Lengua tacos and spicy margaritas are coming to the Pearl. Papi Chulo’s, a stylish taqueria from the team behind Pearl District saloon River Pig, will open on NW 13th sometime this fall.
Ramzy Hattar, a Portland restaurateur, is opening another restaurant on 13th, his third business on that street: Hattar is also in the process of opening cocktail bar Two Wrongs a shaker’s throw from his saloon. Still, Papi Chulo’s has been in the works for a while — when the egregiously named Pink Taco decided to scrap its plans to open in Portland, Hattar started developing a business plan with longtime River Pig chef Antonio Javier Palma Caceres. “[Caceres] has always wanted to open up his own taqueria, so I’m helping him do that,” Hattar says. “It’s his menu and his concept; I’m just helping him open up.”
Caceres, who spent time at Vitaly Paley’s steakhouse Imperial before starting at River Pig, is Yucatanean, but his menu is meant to cover most of Mexico — many tacos will feature grilled meats, including a flank steak marinated with garlic, onion, and tequila. Customers will also have a choice of several salsas, including the typical salsa verde, pico de gallo, and chile de arbol. In the mornings, Papi Chulo’s will offer a Mexican brunch, with dishes like huevos rancheros, poached egg tacos, and a number of breakfast burritos filled with chorizo or bacon.
Davide Bricca, who has handled cocktails at both River Pig and Two Wrongs, is also working on a menu of drinks for Papi Chulo’s, including several margaritas — Bricca is planning spicy and traditional margaritas, as well as fruit margaritas with flavors like mango, passionfruit, and pear. For those hoping to avoid booze, Bricca plans to also serve a number of agua frescas and horchata. Papi Chulo’s will open at 611 NW 13th Avenue, in the former PBJ’s Grilled space.