If You Go
• What: Mack Shack in the Columbia Food Park.
• Where: 108 E. Seventh St., Vancouver.
• Hours: 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays.
• Information: 360-949-2455; www.facebook.com/mackshackmobile
The Mack Shack food cart recently opened in Columbia Food Park at 108 E. Seventh St. in downtown Vancouver. Just look for the pumpkin-y orange-colored gate and the small Mack Shack sign. Breakfast burritos, breakfast tacos, and kids’ quesadillas are served here Tuesday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. and on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Owner AndraLea Mack has worked in downtown Vancouver for the last several years and noticed something was missing from the downtown food scene.
“I personally love breakfast burritos,” Andra told me, “and I wanted to do something that wasn’t here.” Andra’s family has been very helpful in getting her business set up and running. She learned a lot about operating a food business by working for her mother, Cindy Mack, at her wedding catering business, As You Wish NW.
Everything at Mack Shack is made to order. The menu includes four breakfast burritos — the traditional Couv-Delish (eggs, bacon, sausage, hash browns, onions, garlic, spinach and choice of rosemary steak sauce or Shack sauce), the spicy/zesty ABQ (eggs, sausage, hash browns, pepper jack, corn, onion, jalapenos, green chiles, cilantro and homemade tomatillo salsa), the unusual Bleuy Gooey (eggs, bacon, bleu cheese, sauteed mushrooms, onions, garlic and arugula), and the Vegan Bean (chipotle-style black beans, quinoa, sauteed onions, garlic, red pepper, corn, and roasted red pepper hummus).
The Vegan Bean burrito begins with a grilled tortilla. One side of the tortilla is slathered with roasted red pepper hummus. Sauteed onions, garlic, red pepper, and corn are layered into the burrito with black beans and quinoa (which are seasoned with a chipotle vinaigrette). This burrito is fresh, luscious, a bit fiery, a bit tangy and satiating.
Vicky Ramsey, a customer at the cart, recently became a vegan. “I was looking for a place downtown, there aren’t that many vegan options and I work a few blocks away,” she told me while waiting in line.
Breakfast tacos are served in soft corn tortillas with melted cheese and a fried egg with choice of sauce (Shack Sauce, rosemary steak sauce, vegan rosemary steak sauce, and homemade tomatillo sauce) and one topping (sausage, bacon, cheese, mushrooms, spinach, arugula or onion). The Shack Sauce is a combination of sour cream, cilantro, Sriracha and lime juice. The rosemary steak sauce is a cream-based herbal steak sauce. The vegan rosemary steak sauce is vinaigrette-based herbal steak sauce. Generously portioned cheese-y kids’ quesadillas come with the optional additions of avocado, meat (bacon or sausage), veggie (mushroom, onion or spinach) or egg. The coffee is from nearby Brewed Cafe and Pub.
You can take your food with you or hang out in Columbia Food Park, which was once the hub of C-Tran’s downtown transit mall. The park has a circular red brick structure to sit on and is open to the air, with some greenery. A mural will soon be painted on the white wall on one side of the park. It is a nice quiet place to devour a breakfast burrito, sip a cup of coffee and prepare for the day.
Rachel Pinsky can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @couveeats.