Sunday, December 2, 2012


Located just off SE Foster, across from the bike shop on 60th. This is one of those "cool" new hangouts that are popping up in the evolving Foster-Powell neighborhood. I found it to be a rather comfy joint to enjoy a drink, good company, and perhaps some decent Mexican grub. I tried not to be too judgmental of the plethora of plaided and mustachioed clientele. Alright alright, I wear plaid all the time.

Sorry for the crappy pictures.

I hate the name. The name is the reason it took me so long to check this place out. We get it, ok? Portlandia... hardy-har-har. Now STOP! With a name like that, I expected little more than bland white rice, mill-worm-textured black beans straight from a can, and two pumps of sour cream. But I heard good things, so I decided to check it out.

It was a Sunday night, around 6:30. The place was packed, and as I looked around I noticed everyone had a number sitting on their table. One dude was cooking away in the kitchen, another guy taking orders and making drinks. Ok, I thought, this could take a while... so I ordered a beer and prepared to settle in.  At least the space was cozy, and my beer tasted fine.

40 minutes later, and the burritos finally show up. Apparently, this is not the place to go if you are looking for a fast, cheap, on-the-go burrito. I'm sure they aren't always this busy, so maybe you can catch them at an off-hour. I am not patient when I'm waiting for a burrito to stuff into my face, but luckily the beer tided me over.

Carnitas del Diablo Burrito

Ingredients: Carnitas sauteed with habanero and jalepeno peppers, borracho (drunken) beans, rice, cilantro lime crema, oaxaca cheese, habanero salsa.

Price: $8.00

Size: Plenty filling

Sides: Beer. No salsas needed.

A descriptive menu can be a good sign, or an indication of mediocre food being covered by flowery language. This is an example of the former.

What a beautiful burrito. A decadent mass, thoughtfully sliced at an angle, the halves arranged in an overlapping burrito love pile, stabbed through the heart with a toothpick, cilantro sprinkled on top, and two sweet little lime wedges on the side.  Presentation wins a 10.

The tortilla's crispy outer crust can be attributed to a well-executed, post-wrapped grill job, sealing this steamy sucker closed. The inner gooey gastrointestinal goodness, well encapsulated within its flaky brown toasted skin. Whole, complete, newly brought into existence, only to be mercilessly chopped in half moments later. The cheesy life blood oozes free from it's confining shell, a healthy layer of translucently orange porky grease following suit. Sacrificed for aesthetics and pure culinary enjoyment, the beast screams "EAT ME!" with it's dying breath.

The stimulating strings of succulent swine, sauteed with jalapeno and habanero peppers, warmed the cheeks and got the blood a-flowing. The ambrosial borracho beans allured and alleviated my tongue, complimenting the peppery pig morsels. A thick, generous dose of creamy oaxaca queso slid down my gullet in globs of fluttery, buttery, heart palpitations. A fresh squeeze of lime every now and again brought an astringent undertone to the palate, whirling about in the dynamic mesh of rich, savory, tingly, glutinous amor.

My tastebuds didn't register the "cilantro lime crema," perhaps if this were placed on the side for dipping, it's subtle, cooling capabilities would become more prevalent.

A contemplatively distinct burrito. Not your simple traditional taqueria concoction, and unlike the boring bland gringo wrap that is generally expelled from such "Portlandia" establishments.

The Rating

4.4 outta 5

The wait was pretty crazy, and 8 bucks is a pretty high price for a burrito, but I would do it all over again my friend.


In subsequent visits, the burritos have never been this good, in fact, I would have to drop the rating down a full star, to 3.4.

Sunday, November 25, 2012


It's late. You're hungry. You're driving down Powell Blvd. You see Teco's. It's open. It's just one right turn away, at 42nd and Powell. You waver. What is this place? Is anyone even in there? Are you going to get murdered while ordering at the drive thru on the other side of the building? Hunger takes over. You pull around back. Words come out of your mouth, but you don't comprehend them. What is making you do this? Hunger. Abandon. God help you.

The Vegetarian Burrito

Vegetarian Burrito, Veggie Burrito, Portland Burrito JunkieOk, it's not that scary... really. Teco's is just the kind of place that you notice, but never patronize. It's on the way to other places. You speed past it, heading towards better things. Now I love my greasy little taquerias, but something about this place is just different... It's like an abandoned ghetto fast food place.

I got the veggie burrito.

Ingredients: beans, rice, cheese, lettuce, sour cream, guacamole, pico

Price: $4.50

Size: Small-Mid

Sides: 2 flavorless, watery salsas.

Ok, so I went into this with low expectations (and perhaps outright fear). But I always set my preconceptions aside when it comes down to it, and hone in on the burrito at hand.

Upon my first bite, I got a mouthful of COLD watery iceberg lettuce and unmelted mild cheddar. This happens sometimes with veggie burritos, so I kept eating, hoping to dig up more sustenance. I got to a smidgen of cold refried beans and rice, hidden in the entanglement of lettuce. The pico was alright, but offered no real solace from the flavorless mass. The salsas were very mild and watery, and clear liquid seeped from the bottom of the burrito. It was essentially like chewing cold textured water. I should have trusted my instincts on this place.


The Rating

0.2 out of 5 stars

The .2 is for being open late.

I never thought I would utter the words... you're better off going 10 more blocks to Taco Bell. However, if there is a brave soul out there who is willing to try their meaty burritos, let me know how that goes... maybe they are out-of-this-world-fan-fucking-tastic!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Tito's Burritos

What could be better than a unexpected surprise burrito, delivered right to you? NOTHING! This is what happened to me, when my love brought home the greatest gift one can give another. He got my present from Tito's Burritos, which is a cart located in Downtown at SW 3rd and Washington.

Chile Relleno Burrito

Ingredients: Pinto beans, chile relleno, rice, pico, cheeeeeese

Price: About 5 bucks

Length: 7 inches

Circumference: 8.75 inches

Sides: 2 different reds, and a green salsa

You may have noticed that I have an affinity for this type of burrito. I mean seriously people, it's a chile stuffed with cheese, fried up, and wrapped in a tortilla with beans and rice! If that doesn't sound like the greatest-effing-thing you've ever heard of, then you better just back up off this site right now! Instead of going to a sit down Mexican restaurant, and purchasing a gloopy relleno plate for 12 bucks, you get all of that wrapped up in a happy little bundle for half the price! Mmm... but I do enjoy a nice evening out with a relleno platter, endless chips and salsa, a 32 oz margarita and mariachi music blasting in the background. I digress...

My favorite chile relleno burrito reigns from Super Torta, which is the gut-bombiest, yet most satisfying creation known to man. I can't help but compare all other chile relleno burritos to the one that holds such a special place in my heart.

Tito's offered a less-greasy, more delicate, yet flavorful version of the chile relleno burrito. Crisply coated, with a tender chile center, the relleno was cooked up to perfection with just a hint of grease, and plenty of the cheesy stuff. A fair amount of pico, not too much rice, and some perfect pintos brought it all back home. And the hot sauce was to die for darling, to die for.


3.9 outta 5

Would I go here again?

Of course! Would like to try other items.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

California Dreamin'

LA is known by many as the birthplace of the Americanized burrito. According to Wikipedia: "In 1923, Alejandro Borquez opened the Sonora cafe in Los Angeles, which later changed its name to the El Cholo Spanish Cafe. Burritos first appeared on American restaurant menus at the El Cholo Spanish Cafe during the 1930s."

And what better place for the birth of burritos, than The City of Angels? Beneath all that asphalt and breast augmentation, lies an enduring Mexican heritage. The land that is now LA was destined to be settled by the Spanish, welcome its independence as part of Mexico, and finally to be sucked up by America in 1848. It has seen its share of plight and violence, class struggle, and cultural clashes. Perhaps the burrito, the embodiment of American overabundance with Mexican flavor, is the perfect amalgamation of these two cultures. Peace will prevail, wrapped in a flour tortilla!

I was in LA for 3 days and managed to eat 3 burritos in that time. Three for three, not too shabby. With the wealth of Mexican food in that part of the country, I could probably eat a burrito for every meal through an entire year, and still have more places to go! It was quite impressive, and if I had free rent and a chauffeur, I'd consider living there for a year to do just that. However, the plastic society would probably get to me after a while, and I'd come back to Portland not only fattened up, but severely resentful. Perhaps burrito coma bliss would keep me content and disconnected though.

 Lucy's Drive-in

First matter of business upon arrival after a 6 am flight? Breakfast, of course! I heard about Lucy's drive in on a website that rated it as LA's best budget breakfast burrito. It wasn't too far from the airport, so I figured, why not? This brightly colored hole the wall place, on the corner of two expansive roadways (damn LA, you have wide roads!) was inviting, yet disconcerting. We were starving and tired, so we really didn't care what we ate, as long as it was in the shape of food.

I got my breakfast burrito with eggs, bacon, cheese, and beans (I asked for potatoes but maybe they didn't have any?). Beans on a breakfast burrito may sound a bit strange, but it was actually pretty damn tasty. The eggs were fluffy, the bacon crisp and salty, and the smidgen of refried beans glued it all together. The tortilla was perfecto and fresh. Could there be better breakfast burritos out there? No doubt, but this sufficed just fine.

La Azteca Tortilleria


Mission style church across from La Azteca
This tortilla-making LA institution is easy to miss, yet it's been in operation for 65 years. I read somewhere that they make the best burrito, so off we went on a burrito-inspired adventure to East LA When we arrived, the owner informed us that they were closed, then proceeded to take our order anyway. Perhaps he could see the desperation in my eyes, perhaps he knew the distance I had traveled to sample this burrito. No, not the journey from Oregon, but the trip across LA.

So I ordered the Chile Relleno Burrito, a rich yet simple concoction of fried up, cheese stuffed, egg battered, fire roasted poblano, refried beans, and pico. The chile was tender and savory with a touch of sweetness, gooey cheese oozing out with each bite. The tortilla was flaky and scrumptious and obviously fresh. However, I was disappointed overall with the supposed best burrito around. It was far too greasy, and you should all know I like my fair share of grease, but this was beyond my threshold. It could have thrown more of a punch, a kick to the teeth, if you will. I wanted more, more than it could give. This chile relleno burrito couldn't touch that of my neighborhood place, Super Torta.

Perhaps one thing I learned from this experience is that you can't trust the publicity one place receives over another. It's those little nooks and crannies yet to be discovered, that hold something genuine. These are the places I aspire to find. If I had more time to search in that giant monster of a city, I'm sure I could have found pure burrito perfection.



Holy Guacamole

So this place wasn't in LA per se, but in Santa Monica. What a strange-ass "town" that was!  I was next to the ocean, and I really wanted those famous baja fish tacos you always hear about. What was a girl to do? So I heard about this place, and how they had deep fried fish tacos and burritos, and I thought it would make me very very happy.

I was wrong. It sucked. The end.

Monday, September 24, 2012


Pepino's is located at 3832 SE Hawthorne Blvd. The decor is reminiscent of unicorn innards, a faint smell of urine hangs in the air, and the tables are always sticky. Home away from home, am I right? Disregarding the food completely, I must say I am glad this place exists. When you are overcome by the devastatingly kitschy, soul-suffocating atmosphere of the Hawthorne shopping district, you can hide here. Not to say that it is relaxing in any way, it just makes for an escape from the fashionably unfashionable 20-somethings, slowly meandering middle-aged-window-shopping-women, begging street kids (need a buck for a beer man... I ain't gonna lie), and canvassers on every corner. After you order your food, just sit back in your little booth, and watch the world go by the window with a glint of indignation in your eyes.

Carnitas Burrito

Ingredients: Carnitas, Pinto Beans, Rice, Salsa Fresca, Cheese OR Sour cream  

Price: $6.90*

Sides: Fun Salsas, Pickled jalapeno carrots, Chips

Size: Big

*$5.95, but I asked for cheese AND sour cream, so they added .95 to the price. You really want me to choose between those toppings? INSANITY!

Well... Everything about this burrito was only MEH. The pork was rather dry. The rice and beans were bland. The tortilla was floppy, and liquid drizzled steadily out of the bottom after the first bite. The cheese was great, and for 95 extra cents, it damn well better be! Edible, it was. Delectable, no. The assortment at the salsa bar is enticing, and you'll need lots of it. The chips and salsa fresca made a nice combination. I should have gotten the "El Cheapo Burrito," which only costs $3.50. If you're going to get a humdrum burrito, it may as well be cheap.


2 outta 5. 

Will I go here again?

Next time I'm loosing my mind on Hawthorne. Baja fish tacos are better.

Friday, September 7, 2012

La Jarochita

La Jarochita is located near SW 5th and Oak in one of Portland's many food cart pods. Popular among the downtown crowd, expect a line during weekday lunch hours. However, if you are looking to skip an absurd 2 hour long wait for Saturday brunch, this is a nice spot to grab a quick, no hassle breakfast burrito. That's what I did!

Breakfast Burrito #4

Ingredients: ham (or meat of your choice), eggs, potatoes, peppers,
onions, mushrooms, cheese, sour cream

Price: $4.99

Sides: Red and Green


A steamy, juicy, hot-off-the-skillet love bomb. The ingredients; diced well and sizzled up together, plopped lovingly in a greasy steamy heap, topped with melty cheese and sour cream, and wrapped tightly in a warm cuddly tortilla blanket. As I bit into my little bundle of joy, its warmth filled my stomach, my thoughts, my soul. Soothingly, silently, I chowed down with purpose, and was lifted into an ethereal whimsical wonderland of salty stillness. Dreams. Memories. Childhood. A crisp autumn evening and a warm bowl of soup. The unsettling burden of adult complexity, becalmed. Peace.

Ok, maybe I'm getting grotesquely lyrical here. Good food does this to me. Burritos are my comfort, my soul food. When a good one comes around, my head floats away and my eyeballs glow.

Even in my dream-state ecstasy, this burrito got a little soggy and floppy towards the end- perhaps a little too juicy? Though the flavors all melded really well together, it was too salty at times. Being my first review of a breakfast burrito, I can't help but imagine that an even better one awaits! Pure burrito bliss? Almost...

The Rating

3.7 out of 5

Will I go here again? After writing this review, I want to right now!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Robo Taco

Robo Taco is located in the Buckman neighborhood at 607 SE Morrison.

I was on the fence about this place. I read some rather mixed reviews, most of the positive ones mentioning the kitschy atmosphere (robot decor), late night hours, and vegan menu. This did not bode well for the food itself. None the less, I gave it a shot. It had been a long time since I'd tried a new place and written a new review. So, here I am!

I'm sorry it's been ages since my last post! It's not that I haven't been eating burritos, heaven forbid, I've just been eating at my typical burrito joints. The summertime makes me lazy, with a hankering for bbq and sandwiches. But I know as the weather cools, my extreme passion for burritos will re-emerge. It never ceases, but with rain comes melancholy, and with melancholy comes a longing to fill the void with ENORMOUS JUICY BURRITOS.


Al Pastor Burrito

Ingredients:  Pinto beans, rice, cheese, salsa, sour cream, al pastor (marinated pork shoulder), and... pineapple

Price: $7.25

Sides: 3 salsas

Size: Big

I didn't actually think they would put pineapple in my burrito. The menu said that the Al Pastor tacos were topped with pineapple, but the concept of pineapple in my burrito was entirely infeasible. Upon first bite, however, I got a big mouthful of... you guessed it... pineapple! A bit of a shocker, but I carried on. I kept biting and chewing and trying to taste anything but pineapple. About halfway through the burrito, the pineapple died out. I was happy to taste something else, however, no other flavors emerged. I thought my taste buds were broken! I took a bite and held it in my mouth, sucked on the meat, anything I could do to try and get some spice out of this bastard! My tongue picked up a slight burnt flavor but that's about all I could decipher. I drenched it in salsa (also devoid of piquancy) to add to its edibility. The meat was chewy and overcooked. The pineapple was blasphemous. It was overwhelmingly bland. BLAND BLAND BLAND. I shouldn't have to try so hard to taste my food. Even if it were 3 am and I was a drunken hipster, this wouldn't have been good. But I suppose robots don't have taste buds, now do they?

The Rating:

1/2 star out of 5.

Will I go here again? No.

 Robot says: "ROBO TACO IS A ROBO NO-GO"

Sunday, July 8, 2012

La Torta Caliente

Ok, so this isn't technically in Portland. It's located in Sandy, Oregon. Just imagine, you've been hiking/skiing all day up on Mount Hood, and you need to reward yourself for all of that strenuous exercise. The best way to do that? A burrito of course! I, having eyes like a hawk when it comes to spotting Taquerias, saw this place on our way up to the hills and filed it into my brain for later inspection.

This tiny place had mirrors on the ceiling, a Spanish/English menu, tomatillos simmering on the stove, and a slab of beef sitting on the counter! My heart was fluttering with anticipation. High hopes, friends, high hopes.

The Beef Burrito

Ingredients: shredded beef, refried beans, rice, lettuce, tomato, onion, cheese, sour cream

Price: $5.00

Size: filling

Sides: red and green sauce

After moving my sedentary immobile lump of couch flesh up a small hill, I needed replenishment. All that exercise and fresh mountain air gave me a hankering for some good old juicy greasy cheesy beany beefy love.

I was disappointed. This rather bland burrito filled me up, but was nothing to write home about. The cheese held the most flavor, and was quite tasty and oozy. The beef had a nice texture, but that's all. It wasn't gross, just very very plain. The red and green sauce didn't even have much flavor. Boooorrrrrrrrring.

Oh burrito, how I wanted to love you! WHY BURRITO WHY!?!?!

The Rating:

2 out of 5 stars

Will I go here again? If I get lost in the wilderness and the rescuers bring me one, I will consider eating it.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

King Burrito

Portland Burrito Junkie

Portland Burrito Junkie King Burrito is located at 2924 N. Lombard Street in Portland's Arbor Lodge neighborhood. This no frills joint offers simple cheap greasy Mexican done up right. No self-proclaiming, neo-yuppified, flowery lingo clouding up the menu here! Just straight up food.

This place is quite far from where I tend to be, but we stopped in on our way to the lake.

Canoe + Burrito = Perfection


Carnitas Burrito

Portland Burrito Junkie
Ingredients: Carnitas, pinto beans, guacamole, pico

Price: $4.50

Size: No measurements this time, but it filled me up!

Sides: red and green salsa
Portland Burrito Junkie

A burrito for under 5 bucks is hard to come by these days. Upon first inspection, I observed a lumpy tortilla colored brick, with quite a bit of grease on the wrapper. Hmm... But let's not judge a book by it's cover, you never know what's hiding inside! The carnitas was reminiscent of most pork cooked up this way- braised crisp edge, strings of slow cooked, pulled apart yumminess- trapped in a void somewhere between tender and chewy. Good flavor all around, though it was a bit dry at times. The red and green salsa added a nice nip. The substantial amount of guacamole is what really jazzed up this burrito! It's tough to find a burrito in this town with guacamole, where they don't charge extra! It was like opening up a shabby used paperback, to find someone's juicy secret love letters tucked inside! An unexpected, rewarding treat. Our little secret.


The Rating:

3.8 out of 5 stars

Will I go here again? Wouldn't go out of my way to eat here, but if I were nearby, then yes!

**Follow Up Post**

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Taqueria Lindo Michoacan

portland burrito junkie

portland burrito junkie
click on photo to view large

portland burrito junkieThis food cart is in a thrift store parking lot at SE Division and 33rd ave. I don't know much about it, other than that I was starving and driving by, when it caught my attention. It's a fun cart to look at- bright orange, with a hand painted menu that takes a while to decipher. There are regular and super size burritos, and you can make them "supreme" if you choose.



Supreme Regular Fish Burrito

portland burrito junkie Contents: rice, refried beans, grilled tilapia, cilantro, onion, tomato, lettuce, cheese, avocado, sour cream

Price: $5.00

Length: 9.5"

Circumference: 8.75"

Sides: huge red and green sauce

portland burrito junkie

This behemoth is the longest I've ever had. I've had girthier, but they don't come lengthier than this. I can't imagine what a super size version must look like, or what kind of human could possibly fit the entirety of one into their body. Sometimes the largest ones can be deceiving, as size does not always equal excellence. Was this just another enormous burrito bamboozlement, or did it work its wonders in more ways than one?

I savored the bites of delicate flaky tilapia, slathered in rich oozy sour cream, with ripe chunks of avocado interspersed. The warm creamy beans, crisp lettuce, melty cheese, and fresh cilantro mingled about merrily in my mouth. The evocative red sauce stirred distant memories around in my mind. At times, this burrito suffered from fish sparsity and onion overabundance. Though I enjoyed the act of consuming this glutinous beast, the flavors weren't particularly distinctive. However, it was engaging enough to keep me chomping away until the very last bite. The burrito filled my stomach and stretched all the way up into my brain. Food coma bliss ensued, with a nice meditative nap.

The Rating:

3.5 outta 5 stars

Will I go there again?  Yes, would like to try other options.


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

El Gallo

The more I learn, the less I know. For every burrito I eat, another one is being born. Is my quest futile? How can I possibly find the best burrito, when so many exist/will exist/have existed? It's an infinitely whirling conundrum; around and around it spirals, only to fall back onto itself. If I do eat the best burrito that is humanly possible, how will I know it's the one? What is the probability that the best burrito in the Universe, and myself, will exist together in space/time? Null. Zip. Nada. None! The burrito universe is caving in! What to do?!?
Portland Burrito Junkie
Despite my existential crisis, I suppose all I can do is keep on trying, keep on eating. I don't have to go far, before I find myself at El Gallo Taqueria on SE Woodstock and 48th Ave. Local Woodstockians, and Out-of-neighborhooders alike, have made this their staple Mexican food cart. What makes this place so special, you ask? Well, I decided to figure this out for myself. Is it all hearsay, or does this place really offer something to get excited about?

Portland Burrito Junkie

Portland Burrito Junkie Carnitas Burrito

Contents: Carnitas, pinto beans, Tillamook pepper jack, cojita, cilantro, onions, cabbage

Price: $6.50

Length: 7"

Circumference: 8.75"

Sides: Red, Green, and MELT YOUR FACE salsa

Portland Burrito Junkie
Anticipation. Mouth watering, stomach beginning to eat itself, anticipation. And finally, after several minutes of angsty impatience, fanciful bites of burrito divinity flow into my mouth. Crusty braised porky charm, fluffy spider webby strings of wonderfully chewy, springy, pig flesh. Exploding beans! Cabbage that would mercilessly bash in the heads of any lettuce that came within sight. Hot sauce that could kill a (wo)man. Flaking tortilla freshness. Can Mexican street food served from a food cart be gourmet? If so, this is it. But as many gourmet items go, it wasn't as filling as my disgustingly enormous appetite could have hoped for. Satisfying in so many ways, however.

The Rating

4.2 out of 5

Will I go here again? Soon.