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Geez, this was one of those days where we were looking for something to eat. The following facts make choosing a restaurant sometimes overwhelming and frustrating; 1 – we write a food blog and know most places NOT to go and 2 – the number of times we’ve been disappointed by a new (to us) restaurant’s meat portions. Sometimes it all just turns into a vicious circle of not knowing where to eat…but I’m sure you all can identify.
Anywho, we passed Mextiza as we were going to a different restaurant where we thought we could use a coupon. That unsaid restaurant had a coupon only valid at one of its other locations across town, where we had just come from. Ack! So from this horrible customer service experience of being fed mis-information, we decided to go to the nearest restaurant; Mextiza!
This was a huge gamble for us as we knew nothing about it, but by this time we just wanted to eat somewhere nearby. We even saw the words “Small Plates” on an outdoor sign of theirs, and thought, “uh-oh, does that mean tapas?” You all know how we fear tapas places, small quantity, high cost.
But for some reason, we walked in and it was kind of a miracle that we tried it. I guess the lords of Mextiza meant for us to come here. Much to our surprise, it was…..well, I’ll let you read…
What we ordered: Guacamole and Chips, Tacos de Costilla (Beef rib meat taco w/ cilantro, red onions and refried pinto beans), Cabrito (Slow roasted goat with potatoes pinto beans and chile vinegar sauce)
How we ordered it: Everything was as is.
What we received:
Cost: Guacamole and chips – $7, Cabrito – $18, Tacos de Costilla – $12
Quanitity: So we were really hungry and we had a lot of guac and chips. Their fresh fried chips and smooth guac was excellent by the way.
There was a lot o’ goat! We couldn’t finish the goat dish, maybe it was because of the chips? oops! Still, it was a substantial amount. The tacos looked small at first, but the meat was piled up really high and they ended up being very fulfilling. (It’s tough sometimes when one of the Meat-O-Meter’s kryptonite are guac and chips. We had to try it. Don’t judge, it was delicious )
Quality: Holy crap! Words cannot express the tastiness of the meat in these dishes. I normally am not a huge fan of goat because of its strong goaty-ness flavor. However, these were not that bad at all!! The gamey-ness (sp? I need better adjectives) of the goat meat was not strong at all, it was just faint enough that you could tell it was goat meat. It was fabulous!
The 3 tacos were A.MA.ZING! The first bite was a perfect mixture of juicy meat, fatty goodness and great tasty spices. I just couldn’t believe it. They were so delicious, I licked my fingers, the plate and then the Meat-O-Meter’s fingers, jk, he licked them already. It was so crazy good!
It’s the sign of the Phoenix rising from the ashes…or something like that. This place was the surprise of our year! Every bite was so delicious. This place is a bit expensive, but I guess it depends on how you look at it. We’ve heard in Chicago that awesome tacos from a cart are about $4 each. So for our plate to be $12 for 3 tacos, I guess it depends how you look at it. These tacos are awesome!
The meat here is cooked perfectly. There’s a well balance of flavor, tenderness and juiciness. We will for sure come back here.
They just opened in Thanksgiving of 2011, so they are fairly new, but they are doing very well for themselves. They’ve also got a gajillion tequilas. They are a legit Mexican restaurant. There’s no hole in the walls here.
Wow, I think listening to Rodrigo y Gabriela, really inspired me in this blog post.
We are now recalibrating our Meat-O-Meter rating for Cha Taqueria. Standards keep getting higher the more restaurants we go to. It’s getting spicy up in here!
Filed under: Breakfast, North Portland | Tags: Breakfast, gluten free biscuit, omelette, paleo, Portland
As of late the Meat-O-Meter and I can’t seem to justify going out to breakfast. Breakfast is eggs and bacon. Both of which we can EASILY make at home. Also the markup on this stuff is crazy in restaurants. Sure we pay for the time saved in cooking, interacting with other people and contributing to local business, but it’s still hard to justify. Hence my obsession with coupon-ing. Scout Mob is a new iphone app that has 50% off coupons in the Portland area. They also have a fun nifty mustache cam on their app. You can use this while you wait for the food you ordered using one of their restaurant coupons! Beaterville Cafe was on Scout Mob and so we decided to go on one lazy Thursday morning
What we ordered: Salmon Street Omelette: salmon, tomatoes, green onion and dill sour cream, Toronado Omelette: Chorizo, Red Onions, Mushrooms, Garlic, Cheddar & Tomatillo Salsa
How we ordered it: Salmon Street – Gluten free biscuit, next time (if there is a next time…) I’ll say no sour cream, Toronado – No cheese, biscuit or toast.
What we got:
Cost: Salmon Street – $10, Toronado – $9.50
Quality: Tasty Chorizo and Salmon, have no idea where this meat came from. (FYI gluten free biscuit was really good if you put a ton of butter on it )
Quantity: The Meat-O-Meter ordered another plate of the Toronado!! One entree was NOT enough to satisfy this guy. (at least we had a coupon)
I’m getting so good at what the Meat-O-Meter thinks that I did this one for him. Though the face really speaks for itself. Yikes, if we didn’t have the coupon, this would NOT have been a filling meal. I was OK satisfied, but the MEAT-O-METER was….well I think you get the picture, literally.
Oh, breakfast. Gravy you are still our top choice, though going out for breakfast still is not.
Current location unknown!!! If you know of anything about them, please leave in comments!
Oh my gosh! The wedding/honeymoon/school/ is over now! Phew! Geez, so sorry for the long hiatus. I know….really long hiatus. Due to a number of random encounters with random people in random places regarding the meateats blog and the Meat-O-Meter being recognized (it’s so the glasses!), I am forever encouraged to keep going with this blog! Thank you to everyone who reads it!
With that said, if you follow the blog and have some restaurants that need review-ing that I have missed, please post to the comments! As of late, due to our busy schedule and also because by nature we are creatures of habit, we haven’t been trying out any new places. So please recommend a restaurant in the comments section. If you recommend a restaurant please don’t take it personally if it turns out to be a thumbs down by the Meat-o-Meter’s purely objective and government legitimized standards.
So back to the post at hand, La Merced! It’s a food cart that popped up in our neighborhood by Kruegers Farmers Market on the corner of Lombard and west of Ida-ish…
Of course we all know the Meat-O-Meter loves meat, but in case you haven’t noticed, he especially likes different types of “meat” that have specific bodily functions in order for an animal to survive such as, liver, heart, intestine, ear, feet etc. – hence the quotations. I must admit I do like the occasional Menudo at the hole-in-the-wall Mexican restaurant, but the M-O-M takes it almost to a new level.
We LOVE tacos and we couldn’t resist this place.
What we ordered: A bunch of Carnitas Tacos. The real deal is with corn tortillas. Yes corn is not Paleo, however corn tortillas…jk, they’re still not Paleo, but it’s better than flour tortillas. Other cheats could be worse.
How we ordered it: Carnitas tacos made with just one tortilla please! (We’ve found most Mexican restaurants use 2 tortillas to make their tacos. I guess it just makes us feel a little better about our cheat when we cut down on the amount of tortilla we are consuming)
What we got:
Cost: $1.25 per taco! Some days he has a special for $1 tacos!!!!! Really? Come on, how can you not go here!
Quality: This pork most likely did not come from a local farm. But the owner really does try to use every part of the animal so nothing goes to waste. Kudos for being resourceful! The type of meat he used just made it taste so different and amazing. Very simple tasting, but so different!
Quantity: There is a lot of meat on this taco. It is pretty generous. Cheapest price we’ve found so far for a taco! Watch out King Burrito!
The accolade for this food cart went pretty deep. He couldn’t stop talking about it! The price and the meat are fantastic. It really is authentic Mexican food! Their other tacos are great as well, carne asada, bucha, lengua. They have a ton of other typical Mexican fare and and also some really unique dishes as well.
If you are in the neighborhood, go here! If the other types of “meat” aren’t your thing, you can always go for the hamburger…(booooring!) Don’t think about it, just shove it in! It’s pretty tasty! If anything the cost is pretty darn worth it.
So the first time I went to this place, apparently the woman behind the counter was the wife of the owner? She was middle-aged and English was not a primary language. I asked if she could give me a burrito WITHOUT the tortilla and she looked at me and said ,”NO Tortilla??????? No, no, no, no…”; like I was crazy. So I walked out empty handed, cursing a bit under my breath. Thus prompting my vow to never go back again. However, a friend had mentioned how King Burrito was really good and that if you do get the older woman behind the counter, the chances of eliminations or substitutions are next to nil. So I thought I would give it another try and hoped she would not be there. Well, I was in luck and this is what I got….
What we ordered: Carnitas burrito, 2 Carnitas tacos, and 1 Cabeza taco (that means, face meat of a cow…..yes, face meat…if you don’t think about it, it is really OH-So-Good!)
How we ordered it: Carnitas burrito – no tortilla, (we didn’t have to ask for no rice or beans b/c there are no rice or beans in their burritos, yay!), extra lettuce, salsa and whatever other vegetables they have.
What we got:
Cost: Tacos – $1.30 each, Burrito – $4.95
Quantity: Each taco comes with 2 corn tortillas, yes not paleo, however, there was so much meat that the MEAT-O-METER could put half the meat onto the second tortilla making 2 very MEATY tacos. That’s what I’m talkin’ ’bout! For the burrito, the picture doesn’t really do it justice. It was ginormous. I couldn’t finish it.
Quality: The meat was super moist and tasty. I have no idea where it came from or if it’s even grass-fed or not, probably not, but it was really good.
There was a very nice gentleman behind the counter who accomodated our needs perfectly! He is there most of the time, so I think your chances of running into the older woman are slim.
A couple points: The mole is el spectaculare at La Superior, but we would rather buy the mole there and walk it over to King Burrito, down the street and eat it there. So the thumbs up for La Superior is really just for their mole. I will be sure to specify this on that post.
The side thumb is for the restaurant as a whole. The guacamole here is terrible. It’s a bit liquidy, who knows if it was just that batch or just that package….The carpet could really use some….throwing out and everything is paper: the plates and cups. The utensils are plastic allowing low overhead, so maybe that’s why their tacos are so cheap!
Did I mention the cost of the tacos is so cheap? We were just at a food cart and their tacos were $1.50 with half the meat…hmmm…how is this possible?
All in all, I think we have found a new favorite Mexican hole-in-the-wall-esque restaurant close to our house! We’ll be there weekly, if you’re looking for us
Cost: Goat meat dinner plate – $7.99, Menudo – $7.99, Side of Mole – $2.50 (not pictured)
Quantity: Menudo is pretty large. The dinner plate could have had more meat on it.
Quality: Fantastic! Salsa bar was great. Their mole is homemade and really very good!
This place is our new Go To place. Super close to our house and inexpensive. When we order the menudo, they always give us a whole pigs foot! Not for the light stomached, but really tasty!
7123 N. Lombard St., Portland, Oregon 97203
A BBQ place that’s close to our house?? Woohoo!! We had to check it out! A new restaurant.com coupon showed up and we were there in no time!
What we ordered: Luau Sampler: Feeds 3 people. Includes: Kalua pig – Grilled huli huli chicken – Pork ribs – Grilled beef tri-tip – Smoked sausage - rice – Macaroni salad - Island slaw – Paniolo beans
How we ordered it: Substituted Mac Salad and Beans for Tropical Fruit and Steamed Vegetables. No rice please!
What we got:
Cost: Luau Platter – $28
Quality: Wow, this meat was good! The brisket, ribs and chicken were all tasty and moist and flavorful. The sausages were just typical sausages. But it was a good combo of lean and fat meats. The Sides however, were a different story. Clearly this place is a meat place which is awesome! The steamed vegetables were nothing great. They looked and tasted like they were from a bag. The Tropical Fruit was definitely out of a can. Island slaw was nothing great….at least it didn’t have mayo in it! Booo, but the meat was pretty awesome!
Quantity: That platter had a ton of meat! Both of us could not finish all of it.
The meat was good, but the restaurant itself was tiny and awkward. There were only 4 tables, one consisting of a long and narrow table that faced the other three tables, not facing a window or anything. Very awkwardly spaced. The summer may be a bit better because there is outdoor seating. Regarding the food, however, the meat was pretty good, but the sides were terrible. I know this review is supposed to be about the meat, but I couldn’t NOT take in consideration everything else to give it a really good review…..It’s a give and take. Not our favorite place. If we wanted good barbecue we’d probably drive to Podnah’s.
Tappas! Ok, let’s be honest. Do you really get enough meat at a Tappas place? The dishes are tiny and expensive and you have to order at least 4 plates to sort of feel full. I hadn’t been to a Tappas place in a while, so we decided to try it and find out!
What we ordered: Prawn and Mango Ceviche, Churasco (Steak), Lechon (Pork), Picadillo (Ground Beef), Camarones (shrimp)
How we ordered it: We pretty much ordered everything As-Is. We ordered all the meat Tappas; all 5 of them!
What we got:
Cost: Prawn and Mango Ceviche – $6, Churasco – $8, Lechon – $6, Picadillo – $6, Camarones – $7
Quality: Meat was tasty, well done and moist. The Picadillo was probably our least favorite as it was just ground beef w/ some veggies in it. We easily make this at home all the time! Nothing special to it. But the Lechon, pork, was fantastic! Well worth the $6.
Quantity: Eh, it’s tappas, about what we expected. Not as much as we would like for a meal.
Yeah, I don’t think we’ll be going to a Tappas place again in the near future. It’s just too expensive for little food. It doesn’t seem quite as satisfactory as a nice big meal w/ leftovers. It adds up pretty quickly, so that right there started Cafe Cubano at negative 1 in our books. Service was really great and the owners are really nice! Luckily there was a restaurant.com coupon, so we didn’t feel too much Buyer’s Remorse!
Filed under: American, Breakfast, North Portland | Tags: American breakfast, North Portland, paleo
Ya know when somebody describes something to you and they say,”My meal was the size of a football!”, or “The meat was huge, like a baby’s head!”….well, maybe not a baby’s head, but you get what I mean. Usually when this is being said, it’s really a slight exaggeration. However at Gravy the size of the omelettes are REALLY the size of a SMALL FOOTBALL!! It was crazy. I think the MEAT-O-METER’s eyes popped out of his head when he saw his food. (true exaggeration)
What we ordered: Omelette w/ choice of 3 ingredients; bacon, sausage and smoked salmon. Pork chop and eggs. Both dishes were served w/ the choice of fruit, potatoes or hash browns.
How we ordered it: The choice of ingredients for the omelette was really diverse. There was a list of cheeses, list of veggies and list of meats to add. This made it super easy to order Paleo. We ordered the omelette w/ smoked salmon, double-wide bacon and sausage. Pork and eggs were as is. Both dishes ordered w/ bowl of fruit.
What we got:
Ummm, let’s see that again….
Cost: Omelette – $9.25, Pork chops and eggs – $11.75
Quality: Everything was very tasty. The smoked salmon was a bit dry b/c it was cooked a little too long, but apparently you can also get the salmon on the side if you like, so that it doesn’t cook any longer while in the omelette. I’d like to see how big that portion really is! Sausage and bacon was excellent as well.
Quantity: The salmon in the omelette was literally a whole filet. We had never seen anything so ginormous! The pic pretty much speaks for itself. The Pork Chops were perfect! I was definitely stuffed and very satisfied.
First meal in a long time where the MEAT-O-METER barely finished! It was a struggle but he did it and he was proud. It takes a lot to make him stuffed to the gills. Warning, do NOT go here on the weekend. If you go, be prepared to wait. During the weekdays, you are golden! They’re open until 3pm, so get in for a late breakfast and notice you will not have to eat for many many many hours.
Yay for Gravy!
325 NE Russell St., Portland, OR 97212
This restaurant is so close by, it’s a wonder why it took me so long to get post this! Sorry for those patiently anticipating….but if you don’t know our favorite rib joint by now, you’re out of the loop and Russell’s not it.
What we ordered: Meat-a-palooza Platter! (Comes with your choice of 3 meats, I chose brisket, pulled pork and a sausage link), The Half rack of Baby Back Pork Rib Platter.
How we ordered it: Each platter comes with two sides. Your choice of mac’n cheese, cole slaw, greens, fries, barbecue beans, candied yams, potatoe salad and house tossed salad. We of course went with the greens and the candied yams.
What we got:
Cost: Half rack of baby back ribs – $13.50, Meat-a-palooza Platter – $16.00
Quantity: The amount of meat you get is moderate. With the Meat-a-Palooza, I was expecting 3 ginormous plates or something. With a name like that, I was definitely disappointed. Those with large appetites may leave hungry. It’s no Podnah’s Tuesday Rib special, but it’s a tasty meal.
Quality: The meat is great! It is tasty, falls-off-the-bone delicious and moist.
(Pic coming soon)
This place just opened and it’s right by our house! It’s so great to have a restaurant that’s solidly reliable and really close. Oh, Portland, we love you.
What we ordered: Tuk Tuk Barbecue Chicken, Larb w/ ground pork, Large Tom Kha Soup
How we ordered it: As is, no need to bring the rice out for us.
What we got:
Cost: Tom Kha Soup – Small – $5.50, Large – $9.50, Larb – $9.50, Barbecue Chicken – $10
Quantity: Holy Larb! That’s a lot of meat in that! I think that’s the most we’ve gotten in any Thai restaurant. That’s a nice barbecue chicken too. Bits of pineapple is a nice touch.
Quality: The meat here is tasty, flavorful and moist. Barbecue Chicken is a staple in any Thai Paleo restaurant experience. At Tuk Tuk, their barbecue chicken is a must for Paleo-ites.
Yay! It’s close to our house and open until 9:30 on the weekdays. Pulling late nights at the gym, this place is always a satisfying eatery for us. The quantity was large and for two people, you can eat here for $20 and be completely satisfied. There is another Tuk Tuk on Fremont, but I’m not sure if they are related…