I’ve heard this sentiment dozens of times from various Portlanders since I moved here ten years ago. I must say, in no uncertain terms, the suggestion that Portland lacks delicious (even amazing) Mexican cuisine is complete bullshit. The problem is not with the food, friends; it’s with your ability to find it.
Let’s start with taco trucks: If you see one, and you’re hungry, then you should stop and check it out. I’m certain it's more than likely you’ll be impressed. Yes, there are bad taco trucks out there, but most offer at least one specialty that you’ll fall in love with. And don’t give me any of that “food safety” mumbo-jumbo. It’s a screen you use to cover the fact you’re too intimidated to step up and order. You need some guidance? You can check out the Travels in Tacoville series, which will return at the end of this month, or pour over the inspiration for that series right here or here.
Taquerias: There are many, many fine taquerias in Portland city limits. Sometimes you need to travel to get to the good ones. The technique here is similar to that of the taco trucks: Stop if you’re hungry, and suck up your silly squeamishness. Also, order something unfamiliar. It’s the only way to learn.
Restaurants: Contrary to popular belief there are several date-worthy Mexican restaurants in the city that can really kick out a good sit-down dinner. Here are three off the top of my head:
Autentica [5507 Northeast 30th]: I hear has one of Portland’s best non-line brunches, hands down
Nuestra Cocina [2135 Southeast Division]: They’ve been packing them in on Division for many years and are still cooking some fine grub.
Fonda Rosa [108 Northeast 28th]: The chef here may have changed, but as of my review I was very much enjoying what they were doing.
There are more, of course, but I want to hear from you, Blogtownies! What’s your favorite place to order cuisine from south of the border? Hit the comments. (And I swear to God if you say the Iron Horse or The Original Taco House, you’re no longer allowed to read my column!)
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