Out of TownAybla Grill (Southwest 10th & Alder)
Nothing about the Greek and Mediterranean food cart, Aybla Grill, screams Portland. There are no fried pieces of chicken. Nor are there any buttery biscuits, or copious helpings of bacon. Despite that, this Alder Pod food cart is a solid go to joint for tasty food on the go. Yes, they certainly serve the typical gyros and falafels, but everything is well made and fresh. An extra bonus: they are one of the few food carts that open until 5pm, and on the weekends.
Case and I sauntered down to the brightly yellow and blue cart, which normally accommodates a few patrons hanging about the sidewalk or perched on stools in front, awaiting their orders. Aybla has a good selection for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians.
We normally order the Veggie Mezza plate: a nice selection of crispy, homemade falafel (fried chickpea fritters), hummus, dolmades (grape leaves stuffed with rice and herbs), baba ghanouj and pita bread. It’s a good size snack with a symphony of flavours for two people — and everything packs remarkably well to go.
If you’re looking for something a little more hearty, their gyros will do the trick. In particular, the lamb: tender pieces of seasoned shwarama, rolled into a pita with creamy tzatziki, parsley and fresh diced onions and tomatoes. Be prepared to break out a roll of paper towels, though. As tasty as the gyros are, they’re a complete mess to eat. If you’re extra hungry, for a couple more dollars you can get a super gyro. We have yet to attempt this.
Most items on the menu are under $7, making Ayblas one of the best deals in town. Add that together with consistently well put together food, friendly service and extended hours (for a food cart), you’ve got a solid spot to get a quick bite to eat.
— ♠ —