My buddy Mark brought this fantastic taqueria experience to my attention. Nestled in the back of the Tortilleria Y Tienda De Leon’s are a few tables and a lunch counter displaying a wonderful selection of Mexican specialties. I stopped by there (not the first time by any means) the other day after hitting some balls at the driving range with my German buddy and his small child. One of the things that he wanted to do while visiting was hit up some good Mexican food, and the Taco Del Mar experience from the day before simply didn’t cut it in my book.
In the display counter are a number of unlabeled pots with meaty stews in them. These seem to change some, but tend to include carne con nopalitos, chile verde, carnitas (not a stew…duh), pork ribs in chile sauce, some beefy things, some chicken things, some porky things, black and pinto beans, and rice. The carnitas there are absolutely out of this world.
The nice older hispanic lady will likely offer up some samples for you of the other items…I recommend that on your first go round you get the carnitas if you’re into that sorta thing. They are lightly spiced, tender as all get-out, and just work perfectly. I’ve also enjoyed the beefy nopalitos and the pork ribs a lot as well. The meat is amazingly tender, but still textured, flavorful and well-spiced, while enhancing the meaty character. Food served in this manner often seems to be heavily salted, but at De Leon’s I do not find myself parched an hour later…perhaps that’s related to the 2 gallons of horchata that I pull down with my combination meal, but they seem to go light on the spices, and heavy on the flavors inherent in the meats and vegetables in the stews.
Try the combo meal. De Leon’s is not the most inexpensive taqueria in town…it’s two bucks for a taco, and the combo runs about $6.50. However, the rich culinary experience is well worth the high price…get the combo if you’re hungry enough, or share it. You’ll find De Leon’s at 16225 NE Glisan St in Portland, so it’s a ways out there. Grab some buddies and make a road trip of it.
Social business architect in Portland, Oregon. Soccer addict, beer fan with a hint of wine. Find me on a gorgeous Oregon river when the sun is shining.