Melanie McClure and her team of bicycle-riding taco vendors have been bringing $2.50 tacos built on housemade tortillas to all corners of Portland since 2011. But today, she's officially gone brick-and-mortar, opening the doors to Taco Pedaler's first permanent space just in time for lunch.
In early March, she took over the old Blue Nile Cafe spot on NE Broadway in the Irvington neighborhood and proceeded to give it a color-splashed overhaul. The old gray building is now vibrant orange and green, and a signature yellow cargo bike hangs above the door. Inside the 20-seat space the color scheme reverses, with green walls and bright orange trim. Vintage Mexican tchotchkes are tucked into the nooks and crannies, and there's counter seating along the bright windows facing Broadway.
The food offerings are similar to her trike menu. In addition to tacos there are the empanada-like fried "dillas" and chips and salsa. But now there are extras like guacamole and quesadillas. By mid-May, she'll add seasonal soups and salads. To drink there are Margaritas made with Hornitos tequila, Cholula-spiked Micheladas sans tomato, two rotating beers on tap (currently Negro Modelo and Pfriem's Little Saison), plus an assortment of Mexican beers by the bottle and can, including El Sol.
The new space is still in soft-opening phase, with hours and menu items subject to change. But McClure says to expect a grand opening in May, when they'll launch a slightly bigger menu and seven tables of sidewalk seating. And that's when the roving fleet of taco trikes will be back in action, too.