The cart reopens at MLK Street Food on Thursday from 1 p.m. and until food runs out
PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — After being featured in Netflix’s “Street Food: USA” last year and presenting her own TedTalk this year, one of Portland’s favorite soul food cart owners is moving her business — but don’t worry, she’ll be just down the street.
Kiauna “Kee” Nelson, owner of Kee’s #Loaded Kitchen, has run her business in Northeast Portland since its opening in 2016. And on Thursday, the cart will officially re-open after moving from 5020 NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd., and down to 3625 on the same street.
The move comes with the launch of MLK Street Food, a pod that opened earlier in the summer. Years ago, Nelson said her business was held in another pod in the exact location before new owners took over.
Since then, the pod has been upgraded and Kee’s #Loaded Kitchen has been renovated with a fresh coat of red paint and new flooring. But even with a new and improved cart, Nelson told KOIN 6 that staying in the same neighborhood is what’s really important to her.
“Portland has changed a lot over the years,” Nelson said. “A lot of black people are pushed here, pushed there, or somehow kind of pushed out. So me being originally from Portland, born and raised on these MLK streets… I like to have a place we can all come back home to. ‘Loaded’ is kind of like going home.”
In that same vein, the business will continue to offer soul food with a home-cooked flair. When customers order a #Loaded plate, it comes with a main entrée — or all of them, if that’s your style — as well as a variety of side dishes, dessert and a drink.
Nelson’s menu is always rotating, but this week, she said customers can expect greens, mac and cheese, smoked beef ribs, fried chicken, sweet potato pie, banana pudding and more.
“We’re just excited to be back,” Nelson said. “This is the place where I’m truly happy… I’m ready to receive the public’s energy.”
Kee’s #Loaded Kitchen reopens at MLK Street Food on Thursday from 1 p.m. and until food runs out — which may not be long.