Sunday, November 9, 2014


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This cart is located in a food cart strip on SW 4th at SW College St. There are plenty of Mexican food options on the PSU Campus. Within a 6 block radius I saw 5: Loco Locos, Taco Del Mar, Tito's Burritos, and 2 carts (there's a Chipotle close by too, I'm sure). What kind of college student wouldn't want a heavenly hangover cure that can be turned into 2 meals for 5 dollars? I choose Chopollos because it was open on a Saturday and it was new to me.

The Chopollo Burrito

I had to try their signature burrito!
Price: $5.00

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

Sides: Red and Green Salsa

Size: Large and in Charge

This puppy was bundled up nicely and had a perfectly grilled outer tortilla crust, giving it a nice hot crispy exterior and inner chewiness.

Each bite was steaming hot, perfect for eating outdoors on a crisp fall afternoon. The inner ingredients were superbly layered, allowing for an equal amount of each to be enjoyed throughout. Copious quantities of cheese oozed from the relleno, and with each bite the strings of wonder stretched from my lips, holding tight until they could reach no further and SNAP! They dangled freely, only to be sucked into my mouth like sloppy ramen noodles. Nothing is much more satisfying than slurping up cheese strings. The relleno was of a more eggy variety than I usually enjoy, but it worked on this guy. There wasn't a ton of steak, which was fine with all the relleno and cheese to be savored, and the refried beans added a comforting toasty yumminess. The menu said it had guacamole, but i didn't taste any. Cheese, cheese, and more cheeeeeeeese!

The Rating: 

4 out of 5 

Would I go here again? Yes.

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Saturday, October 11, 2014

Los Alambres

An oasis in a desert of sketchy car dealerships, Los Alambres is set in the epicenter of Portland's undeniable stretch of societal detritus. We silly inner Portland dwellers pretend 82nd Avenue doesn't exist, unless of course we need to purchase some cheap _____ (fill in the blank with anything). This cart is a few blocks south of Stark, at 1134 SE 82nd, in the parking lot of a Panaderia. Stop by after you shop at Target, or if you're dodging an angry pimp or something...

A wide variety of Mexican fare is offered here, far beyond the typical taco and burrito grub you find at most places. The 17 Torta choices tempt (head cheese, anyone?), and they appear to be the specialty here. I, of course, had to go with a burrito.

Carnitas Burrito

Price: $5.50

Ingredients: Pork, Rice, Beans, Avocado, Sour Cream, Lettuce, Tomato, Cheese

Sides: Red and Green

Size: Big, but not HUGE

Firstly, it took forever for this burrito to come out. I was hungry, drenched from hiking in a downpour, and wanted to be off of stinky 82nd ASAP, and this took... forever! They were out of chicken, which is what my boyfriend had ordered, so I guess they just decided to serve everyone else who came after us first, before asking what we'd like instead. Lame, but hopefully just a one off thing.

Setting aside my angry yelp reviewer style bitchiness, let's get on with the burrito review!

The ingredients all laid nicely within the squishy chewy tortilla, with just the right helping of each- just a little lettuce, a fair amount of cheese, a good hunk of pork. However, nothing blew me away- everything was simply standard. The carnitas lacked that braised crisp edge and inner melty juiciness I love, though it was tender and pulled apart nicely. This undistinguished burrito begged for lots of the smokey red and creamy green salsas to keep it appealing. 

The Rating

3.3 stars. Another average hombre. 

Would I go here again? If I'm ever unfortunate enough to end up in this part of town, perhaps I'd try another option.

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Friday, August 22, 2014

Don Pedro

Don Pedro is yet another Mexican food cart downtown. It's located on SW 5th between Stark and Oak Street. They were open on Sunday, so that's a plus.

My job is really hard you guys. There are so many burritos out there, and it's tough to sort through them! I find myself  heading to my favorite spots again and again, when I know I need to be exploring. I just hate being disappointed over and over with plain old saggy burritos. Anyone can wrap some shit up in a tortilla and sell it for 5 bucks to some schmuck off the street. I want QUALITY, mouth watering, perfectly cooked ingredients wrapped in a scrumptious tortilla, artfully and lovingly so. I'm tired of mediocrity, dammit!

Well, on with the review...

Fajita Burrito

Price: $6.00

Ingredients: Steak, veggies, rice, beans, sour cream, salsa

Sides: red and green salsa

Size: Phat.

Ok, so after my rant you're probably thinking this burrito has tipped me over the edge, and you'd be right to assume so. It wasn't horrible or anything, just another regular old burrito... lacking flavor and chock-full-o-rice. Every bite had a strange sweet undertone- perhaps from the red pepper? Not enough beans, and the lackluster steak was too greasy. Oh yeah, and there wasn't any cheese on it. You have to pay extra for that. Sad. The sour cream did that thing where it separates, or curdles... unappetizing.

The Rating

1.3 outta 5 stars


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Lonchera Brother Express

Lonchera Brother Express is located on 82nd Ave in the Cartlandia food cart pod. If you're ever biking along the Springwater Corridor Trail and need some fuel, this is the place! The cart has Speedy Gonzalez on it and the sign says "Taco Truck Brother Express." My lovely boyfriend brought this burrito home for me after his jaunt to Home Depot to purchase a lawn mower because our grass (more like, weeds) was over a foot and half tall in places, but that's beside the point.

Carnitas Burrito

Yeah yeah, another carnitas...

Price: $5.00

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

Sides: 2 greens (they were out of red)

Size: Busty

The pork was supple, with that liiiiiiiiiiiiittle hint of crispiness along the seared edges- just so. A subtle salt and pepperiness carried that natural pork flavor from my palate right on up into the pleasure receptors of my brain. Who needs yoga and meditation (or medication)- really? All of the daily stresses from my extremely difficult life as a middle class white person just melted away. No amount of downward facing dogs could do that. Seriously. My Chakras were totally aligned (or whatever they do) after this burrito bombshell.

The Rating:

3.8 outta 5

Yuuuuuuummmm Yuuuuuuuummmm Yooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooommmmmm.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Torres de Morelos

Conveniently located on bustling Powell Blvd at SE 31st between a brewpub and a strip club, a mechanic and a cheap hotel. Who could ask for more? Heh. This truck offers every part of an animal you could want!

Carnitas Burrito

Price: $5.00
Ingredients: Pork, beans, rice, cheese
Size: Mondo
Sides: Red and Green Salsa

This was one giant lumpy son of a biz-natch. Huge? Yes. Tasty? No. Greasy chewy flavorless meat. There's not much worse than getting 1/2 way through a burrito and realizing you just can't eat anymore. I have nothing else to say.

The Rating:

0.7 out of 5

Taco Express

Just a nondescript taco truck sitting humble and hopeful between Reed College and the train tracks. Bringing blue collar workers and trust funding liberal arts students together on the corner of SE Steele and 26th since April, 2012! It's also near Gigantic Brewing- YAY BEER!

The Breakfast Burrito

Price: $3.99

Ingredients: Egg, Cheese, Sausage

Size: Small

Sides: Red salsas

A very simple concoction- with fried egg over medium, standard american style sausage, and cheddar cheese. Wrapped and then sliced in half- the cheese stretches into endless strings as you pull the halves apart. Fun.

When I asked if the sausage was chorizo, I was told "yeah, something like that, it's very good." It could have been Jimmy Dean's for all I know, but it definitely wasn't spicy Mexican chorizo. But, it wasn't so bad- and it was cute and salty. The hot sauce was its saving grace.

The Rating:

2.9 outta 5

Not fantastic, not horrible.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Los Taquitos Taqueria

Cute and Colorful Los Taquitos is located at 58th and NE Glisan Street- next to a gas station and entry onto the highway. Be careful not to unwittingly turn onto the ramp for the highway, as you will be sucked down 84 until the nearest exit in Hollywood. Haha...ha.

They have your typical Mexican grub, as well as many veggie options and other interesting entrees.

This place isn't too far from Mt Tabor, so I decided to have a burrito picnic overlooking Portland's poopy water supply. What better than a gorgeous June afternoon spent atop an extinct volcano, burrito in hand? Not much, not much at all.

Chile Relleno Burrito

Price: $5.50

Ingredients: Chile Relleno, Rice, Beans, Pico

Size: Large and in charge

Sides: Salsas, Pickled Carrots and Jalapenos. 

Ok, well, alright, uh, so...

Nothing really blew me away about this burrito. He wasn't bad, but he wasn't breathtaking either. Just your everyday ordinary run and the mill joe. I didn't laugh, didn't cry, didn't really feel anything. He wasn't tangy, spicy, hot, or saucy. The relleno was tender and eggy- but not too eggy. The beans were too pasty, yet had a nice hammy taste.. The salsa accompaniments weren't all that enticing either- the overly liquidy red was all heat with no flavor and the overly thick green was just... strange. It filled my hunger spot for a while, but left me ill with want. 

The Rating

2.8 out of 5

Who I go here again? 

Yes, there are many more burritos in the sea. Perhaps I would try the California burrito, which has steak and french fries on it... edgy. 

Monday, May 26, 2014

Angel Food & Fun

Located just north of Alberta on NE 60th, this unassuming place is easy to miss- most likely because you aren't even looking for it. Why would you be looking for something you don't even know exists? Well, it's time to change that, my friends.

This mom and pop joint features many unique and delicious sounding dishes from the Yucatan, as well as standard Mexican grub. It was difficult to just get a burrito, but being the burrito junkie that I am, I had no choice.

Azada Burrito

Price: $6.00

Ingredients: Steak, black beans, rice, lettuce, sour cream, cheese, grilled onions, guacamole

Sides: Red and green salsa

Size: Medium

It's difficult for me to write this. My stomach is grumbling and I just want to jump in the car and head back up to this magical out-of-the-way place of food and fun.

So, how can steak... be so luscious? Each finely chopped tidbit sets the mind spinning as you delve through a perfectly crisp outer later, and into the succulent melt-in-your-mouthy center. The hypnotic heart stopping steak is woven into a dazzling medley of steamy black beans and rice. Every mesmerizing bite is infused with melty cheddar cheese. The enticing flavors are further aroused by the adornment of smokey grilled onions. These delectably fresh, well balanced ingredients were placed thoughtfully and lovingly inside their tortilla mother. Every bite is solid and steady, top to bottom. Even the lettuce is delicious. What a breath of fresh air in a land of mid-range burrito madness.

This is the kind of burrito that leaves an impression on you. I find myself gazing into thin air, transfixed, dreaming about a life with her. She is a part of me now, forever and always- our atoms have mingled. Maybe I'll call her. Is it too soon to call her?

The Rating:

4.5 outta 5

Just a little more steak and this one would be sending me to the moon, darlin'.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Left Coast Siesta

You've just spent a gorgeous day hopping in and out of frothy ice cold waves and searching for unbroken sand dollars. You hiked through a tangled stumpy rain forest and out into a rocky cove, and found yourself among many like you; sipping beer and letting their dogs run free in the breeze.

But now the sun is dipping below the horizon, and your stomach is howling. You head into the town of Manzanita, to a little "healthy" Mexican eatery called Left Coast Siesta. You'll find it next to the organic grocer and patchouli infused spa.

Spicy Pork Burrito

Price: $6.50

Ingredients: Pork, refried beans, lettuce, cheese, sour cream, tomatoes, olives, sunflower seeds, hot sauce

Sides: Chips, Salsa and Guacamole $3.50

Size: Honkin'

No, don't adjust your monitors- this is a green burrito. I opted for the spinach tortilla. This is one of those places where you have a lot of choices. I got everything on it, sans rice.  

Touted as a healthy hippie burrito, which I found to be only partly true. It was like eating a cheap salad slathered in sour cream on one side, with beans and  meat on the other side. The pork had a good spice, and the beans were acceptable. Having olives on a burrito was... strange. The tortilla was chewy and sticky, and didn't have the integrity to hold the ingredients safely inside throughout consumption. By the end it was just a soggy drippy glob, but with shameful sorrow and a beany face, I kept eating.

There was too much going on with this burrito, including the addition of sunflower seeds. Yes, sunflower seeds. So, perhaps I shouldn't have opted for everything on it... but I had to. It wasn't exactly a healthy new age burrito- no tempeh or kale or buckwheat... but it wasn't a classic meat-and-cheese bomb either. So, what was it? WHAT WAS IT?!?!?!

Despite all of the confusion, at the end of a long day at the beach, it was pretty satisfying. The price was right for food on the coast, and it was sizable.

The Rating

2.9 out of 5. 

Would I go back? Oh, probably, maybe because of memories... damn memories!!! This is supposed to be objective... Sorry. Go make your own memories!

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.