La Oie Cajun Cuisine owner Christina Haas left her job as general manager at Laurelwood Pub & Brewery to follow her dream of opening a Cajun-French restaurant with her husband, John Davis. The restaurant idea became a food truck. According to Christina, “All the pieces fell into place. You talk about things that you want and you’re positive and then the universe presents them and you roll with it.” The menu includes Christina’s favorite dishes with recipes from her mom and her Papa Howard, and some internet recipes tweaked to meet her high standards. One of those tweaked recipes is the Shrimp Etouffee — a bowl filled with succulent shrimp curled into a velvety sauce over tender rice.
Bao Quach Sides, owner of Bahn Mi Saigon, opened her food truck six months ago to share the food from her native country, Vietnam. “When you cook food and people love it, it makes you happy,” she told me as I waited, drooling outside her pale yellow food truck. The grilled pork bahn mi is extraordinary and gets even better if you add an oozing egg. The unctuousness of this meal is like a beautiful dream you wish wouldn’t end. The egg yolk mixes with the tender pork meatballs spoked with fish sauce, topped with pickled carrots and cucumbers and a handful of cilantro, all wrapped in a fresh baguette.
The food from these four carts is best eaten with a beer (or two) from Brothers Cascadia Brewing. You can enjoy your food and beer in the spacious main area or head up the stairs to the left of the bar and perch yourself in a little cove while listening to an eclectic mix of tunes on vinyl.
Neth, who is also Executive Director of Slow Food Southwest Washington, plans on adding a farmers market and a pocket park as part of phase two. There is a patio out back festooned with little white lights that will be the ultimate spot for summer eating and drinking. That is, if you can overcome any preconceived notions you have about Hazel Dell.
Rachel Pinsky can be emailed at email@example.com. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @couveeats.
If you go
Hazel Dell Commons, 9811 N.E. 15th Ave., Vancouver. 360-771-1296. www.hazeldellcommons.com