As the warmer months approach in Central Oregon, folks are eager to get out and enjoy some outdoor dining. A perfect spot for such an occasion is The Lot, Bend’s open-air food cart pod and tap room.
On a recent trip to The Lot, my girlfriends and I spent a sunny afternoon chatting over baskets of fresh fish tacos and mugs of locally brewed ale.
With reggae beats pumping throughout the covered patio, the atmosphere is casual and friendly. The seating area, complete with roll-up glass garage doors and overhead heat lamps, is a mix of industrial and earthy materials that give the place an impressive step-up from your average food cart experience. Diners can belly up to large common tables or perch along the patio’s perimeter of benches (heated in the winter) and built-in wooden tabletops.
With five globally themed food carts to choose from, such as The Mauna Kea Grill and Thailandia, the menu options can satisfy a whole host of cravings. Once inside, beer enthusiasts can order from a row of sixteen ales on tap. On this particular day I chose Vaporizer, a blonde ale from Double Mountain Brewery in Hood River. This was a nice complimented to my cod, chipotle-avocado aioli and feta cheese tacos from Real Food Street Bistro. They were wonderful and tangy and I inhaled them with the gusto they deserved. Equally happy were my friends who ordered curry fried rice, sticky chicken and mugs of Deschutes IPA. We agreed that on our next visit, we plan to sample some of the tempting fare from the newest addition, Fries a la Cart.
It was clear, from all the smiling faces, that others were enjoying their meals as well. From families with small children to groups of college students and business men on their lunch breaks, The Lot is a great landing spot for all ages.
Open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., the patio is always abuzz with activity. When the sun goes down, locals settle around crackling fire pits and order cold brews as they take in a bit of live music. Best of all, The Lot is conveniently located within walking and biking distance to the rest of Downtown Bend. It’s definitely worth a visit!