Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A New Food Truck City

Thanks to being a senior and some clever schedule manipulation into four-day weekends, I was lucky enough to spend the last few days in Portland, OR, hanging out with my sister who goes to school there. We ventured into downtown Portland for lunch one day and happened upon a gaggle of visually entrancing food trucks lined up all over the streets. They put Philadelphia's to shame. You had your Mexican, your Thai, Japanese, Greek, Middle Eastern, Italian, German bratwurst, Peruvian, Bosnian . . . wait, Bosnian? Yes, there was a Bosnian food truck, by the name of Zora's Pitas or something along those lines.

I couldn't help but be drawn to this unexpected cuisine. The only thing I could connect Bosnia with in my mind was Slobodan Milosevic, never having heard of Bosnian food as something to write home about. But boy, was I wrong. A menu that smacked of Arab influence (there are or were, I believe, many Muslims in Bosnia) was limited in choice but surprisingly deep in flavor. The main highlight were pitas, which were kind of like spanakopita, or what I imagine spanakopita to be like, never actually having had it. I ordered a platter split between the spinach, egg, and cheese pita (with a long and complicated name I regretfully cannot remember) and the grilled zucchini pita. These generous sandwich-pastry-vegetable-wrap portions were served with a roasted pepper sauce and a cucumber-yogurt sauce (a staple side in both Arab and Greek cooking), and filled me right to the brim. The menu also offered meat choices; pitas filled with meat with a name that sounded suspiciously like burekas, as well as meatballs they called cofta (kofte for those more acquainted with Middle Eastern cooking) in either a red or white sauce.

I was delighted with my unexpected ethnic lunch. I can now cross one more cuisine off my "to try" list. Do I have one of those? Well, I do now.

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