Oregon is home to a lot of restaurants and bars, 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.
Photo of El Burro Loco courtesy Facebook
Sue Erickson, co-owner and bar manager of NW Portland's the Fireside, grew up in Wyoming and moved to Portland in 2006 where she honed her passion for great wine and craft cocktails while bartending at several iconic Portland hot spots. While working as bar manager at a downtown restaurant, an acquaintance approached her and Wendy Hessel about opening a bar and restaurant in Northwest Portland; an opportunity Erickson knew not to turn down. When she's not at The Fireside, you can find Erickson taking advantage of all the splendid recreation that makes Oregon so special, including stopping off at her favorite Mount Hood area haunt: Welches' El Burro Loco.
On my one day off a week, I find myself being pulled to the mountains for some much needed recreation and realigning of my soul. If I finish my hike or ride and am needing some food and drink, lately I find myself at El Burro Loco in Welches. After a long hike what is calling to me is a margarita and nachos: The perfect end to a fun day of wearing yourself out. El Burro Loco has a great tap list for beers, a pretty good tequila selection, and their house margarita does the trick. They use fresh lime juice — and it doesn't come in a pint glass! I like their shrimp fajita salad with pico de gallo, & guacamole. Lots of sauteed peppers and onions make this salad super satisfying. Their nachos have all the usual suspects of beans, jalapenos, cheese, guac, pico de gallo and sour cream, but those ingredients are in good proportion and layered so you get a good bite all the way through...if you make it through a plate! The small is huge! A big outdoor patio and friendly service make for a perfect pit stop on the way back to Portland.