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Reed neighbors find regal barbecue at new Crown Q cart

by: David F. Ashton In his Crown Q BBQ stand, Gary Lowe serves up dishes perfected by his relatives who were restaurateurs for decades.

After a run at the S.E. 12th Avenue and Hawthorne Boulevard food-cart corner, 'Crown Q BBQ' owner Gary Lowe thought his prospects would be better in the Reed neighborhood.

'I tried to get space at S.E. 28th and Steele,' Lowe told THE BEE, 'But it didn't work out. However, the owner of the 'Berry Good' produce stand liked the idea of having me nearby, and gave me a couple of days to think about his proposal. I was serving barbecue here on the third day!'

Lowe is doing his best, he says, to replicate the recipes perfected by his relatives, Josephine and George Bell, who once owned the Tropicana Restaurant in North Portland. 'I describe the flavor as 'Texas Southern Jamaica twang' - serving up brisket, pulled pork, chicken, Louisiana hotlinks - in the tradition one would expect from great Southern home cookin'.'

So, on any given day, for as long as Lowe decides to keep his cart there, Reed College students, workers from the nearby industrial area, Rhododendron Garden visitors, Eastmoreland Golf Course golfers - and folks from the Reed neighborhood - have been stopping by the food cart for lunch or dinner.

The location is just a few steps south of 'Berry Good Produce', at 5523 S.E. 28th Avenue.