PBJ’s, a gourmet, grilled peanut butter and jelly sandwich food cart, is the new exciting place to grab lunch in the Nob Hill district. They rolled onto 23rd Street in mid April and have already grown an avid fan base. Customers line up outside of the cart, laughing and indulging in sweet and savory grilled sandwiches of all kinds. The spreads and jams are either house made or produced by Oregon companies such as Dagoba, Oregon Growers, and Misty Meadows. The cheese comes from Rogue Creamery and Sierra Nevada Cheese Company, and the luscious bread hails from Gabriel’s Bakery or Dave’s Killer Bread. I am blown away by the gusto and excitement that owners Keena and Shane have for their creations. Keena tells me that the Dagoba dark chocolate spread took six months of determination and brainstorming to perfect. This can be easily proven with one taste in my mouth. “The Joy” is impeccably crafted, with brief bursts of salt between mouthfuls of bittersweet chocolate, coconut, and almond butter evenly applied to warm, toasted challah bread, for $5.50. I can’t help but devour it in a rushed blur, and am thoroughly satisfied.
I went for the first time with a friend who didn’t want anything too sweet, and Keena and Shane were so kind as to create a grilled sandwich of almond butter, apple butter, gruyere, and bacon. The picky eater was satisfied, and a new semi-secret sandwich is available by special request. Other creative choices include the Pumpkin Pie, which is a splendid combination of pumpkin butter, Two Tarts caramel sauce, piecrust, and peanut butter on challah, for $5.50. Shane, in a peppy tweed hat, looks around and notes that it’s “funny to see grown adults sipping on little milks,” and I do say that I feel like a little kid all over again with a small organic milk in a box and yellow sandwich wrapper in my lap. You can run back to the office or continue strolling 23rd Street with a satisfying sandwich for only $4-$6, and that’s what I call a delightful deal.
NW corner of Kearney and 23rd St
Portland, OR 97210