Food & Drink

Everywhere in PDX to celebrate not-Mexican independence

Published On 04/29/2013 Published On 04/29/2013
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1. Verde Cocina 524 NW 14th Ave, Portland, OR 97209

Verde Cocina is owned and operated by a husband-and-wife team dedicated to using Portland area farms' freshest ingredients to make the tastiest Mexican food around. The restaurant, located in the fashionable Pearl District, is a testament to this goal, serving up delicious guacamole, carne asada, and they even have a tequila sampler menu.

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2. Casa Diablo 2839 NW St Helens Rd, Portland, OR 97210

Casa Diablo isn't your typical restaurant from the outside, or, for that matter, the inside. It's modeled after the vampire bar in From Dusk Til Dawn and features a solid vegan menu with must-tries like soy stroganoff. Not what you were expecting? There's another surprise: this spot is actually a strip club that has a bank full of those ever-popular $2 bills for tipping and dancers performing the wildest leather-free strip show you’ll ever see. That's right: this is a vegan strip club. Bless you, Portland.

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3. Uno Mas 2337 NE Glisan St, Portland, OR 97232

Offering tiny tacos -- and nothing else -- Uno Mas's deceptively simple menu's the baby of a chef who's cooked at some of the best Mexi spots in PDX (Authentica, Mextiza). Here he's got 20+ tacos the size of drink coasters rocking everything from carnitas, to chicharron, to octopus.

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4. Cruzroom 2338 NE Alberta St, Portland, OR 97211

With one of the best outdoor spaces in Portland, Cruzroom doesn't need to do much else to keep customers coming, but that doesn't stop them. They've got a menu packed with inventive spins on Mexican favorites like Big Mac-flavored tacos and toasted peppercorn infused tequila margaritas. Cruzroom also has a ton of unique events throughout the week, including Movie Nights on Sundays and a LEGO building tournament every first Wednesday of the month.

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5. La Bonita 2839 NE Alberta St, Portland, OR 97211

With two locations in Portland, the family that owns & operates La Bonita must be on to something, right? Right. Find out for yourself as you make your way through their straight forward, no nonsense menu filled with Mexican classics from huevos rancheros to chicken tamales and chimichangas to what may be the best enchiladas in the whole damn city.

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6. Trigger 128 NE Russell St, Portland, OR 97212

We all know the warning: Don't mess with Texas. Well the dudes behind Trigger not-so-politely ignored that warning and opened up one of hell a Tex-Mex Oregon. Now that's ballsy. In a wood-paneled space that's got cattle skulls everywhere, they're serving up their own spins on Tex-Mex classics, like smoked brisket, beer-can chicken, and a hazelnut mole quesadilla. Get the Lone Star State food you want without, you know, having to actually go to the Lone Star State.

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7. Nuestra Cocina 2135 SE Division St, Portland, OR 97202

Owned by a husband and wife team, Nuestra Cocina isn't your average Mexican restaurant. The couple behind it take a high-end approach to the cuisine and succeed wildly, offering up authentic, delicious dishes like stuffed chilis, barbecued lamb, and grilled Mexican prawns. If your preferences still lie with a certain 'Mexican Grill,' at least do yourself the favor and check out the Mole Room at Nuestra, where you can take private cooking classes from head chef and co-owner Benjamin Gonzales.

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8. Santeria 703 SW Ankeny St, Portland, OR 97205

With a menu that ranges from authentic Mexican plates (slow-cooked pork, red snapper) and Americanized favorites ($2.50 tacos!), downtown's Santeria has all the Mexican eats you could dream of. Want more? How about the fact that this joint is located right next to the famous Mary's Club stripclub, which allows you to bring your Santeria grub in with you while you enjoy a dance or two. Yes, you've read that correctly.