Oregon is home to a lot of restaurants, bars, wineries, and breweries, but there are tons of hidden gems that the majority of Portlanders just aren't unearthing. To help guide us to these potential discoveries, we've enlisted some of our city's many food luminaries to share their under-the-radar recommendations for a weekly feature dubbed Dining Confidential.
Slow cooking, local ingredients, and old-world techniques are the hallmarks of Eric Joppie's food at Bar Avignon. Whether by roasting, smoking, curing, or pickling, these methods figure prominently into his uncomplicated style of cooking. So where does Joppie grab a bite when he's just hanging out in his North Portland 'hood? Taqueria Portland fits the bill for this chill chef.
When I move into a new neighborhood there are a few things I need to find right away: the nearest dog park, the nearest grocery store, and the best local taqueria. When we bought a house in the Portsmouth neighborhood of North Portland last fall, the search was on. Luckily I didn't have to look far — right around the corner I found Taqueria Portland.
This stand-alone restaurant on a neighborhood stretch of North Fessenden looked a little corporate and slick when I first walked in (usually a bad sign in my experience), but as soon as I started to look closer at the menu section devoted to house specialties I thought I might be in luck. I tried the Pozole first and thought it was fantastic: rich broth and tender pork with just enough spice. I'm a total sucker for soups, so I returned for the Menudo and Barbacoa. I wasn't disappointed! All the soups here are so full-flavored and comforting that they have become my go-to order here. I've tried enchiladas, tacos, and burritos but always return to the soups. For under 10 bucks, I can't find a better meal in my neighborhood!
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Image of Taqueria Portland courtesy Didrik J. via Yelp