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.
The Jerusalem Cafe was first established in 1996 in downtown Vancouver by the Farran family. The Chkalov location opened in 2002. The restaurant is still family owned and operated and serves fresh and healthful Mediterranean cuisine using family recipes for lunch and dinner, seven days a week.
Why: I.talia rounds out the food options in the food court at the new Ilani Casino Resort on the Cowlitz Indian Reservation. The restaurant serves wood-fired oven pizzas a few salads and Italian-inspired sandwiches. Although the menu is not extensive, it includes many popular selections.
ChefJet provides fresh and flavorful modern Asian cuisine at the fast casual food restaurants located inside the Ilani Casino Resort in Ridgefield. The menu offerings cover the essentials — vegetable and meat combinations, salads and appetizers.
In the early 2000s, chefs decided to “improve” the classic American burger by using meat from massaged Japanese cows or by topping or stuffing it with stinky cheeses. I am glad this burger madness is coming to an end. Trendy chains such as Shake Shack have reclaimed the traditional American burger — a flat, charred beef patty topped with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles (and maybe cheese) on a sesame seed bun. Many places in Clark County continue to offer the classic American burger in the traditional American setting — the drive-in.
Why: Butcher & Baker provides deli-style soup, made-to-order sandwiches and salads at the new Ilani Casino Resort. The menu keeps seasonal items available but diners may also create their own combinations by choosing from La Brea breads freshly baked in-house, meats, spreads and toppings for sandwiches.
That magic summer hour before the bright blue sky is flush with the pink shades of sunset is the perfect time to round up the family and/or friends and find an outdoor space to sip some Vancouver craft beer.
Based on reader interest, I spent a week looking for vegan food in Vancouver. The easiest places to find were those that had clearly labeled menus. The Mighty Bowl has a clearly labeled menu that lists ingredient choice for their bowls, burritos and salads. The sauces have symbols next to them indicating whether they contain gluten, dairy, egg, nuts, or soy. Ginger Pop’s menu has a (v) symbol near all dishes that can be prepared vegan. Their amazing tofu fries aren’t vegan because two of the dipping sauces (the peanut sauce and the cilantro cream) have fish sauce in them. However, the sweet chile sauce is vegan; so, if you only order this sauce this dish is vegan (and highly recommended).
Why: Smashburger is among the food court options at the Ilani Casino Resort in Ridgefield. The franchise presently has 300 restaurants in 32 states and specializes in “smashed” beef and chicken burgers made with fresh, wholesome and authentic ingredients. Smashburger’s secret to juicy goodness is in the melted sweet butter and imported olive oil blend used to season the meat patties. A 10-second “smash” on the grill seals in juices and creates a caramelized, crispy shell on each patty. Fries and salads round out the food options and shakes made with premium Häagen-Dazs ice cream offer the classic burger meal.
Why: Mt. Tabor Brewing recently opened in the Felida neighborhood. The location is an expansion of the taproom in Portland. The new pub offers a variety of beers on tap and wood-fired pizzas and appetizers in addition to sandwiches, salads and desserts.
My first visit to Nom Nom Restaurant & Grill was before the official Grand Opening. On that day, a young man threatened to jump off of the Interstate 5 Bridge, the highway was shut down, and most of the Nom Nom staff were absent. The space was half full with customers, but it was total chaos. It felt like an episode of Kitchen Nightmares. I expected to overhear Gordon Ramsey shouting profanities. After 90 minutes without food, my friend and I cancelled our orders and left.
It was a freezing cold day in December when I first met Andi Meyer. She had recently purchased The Nomad’s Gourmet Hot Dog cart from Gabriel Woodhead. She was wrapped in so many layers that it looked as if she was preparing to mount a tauntaun and race off to rescue Luke Skywalker on the planet Hoth.