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.
Rating: 3 out of 5
Address: 2839 NE Alberta St. Portland, OR
Open Daily 10am-10pm