Saturday, August 26, 2017

Tight Tacos

(Let's all just take a moment to giggle at the name...)

Wow guys, just wow. It's been nearly a year since my last post. Did you think I vanished from the face of the Earth, never to eat another burrito for the rest of eternity? That would be a huge bummer. Some things have changed, but I'm still here, and still eating burritos! So lets get to it, shall we?

Did you know it's nearly impossible to find a taqueria in this town that's open on Sundays? REALLY Portland? Is Sunday only reserved for God... and brunch? Come on!

Luckily, Tight Tacos was there to save me from famine along the desolate stretches of depressed burritoless streets. It's located next to the mini mart on SE 39th (Cesar Chavez), just south of Belmont. It's the cutest al fresco taco stand/food cart ever!

The Carnitas Burrito

Price: $8.00

Ingredients: Pork, black beans, guacamole, Oaxacan cheese, crema

Size: Medium

Sides: red and green salsas
I don't think I'll ever get used to the $8 price tag that's attached to so many burritos these days. But if it's got quality ingredients, I try not to complain (at least not too much).

This beauty looked a little silly, as she was toasted down the sides instead of on top and bottom. But hey, it still added that bit of crunch to the tortilla!

Creamy, dreamy beans,
oh black beans!
Sweet and creamy beany love!
Come hither, little friends...
let me eat you one by one.
Let me drink you, slurp you up.
Ohhhhhh creamy dreamy sweet bean love.

Yeah I liked the beans, if you couldn't tell. I'm not always a fan of black beans, as they can be such little dried up heartless terds sometimes. These were creamy, sweet, dreamy little love bugs.

The pork had some savory flavory fatiness up in its business, but the texture through it off. Upon taking a bite, my teeth pulled out pieces of pork rather than chomping right through. A bit chewy, ya know? The guacamole and crema added some fresh cool zing that tamed down the pig salt. The cheese was good 'n gooey. The red and green salsas were perfecto! I do believe this burrito came out sideways, having been toasted down the sides and with the beans all shoved on one side and pork on the other. The ratio of beans to meat felt right though.

The Rating

3.7 outta 5

I would give it another try if I was jonesing on a Sunday again. I also tasted the asada taco, which was yummy and packed with meat, but I'm not here to review tacos... :-P

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

El Diablito

Back in May, I sought salvation from burrito mediocrity with help from my friend, Jesus. I was left with a bad taste in my mouth and overwhelming emptiness. Today, well... I decided to follow my soul in a different direction.

El Diablito is located on SE Belmont Street between 33rd and 34th in a tiny food cart pod. I was skeptical at first, because the cart itself had such an appealing aesthetic, which can mean overpriced gringo food.  It was just too sterile, and with the slogan: "Not a fusion. A Mexican Revolution" I became even more concerned. But Hell, I was hungry and there were good smells around.

The El Diablito Burrito

Price: $8.00

Ingredients: Chipotle pork, refried beans, cheese, avocado, lettuce, potato stick fries, salsa

Size: Totally filling

Sides: I asked for the habanero and green crema salsas. 

Sometimes, it takes days for me to muster up a halfhearted review... but not this time.
In fact, I just finished this guy and I couldn't wait to post about it! I haven't been so excited about a review in a really long time.

I'm melting right now just by reliving that first moment, when this little devil whispered into my ear and I gave in and embarked down into the fiery abyss of burrito bliss. 

Upon first taste, I was met with the most heavenly mouthful of succulent pork I've had in a really long time. Tender, juicy, exquisitely spiced... Transcending time and space and pleasure and pain.

That pork, holy crap... that pork! It's suppleness and heat was perfectly balanced by the crisp, cool lettuce (just a tiny bit) and fresh avocado. After a couple of bites, another layer of flavor began to effervesce through the porky chipotle, and I realized it was the potato stick fries. Flowing up and down one side of this guy, these crunchy little potato explosions were simply delightful. To die for! They were like super crispy hashbrown morsels, infused with extreme potato flavor. EXTREME! The refried beans were tough to come by, but the ones I did find were scrumptious. The strange thing about this guy was that for all of that pork love, there was no grease. How does that happen? Amazing!

So many layers of intertwined flavors happening here, it was like being spun through a web of everything and nothingness all at once. Like becoming completely lost -yet found- beyond the confines of physicality. I need to take the rest of the day to let this one simmer and swoon and sink back down onto planet Earth.

The Rating

4.5 out of 5 stars

Thank you little devil, for this grand adventure!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

El Guero

It's been a while, hasn't it friends? But have no fear- I am here for you! I know my true fans won't give up on me and my incessant search for Portland's best burrito. Even if I don't post anything for a while, I'm simply meditating on all of my prior burrito experiences. Breathing in the good, and releasing the bad.

El Guero is located in the Rose City Food Park, at Sandy and 52nd ave. I stopped by after getting a massage, because what's more cleansing and healthy than eating a big greasy burrito right after some rejuvenative healing?

The Carnitas Burrito

Price: $5.50

Ingredients: Pork, beans, guacamole, cheese, rice, pico

Size: Medium

Sides: Red and Green Salsa

The pork was a bit dry and on the tough side. It lacked that juicy in the middle, crisp around the edges goodness that my soul so desires. The flavor was ok. The beans were decent, and the guacamole was pretty good. It wasn't overloaded with rice, so that's a bonus. Ugh... it's been so long since I've written about burritos, I was hoping I would have some joyous sensory language to engage you with. Unfortunately, this burrito inspired very little. Sorry friends- "ok", "decent", and "pretty good" are all the lackluster descriptors I can muster right now. I'll just have to take a deep breath and exhale this one out.

The Rating

2.4 out of 5 stars

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Jesusito Tacos

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

I had this burrito yesterday. After suffering a morning of self loathing for no real reason, I figured I could use some help from a little Jesus. We can all use a little more Jesus in our lives, and if he's got burritos, all the better.

Jesusito Tacos is located on the corner of SE 72nd and Flavel, in the Brentwood Darlington neighborhood, or as I like to call it, Felony Flats. Although I think many of the felons are sadly getting priced out. But hey, you can still find a 2 bedroom home down here for under $300k. Plus, you can walk around in bright pink bugs bunny pajama pants and no one will bat an eyelash. No disrespect, I'm saying this is really a win/win place to live.

The Carnitas

Price: $6.00

Ingredients: Pork, rice, beans, cheese, sour cream, onion, cilantro

Size:  Big

Sides: Orange and Green Salsa
So I really wanted the chile relleno burrito, but they were out, so I settled for my old standby- carnitas.

Upon first taste, the meat was a bit dry and unappetizing. It had a grayish hue, which was unsettling, as I like my pork to be pinkish. It wasn't foul, but it wasn't good either. The beans were nice enough and the cheese was melty and yummy. The orange sauce was bomb. But I couldn't get past the pork and had to quit just over half way through.

This little Jesus didn't save me today, and he left a strange taste in my mouth.

The Rating:

1.5 stars out of 5

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Poblano Pepper

Poblano Pepper is located on Belmont in a little food cart pod between SE 42nd and 43rd. I couldn't
resist trying a cart of this name, and I recall a fellow burrito friend suggesting it. They offer all the standard grub, and some enticing extras.

Oh man, I'm getting hungry just thinking about writing this review. I'll be back after I have a snack...

... ok, on with the review!

The Chile Relleno Burrito

Price: $7.00

Ingredients: Chile relleno, pinto beans, rice, guacamole, pico, cotija cheese

Size: Big Papa

Sides: Green and Habanero Sauce

Of course I had to get this one! I assume they know their way around a pepper. High hopes friends, high hopes.

This guy was grilled and sealed like a fat little envelope stuffed with surprises. The tortilla was infused with garlic, adding a nice flavor without being overwhelming.

Delving inside, the shining star of the show was no doubt the chile relleno. It was so fresh, perfectly textured, and spanned the entire length of the burrito. Mmm mm mmmm! The poblano had a hearty meatiness about it, pulling apart enticingly between my teeth with each smokey bite, yummy creamy cheese through its core. The beans and rice were alright, and the guacamole and pico added that lovely cooling touch. 

My husband tried the rajas poblano burrito, which includes a pepper mixed with onion and cream, and I must say it was also quite tasty (if you like a creamier kind of burrito).

The Rating:

What what? 4.2 stars out of 5

Will I return? Why yes, I'd love to try more burritos or just get the relleno again and again until I explode.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Mi Burrito

What's better than eating burritos alone? Well, maybe nothing. However, eating burritos with people can be enjoyable too. So when a fellow burrito junkie friend invited me to try one of his favorite spots, I happily obliged.

This brings us to Mi Burrito, located at 819 N Lombard St. There's always a certain pressure when someone I know recommends a burrito... I mean, what if I hate it? How awkward would that be? I can't lie, I can't write a fake review just to appease someone. I have to critique my burritos truthfully, even if it means cutting that person out of my life- forever. Burritos are just worth so much more than civility. So, what happened here? Did I have to excommunicate Mr. Folts?

The Mi Burrito

Price: $5.25

Ingredients: Steak picado, chile relleno, refried beans, avocado sauce

Size: Gut Stuffer

Sides: Full salsa bar with 5 different sauces, fresh salsa, pickled carrots and jalapenos, grilled jalapenos...

Burrito Boys

While eating, we chatted about this latest trend among taquerias- the steak and relleno combination burrito. So many places are doing this nowadays, and most of the time it's their namesake burrito. It can oftentimes be too much for one burrito to handle, but not in this case.

The burrito came out nice and steamy hot, just how I like it! Though the tortilla was lacking that crispy grilled perfection, the wrap job was splendid. Upon first taste, I noted the saucy steak, with just the right amount of chew. It took a few rows of chomping to make my way down to the relleno, which was disappointing. But, when the tried and true egged up greasy pepper finally made it's debut, it didn't disappoint. I enjoyed tasting all the different sauces, but none of them really tugged at my heart strings. If Bob Ross was painting a picture of this burrito, he would call the refried beans "happy little mushed up beany friends." Although this was a saucy burrito, the tortilla held together perfectly and I barely had any juice on my hands at the end.

The Rating

My Rating: 3.8 out of 5

Mr. Folts' Rating: 4.2 out of 5

So, I think Mr. Folts and I can still get along. Thanks for the burrito adventure, sir!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

King Burrito (update)

Well, I've been burrito blogging for so long now that I think it's appropriate to revisit some places that I haven't been to for years. Just to check in, check on the quality, ya know. My original post was from way back in 2012, and involved a lovely canoe jaunt at Smith and Bybee Lakes. Ahhh, summer time. This visit was a burrito date with some friends of mine to check out their new hood and local taqueria.

King Burrito still appears to be a neighborhood institution. I am also happy to report that prices have not changed. You can still get a burrito for $4.50! Quite a deal in today's Portland. I opted for their slightly more expensive ($5) namesake burrito this time.

The King Burrito

Price: $5.00

Ingredients: Steak picado, chile relleno, beans, guacamole

Size: Big

Sides: Red and green sauce

Again, I was impressed with the guacamole. Some places charge upwards of 2 dollars for a tiny tiny tiny addition of guac, but it came standard on this guy. Unfortunately, the ingredient dispersion was a bit sloppy, and most of the guac was gone after a couple of bites. The steak had good flavor, but I had a couple of tough bites and it started dripping grease through the bottom of the tortilla fairly quickly. The relleno had a lovely texture, with just the right amount of cheese and a subtle hint of spice. The red sauce was quite yummy! By the end, this guy was drooping and falling apart from all the grease.

The Rating

Lowering the rating slightly for this one- 3.6 out of 5 stars.