Location: N Mississippi and Skidmore (Mississippi Marketplace)
You may think this is another taco cart review. Sure you jest. Nuevo Mexico is a food cart cuisine we have yet to discover in Portland. While the food does have Mexican influences, it is New Mexican. And with Jesse Sandoval, who worked in a food cart with his mom at the age of 12, in the kitchen, you know it is going to be tasty. Oh, and Jesse was the drummer for The Shins to boot.
I ventured down to Nuevo Mexico today at lunch, along with many others who have been awaiting its opening for a few weeks. I didn’t honestly know what I was in for. I new it wasn’t going to be traditional Mexican fare. The menu is pretty simple with only a few items on it. I like that because it makes deciding so much simpler. I sometimes wish I could walk up to a place and they would tell me what I was going to eat instead of me having to choose. While I waited to order, a group of people received their orders of Sopapillas. That is the first item on the menu and what I was going to order and just seeing it sold me. A sopapilla is made with pressed dough that is then deep fried until golden brown. It then puffs up, creating a perfect vessel for stuffing. The sopapilla I ordered was the carne adovada which is described as a “traditional New Mexican pork in adobo sauce.” Marinated Pork? Sold! This carne is served with some beans, lettuce and cheese to fill out the sopapilla. It was so good. I know adobo can sometimes be hot spicy, but in this case, the spiciness was more flavorful and not overpowering. The sopapilla pocket, while it is deep fried wasn’t greasy, but more light and fluffy. And Jesse was making them from scratch.
Normally I venture off to eat my lunch at a park or back at the office. Today I stuck around and listened to all the well wishers come by and welcome Nuevo Mexico to the neighborhood. Jesse hopes to eventually offer some breakfast burritos, so watch for those in the near future.
I love being introduced to new flavors and spices and other ways people prepare their food. Jesse grew up in an environment where cart food was paramount and worked with his mother and grandmother for years. Some of that expertise obviously rubbed off. Welcome to the neighborhood Nuevo Mexico.
- Carne Adovada Sopapilla – $5.50
- Sopapilla with beef, beans, green chilis – $5
- Carne Adovada Burrito – $5
- Beef beans and green chili burrito – $4.50
- Green chile chicken stew – $4
- Sweet Lunas (a small sopapilla with honey and powdered sugar) – $3
- Mexican Coca Cola – $2