PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — More than a few of Portland’s best-known restaurants have closed for good due to the pandemic but one popular restaurant found new life by joining the Portland food cart scene.
The Hawthorne Asylum food cart pod on SE 10th and Madison is a journey into nostalgia and a peek into the future of a legendary Portland restaurant: Montage Ala Cart.
Derek Ingwood was the head chef at Le Bistro Montage for the last five years of its 27-year run. Tucked beneath the Morrison Bridge on Portland’s East Side, Montage was known for Cajun food, mac and cheese, and staying open weekends until 4 a.m. They put leftovers in elaborate tinfoil sculptures.
“Late night, under the bridge. People thought it was a spot that nobody knew about — that everybody knew about, you know,” said Ingwood.
Like many Portland restaurants, Montage couldn’t survive COVID-19 restrictions. Ingwood said he decided then to figure out a way to keep the restaurant going somehow. Just two months later, Ingwood and owner Scot Abplanalp launched Montage Ala Cart.
“I took all the mac and cheese over with us to the cart because that’s kinda what we were known for and then the jambalaya,” Ingwood recalled.
Ingwood added some new items, including a po’boy sandwich. He said the community response has been great.
“Portland has really came out and supported us,” he said.
Ingwood and Abplanalp are opening another Montage Ala Cart at Happy Valley Station in June as well as another location in Beaverton later this summer.