Corner of SW 9th and Washington
Portland, OR 97205
When I was 16 I went to Hawaii with my family, and I fell in love with Hawaiian food. There was just something so warm and welcoming about it. There’s nothing daunting about Hawaiian food. It’s basically all stuff we know, just put together in a different way. It’s all comfort foods, and everything comes with macaroni salad! Score! When I walked by the 808 Grinds Downtown Cart, I had to stop and try it because it was so nostalgic!
Nik tried the Kalua pig (pictured up top), which was really good and tender and had such great flavor, but I personally would have liked it a little bit saucier. It wasn’t dry by any means, but I like my pulled pork to be dripping. I’m just gross. That being said, I really enjoyed the deep flavor this pork had, and the rice was sweet and sticky and tasted awesome with the savory Kalua pig. The macaroni salad was good, but I would have liked it just a tad sweeter. It was a little one note at moments, but I scraped the bottom of our plates! It was so delicious.
I was so happy when I saw they had Loco Moco on their menu. I had it once before at the Rainbow Drive-in in Hawaii, and I fell in love with it and consequently have been making it ever since at home! Nobody really knows that secret to great Loco Moco, but 808 Grinds certainly gave the island a run for its money! For those who haven’t tried Loco Moco, it’s basically white rice topped with a beef hamburger patty, a fried egg, and brown gravy. It’s delicious and extremely stick-to-your-ribs comforting! My beef was excellent, great flavor and perfectly cooked, as was my egg. It’s a real shame to get a fried egg that has no runny yolk, as that’s the best part of this dish! The yolk and the gravy meld together and create the yummiest sauce to cover the beef and rice. I will definitely be ordering Loco Moco from 808 Grinds as often as I can!
Prices were good, it was $7.50 for each of our plates, which included rice and macaroni salad. We had leftovers so you’re getting your money’s worth! If you haven’t tried Hawaiian food I’d definitely suggest you check it out, it’s something special!