by: MERRY MACKINNON - Travis Mason and Maureen Kennedy opened their new food cart Graffiti Sandwich in The Joinerys parking lot at 4804 S.E. Woodstock Boulevard. The couple, who live in Eastmoreland, serve traditional sandwiches with an unconventional twist.So far, so good, for the latest food cart parked in The Joinery’s parking lot, at 4804 S.E. Woodstock Boulevard.

Chef and Owner Travis Mason speaks enthusiastically about the public response to the recent opening of his “Graffiti Sandwich” food cart: “We have a lot of regulars. I see the same faces two to three times a week.”

On a recent Saturday at lunchtime, a steady stream of customers kept Mason and his wife, Maureen Kennedy, busy preparing the popular Da Nang Pork Sandwich – along with other selections, such as the meat loaf sandwich, or that day’s special, chicken salad with caramelized onions, candied cashews, pickled celery relish, and curried mayo.

“I like to take traditional sandwiches and put my own take on them,” Mason smiled.

So, The Joinery Fine Furniture showroom now has three food carts in its parking lot. And one group of regulars for all three is composed of The Joinery’s employees, who get to decide early-on whether a potential on-site food cart suits them.

In the case of Graffiti Sandwich, Mason recounted that when he applied for a food cart parking lease after driving by with his son enroute to swimming lessons at Mt. Scott Community Center, The Joinery’s owner, Marc Gaudin, told him the menu would have to first pass muster with his workers.

Having gained the approval of The Joinery’s employees, Graffiti Sandwich opened on March 8, and serves customers from Wednesday through Saturday, 11 am to 7 pm. “I think it’s the perfect location,” said Mason, who lives with his family in Eastmoreland.

A food cart is a new venture for Mason, but he’s been cooking for twenty years, and once owned a restaurant that served sandwiches in Coeur D'Alene, Idaho, called the Tartan Cafe. Later, he worked for Stumptown Coffee here in Portland. “Graffiti Sandwich is me getting back into cooking,” he remarked.

Initially, Mason considered opening a restaurant – preferably one in the Woodstock neighborhood. But, after having trouble finding a restaurant site to lease, he settled on a food cart instead. “I wanted to do something close to Eastmoreland,” he said, adding that his son goes to school at nearby Lewis Elementary. “I think Woodstock has been overlooked, and we’re excited to be here.”

But, what does graffiti have to do with sandwiches?

Nothing, really. The couple just likes how the word graffiti sounds. And, since Kennedy lived in New York City, where she probably saw plenty of it, they also enjoy photographing graffiti art, too.

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