the pita sandwich in the Meatless Mondays healthy recipes cookbook. Instead of spinach it's filled with cucumber, tomato, yogurt... very refreshing.

Meatless Mondays is a non-profit public health campaign, I just started working for, which encourages Americans to cut meat from their diets once a week (we suggest Mondays, hence the name), in order to reduce the rate of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer- the four leading causes of death in American, all preventable. If you're looking for healthy meatless recipes, you should check out the Meatless Monday Recipe archives, It even has a special Quick Sautees and On the Go sections on its recipe archives, good for busy people. Meatless Mondays has partnerships with the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health, so it can also be an excellent resource for health and wellness articles and tips.