EAT THIS NOW
Portland Taquerias' Top Tacos
Three cantinas stoking our hand-held cravings this summer (plus plenty of drinks to wash down the spice)
UNO MAS WEST
Top Taco: Oswaldo Bibiano already has a reputation for Mexican brunch at his higher-end spots, Autentica and Mextiza. Now, at the new west-side satellite of his addictive Uno Mas taqueria, Bibiano is crafting the best breakfast tacos in the city. The chile capeado is hard to beat: shredded pork, cooked with chipotle and guajillo peppers, stuffed into an egg-battered jalapeño, deep-fried, and drizzled with crema.
Drinking Buddy: The Uno Mas spin on a classic Bloody Mary, the Bloody Maria, mixes a fiery house tequila infused with orange, mango, habanero, and cilantro, with a super-spicy bloody mix
that marries hot salsa with beer and Clamato. 1914 W Burnside St, 503-719-4768
MI MERO MOLE CHINATOWN
Top Taco: At the new Chinatown location of this guisado-fueled cantina, the stalwart stew is still unrivaled. Our favorite, borrego ahumado en mole negro (smoked lamb in black mole) features whole lamb shoulder, oak-smoked for 12 hours before getting soused in a sweet, nutty sauce of roasted chile, Mexican chocolate, and plantains.
Drinking Buddy: Bartender and co-owner Pablo Portilla dreamed up the perfect taco companion by fusing the creamy texture of a piña colada with a caipirinha. His fruity umbrella-drink version of Brazil’s national cocktail blends pineapple juice, cachaca (a sugarcane spirit), avocado, and mint for a velvety, refreshing finish. 32 NW Fifth Ave, 971-266-8575
Top Taco: The St. Johns standby, which relocated to the SE Morrison Street corridor earlier this year, is the real deal: $1.95 tacos, a room-length menu from chimichangas to posole, and Telemundo playing all day. The chile verde and beef head tacos are excellent; each cradled in a pair of tortillas and showered with cilantro and onion. But top marks go to the juicy, caramelized, perfectly grilled carne asada taco. Throw down a few more quarters for the “Taco Super,” brimming with guacamole, sour cream, radishes, and Monterey Jack cheese.
Drinking Buddy: A gargantuan, thirst-slaying michelada (see our roundup for more on Mexican beer cocktails). 820 SE Eighth Ave, 503-232-7000