Los Alambres Torteria Taqueria DF

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Los Alambres Torteria Taqueria DF

Los Alambres Torteria Taqueria DF

Location: SE 82nd and Taylor
Hours: Tues-Sat, 11-9, Sun, 11-6

The Story: There are over 70 different Mexican food carts and trucks in the Portland Metro area from Hillsboro to Gresham, North Portland to Wilsonville. How does one vendor differentiate themselves from the rest? For Los Alambres Torteria Taqueria DF, it was a massive list of tortas.

Los Alambres Taqueria is the work of Antonio and Micaela Hernandez who opened the truck on 82nd last year. Their focus is on Mexican dishes from Distrito Federal (Federal District.) Signature items include Alambre, a special dish of mixed meat, cheese served with tortillas, Tortas, and Agua de Jamaica (Jamiaca juice.) I was floored at list of 17 different Tortas, ranging from the Cubano with breaded beef, ham, hot dog, head cheese, Mexican cheese, Mozzarella, egg and chorizo to the Toluquena with chorizo, Mozzarella and chile serrano. There is a torta here for anyone. I picked up the De Luxo with pork leg and Mozzarella. I’ve had tortas before, but when I was handed the grocery bag with my torta inside, I almost dropped it, surprised by the weight. Seriously, this is a pound or more of Mexican sandwich. Thin torta bread with a salad mix of peppers similar to an olive spread and topped with sliced pierna (pork leg) and Mozzarella. Every bite included spicy pepper, salty pork and creamy cheese. The bread was superb, a perfect choice for these sandwiches. If you’re a big eater, these tortas are for you. Or, grab one and share.

De Luxo Torta from Los Alambres

De Luxo Torta from Los Alambres

Los Alambres is open daily for lunch through dinner at the corner of SE 82nd and Taylor. They have covered seating there, so you can enjoy your meal out of the weather. Not knowing how big the torta was, I also ordered a Taco del Barrio with asada, chorizo and grilled onions. Amazing! Next time I’m out on 82nd, I will definitely make a visit. Drop on by and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Tacos – asada, chorizo, pastor, birria, chicken, veggie – $1.25
  • Tortas – See list here – $6-9 per sandwich
  • Quesadillas-  $3.50-5

Website: Los Alambres
Facebook: Los Alambres Torteria Taqueria DF
Phone
: 503 213 0085

Tacos Pa’ella

Lizzy Caston
photo by Adam Wickham www.humanradio.org

photo by Adam Wickham www.humanradio.org

Location: NE 15th and Alberta, East of 15th
Hours: Daily 10:00 am – 10:00 pm

The Story: “Tortillas Hechas a Mano”. Handmade Tortillas. So simple, but so much better than even the day-old store bought kinds. It’s like the difference between eating week old Wonderbread from the outlet shop, and a freshly made Baguette from a quality artisan baker. NO COMPARISON. “Tortillas Hechas a Mano” is a sign that a taco truck or cart might be a cut above the norm. Quite literally, a sign. Usually hand scribbled and stuck to a taco cart, it’s what taco hounds often look for when assessing the quality and how autentica an establishment might be.

Tacos Pa’ella is an honorable, authentic taco truck with a little sign on the side that says in English and Spanish, “Handmade Tortillas”. But, this basic yet colorful cart also provides a very deep commitment to what I like to call THE ART OF THE TACO. It’s a simple cuisine, but the simplicity is the art: Handmade food, quality, made fresh.

photo by Adam Wickham www.humanradio.org

photo by Adam Wickham www.humanradio.org

Specializing in foods from the Jalisco region of Mexico, an area legendary for it’s outstanding chefs, Tacos Pa’ella’s owner takes his craft seriously. How seriously? The cart’s tortillas aren’t just handmade, they are made using a wooden press without lard or oil. This isn’t just traditional, it’s mucho traditional.

I’m a fiend for good chile rellanos – an Anaheim or similar pepper, stuffed with ingredients such as mild white cheese, dipped in a whipped egg batter, pan fried, then sometimes doused with a flash saute tomato sauce. Served with rice, beans, and tortillas on the side, it’s just one of those “food of the gods” foods for me, sadly it’s often very hard to find in Portland. Tacos Pa’ella however, makes a terrific version – can stand up to any fancy Mexican restaurants anywhere.

photo from Cartlandia www.cartandia/tacospaella.com

photo from Cartlandia
www.cartandia/tacospaella.com

Other items at Tacos Pa’ella are similarly deceiving. Sure, the menu might be a mirror of what you can find at most taco trucks and carts, but it’s the quality of ingredients, careful preparation, and overall care that matters. Tacos Pa’ella dishes up all three with an additional serving of friendliness.

 

Sample Menu:

Meat/Veg options: asada, pastor, tripa, carnitas,  chorizo, pollo, or lingua

  • Tacos – $1.25
  • Burritos – $4.25
  • Tortas – Mexican sandwich – $4.99
  • Enchiladas – $6.95
  • Asada Plate – $7.99
  • Chile Rellenos Milanesas – $6.25

Phone: 503 729 9614

Adamariz Taqueria

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Adamariz Taqueria

Adamariz Taqueria

Location: 221 N Killingsworth, west of Vancouver
Hours: Tues-Fri, 9am-9pm; Sat, 10am-5pm

The Story: It takes a strength and courage to launch a food cart. It takes even more to set up shop alone without the support of a food cart pod or neighbor carts. Adamariz Taqueria has that drive.

Tacos from Adamariz Taqueria

Tacos from Adamariz Taqueria

Located on N Killingsworth just west of Vancouver, the spot has hosted a few short lived vendors in the past, but when I walked by the other day, the owner of the truck was out there on the sidewalk personally waving at passers-by, welcoming them to his new location. The truck is so new, they haven’t had the time to rebrand it with their own name, but trust me, this is Adamariz Taqueria. Tacos, tortas, quesadillas and burritos are the options here at the cart. What sucked me in was the options for fillings. Lengua, Cabeza, Chorizo along with the traditional chicken, pork and steak. Sadly, the day I visited they had already sold out of lengua, so I picked up cabeza, chorizo and asada. Cabeza, beef head, may turn people off, but for me, it comes through as fatty, creamy and salty – just what I want on a tortilla with some cilantro and chopped onions. All three tacos filled me up on my walk home. Why can’t more satisfying food be only $1.50 a piece?

I’m excited to have a new taqueria within walking distance of where I live and they are open into the dinner hours. Good Mexican at a good price. Drop on by and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

Meat/Veg options: Steak, Pork, Chicken, Lengua (beef tongue), Cabeza (beef head), Chorizo, Veggie

  • Tacos – $1.50
  • Burritos – $6
  • Tamales – chicken – $2.50
  • Tortas – Mexican sandwich – $6
  • Quesadillas – $6

Phone: 503 960 1429

Guero

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Guero

Guero

Location: SE 28th and Ankeny
Hours: Tues-Sun, 11am-9pm

The Story: A food cart born of passion, travel, friendship and…well…good cuisine. I give you Guero Tacos and Tortas.

Over the years, I have met food cart owners who are parents or boyfriends and girlfriends or fathers and sons. While most of these small businesses are single owners, many are the hard work of a few who have banded together to pursue a dream. I have fond memories of younger years when I and friends worked together to fullfill a collective dream. Granted, none were as ambitious as a full service restaurant on wheels, but I know the hard work it takes for people to come together for a single focused idea. At Guero, the three partners – Alec, Mike and Megan – all share in the duty to create the best cuisine they can. The idea behind Guero came from Alec’s time spent travelling and living in Mexico and then a transition to Burlington Vermont where he partnered with his mates and launched a mobile taco business named Taco the Town, a short lived service of delivering tacos by bike. When an opportunity to transition to a full service food cart, they jumped at it and opened Guero. But don’t fret, the delivery by bike is still a passion and may return.

At Guero, you can get tacos, tortas and bolos. Tacos are my crutch. When I see a chef hand pressing a masa tortilla, I’m blinded, seeing nothing else on the menu but the taco. The day we visited offered three different tacos – Carnitas el Guero, Cochinita Pibil and Jitomate. Each one’s description activated my tastebuds, but in the end, I chose the latter two. The Cochinita Pibil is a specialty from La Riviera May with pork slow cooked in achiote with shredded banana leaf and served with pickled onion. Take a bite and enjoy the savory pork, the acidity of onion along with the moist of the freshmade tortilla. Divine. The Jitomate taco is habanero-tamarind stewed tomato atop pinto beans and topped with crumbly Mexican cheese and a slice of avocado. I read it as a stewed habanero, so was expecting a spicy bite, yet it was a tomato with so much flavor, I couldn’t easily describe it. Another amazing example of the craft and care Guero takes with every single item they produce.

Tacos from Guero

Tacos from Guero

As stated, Guero was born from a taco bike delivery service, so these guys know what Portland eaters seek. Located at SE 28th and Ankeny at a lot with covered seating, a London bus to hang out in and three other food vendors. The lot boasts Captured by Porches so you can enjoy a microbrew with your taco or torta. Drop on by, grab something new and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

Menu may change daily or weekly. Be adventurous, visit and try something new.

  • Carnitas al Guero Taco – $2
  • Cochinita Pibil – $2
  • Tortas – all served with cilantro aioli, cabbage, avocado; carnitas; cochinita pibil, huarachi – $7

Phone: 503 593 8846
Twitter: @GueroPDX
Facebook: 
GueroPDX

El Taco Yucateco

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El Taco Yucateco

El Taco Yucateco

Location: SW 10th and Alder
Hours: Weekdays, lunch

The Story: Elloy Martin makes an amazing panucho. Simple, satisfying and oh, so flavorful. Elloy Martin has been making Mexican street food magic in his cart El Taco Yucateco for a couple of years and now comes to serve the downtown eaters.

I first met Elloy a year or so ago when he was at Green Castle. I made the mistake of assuming his cart was the same as a similar named vendor out east. Lucky for me, it wasn’t a huge error as it was his brother’s cart I had visited. After some ups and downs at Green Castle, Elloy moved the cart downtown this year and opened up on SW Alder between 9th and 10th. The menu at the cart is what you would expect from most Mexican vendors – tacos, burritos, quesadillas and tortas. All fresh, made to order with pride. What stands out here are the panuchos, a special type of taco. Elloy has to go as far as Sandy to source his special masa paste for the tortillas. A panucho is different than a taco and served open face like a tostada. He makes a tortilla then quickly fries it, puffing it up. Elloy then pulls it out, slices it open and stuffs it with black bean paste. Back in the pan to finish up, he then tops it with lettuce, cabbage, shredded and seasoned chicken, pickled red onion, tomato and avocado. A panucho, done right, is one of those dishes you don’t want to eat – so beautiful. If I could, I would take it somewhere so they could preserve it for all time. Each bite is a treat from the avocado mixing with the marinated onion and the creamy beans. The tortilla isn’t hard, so you don’t have to worry about it breaking up in your hand. A couple of panuchos and a Jarochita on a sunny day is all this boy needs to make him smile.

Panuchos from El Taco Yucatecos

Panuchos from El Taco Yucatecos

While waiting for my order, a few other patrons came along for burritos. One woman came up proclaiming that the cart “had the best taco salad in town.” I’ll have to try that next. Elloy is one of those vendors who smiles and engages his customers whether he’s busy or not and I enjoyed chatting with him about Mexican street food. Makes me want to take a trip. Drop on by El Taco Yucateco next time you have a craving for something new. Let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Panuchos – $2
  • Tacos – beef, chicken, cactus – $1.50
  • Quesadilla-  $3, add beef or chicken for $1
  • Tamale – $3
  • Taco Salad – beans, lettuce, tomato, cheese, sour cream, cilantro, your choice of meat – $7
  • Burritos – $5
  • Tortas – $5

Phone: (503) 901-0768
Facebook: El Taco Yucateco

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