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Woodstock's food cart diversity increases at The Joinery

ELIZABETH USSHER GROFF - As a toddler, Ana Moran began cooking with her mother in El Salvador. Now, her new food cart in front of The Joinery is bringing those flavors to Woodstock. The food cart phenomenon in Portland is not going away any time soon. The popularity of good food for a little less money appeals to neighbors, and the variety of cultures represented seems welcome.

At the latest entry in Woodstock, you don’t have to go to El Salvador to experience that country’s cuisine. Authentic Salvadoran (also spelled “Salvadorean”) pupusas and tamales are available at a new food cart on The Joinery’s block, at S.E. 48th on Woodstock Boulevard.

It’s called “Anthology” – and when THE BEE asked its owner, Ana Moran, why, she remarked that her food cart is like a library anthology of selective literature.

“I wanted to convey the best selection of ingredients. What I want for myself, I want for my neighbors – as much quality I can offer, the more they can enjoy it.”

The cart’s sign also reads “Pupuseria and Latin Flavors” – for the “pupusa” that is so popular in El Salvador. A pupusa is a small, thick, handmade corn tortilla filled with cheese and beans or various meats – usually served with a lightly fermented cabbage slaw with red chilies and vinegar.

In addition to offering pork and chicken, the Anthology’s menu also features one or more vegetarian, gluten free, and vegan options.

Moran learned how to cook when she was a little girl in El Salvador. “I had no toys. Three bricks made a stove with wood. My mother gave me pieces of dough to make a tortilla.”

When she came to the United States in 1990, Moran went to Portland Community College and took courses in early childhood education and family studies. Then at Portland State University she earned a BA in Social Science with a minor in Psychology.

With this background, we asked Moran why she wanted to open a food cart. Her reply: “It takes me back to my country, and my [late] mother’s memories.”

If you’d like to try the food yourself, the new food cart’s hours are 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Wednesdays through Mondays; it’s closed on Tuesdays. For catering or takeout, call 971/570-6861.