La Taqueria Bonita

Date: August 7, 2007

Times Visited: 1

NE Alberta St. lures me from my Southeast hood with the draw of Vita, Bella Facia Pizzeria, the Herbivore Store and some dear friends. Last week during post-PPK Gathering festivities, I attended a group dinner at La Taqueria Bonita. I confess that I haven’t had much experience with traditional Mexican food, other than a field trip to restaurant that gave us sombreros in high school.  That being said, I’ve been craving more beans lately and ordered the vegan bean tacos. At $5, this meal came out in less than 7-10 minutes with 2 tacos filled with black beans, lightly seasoned rice, housemade salsa, lettuce and pickled carrots on the side. I found my meal simple and satisfying, and would order it again. I did add some hot sauce, which was an echoed sentiment by others. I found the dish to be overall lightly seasoned, which was alright, though underwhelming.  I didn’t feel like I was eating incredibly authentic food.  Although there a a few vegan items on the menu (tamales, tacos and burritos) my meal did come out first with cheese, yet the staff graciously and quickly made me a new plate once the mishap was realized.  Another credit to the staff is the help in arranging a large table for the group of 12+ in a side room.
A friend and I also split an order of the taqueria’s delicious chips and guacamole. Between the two of us, we almost finished it, and we both dug the fact that it was not overbearing on the cilantro.  The chips were also crispy, lightly and just salted enough.   I also heard praises for the $1.95 tamales, though other group commentary ranged from ‘mediocre’ to ‘really, really liked it’.  

I would certainly return, but Vita and Bella Facia are more strongly calling my name. If there were margaritas involved it would be definite, but I think knowing they were perhaps fantastic food options a block away, I’m just not incredibly tempted.  I would go back with omnivorous counterparts, and would like to try the tamales and see if there’s a vegan enchilada.   Again, I was satisfied, but my favorite parts were the guacamole and low prices.  As one of at least 3 taquerias in the immediate area, La Taqueria Bonita does get me curious about the others.

Vegan Tamales
PPK Gathering 2 096

Vegan Bean Tacos
PPK Gathering 2 098

Side of chips and guacamole
PPK Gathering 2 097

Rating: 3 out of 5

Address: 2839 NE Alberta St. Portland, OR
Open Daily 10am-10pm

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7 responses to “La Taqueria Bonita

  1. ya know, i should’ve opened up one of the tamales for full effect…

    p.s. this place doesn’t have Dr.Pepper. -1 point.

  2. I can’t believe you guys gave this place 3 out of 5. Okay, not having Dr. Pepper, yeah, I see that. But a good burrito for less than 5 bucks? Besides that, the burrito is awesome. Plus, just the fact that they have vegan tamales has got to be worth something.

    Eh, to each his/her own I guess.

  3. My favorite (cheap) vegan burrito in town is at a little taco stand at SE 50th & Division (next to the Cricket store). They’ll make it with Soyrizo or Tofu and can usually also add fake cheese and fake sour cream too. They don’t list any vegan stuff on the menu.. just ask ‘em (i also love their vegan nachos, tofu enchilada and onion tacos).

  4. next time you go back to la bonita, i’d suggest the chimichanga. add guac. to it as well.
    thats been my favorite dish there so far.

    and i second ryan’s suggestion. the people that run the cart are SUPER nice and very keen to all things vegan. they are pretty tight with the foodfight/scapegoat folks and have learned that we vegans can be super loyal customers when we know we can trust our eateries.

  5. I love La Bonita Taqueria! It’s my favorite Mexican place ever. The Pork Enchiladas are my regular order.

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