Since opening his eclectic Cajun-Mexican food cart in Southeast Portland in 2020, chef Anthony Brown has been on the move. The food cart, Nacheaux, spent about a year in Southeast Portland’s Cartlandia pod, tossing donut breakfast sandwiches and fried chicken burritos, before heading north: Brown moved in into the former Alameda Brewpub space to open a Nacheaux food stand, eventually taking over the entire space. Earlier this year, Brown decided to leave the brick-and-mortar food hall behind and return to cart life in West Linn.
But later this month, Brown will return to Portland proper. Nacheaux takes over the kitchen at the relatively new Swan Dive cocktail bar, before reopening the cart in a new Southeast Portland food cart pod.
Swan Dive took over the Bit House Collective space in the spring, continuing some of the changes Bit House has made over the past few years – the bar hosts drag brunches, tribute nights and theme nights, renting out its kitchen for residencies at short term. . Haus Of Charms, a queer foodservice collective, ran the kitchen at Swan Dive for the past three months, but went into hibernation – making way for Brown to take over the kitchen there. “We filled the gap for Swan Dive for a few months, until they could find someone who worked with their business model, renting out their kitchen,” says Haus of Charms founder Erin Cox. . “I want Swan Dive to thrive wholeheartedly, I want Nacheaux to be super busy, super successful and have a great time in the South East.”
Over the past two and a half years, Brown has expanded beyond Nacheaux’s original pitch, incorporating more cuisines and dishes beyond the Cajun or Latin American culinary canon. At West Linn, the chef has started toying with gyros and cheesesteaks, and hopes to continue branching out into Swan Dive cuisine.
“Nacheaux was a platform,” Brown says. “But since that time, I’ve actually become my own experimental chef. … At Swan Dive, we’ll do tacos, we’ll do burgers, we’ll do po’ boys, but there will be different things like a Cajun cheesesteak, or pork belly topped with hot honey on the griddle.
Anyone who has followed Brown’s culinary career knows that dishes will change often and specials will be plentiful. He teased dishes like pecan-crusted catfish with jambalaya, fried pork chop with peasant sauce, French toast and pancakes during brunch. “It’s going to give me the opportunity to do things that I couldn’t do,” Brown says, “but with half the stressors of opening a physical store.”
The residency is expected to last at least a few months as a new food cart pod prepares to open off the Southeast Division – more details on this food cart pod will be available soon. When it opens, however, Brown will return to his roots, running a food cart in a southeast Portland pod.
“Even though this time was crazy, Portland stuck with me,” Brown said. “I’m excited for this new chapter.”
Nacheaux’s first day at Swan Dive will be September 28; the bar is located at 727 SE Grand Avenue.