Mexican Food in Oregon

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ExtraMSG
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2004/11/17 04:05:32 (permalink)

Mexican Food in Oregon

I've been steadily surveying Mexican food, especially taquerias and regional places, in Oregon now for a while. We unfortunately lost Cafe Azul, one of the best (and my favorite) upscale/regional Mexican food restaurant in the country. But we still have Nuestra Cocina, Taqueria Nueve, and La Calaca Comelona.

We also have some very good taquerias: La Ochoa in Hillsboro, Salvador's in Woodburn, Poncho's in Vancouver, and La Iguana Feliz in Portland. And then there's Tortilleria y Tienda de Leon in Gresham and Vancouver for awesome guisados.

Here are some links:

Cinco de Mayo Celebration: extramsg.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=12

Pictures of taquerias: extramsg.com/modules.php?set_albumName=album19&op=modload&name=gallery&file=index&include=view_album.php

And a pic of the best carnitas ever at Salvador's:

#1

26 Replies Related Threads

    mr chips
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    RE: Mexican Food in Oregon 2006/04/14 08:09:15 (permalink)
    Don't know if Nick would agree with my recommendations but I thought I might add my picks to the mix. Taco Rico in Gresham remains one of my favorites. Good breakfasts, tacos, and seafood. It feels like you are in a bit of Mexico. Burrito Loco is the family favorite with good burritos, cheap(and good) tacos(including my favorites of lengua and cavesa), and the special quesadilla
    #2
    ExtraMSG
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    RE: Mexican Food in Oregon 2006/04/14 10:04:37 (permalink)
    Taco Rico is fine. I always go to Tortilleria y Tienda de Leon just up on 162nd and Glisan, though, when I'm in those parts. I've never been a big fan of El Burrito Loco, although their chile relleno burrito is interesting. I prefer Cha Cha Cha for burritos.
    #3
    Rev.Bucky
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    RE: Mexican Food in Oregon 2006/04/16 21:00:41 (permalink)
    Hey Guys Southern Oregon here! It's so funny I was just thinking about Mexican food, while reading Roadfood, and Boom baby the title hit me.

    There are so many indie Mexican resteraunts. But hey, do you all up there have Muchas Gracias? It's a chain, I know of one in Salem, and one In Grants Pass, and also one here in Medford. It's what Taco Bell should be! Inexpensive, tasty, quick, and open 24 hours!

    Oregon may not have much going for it, but if you like natural beauty and Mexican food, thats we gots!! (Further North is a different story, they gots cities up dere!
    #4
    1bbqboy
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    RE: Mexican Food in Oregon 2006/04/17 01:11:16 (permalink)
    Rev, we took Mr. Chips and his son Sam to Los Morenas on Riverside last Fall.
    They've taken over the former hotdog place on Central & Court too, so you can hit 'em north or southbound.
    It's my current favorite-tremendous moist tamales, Tacos Dorado, Ceviche($2.00!)
    etc.; it's all good, and walk up and order at the counter to boot.

    We been stopping at Katrina's Tortilla and Salsa factory in Phoenix, where they sell fresh tortillas and salsa + a variety of homade tamales-last week they had a spinach & cheese model that was great stuff; they make a wide variety, varying on different days.
    I'm still a big Muchos Gracias fan too.
    Bill
    #5
    Rev.Bucky
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    RE: Mexican Food in Oregon 2006/04/17 03:36:42 (permalink)
    I like Las Morenas as well, been meaning to try Katrinas, definitely will. I love Muchas Gracias because it is open, well always!! Beats Jack in the Box or Taco Bell at two am, when you want something real to eat, for sure.
    #6
    ExtraMSG
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    RE: Mexican Food in Oregon 2006/04/17 03:55:52 (permalink)
    I only go to Muchas Gracias (which I think also owns Alberto's and Javier's) if there's nothing better open. Some of their items are what I refer to as "dog food Mexican", eg, the carnitas. Pretty bad. They don't use very good tortillas, either. However, I do enjoy their Oregon burritos. The steak isn't cooked especially well, but the combo of steak, potatoes, and cheese really works. I also like the chorizo fine and the chorizo and egg burritos are enjoyable, especially at 2am. There are A LOT of better taquerias, though.
    #7
    Rev.Bucky
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    RE: Mexican Food in Oregon 2006/04/17 15:01:13 (permalink)
    Extra MSG you're so right about the Carnitas, but I'm not sure if I even like, or maybe I haven't even had decent carnitas. Carnitas sounds good to me, I should like it, but everytime and everywhere I've had it, it seems crunchy, dried out, and over tangy with citrus flavors. That's not the way it's supposed to be, is it? Obviously not from your picture. Maybe just not enough people order it, so it just sits there.

    Where you at MSG? There might be better places where you are at, and/or we are luckier down here with our franchise. I always want to try the Taco Trucks around the Medford area, but never know where to start!
    #8
    ExtraMSG
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    RE: Mexican Food in Oregon 2006/04/17 15:11:58 (permalink)
    I'm in Portland. I bet you have some better places in Medford.

    Carnitas ideally should be like that picture at the top: crispy on the outside and succulent and tender on the inside.

    If you look here:

    extramsg.com/modules.php?name=Search&query=Portland+Mexican

    You can see some of my explorations in Portland. There is a review of Javier's, which has a very similar menu, etc.
    #9
    1bbqboy
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    RE: Mexican Food in Oregon 2006/04/17 15:23:14 (permalink)
    Rev, the Taco truck Stretch from Talent to the new La Puma at the Medford Armory is a great run to make. I count 6(2 in Talent, 3 in Phoenix, + Medford) + a new Hot Dog Cart about to open at the Harley dealer, all in that 7 mile run. Give me a call and let's do the gauntlet.
    #10
    enginecapt
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    RE: Mexican Food in Oregon 2006/04/19 03:55:45 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Rev.Bucky
    Carnitas sounds good to me, I should like it, but everytime and everywhere I've had it, it seems crunchy, dried out, and over tangy with citrus flavors. That's not the way it's supposed to be, is it?

    Nope. Properly cooked carnitas will have at most a slight crisp to the outside. But the pieces themselves should be tender, moist, and velvety. The citrus (usually lemon) should speak from the background.

    Common serving problems with carnitas are overcooking (crunchy, dried out) and cooking in stale/rancid lard.
    #11
    mr chips
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    RE: Mexican Food in Oregon 2006/07/01 21:30:40 (permalink)
    Just ate at a new place in Portland, Rincon Latino. It's at N.E. 60th and Glisan. Good burritos and gorditas.
    #12
    mr chips
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    RE: Mexican Food in Oregon 2006/08/04 00:58:47 (permalink)
    Had what may have been the best Mexican meal I have ever had in my life last night. The restaurant was Nuestra Cocina in inner S.E. Portland. The appetizer tortillas were hamd pressed , made by a very busy woman. Served steamed with poblano pepper sauce. Soup was corn and poblano pepper mix, hot enough to savor but not overpowering. Trudy had shrimp in garlic sauce and poblano peppers, I had gorditas stuffed with black beans, avocado and poblano, Both oustanding and flavorful. Dessert was homemade cinnamon ice cream.
    This was no hole in the wall. The chef is quite a cook. I mention it because it is well worth a splurge if you are in Portland.
    #13
    Mavis
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    RE: Mexican Food in Oregon 2006/08/19 16:43:31 (permalink)
    El Burrito Loco in Portland is really good for fast mexican food. The loco burrito is great with a chili relleno in the middle.
    #14
    mr chips
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    RE: Mexican Food in Oregon 2006/08/19 19:14:11 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Mavis

    El Burrito Loco in Portland is really good for fast mexican food. The loco burrito is great with a chili relleno in the middle.
    Burito Loco is the Chips family destination for quick and good Mexican in P-Town. And welcome to Roadfood Mavis.
    #15
    mr chips
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    RE: Mexican Food in Oregon 2006/11/04 09:05:23 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by mr chips

    Just ate at a new place in Portland, Rincon Latino. It's at N.E. 60th and Glisan. Good burritos and gorditas.
    This place has changed names and owners. It is now called Los Taquitos and the Salvadorean items are off the menu.
    #16
    mr chips
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    RE: Mexican Food in Oregon 2007/01/31 01:26:12 (permalink)
    Muchas Gracias has replaced a Rubio's in my neighborhood. I like their breakfast and their open all-night status. There is also one in Vancouver I like.
    #17
    mr chips
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    RE: Mexican Food in Oregon 2007/03/26 08:38:39 (permalink)
    Los Baez, a Salem Mexican restaurant reviewed on this site, has opened a Portland branch at 24th and East Burnside. It is solid Mexican food(my favorite remains the cheese combination) and a welcome addition to inner southeast's restaurant scene.
    #18
    guacshorts
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    RE: Mexican Food in Oregon 2007/03/27 18:56:02 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by mr chips

    Had what may have been the best Mexican meal I have ever had in my life last night. The restaurant was Nuestra Cocina in inner S.E. Portland. The appetizer tortillas were hamd pressed , made by a very busy woman. Served steamed with poblano pepper sauce. Soup was corn and poblano pepper mix, hot enough to savor but not overpowering. Trudy had shrimp in garlic sauce and poblano peppers, I had gorditas stuffed with black beans, avocado and poblano, Both oustanding and flavorful. Dessert was homemade cinnamon ice cream.
    This was no hole in the wall. The chef is quite a cook. I mention it because it is well worth a splurge if you are in Portland.


    I wish i was there right this moment... but having just graduated last week from the UofO, now I can make a road trip to Nuestra Cocina!

    Thanks, Chips!

    #19
    1bbqboy
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    RE: Mexican Food in Oregon 2007/03/28 00:21:52 (permalink)
    http://www.tacosburritosandmore.com/menu.html
    Took my daughter today to Grants Pass to get her driver's license. I had scoped out this place previously because they listed a Deep Fried Taco(!) on their menu, which came up in a google search, (and only 40 miles from us) but I hadn't made it in.
    It's a combination Small Mexican Store and Cafe. Open early and Breakfast all day, including Machaca Burro, which I don't see much up this way.
    Kids moved Grandma(originally from Mexico City) up from LA, she got bored, and they opened this little place.
    http://www.tacosburritosandmore.com/aboutus.html
    Very nice.
    It's about a mile west of I 5 on 6th St next to the 7-11, for those cruising up and down the West Coast.

    Superb stuff.
    First a plate of hot chips with a Green sauce +white cheese.
    My daughter got the Fish Taco Plate, very lighly breaded fresh fish
    with the zippy green sauce.
    I opted for 2 tamales, pork with green sauce, and beef with red sauce, both Excellent, very light + 2 sopes, with Beef. I love Sopes and these were wonderful, crunchy and filled with beans tomatos, cheese, and meat. A horchata and Negro Modelo and we were set.
    maybe the best Mexi I have had in Southern Oregon in 20 years.
    Only trouble is, I was so excited by the Sopes and Tamales, I forgot to get my Deep Fried Taco. Always a next time.
    Sorry, I forgot my camera.


    #20
    mr chips
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    RE: Mexican Food in Oregon 2007/05/27 23:08:55 (permalink)
    Trudy and I ate dinner at a new place in S.E. Portland called La Bamba. There were a lot of Carribbean specialities Trudy had a rich and flavorful mole on the Pipian and I had a Yucatan chicken breast with avocado, red onion, mole . Not as spicey as northern Mexico but awfully good.
    #21
    mr chips
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    RE: Mexican Food in Oregon 2007/06/26 11:34:07 (permalink)
    An additional note on La Bamba. They have an egg dish drom the Carribbean which is a mix of eggs, black beans, a ham slice and plantains. It is sensational!
    #22
    1bbqboy
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    RE: Mexican Food in Oregon 2007/06/26 13:40:47 (permalink)
    My daughter and I went to buy a "vintage 1972 Corona" and in the process found a tremendous Place in Grants Pass on Redwood Avenue(Parallels Redwood Highway)-Casa Amiga. Fresh soup each M-F+Menudo on Saturdays
    She had Sopitios and I an Al Pastor Burrito.
    Both quite tasty.
    They are Lengua advocates, though I am not.
    Horchata, Hibiscus Tea & Lemonade(No Refills)
    No MSG no Lard
    (This is Oregon)
    Phone: 541 956 8602
    #23
    luvtacos
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    RE: Mexican Food in Oregon 2007/07/01 13:05:23 (permalink)
    My SO and I were puzzled by some of the indifferent opinions of Muchas Gracias until recently. We are from Tacoma and frequently go down to Portland, we make a habit of stopping at a Muchas Gracias for Roadfood, we were always really happy and satisfied with the E 4th Plain location and a Longview location. Then, last time, we innocently stopped at the Muchas Gracias closest to the US 30 bridge in Longview, and it was gross. The food didn't taste as fresh and even the condiments on the counter were downsized from the other locations (just one hot sauce choice, no limes, no carrots, no jalapenos). Dirty. I'm not sure if they are franchised or not, but it seems to make a huge difference depending on the location one chooses. Now we know.
    #24
    BudP
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    RE: Mexican Food in Oregon 2007/09/12 19:33:43 (permalink)
    Eugene is woefully lacking in Authentic Mexican resturants. Most here think Taco Bell, Taco Time and Jack in the box sell Mexican food. Sad, Sad. A few years ago I was passing a Taco Bell and saw a sign in the window telling of their 'New Chulito'. I was cracking up as I entered the place to see what it might be. The blond-haired manager was chagrined when I told him, when I was a kid we would insult kids we did not like by calling them 'Chulito'. It means 'small penis'. The signs were down the next day.

    Anyhow....the best resturant I have found this year is Don Juan's on River Road in the Santa Clara area. The rellenos are great. Enchiladas darn good and the tamales are OK but small. Everything has its own distinct flavor (sometimes hard to find(.

    The best Mex. Resturant I've found in fourty years has gone the way of the wild goose. It was 'Dos Aguillas' (two eagles) on Fifth St. off Blair. I'm sure they just moved to another town. Hope I can find them. The food was so sinfully good, after you ate you would need to scurry to the nearest padre for absolution.

    I guess I need to drive to portland...or continue cooking my own.
    #25
    wheregreggeats.com
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    RE: Mexican Food in Oregon 2007/09/13 07:10:19 (permalink)
    I've never had a bad experience at any of the catering trucks along the roads in OR.
    #26
    1bbqboy
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    RE: Mexican Food in Oregon 2007/09/13 09:25:04 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by bill voss

    http://www.tacosburritosandmore.com/menu.html
    Took my daughter today to Grants Pass to get her driver's license. I had scoped out this place previously because they listed a Deep Fried Taco(!) on their menu, which came up in a google search, (and only 40 miles from us) but I hadn't made it in.
    It's a combination Small Mexican Store and Cafe. Open early and Breakfast all day, including Machaca Burro, which I don't see much up this way.
    Kids moved Grandma(originally from Mexico City) up from LA, she got bored, and they opened this little place.
    http://www.tacosburritosandmore.com/aboutus.html
    Very nice.
    It's about a mile west of I 5 on 6th St next to the 7-11, for those cruising up and down the West Coast.

    Superb stuff.
    First a plate of hot chips with a Green sauce +white cheese.
    My daughter got the Fish Taco Plate, very lighly breaded fresh fish
    with the zippy green sauce.
    I opted for 2 tamales, pork with green sauce, and beef with red sauce, both Excellent, very light + 2 sopes, with Beef. I love Sopes and these were wonderful, crunchy and filled with beans tomatos, cheese, and meat. A horchata and Negro Modelo and we were set.
    maybe the best Mexi I have had in Southern Oregon in 20 years.
    Only trouble is, I was so excited by the Sopes and Tamales, I forgot to get my Deep Fried Taco. Always a next time.
    Sorry, I forgot my camera.

    update: This place has moved across 6th Street and separated itself from the mexican market. Now in a Tangerine colored building, and still wonderful.
    #27
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