Sunday, March 23, 2014

Ole Frijole

Cleverly named Ole Frijole is on the busy corner of NE Killingsworth and 42nd Ave. Charming and inviting in its simplicity, this modest little place offers all of the taqueria standards. The people are beyond friendly, making you feel truly welcome.

Carnitas Burrito

Price: $6.00

Ingredients: Carnitas, rice, pinto (or black) beans, cheese, sour cream, lettuce

Sides: Delicious array of salsas, habanero cabbage, and pickled jalepeno carrots

Size: SUPER filling

Firstly, this may be my favorite array of burrito condiments ever! The hot red salsa had a kick, but not overwhelmingly so. It had this emergent flavor that made me suck on the insides of my cheeks after each bite, in an attempt to extract every possible drop of the spicy goodness. I can still feel it in my taste buds. Do I even need to mention that the habanero cabbage was absolutely brilliant and booming? The green salsa was perfect for soothing the tongue between spicier bites.

Now, for the burrito! The ingredients were fresh and flavorful, merging seamlessly as they swirled around and around in my mouth like an eddying stream. As you can see in my pictures, ingredient dispersion was off, with too much lettuce and sour cream at the beginning. As I progressed onward, more and more flaky pink pork pieces and beany love emerged.

Chowing down on this guy was like reading a good book; foreboding (could this just be another evil lettuce burrito?), mounting pressure (it's getting better...), engaging plot twists (pork, salsa, pork, cheese!), climax (om nom nom nom), and slowly all the loose ends get tied up into a happy ending (FULL BELLY ME FEEL GOOD).

The Rating

3.8 outta 5- there's always room for more pork.

Will I be back? Yes, if I lived closer this would be on my continuous rotation of burrito joints!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Panaderia Cinco de Mayo

Way down south, a little Mexican bakery sits. They just so happen to cook up some authentic Mexican grub as well. Located at 8416 SE 32nd ave, south of Johnson Creek- welcome to Milwaukie!

Carnitas Burrito

Price: $5.50

Ingredients: Carnitas, Refried beans, Pico, Rice, Cheese

Sides: Spectacular pickled peppers and salsas galore!

Size: Medium

The atmosphere felt right, a simple Mexican grocer on the edge of nowhere, making tacos and burritos in the back. Well loved by local taco hunters, I knew it had to be good!

Once again, my preconceived notions got the best of me. This burrito was chock-full of tepid, gristly chunks of meat, many of which were so sinewy that they were damn near unchewable. In my attempt to consume this, I likened myself to a cud-chewing-cow; futilely masticating, a look of disdain on my tired face. The beans were pasty and pointless and cold. The only salvation was the tortilla and the tasty array of condiments.

I seriously hope that I just hit them on an off day, or ordered the wrong thing. I expected so much more from this place, but I've learned that "authentic" most definitely does not equal good.

The Rating:

0.5 out of 5. 

Next time I will go for the pastries. 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Francisco Taqueria

This nondescript taco truck is located in the food cart pod on SW 3rd and Alder in downtown. This particular burrito was brought to me, but I have been to the cart on occasion as well. With so many food options around, it's easy to pass up... but I wouldn't recommend doing something silly like that!

Carnitas Burrito

Price: $5.00
Ingredients: Carnitas (shredded pork), rice, beans, sour cream, lettuce, cheese
Sides: Red and Green Salsa
Size: Short and Fat 

This chubby little guy's just bursting with juicy porky flava, baby! There's no grease better than pig grease, I tell you what.

The scrumptiously supple feathers of pork slowly melt away in my mouth like butter. Delicately delectable. The cool sour cream and tasty beans are the perfect side acts to their porky ring leader.

There was iceberg on this guy, which is usually a bad thing, but in this case, it added a nice texture, without overkill. The same goes for the rice. Like an earthen base for the pig to stand on. There is always room for more pork though!



The Rating:

3.9 outta 5

It would be higher if it only had a liiiiiiiiiittle more pork.


Olé Olé

Located at 2137 E Burnside, I didn't get a chance to visit this establishment, as this was a burrito delivery! Nothing's nicer than having a burrito delivered right to your big fat gut (thanks honey!).

The Ole Ole Burrito

Price: $5.50
Ingredients: Steak, Chile Relleno, Beans, Rice, Pico, Guacamole
Sides: Red and Green Salsa
Size: Filling enough...

I decided to give another one of these chile relleno + steak burritos a go.  This one delivered an almost overwhelming mesh of texture, like eating two burritos wrapped in one skin. The steak wasn't very flavorful, yet had a nice amount of chew; not too tough, not too soft- like baby bear's porridge. The amount was lacking, however. The relleno was on the tough side, and the cheddar cheese had a spongy, springy, squeaky consistency. There wasn't too much rice, and the beans were delicious... but I wasn't dazzled. Just another standard burrito to forget about.

The Rating

2 out of 5 stars

Will I go here again?

Friday, November 15, 2013

El Pato Feliz 2

The original El Pato Feliz in located on 92nd, just North of Foster. This version, on wheels, is located on Foster between 52nd and Powell, next to Speedboat Coffee. Just look for an old blue bus in a pot-hole-filled parking lot.

Down in the dim doldrums, on this grey gloom of a day, I was in dire need of a burrito fix. Perhaps The Happy Duck can cheer me up!

Carnitas Burrito

Price: $6.00

Ingredients: Carnitas, beans, rice, sour cream, cilantro, onion, lettuce

Sides: Red and green salsa

Size: BIG!

Some burritos are like a mellow stroll in a familiar park, while others are multidimensional thrill rides, sending you spinning into happy delirium. This particular fellow was of the stroll in the park variety, though there were little hints of something much greater. With too much rice, too little pork, and no cheese (WHAAA??), I was left with longing. However, this burrito had some drool worthy flavors. The pork had salt and pepper succulence, with a hint of sweet zing. The beans were buttery, and though there was too much, the rice had that greasy chicken love appeal. The sour cream was at is should be, though one very important dairy product was MIA. None the less, as my belly filled, my worries dissolved. 

The Rating

3 out of 5

Will I go here again? 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Nayar Taqueria

Nayar Taqueria is on Foster, at SE 59th ave. It has replaced another taco shack that used to occupy the space. I was excited to try a new place, and was rooting for them! They offer modest decor and typical taqueria fare.

Relleno Classico Burrito

A chile relleno... and steak? Together... in a burrito? Yes please! I couldn't pass up that ridiculously delicious sounding combination!

Price: $6.50

Ingredients: Rice, Refried Beans, Chile Relleno, Steak, Guacamole, Pico

Sides: 2 giant red and green sauces

Size: Medium

My first impression was that the burrito seemed small. However, the enormous salsas may have messed with my perception. Upon taking my first bite, I noticed a strange texture. The steak was chopped into minuscule grey bits, which were intermixed and disguised within the other ingredients; forming a chewy, dare I say gristly, undertone to each bite. While the chile had been roasted, the skin hadn't been removed, giving it a fibrous, unfinished essence. The cheese in the center was greasy and rubbery. The guacamole was the diamond in the rough, pulling through with its creamy freshness, yet still lacking any substantial amount of flavor. The beans and rice were forgettable. With so many strange textures going on, and no spice; this burrito had too much, yet not enough, going on. I wanted to like it, but want often leads you astray.

The Rating:

2 out of 5 stars.

Will I go here again?

Probably not. I hope they get it together though!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

San Felipe Taqueria

San Felipe's is an old friend of mine. It's located in Westmoreland, at 6221 SE Milwaukie. I first went there 6 years ago or so, and enjoyed it for a long time. I've always gotten their veggie burrito, out of habit (I used to be vegetarian). They've changed over the years- prices have gone up, food quality has waxed and waned. What do I think of them now, after all of this burrito-consuming experience?

The Veggie Burrito

Price: $6.50

Ingredients: Beans, Rice, Lettuce, Cheese, Sour Cream, Pico

Sides: 5 Salsas to pick from

Size: Smallish

It's tough to judge an old friend, especially if you just don't get along with them anymore- but you wish you did. Sentimental for the past, yet in reality, you know it will never be the same. Have you changed, or have they? Have they become flagrantly bland, boring, and dim? Or have you become more cultured, standards raised to expect nothing less than the best? In this case, I think it's a little of both.

The ingredients were rather banal, and lacked diversity in flavor and texture. The salsas tingled my senses, but the burrito itself was insipid and watery. The beans seemed to be homemade, but again, lacked spice. The tortilla was more stale than crisp, and started leaking halfway through. I wanted to love this burrito, longed for mollifying memories to come awash in my brain, but all I felt was disappointment. 

The Rating

2 out of 5 stars

Will I go back?

The next time I feel like trying to relive the long distant past.