Oregon is home to a lot of restaurants, bars, wineries, and breweries, but there are tons of hidden gems that the majority of Portlanders aren't unearthing. To help guide us to these potential discoveries, we've enlisted some of our city's many food players to share their recommendations for a weekly feature dubbed Dining Confidential.
Julie and Alex Bond are not only the couple behind the popular Nob Hill mainstay Serratto, they are also parents of two young children, and lovers of Mexican food, especially hole-in-the-wall taquerias. Between two small kids and a restaurant, their life can be pretty hectic — which is why when it comes to hosting parties at their home, they often turn to the Taco King taco truck. The wheeled meal joint is typically parked near an auto detail shop in Beaverton — that is, unless it's "game day." Rather than order a pile of take-out boxes, on special occasions, the Bonds just prefer to roll one of their favorite restaurants right into their own driveway.
Alex: The truck rolls up to the house, and people line up for carne asada tacos, carnitas sopes, or whatever they want, all served with a smile by the owner Oscar as he holds court through the window. Our guests become his guests and he becomes a genuinely warm and fun-loving co-host. But the fantastic food is the reason we keep calling him back. All of Oscar's food is delicious, including a wide variety of tacos as one might expect from someone named the Taco King, but I absolutely love his ceviche and his rice and beans. I know rice and beans are often viewed as "plate filler" or simply a way to stretch the protein, but not in this case. His rice and beans are different from most places and truly delicious, as are all of his homemade salsas, all of the marinated meats, even the guacamole. The whole operation is just very well-executed. And then when everybody is stuffed and saying "no puedo mas," Oscar cleans up and drives away, leaving happy guests, a clean kitchen ready for late night snacks, and best of all, money still in your wallet."
Julie: "I love the al pastor and carnitas tacos, but everything is really great... And the kids love it because they can go up to the window and order anything from a lengua taco to a plain cheese quesadilla, which not only allows them to get exactly what they want but also makes them feel independent! I really don't remember how we found Oscar, but when he comes to our house I get to join the party, not just host it."
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