Saturday, March 21, 2015

La Catrina

Twas an overly hot Thursday in the Ides of March. The midday sun beat down through my streaky windshield, glaring into my angry eyes. Determined, I made my way through the outer reaches of Southeast Portland, and on into Clackamas County. Onward I went, weaving down potholed streets past mossy roofed ramshackle houses, rusting vehicles parked on lawns, and crusty shirtless pot bellied old men smoking cheap stogies on porches. Beads of sweat balled up on my forehead as I approached my destination- The DEQ. Tension filled my every crevice as I pulled nervously into lane 4. My nearly 20 year old Taurus has seen better days, and perhaps this would be its day to die. Luckily though, the old beater passed its emissions test with flying colors. Even though the stoically silent beast of a woman who stamped my certificate didn't seem to share my enthusiasm, I decided to reward myself for being such a good little citizen. The best way to do this? Well, you know...

Taqueria La Catrina is a food truck located at 9603 SE 82nd Ave, South of Johnson Creek, North of Otty Rd. It's pushed back from the street between a McDonalds and a cigarette store, across from the Best Buy/Babies R Us. So yeah, basically it's in the center of Hell. You'd never know it was there if you didn't have spies scoping out places for you (thanks Ben).

The Carnitas

Price: $6

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

Sides: Red and Green salsa

Size: Big Old Momma

Hot and hungry, frazzled and fatigued, lugging my ponderous plastic bag of burrito across the dusty lot to my car, I felt a bit like Sisyphus. This day, the heat, the incessant cars motoring down 82nd, the chore of ordinary life, weighing down on me like a perpetual game of boulder tag.

But, I hopped in my car and high tailed it home, to my haven. Just me with a giant meat filled tube of love as my copilot.

Slowly, the wrapper unfurled and out rolled a plump beefy bulldog of a burrito- wrinkly and solid. Upon first bite, a mouthful of soft juicy pig meat filled my food hole. It was tender and flaky, yet the texture could have been more dynamic- it lacked that crisp braised edge I love so dearly in my Carnitas. The dispersion of ingredients was nice (plenty of meat), but there was too much onion. The astringency overwhelmed the porky saltiness my cheeks so yearned for. Cheese and beans were tasty. It was dense and heavy, and as my belly filled, the heaviness of existence floated away and my meltdown was staved off for another day.

The Rating

3.7 outta 5.

Would I go here again? 

Sure, the next time around.