Oswaldo Bibiano is Portland’s dean of Mexican cuisine. The talented chef behind Autentica on Northeast Killingsworth and last year’s Mextiza—a family-style flyover of Mexico’s culinary regions—is now dropping some serious knowledge with the just-opened Uno Mas. At this elevated taco parlor, he’s hunting down tripe, stuffing blood sausage, aging cesina (salted beef) and taking everyone to school on how it’s done.
Slotted between 24th and Meatballs and Basa Basa inside a new “micro-restaurant” project at NE Glisan and 24th Ave, Uno Mas is little more than a brightly colored shop: a few dozen electric yellow stools, long metal bars and two wooden garage doors open to the picnic tables outside. The excitement is squarely in the food.
Bibiano calls it a taquiza or “taco party” where taco options spill out from the kitchen by the dozen and squirt bottles of well-calibrated salsa come in every hue of the chile spectrum. Order from the chalkboard list of twenty or so “traditional, seafood, vegetable, and steamed” two-dollar tacos or opt for a chef’s choice of a dozen tacos for $20 served with a few wedges of radish. Choose from an arsenal of 32 oz. Mexican beers, killer micheladas (a Mexican hangover cure of tomato, spice, and iced beer), or a ladleful of daily fruit-filled agua fresca, from sweet melon to spicy pineapple.
From the cramped kitchen comes an impressive lineup: fork-tender barbacoa brisket cooked with avocado leaves and juicy “endiablado” prawns in red-hot chile marinade and oregano that sing in house-pressed corn tortillas. Vegetarian offerings hold their own, from garlicky cremini mushrooms to queso asadero, lightly browned and stuffed with avocado. Some of the best tacos on the menu are the most daring: dark burgundy crumbles of Bibiano’s homemade moronga (blood sausage) salty and rich with grilled onions to charred curls of polpo (octopus), magnificent in red chile powder, epazote and lime.
Uno Mas is a welcome departure from the usual al pastor and carnitas—both very good here. One week in, it’s looking like a player.
Catch a slideshow of Uno Mas here.
2337 NE Glisan St.
Open daily, 11am-11pm