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City Slickers @ Piknik Park (Portland, OR) – UPDATE: THIS LOCATION IS NOW CLOSED

When Portland gets a sixty-degree day without rain on the weekend – in the middle of winter – you might want to get out of the house for a couple of hours and take advantage of it. Chances are, you may not see the sun again for a few days, at best, or possibly a couple of weeks, at worst. So what does Jay decide to do? I tell my fiancée to get ready, because we are going to head out and find a new food cart to try, of course (the kids were gone on this particular day)!


Piknik Park food cart pod in the Sellwood area of Portland, Oregon.

Plan A did not go as expected, but have no fear – there is always a Plan B. My initial plan was to visit the Milwaukie Station food cart pod but, upon arrival, found that only a couple of food carts were open. Sometimes, weekend food cart excursions can be challenging because many carts are closed, while others are open for just a few hours (especially on Sunday’s). Fortunately, Piknik Park (Plan B), in the Sellwood area, was just a short ride away. Once there, again, only a handful of carts were open but, there were more options than we encountered at Milwaukie Station. After browsing what was open, we decided to check out City Slickers. I was already somewhat familiar with City Slickers, having sampled some of their food at the Bite of Oregon last summer.


City Slickers food cart

At the Bite of Oregon, I was able to try a slider-sized Chicago Dog and a slider-sized Milwaukee Butter Burger. In full disclosure, my recollection of these two samples has faded in the five months since I attended this event. The Milwaukee Butter Burger is two beef patties, topped with American cheese (recommended) and onions that have been sauteed in butter, giving this burger a wonderful buttery accent.


Milwaukee Butter Burger (slider-sized; not the menu portion)

As good as this burger was, however, the Chicago Dog was my favorite of the two. City Slickers’ Chicago Dog is, to the best of my knowledge, a traditional version. One element that initially surprised me was the neon green relish, though I have since learned that it is pretty standard. Before this, I thought I had eaten a traditional Chicago dog, but I had never seen the neon green relish. At first, I was skeptical of how it would taste, based merely on its appearance, but was pleasantly surprised. In fact, I remember thinking, at the time, that I could probably sit and eat spoonfuls of this Chicago-style relish. I don’t know why I would; I’m just saying that I probably could.


Chicago Dog (slider-sized; not the menu portion)

Having had such a positive experience with City Slickers at the Bite of Oregon, I was glad to find that they were one of the few carts open at Piknik Park on this Sunday afternoon. Although I loved their Chicago Dog, I decided to try the L.A. Street Dog, which turned out to be an awesome choice. It instantly made its way onto my list of favorite hot dogs! The L.A. Street Dog is a Hebrew National hot dog wrapped in bacon, and then deep fried. Next, it’s placed on a toasted Hawaiian sweet roll and topped with sauteed green bell peppers, onions, diced tomatoes, jalapeños, ketchup, mustard, and garlic aioli. Upon further research, it appears there are multiple versions of an L.A. street dog (also called a Danger Dog), though two things remain constant; all are wrapped in bacon, and then deep fried.


L.A. Street Dog

When it comes to spicy foods, I am a fan, though my tolerance level is not as high as I wish. I can do some habanero and, on occasion, I have tried dishes with a hint of ghost pepper. That being said, jalapeños are hit or miss for me. I can eat them if accompanied by other ingredients, but not by themselves. What I loved about this hot dog was that it had a good amount of heat from the jalapeños, but it paired nicely with those refreshingly cool diced tomatoes to tone down the heat just a bit. Additionally, the garlic aioli (as opposed to mayonnaise on many other versions of an L.A. street dog) is a great addition. Aside from that, it’s a hot dog wrapped in bacon – and deep fried. Seriously, do you even need another reason to give it a try?

Surprisingly, french fries do not appear to be on the menu, which is a little unexpected from a place that serves sandwiches, burgers, and hot dogs. This was not an issue for me but, if you feel you need fries to go along with your order, the adjacent food cart serves them (and they are good enough). I also love that City Slickers offers soda’s in glass bottles. There is nothing better than drinking an ice-cold Coca-Cola from a glass bottle.


Who doesn’t love cold soda from a bottle?

In conclusion, I absolutely recommend checking out City Slickers if you’re in the Sellwood area or planning to be. I have been impressed by their food twice, and can’t wait to go back. Next up on my City Slickers bucket list is the Seattle Dog.

I have been to Piknik Park on several occasions, and I can tell you from experience that it gets very busy sometimes. If you want to avoid a big crowd, Sunday seems to be an ideal time to stop in and check it out. Be sure to leave me a comment if you enjoyed this post, and let me know what you think of City Slickers if you decide to give them a try. And, don’t forget to follow me so you can always stay up to date with the most recent updates.


City Slickers Menu (not shown – some of their other specialties, including Cincinnati Chili)


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