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Restaurants & Bars

[PDX] Taqueria Nueve...

Nick | Feb 2, 2003 02:09 AM

Haven't been to Taqueria Nueve since they changed to a more sit-down dinner/bar place. Decent menu with decent prices. It may be the best value between La Calaca Comelona, it, and Cafe Azul.

The menu basically has appetizers, small ala carte items, and entrees. The entrees, however, come ala carte, truly, as well. The appetizers are primarily soups and salads. The small ala carte items are primarily tacos. The entrees are a variety of relatively traditional Mexican food, like moles, enchiladas, and chile rellenos. The tacos run under $3, soups less than $5, and salads less than $8. I can't remember all the entree prices, but the moles were only $9. I think most of the entrees, if not all, were under $10. You could get a side of black or refried beans or rice for under $2. Desserts were under $5.

I started with the fava bean soup. Not very good, but I can't be sure that it's entirely their fault, but they certainly deserve some of the blame. I usually like bean soups, even pureed ones, as this was. But it tasted oily and bland, I thought, even after I added salt. But that was the only bad dish.

I also got the mole oaxaqueno with hanger steak. They make a good mole negro. Just the right spiciness and a nice rich, interesting depth of flavor. It was served with, I would guess, about 8 oz of steak grilled medium to medium rare and was tender and flavorful. It was also served with cream and cheese and onions and tortillas. Very good.

My wife started with the grilled green bean and prawn salad with mangoes and orange. She really liked it. I'm not a huge fan of shrimp (got sick the first time I went to Hawaii and had all you can eat shrimp buffet; never been the same since), but I still thought it was tasty, the nice grilled flavor and the citrus flavor with the sweet mango. I imagine it'd be even better when mangoes are in season.

She also got a fish taco which she liked quite well also. She said it had something crispy and the fish wasn't had no off taste and was very good. They served the taco with two salsas, a green tomatillo salsa and a red, probably chile de arbol, salsa. Both were good salsas with interesting flavor and a little kick.

For dessert we had the pecan mocha tres leches. A good tres leches. Like the addition of the mocha. Could use a little more leche for dipping because the cake is quite a good size. I'm not a big fan of cake or tres leches normally, but I did like this one.

Taqueria Nueve is a very good option for people looking for traditional Mexican flavors but not wanting quite the expense of La Calaca or Cafe Azul. It's unfortunate that La Calaca is so much because it's no nicer inside either. I like the new layout of the Nueve, though I do wish they still had lunch hours.

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