Some will be forced to close this week.
If you think cooking in your kitchen during summer's hottest months is torture, then imagine broilers, fryers, and skillets going full blast in a space the size of a hallway—in 100 degree weather. That's what many of Portland's infamous food trucks have to endure this week as highs tip into triple digits, excluding the heat coming from their cooktops. And those temperatures are forcing trucks to change hours or even close.
According to local TV station KGW, Portland food trucks already suffered a blow this winter when especially cold temperatures—which dipped into the 30s and brought several inches of snow—also forced them to shutter. (In fact, one food truck told the TV station it closed for 20 days last winter.) Now, weather forecasts show at least a week of temperatures in the 100s, with a high tomorrow topping 108 degrees.
Tight Tacos, a popular spot that parks on the corner of Southeast 39th Avenue and Belmont Street, will modify its hours this week: instead of staying open all day, the truck will open from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. only. Its owner Reggie Ballesteros explained to KGW that inside the truck, "we grill all the meats and the fresh tortillas and with the pastor machine, it's like a flame thrower." Inside where they cook, "it gets to 120, 130 degrees here and you can't escape it," Ballesteros said. "You get a line of people wanting food and you can't get away from it—you just keep cooking."
Even ice cream trucks can't escape the heat this week. One—Scoop—told KGW that despite being surrounded by cold, sweet treats, it still gets hot inside thanks to the weather and a waffle maker. "It's a metal box," Scoop owner Sean Sitton told the TV station, "so it's going to get hot. [And] a little claustrophobia sets in."
Scoop, which parks at Northeast 42nd Avenue and Killingsworth Street, will close tomorrow and Thursday because of the extreme weather forecast, Sitton said.