Burrasca is top food cart in Willamette Week's 'Cheap Eats Guide'

Burrasca is top food cart in Willamette Week's 'Cheap Eats Guide' »Play Video
Burrasca is the "Food Cart of the Year" in Willamette Week's annual "Cheap Eats" guide. (Photo by Valerie Hurst, KATU News)

PORTLAND, Ore. -- We're talking where to find the best food for the least amount of cash. And our news partners at Willamette Week just released their annual Cheap Eats Guide.

We explore their top five food carts: Burrasca, Tiffin Asha, Love Belizean, Road Runner Barbecue and Maine Street Lobster Company.

Every year, about 50 new people try their hand in the flourishing Portland food cart business. Willamette Week has the grueling task of eating at each of them.

"These are five that are doing it extraordinarily well," said Willamette Week Arts and Culture Director Martin Cizmar.

Cizmar said of Burrasca chef and owner Paolo Calamai, "This is guy from Italy who came over here to open a food cart in Portland. And he's doing kind of home-style Italian cooking and it is really, delicious."

We asked how Maine Street Lobster Company competes with Maine.

"They're keeping their overhead low by being in a cart," Cizmar said. "And they're passing that on to you by giving you really good food, that's a lot cheaper than if you were sitting inside to eat it."

We went to Burrasca in Southeast Portland. Calamai said it's an honor to be number one on Willamette Week's list.

"I know! It's been a great pleasure to come to Portland. In such little time I've been recognized, in the winter too! I didn't' expect it."

If business stays this good, Calamai hopes to expand from a cheap eats food cart pick to a restaurant pick someday.