Monday, October 19, 2015

Fernando's Alegria

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I returned to my most favorite food cart pod in Portland, my own special Disneyland- The Mercado. It's located on SE Foster and 72nd. As I parked across from this utopic wonderland of delight, the smell of peppers and spice and everything nice permeated into my brain, making me viciously salivate like a monster! I ravaged my way over to the burrito cart, Fernando's Alegria. Alegria means happiness or joy, so let's see if they brought me such feelings of contentment...

Fernando's Special Burrito

Price: $8

Ingredients: Steak, grilled onions, jalapenos, tomato, rice, beans, sour cream, cheese

Sides: Red and green sauce

Size: Monster!

I went on a rant a while ago about 8 dollar burritos. It's tough to rationalize what on earth makes a burrito worth 8 bucks. Some places in town use words like "made from scratch," or "artisanal" to make their burritos sound fancy and worthy of the 8 dollar price tag. Other spots have hip atmospheres with apathetic staff, and for some reason this automatically makes the price higher. Fernando's doesn't do any of these things. They just serve up an honest, hearty, gargantuan burrito. Nearly as wide as it is tall, it took at least 3 bites to make it across one row of this beast. 

The tortilla was kissed with a crispness, which I usually like, but this one cracked and crumbled a lot. The ingredients united playfully on my palate, with the morsels of smoky steak twirling around with the pops of perfectly cooked pinto beans. The grilled onion had an enticing sweet crunch, while the tomatoes added a refreshing splash of acidity. The flavors balanced well, but I would have liked more punch from the jalapenos. I may look like a gringa on the outside, but I can take heat with the best of them. The cheddar cheese was melted against one side of the tortilla, while it should have been more central. Though I usually complain about burritos being too dry, this guy was too juicy. The sour cream liquefied and became muddled with the other ingredients, loosing it's calming creamy coolness. The green salsa tasted like how I would imagine licking the back of an iguana would taste- green, grassy, herbaceous, psychedelic! This dude was dense, and if it did indeed contain rice, I didn't even notice. It could easily be made into 2 meals for the average person. I however, devoured it whole in about 5 seconds with my huge, fat, monstrous mouth.

The Rating:

3.5 out of 5

Would I go here again?

Oh, I'll be back at the Mercado. I have more carts to try!

1 comment:

  1. My favorite from Fernando's is the chorizo one, I think they get the chorizo from the on-site chorizoria inside the market, it's noticeably better than other chorizos around town, super great stuff. I tried the special burrito and thought it was just ok...