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Here’s the Best Burrito in Portland, Oregon

Here’s the Best Burrito in Portland, Oregon


When you think about it, the burrito might be the world’s most perfect food. All the food groups are covered with nearly endless combinations of ingredients, and best of all, the whole dish is handheld and doesn’t even require, well—a dish.

For our second-annual ranking of the best ones found in America, we looked at burritos from all across the country and applied several strict criteria: Are all the ingredients fresh? Is there a good selection of meats and add-ons? Can you customize your order, right down to the amount of crema squeezed on top? Is it renowned by critics and locals alike in its city? We didn’t set out to rank the places to buy a burrito; we ranked the burritos themselves, but we know that you don’t buy a burrito in a void. So when you drive by this place does your mouth immediately start to water, forcing you to impulsively pull over and, before you know it, you’re diving face-first into the burrito of your dreams?

Those are the burritos we went looking for, and after compiling an extensive list, sent a survey to journalists and food writers across the country, as well as renowned chefs that are a part of our Culinary Council. Chefs who participated in the survey and will allow their names to be used include Jonathan Waxman (a native Californian with extensive burrito experience) and Cesare Casella (who brings an Italian-rustic viewpoint to the subject). Although there could only be one winner, we found plenty of delectable specimens being made across America, including in Portland, Ore.

King Burrito is a true local gem, turning out expertly-prepared creations that are wildly delicious. While the carnitas and carne asada are stellar, they named one offering the “King Burrito” because it’s the best one on their menu, and it’s a monster: chile relleno, refried beans, and steak picado (diced steak mixed with tomatoes, onions, and chiles), topped with homemade avocado sauce, served in a giant flour tortilla.

There’s really nothing else like it, which is probably why is snagged the very respectable #8 spot on our list, beating out their only local competitor also named on it, Taqueria y Panaderia de La Santa Cruz’s Al Pastor (#27). That means, according to our panel of experts, that King Burrito is the proud home of the best burrito in Portland.


Taste and Tell’s Guide: Where to eat in Portland, Oregon


Oh, Portland. I know I just skimmed the surface and that I need to return to experience more of what Portland has to offer. I was there a mere 2 1/2 days, and one of those days was spent exploring outside of Portland. So I’d have to say I was pretty successful in all that I got to try in that 1 1/2 days. I am determined to make it back to try even more!

While this list is far from comprehensive, it lists the places I ate on my trip to Portland. I have talked about a couple of these places before, but if you are here for the first time, click through on the links to read even more!

(*note – this post will be updated if more restaurants are visited!)


Where to Find the Best Mexican Food in Portland, OR

Portland is often called "the city of transplants." Young people move to the Rose City for school, the low cost of living, the outdoorsy opportunities, the music scene, or just to live somewhere ever-so-slightly weirder than their hometown. Oh, and the food: Portland has a seriously killer culinary scene at prices that make eating out in New York or LA seem like extortion.

Ironically, in coming to a town increasingly known for its food scene, those transplants often leave behind beloved food and drink from their hometown—it's why there are so many restaurants dedicated to regional American cooking, and why you can probably find a bar here that serves the cheap domestic lager from your part of the country. Some regional favorites are harder to find than others, though: many Portlanders, myself included, are originally from California, and one of the most common complaints I hear from those folks is that there isn't any decent Mexican (or Mexican-American) food in this town.

Well, I'm here to tell you that that's simply not true. There's plenty of good Mexican cooking in Portland, but sometimes you have to look a little farther afield. After five years here, I decided it was time I did just that. Here's the best of what I found—some around the corner, some well worth the drive.

Tacos at Uno Mas

Building on the pedigree of his mid-scale Mexican restaurants Autentica and Mextiza, chef Oswaldo Bibiano opened this diminutive, brightly colored taco shack in a "micro-restaurant" development on NE Glisan Street that also features a burger joint, a vegetarian Indian food restaurant, and a meatball sub establishment. After coming here, I'll be hard-pressed to ever make it back to the other three.

Uno Mas' tiny kitchen puts out huge flavors, and few of the 20-plus options disappoint. Standouts include rich, earthy beef barbacoa, braised until tender and pulled apart, and carnitas ($2 each) that, while not as crisp as I might have liked, displayed the exceptionally porky juiciness that can only come from cooking meat in its own fat. Seafood lovers will want to try the pulpo ($3.75): tender, perfectly cooked octopus swimming in a bright sauce of red chili, garlic, lime, and epazote.

Uno Mas Taquiza

2337 NE Glisan Street, Portland, Oregon 97232

Carnitas and Cochinita Pibil at Tortilleria y Tienda de Leon

This family-owned mercado and taqueria didn't exactly hit the real estate jackpot: sitting on a drab stretch of NE Glisan Street, a stone's throw from Gresham and right next door to a plasma donation center, Leon's exterior doesn't quite scream "destination dining." The food sure does, though. Carnitas and cochinita pibil—Yucatan pulled-pork in a spicy citrus and achiote marinade—are my go-to orders at this counter hidden in the back of an otherwise unremarkable Mexican grocer, but I have yet to try something I didn't like.

Meats come served as tacos, ($1.50) on massive plates overflowing with rice and wonderfully lard-filled beans ($8), or wrapped up in enormous burritos ($6) with rice, beans, and pico de gallo. Pork shoulder in a mildly spicy chili verde sauce of tomatillos and green chilies, chicken in dark brown Oaxacan mole negro, and marinated cactus salad are all equally worth your time.

Tortilleria y Tienda de Leon

16223 NE Glisan Street, Portland, Oregon 97230

Posole at El Pato Feliz

The only thing more colorful than the bright turquoise walls inside this hole-in-the-wall on SE 92nd Avenue might be the deep, fiery red hue of their posole ($10.99). It's a no-frills version of the dish that satisfies simply: a massive bowl of pork and hominy in an intense, fatty, red chili-fueled behemoth of a broth served with diced onion, sliced radish, and lemon, so you can garnish as you eat.

The generous hunks of pork shoulder come apart with ease, and what fat hasn't already dissolved in the broth will do so the instant it hits your tongue. Plump, starchy hominy kernels anchor a hearty soup that all but the most gargantuan appetites would have trouble finishing. Go on a rainy day, settle into the deep booths, linger over this warm and delicious meal, and watch the telenovela or soccer game on TV. No matter how long you sit there, you'll probably still have leftovers.

El Pato Feliz

5824 SE 92nd Ave, Portland, Oregon 97266

Guisados at Mi Mero Mole

Nick Zukin might be best known as half of the pastrami-slinging Kenny and Zuke's team, but he's also a well-traveled and researched Mexican food enthusiast. He opened Mi Mero Mole back in late 2011 to highlight guisados, the stews and stir-fries common to Mexico City street food stands. The restaurant has a rotating selection of over 60 different stews on any given day, and your best bet is to order a few different options served over rice in a fresh hand-made tortilla ($2.75 for veg/pork/chicken, $3.25 for beef, and $3.75 for seafood).

A recent visit yielded excellent chicken cloaked in a deep and layered chocolate mole, as well as lengua with cactus and potatoes simmered in a bright tomatillo salsa. But the real stars of the meal were meat-free: rajas con crema (roasted poblano, Anaheim chiles and onions in a seriously rich sour cream sauce) and a vegan stew of mushrooms, potatoes, and kale in an earthy red chili colorado sauce flavored with hot dried chilies and garlic. While the latter might seem like a Latino take on a hippy commune's curry for a crowd (kale isn't the first thing that comes to mind when I think about authentic Mexican cooking), Zukin's not simply pandering to dietary restrictions—you'd find most of the other ingredients throughout the Mexican capital.

Mi Mero Mole

5026 SE Division St, Portland, Oregon 97206

Sopes at Taqueria El Cazador

This Foster Road taqueria is a bright spot on a stretch of road that seems to only get more depressing as it carves its way southeast. The massive menu offers everything from tacos to hamburgers and Denver omelets, but it's (unsurprisingly) best to stick to the more traditional fare. The sopes ($2.75) are fantastic the thick, handmade, dense-but-not-heavy rounds of masa combine the best things about tortillas and fried dough. El Cazador's versions are heartier than many I've had, and come slathered with savory refried beans, covered with your choice of meat (carnitas and al pastor are worthy options, both sporting beautifully crisped crusts and no shortage of fatty pork juices), topped with shredded lettuce and chopped tomato for a hint of freshness, and drizzled with tangy crema and salty cotija cheese. Two make for a cheap, filling, and delicious meal, perfect preparation for a game of Ms. Pac-Man on the ancient arcade system in the corner.

Taqueria El Cazador

10151 SE Foster Rd, Portland, Oregon 97266

Tortas at Güero PDX

This trendy little Airstream trailer is parked in what's easily the highest-quality food cart pod in the city (Pod 28), and they make some of the best tortas around. The crowd favorite carnitas torta ($8) is a stellar sandwich, with layers of tender shredded pork shoulder, cotija, avocado, cabbage and zingy pickled red onions crammed into a light yet sturdy torta roll from Vancouver, Washington's Veracruz Bakery. You can understand why the folks at Güero go out of their way for these rolls—the perfectly crisp crust gives way easily to a soft, slightly chewy interior that makes the ideal base for a torta.

The vegetarian refrito torta ($7) is no slouch either. These are simply some of the best lard-free refried pintos I've ever had, sporting the perfect textural contrast between firm whole beans and starchy, creamy crushed ones. They're complemented by an outstanding roasted serrano and poblano crema for a killer meat-free sandwich. Guero may be a bit preciously hip (taco tattoos reportedly used to net their owners a free taco), but one of these tortas, eaten on a sunny day with a beer from the beer cart next door, explains why people of any age would retire to Portland.*

Yeah, that was a Portlandia reference. No, I don't consider myself a serious writer, why do you ask?


1. King Burrito Mexican Food

A longstanding counter-service restaurant, King Burrito serves burritos, tacos, and other Mexican and Mexican-American staples. Open early until late every day of the week, the super casual restaurant serves a selection of breakfast burritos, including chorizo, chorizo with potatoes, and the classic machaca breakfast burrito with scrambled eggs, refried beans, tomatoes, cheese, and shredded beef. The burritos at King Burrito are, appropriately, very big.


Best Burrito in Portland?

R.I.P. Angel Food and Fun. I will have to try some of these suggestions.

Is it officially gone? I know Manny had to leave due to the expired visa, but i thought heɽ trained someone to keep it afloat? Haven't been by since that happened though.

Burrito is like the 10th best thing on that menu though.

La Jarochita - cart on SW 5th and Oak - has an absolutely killer shrimp burrito. And avocado salsa.

Their shrimp burrito is honestly the worst burrito I've ever had in my entire life, including gas station burritos.

They might have just royally fucked mine up though.

My favorite burrito in the city, right behind Tortilla & Beans.

King burrito is pretty tasty

chile relleno burrito with green sauce. so damn tasty.

KING all the way. Machaca for life.

Abso-fucking-lutely! Love King Burrito.

Second this. And they have some of the best damn Carne Asada tacos anywhere.

Between the two on that stretch of Alberta--La Sirenita or La Bonita--they're both pretty damn good. Back when I was going to them regularly, I chose depending on whether or not I wanted a lunch beer with my burrito.

Over La Bonita? You're nuts! Sirenita is all grease, beans, and cheese, with bland rice. La Bonita is full of good veggies and fresh stuff. I used to work right next to both places, and I watched their deliveries and kitchens a lot--Sireneta gets most of their food from cans, La Bonita had fresh produce trucks delivering crates of fresh veggies all the time. It's just so, so much better quality.

Literally the only time I go to Sirenita is after between 10-11pm, when they are the only option open.


  • Güerro
  • Nong’s Khao Man Gai
  • SeaSweets Poke
  • E-San Thai
  • Tabor Bread
  • Wolf & Bears
  • Olympia Oyster Bar – Tuesdays, especially
  • Cooper’s Hall
  • Urdaneta
  • The Society Hotel – Order downstairs, then ask to be let up to the roof!
  • Jacqueline – $1 oysters!!
  • Cibo – $8 pizza that is HUGE
  • Paley’s Place
  • Luc Lac – Get there right when they open, or be prepared to wait

The Battle Over Kooks Burritos Led to Death Threats and International Outrage. We Invited Portland Chefs to Weigh In.

But we really didn't anticipate that a short and positive review of a weekends-only breakfast burrito pop-up a couple of weeks ago would ignite an international incident—a rage-filled conversation about cultural appropriation that led to opinion pieces in the London Daily Mail and The Washington Post and on Fox News, not to mention on Mexican social media. It was a perfect storm.

The photograph that ran with our May 17 review of Kooks depicted two young, middle-class-looking women triumphantly holding burritos up in the air. Our article described how the two women "lost their minds" over handmade flour tortillas on an impromptu getaway to Puerto Nuevo, Mexico.

"I picked the brains of every tortilla lady there in the worst broken Spanish ever, and they showed me a little of what they did," Kooks co-owner Liz Connelly told WW. "They told us the basic ingredients, and we saw them moving and stretching the dough similar to how pizza makers do before rolling it out with rolling pins. They wouldn't tell us too much about technique, but we were peeking into the windows of every kitchen, totally fascinated by how easy they made it look. We learned quickly it isn't quite that easy."

We've told similar stories about food inspiration many times in the past—two Portlanders who'd taken a motorcycle surfing trip to Mexico, fallen in love with grilled chicken and brought the recipe back home to their food cart or Andy Ricker's trips to Thailand, on breaks from being a house painter, which led to Pok Pok and his celebrity status across the United States and in Thailand.

But this time, the story about Kooks provided tinder for a cultural inferno.

More than 1,500 comments were posted, with still thousands more on Facebook—some defending, others attacking the Kooks owners, who were derided as white "Beckys" even though one of the two Kooks owners is a quarter Chinese.

"This article is a clear example of how media perpetuates and reinforces racism and white supremacy, brandishing it as 'fun' and 'innovative,'" read one comment. Another demanded that the two women send remunerations back to Mexico for the cultural theft of tortilla recipes. Others defended the women's right to make burritos.

After the review was published, Kristin Goodman, co-founder of feminist workspace Broadspace, circulated what she called a "shit list" of "white-owned, appropriative restaurants." [Update: As of 11 am on June 7, the document has been deleted or made private.] The list names more than 60 restaurants that serve ethnic cuisine but are owned by a white person.

"White business owners wield economic and 'cultural capital' advantages over POC (people of color" business owners, so they are 'punching down' by appropriating cuisines from people who are disadvantaged in comparison," the list says.

The list identifies Pok Pok (Thai), Voodoo Doughnut (religious appropriation) and the Alibi (Polynesian), with suggestions of POC-owned businesses that readers of the list should frequent instead. The Portland Mercury decried the "pattern of appropriation" Kooks represented and linked to the list, calling it a "who's who of culinary white supremacy." Nine days later, the Mercury pulled the Kooks story from its website and issued a retraction.

Goodman is not the original author of the list. The Google Document's history shows the file was created on May 18 by Portland vegan activist Alex Felsinger. Felsinger says that the list was part of a private conversation among activists, but that he had no part in sharing the list publicly.

In the wake of all this, Walker MacMurdo, writer of the Kooks review, was contacted by Germany's Der Spiegel, Russian television station Moscow 24 and Australian comedian Jim Jefferies' talk show.

Meanwhile, the owners of Kooks received so many threats—at least 10 of which were death threats, they told WW— that two days after our review appeared, they closed their business because they felt unsafe.

In all of this, one group seemed conspicuously absent from the fervent dialogue: chefs in Portland, both those who make food from other cultures, and immigrants who brought their cuisine with them.

Last week, we invited several chefs to speak their mind in an open conversation. The chefs all sat down at Old Town restaurant Mi Mero Mole, for a meal of breakfast burritos.

Here's the conversation that ensued—which has been edited and condensed for clarity:

On the outrage over Kooks Burritos…

Akkapong "Earl" Ninsom, owner of Thai restaurants Hat Yai and PaaDee: Honestly, I thought it was funny. [Non-Mexican] people have been making Mexican food for a long time, and it never became a story. It was never a problem. Why? If it was true they went to just stay [in Mexico] for a day and see what was going on, understand exactly how they do it, keep doing it and execute and perfect the recipe, then I was supportive.

Han Ly Hwang, owner of Korean restaurant Kim Jong Grillin': I know these two women I don't think there was any malicious intent. However, if you're gonna do a quote-unquote "appropriated" business, it's all about the approach. I think the whole story would have been different if they came and said, "You know what? We were there forever. I blew through my whole savings account to learn how to make tortillas, and here I am."

Anh Luu, owner of Vietnamese-Cajun restaurant Tapalaya: Why is it these girls, right now? Lots of people of different races have been opening up restaurants that are not of their own race. That's how it is—it's a restaurant. I feel like the article that was written wasn't quite fair to them. I don't think they knew what they were getting ready to talk about. "I'm peeking into windows," is kind of just a phrase. I'm not sure if they actually did that. I want to highlight the fact that they are women, too. I feel like if two white dudes had opened a burrito truck saying, "We spent a few months in Mexico speaking broken Spanish," people would be like, "Oh, cool, brah! That's awesome!"

Hwang: If two white dudes went and caught all the best waves and came back with a burrito pop-up, unfortunately, I think I agree with you, I don't think it'd be that bad. I think it'd be almost a romantic story.

Nick Zukin, owner of Mexican restaurant Mi Mero Mole: There's a dismissiveness [to the reaction to the review]. Everybody is like, "Oh, these girls, they're just a couple sorority girls."

Hwang: It's super-sexist.

On authenticity…

Hwang: I think the authenticity thing comes up a lot. For me it's like, this is what I grew up eating, and I happen to be Korean, and this is what I'm selling. But there were so many days when I had to wonder, am I Korean enough to make this food? If a Korean person comes by my food truck, are they going to say to me, "This is the worst thing ever. Close, go hang yourself"?

Zukin: But you say "a Korean," as if it's one thing. Even people of color do this—they try to lump together all Koreans as if they're the same. I get this because I'm white making Mexican food, so there's a certain suspicion level with some people that it's not going to be authentic. I'll have one person come in and say, "This is amazing, it's exactly how my grandmother makes it." And then the next week someone will say, "This isn't even mole."

Luu: If you're cooking Thai food outside of Thailand—even in Myanmar or China—it's not gonna be authentic. All food travels around the world, and every culture has their own version. It's all getting blown way out of proportion, and people are taking it too seriously. It's food. If it's good, eat it.

Hwang: One thing I want to touch on: Our business [Korean-American barbecue fusion spot Kim Jong Smokehouse, in which Nimson is also a partner], we have a business together, and one of the partners is BJ Smith. He's a white hipster chef, a lot of tattoos, funny guy. But if he did it alone, it'd be curtains for him. But because we are the validators of the Korean aspect, or the Thai aspect, now he's validated. Nobody gives him any crap.

Luu: I did a phorrito [pho and burrito fusion] pop-up that was all the rage, and not one time did I ever receive any criticism that I was appropriating Mexican cuisine. Is that fair? If I was a white woman, they would have totally been like, "What are you doing?" [But] I'm a chef, and I'm Vietnamese.

Hwang: [Minorities] have a bigger privilege of being able to play with that. I look at Bo Kwon [of Koi Fusion], great example. He's a baller, but he has a food that's not Korean, and it's not really Mexican, it's his own thing. I haven't seen any white-appropriated Korean places, but if there were, I would go in and be like, "Alright, I'm going to hold you to the highest standard I possibly can. You better be able to speak Korean better than I do. It better be one of those Mowgli, Koreans-adopted-you situations."

Zukin: There's a colonialist history between Japan and Korea: Would you be OK with a Japanese place doing Korean barbecue?

Hwang: That's a really good question. In my generation, Koreans like myself are trying to erase that separation between Korea and Japan.

If Portlanders were so upset about Kooks, why have they fallen in love with Pok Pok, a Thai restaurant conceived by a white man?

Zukin: It’s a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you’ll say Andy Ricker was only able to get as popular as he was because he is white.

Hwang: [Ricker] is a very unique case. He went above and beyond, and really researched. The gentrification and appropriation thing doesn't stop with him—he's still making money off somebody else's culture—but he's also doing something really important. He's educating. He's teaching people, this is why these fish sauce wings are like this. We don't have chopsticks for this, there are forks for that. He's good with educating.

Ninsom: I couldn't [serve unfamiliar Thai food] at first—because I didn't know you could before. It was too much risk. You didn't want to put all your effort into something that would die.

Luu: Ricker is doing his part to educate people about the culture, but in these times, you will always have the person that's going to be on the opposite side of that page. He would be heavily scrutinized.

Zukin: There definitely would be more pushback now. The people who organize these sorts of [social media protests] are much more mainstream than they were 10 years ago. It's the norm now.

On the list of white-owned, appropriative restaurants…

Luu: It's hard to believe that the person or people who wrote this list can't see that this list is racist in itself. I just don't see how they don't see it. And that's why they're being cowardly, and won't fess up about who wrote the list. I don't think the culturally "ethnic" people on the list feel represented by it. I wouldn't if I were on the list—on that side of the list. And what the hell? Voodoo Doughnut? Like, "religious appropriation"? What the actual fuck? I'm from New Orleans, where voodoo is actually around! Voodoo Doughnut being religious appropriation is ridiculous.

Hwang: I don't think [this list] helps. What's it going to achieve? It's not like any of those business owners are peering behind a white curtain, thinking, "I hope they don't find out." It's openly out there. Ten years ago in Portland, the color spectrum was very, very slim. It's getting better. And we're finally a real city. How many Beard [Awards] do we have now? How many nationally talked-about restaurants? This means there's more money for us now. There are more ways to make a living, and we don't have to work for other people. It think that the list is counterproductive. And I agree with Anh Luu, I think it's kind of racist.

Luu: Calling out only white people? There are plenty of non-white people appropriating other people's cultures, too!

Hwang: Careful. That phorrito might come back and catch you!

Luu: If I were white, they'd be like, "You're appropriating two cultures!" The list is completely unfair, because it's out of context. Not everyone knows everything about all the businesses and all the people listed. You just can't judge a book by its cover. It's unfair that those girls had their business shut down.

On the free flow of food culture…

Zukin: Honestly, I don't worry about cultural appropriation. I worry about people doing things that are racist, mocking or demeaning. The entire history of food is people appropriating, exchanging, influencing, borrowing, etc. I bet you can't imagine Korean food without chilies, and chilies are from Mexico.

Hwang: It happened in the 1500s, yeah.

Zukin: Is it the appropriation that bothers you, or is it the attitude, the approach?

Hwang: The appropriation is going to happen. It happens no matter what. With Kooks, if I want to be really racist and sexist about it, if I see two white girls making burritos, what do you think the avocado ratio is on that burrito? It must have been astronomical! It would have been awesome! And now we'll never know!

Luu: Every form of art has appropriation. That's what happens. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Unless you're trying to be like, "This is my idea now."

Hwang: I took my mom to Departure [whose chef is Gregory Gourdet, who is of Haitian descent], had her order the bibimbap, and asked her, "What do you think?" She said, "It's really good, it's vegetarian, it's awesome." And then I brought out Gregory, and she was like, "No way!" Her head exploded.

Zukin: I think one thing people don't realize is that when I go to Mexico, the older Mexicans that I'm usually working with and learning from, they're seeing their traditions being lost to younger generations who are more and more influenced by corporate foods and global foods. They're losing their traditions. They're super-excited to see anyone, of any nationality and any race, wanting to preserve and continue those traditions. That's what I see in Mexico.

On whether future chefs will be afraid to work with foods from other cultures…

Zukin: It actually already was a concern. I considered bringing in a partner who was Mexican or Latino to give [Mi Mero Mole] credibility, even if it was entirely dishonest. It's something people think about: You have to partner with somebody, even if they're not the one who's truly passionate about the food. I get attacked by Mexican Americans who grew up eating mac 'n' cheese and Taco Bell. I grew up eating this food three times a week, and I've studied it. I understand it's not my heritage's food, but why is it not my food? It's the same way a New Yorker will think pizza is their food, even if it's Italian.

Luu: The fact of the matter is, this situation will deter people from opening something that isn't of their own ethnicity. Which sucks, because then we're not going to have the future Andy Rickers. Food should just be judged by how good it is.

Hwang: Plain and simple. Thank you.

Luu: I don't care who's making it. Sure, I care about their story, if that's what they want to highlight about it. But if you eat something, and you think it's good, then support it. As a person of color who does get a lot of press myself, I don't feel that white people are infringing. There's no other Cajun place in Portland that's getting more press, and all the other Cajun places are owned by white people.

Zukin: One of the weird things is, the focus is on ethnicity and race, but I feel like the bigger issue is class. There's no acknowledgement of each of us as an individual—that we all have individual disadvantages and privileges in life, that some poor person from a methed-out mom in Kentucky can be worse off than a third-generation Indian whose parents are both obstetricians. And there's no acknowledgement: "You're brown? Oh, you're worse off." How is that not more prejudiced than a white person owning a Mexican restaurant—to reduce people just to their color and not their individual story, and what they've overcome? I don't get it.

Luu: Eat the food before you make a judgment.

Ninsom: Be crazy about the food, put all your thought into the food. Anybody could be the next famous person, but it's the food.

What this conversation will look like five years from now…

Zukin: In five years, we might be in the middle of a recession, and concerned about all the restaurants that are closed, and that none of the cooks have jobs anymore. Those are real issues. Cultural appropriation is an issue that you can talk about only when you have enough money and time and a good job to talk about it.

Hwang: Five years ago, we were still waking up from our hangover that was Old Portland. Now it's completely unrecognizable when you drive down Division. So in five years, do I think it'll be a little different? I think some other incident will happen that'll either push us in the right direction—like this conversation—or it'll push us in the wrong direction, so that now we're only making money and fighting over the color of our skin.

Han Ly Hwang, 37, first learned to cook Korean food from his mother in Fairfax, Va., before taking his first cooking jobs at Chili's and Applebee's. His Portland food cart, Kim Jong Grillin', was destroyed in a fire on the same night it was judged best food cart at WW cart festival Cart Mobile in 2011. He rebuilt it in 2014, and now also co-owns two locations of a Korean-American fusion concept called Kim Jong Smokehouse, with chefs BJ Smith and Earl Ninsom.

Nick Zukin, 44, grew up near Eugene, where he learned to fry his first tortilla at age 5 from Arizonan and Californian parents. He is co-founder of Kenny and Zuke's New York-style deli. After years of promoting Mexican-run businesses in Portland (including as an occasional contributor to WW) and studying Mexican food in Mexico, he started Mexican-restaurant Mi Mero Mole in 2012—which has placed him on the list of "white owned appropriative restaurants" circulated online.

Earl Ninsom, 38, was born and raised in Bangkok, Thailand, and began cooking with his parents and grandparents at a young age. He first helped his family start Thai restaurant Thai Cottage in 2008, and has since started or helped start restaurants Mee-Sen, Tarad Thai, PaaDee, nationally lauded pop-up Langbaan, Kim Jong Smokehouse and WW's 2016 Pop-In of the Year, fast-casual Southern Thai spot Hat Yai.

Anh Luu, 31, was born and raised in New Orleans, where she first learned cooking from her mother—although her first cooking job was at age 15, at a Mexican restaurant called Vaquero. After she moved to Portland in 2009, her first job was at Cajun restaurant Tapalaya, where she has slowly introduced Vietnamese influences to the food. Luu bought the restaurant this March.

Matthew Korfhage has lived in St. Louis, Chicago, Munich and Bordeaux, but comes from Portland, where he makes guides to the city and writes about food, booze and books. He likes the Oxford comma but can't use it in the newspaper.


27 Oregon restaurants Guy Fieri visited on ɽiners, Drive-Ins and Dives'

Think you see a lot of Guy Fieri on TV now? Just wait. It was announced recently that the platinum-haired chowhound has a "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" spinoff called "Triple D Nation" coming to Food Network soon.

And of course, Fieri recently took a trip around the West, stopping in eateries in Oregon, Idaho, Montana and more on what he dubbed on social media #familyroadtrip to Yellowstone.

In short: Guy Fieri is everywhere. Whether you think he’s an unpretentious good guy with a hearty appetite, or a showboater with a limited culinary vocabulary (“off the hook!”), the host of “Guy’s Grocery Games” and the name behind Fieri-licensed restaurants keeps extending his brand.

Fieri has been to Oregon before, as anyone who has watched him dig into dishes at such spots as Pok Pok, Bunk Sandwiches and Otto Sausage Kitchen and Meat Market on “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” can tell you.

The new spinoff show, "Triple D Nation," is set to premiere at 9 p.m. Friday, July 13 on the Food Network.

Guy Fieri in an episode of "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" filmed in Havana, Cuba. Photo: Citizen Pictures

According to the press release, the spinoff will feature Fieri returning to some of his favorite “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” spots to “see how they have been doing, and to get a taste of some of the new and classic recipes they are dishing out.”

Here’s what the press release says about the first episode: “On the premiere, Guy finds things have changed a lot for his poke buddies at Big & Littles in Chicago. In Denver, it’s a second serving at a unique ‘triple threat’ location that is part bar, part pizzeria and part biscuit shop, where they are dishing out breakfast biscuit sandwiches and a couple of new late-night Italian options. Over at The Shanty, in Wadsworth, IL, the owner reminisces about how ‘DDD’ changed his life and his menu with new dishes, including braised pork shanks and goat cheese wontons. Finally, in Seattle, a return to ‘Diners, Drive_Ins and Dives’ first, and only, Trinidadian joint reveals their new take on an old staple -- fry bread.”


The Only & Best Food Truck Portland That Specializes in Birria

Come and try the only Portland food truck that specializes in delicious and scrumptious Birria. What's Birria? It is a Mexican traditional Beef Stew that is cooked slowly for hours with seasonings and spices. Our Founder Doña Sofia cooks only using the best ingredients with love and care to bring you the best flavors of this authentic dish. Our family has been cooking Birria for friends and family for over 20 years and now we invite you to try for yourself.

Come visit our big red Portland food truck:
600 SE 146th Portland OR 97233


The Most-Over-the-Top Burritos in the Country

A combination of meat, rice and salsa rolled into a tortilla, a burrito is one of the easiest foods to gussy up. See how chefs from coast to coast are giving the hand-held meal a crazy-delicious makeover.

Photo By: David Jacobson, Tao Group

Diablo Burrito at Allan's Authentic Mexican Restaurant, Portland, Oregon

This aptly named burrito at Allan's is not for the faint of heart &mdash daredevil foodies who want to tackle the dish are even required to sign a two-page waiver. The filling starts with slices of New York strip, pinto beans and rice, but takes a spicy turn with the sauce. A who's who of chile peppers goes into the fiery mixture: habaneros, jalapenos, naga vipers and the Scoville-topping ghost pepper, to name just a few. The flour tortilla-wrapped burrito is then blanketed in a vibrant red salsa made from California and guajillo chiles and finished with two serrano "horns."

Giant Burrito at Natura Cafe, New York City

Inspired by San Francisco's Mission burrito, the one at this all-day cafe may seem daunting at first glance &mdash after all, it does literally measure the length of your forearm. Choose chicken or steak and Chef Brad Warner will squeeze it inside a massive tortilla with sour cream, guacamole, black beans, cheese and fragrant green rice.

Soul Food Burrito at Brunchaholics, Dallas

Jessie Washington is addicted to brunch, and he's proud of it. His love of the indulgent meal inspired the Texan to launch his weekends-only stand at the Dallas Farmers Market, where hungry marketgoers can dig into Cajun smothered shrimp and grits, warm biscuits topped with fried chicken tenders or Washington's signature Soul Food Burrito. True to its name, it holds a trio of Southern favorites &mdash fried or blackened Louisiana catfish, mac 'n' cheese and smoked turkey collard greens &mdash in one deliciously messy bundle.

Chicken Tikka Burrito at The Bombay Frankie Company, Los Angeles

Mumbai's street food vendors have been selling their own version of a burrito &mdash dubbed the Frankie &mdash for years, and the Indian specialty has made its way to LA by way of this gas-station restaurant. Behind a Chevron in West Los Angeles, you'll find Chef Kamaljit Singh at the helm of a clay tandoor, turning out tender, fluffy naan that become Frankie wrappers. Fragrant chicken tikka masala and other familiar Indian accompaniments (cumin-spiced jeera potatoes, pickled red onions and chickpea spread) go into the burrito, along with a refreshing raita, tamarind chutney and mint crema.

Chef's Supreme at Virgil's Real BBQ, Las Vegas and New York City

A light breakfast this is not. The Chef's Supreme starts as a hash made from slow-cooked brisket, onions, Red Bliss potatoes and Virgil's housemade barbecue sauce. Once the hash is warm, it's tucked into a giant flour tortilla with scrambled eggs, applewood-smoked bacon, avocado, melted pepper Jack cheese and pico de gallo to form a hefty morning meal. That's not all &mdash each breakfast plate arrives with a side order of home fries, too.

Chip Butty at Es Todo, Los Angeles

Sarkis Vartanian has brought sandwiches from around the world together under one roof at this takeout window. Though the Chip Butty originally hails from Britain, the one here draws from Vartanian's childhood in Syria, where his mom used to whip up her version as a weekend treat. In Es Todo's cheffed-up wrap, crispy twice-cooked French fries, chopped tomatoes, diced red onions, Heinz ketchup and a spicy green schug sauce are crammed into lavash flatbread, forming a burrito that feels uniquely LA.

Kimchi Fried Rice Burrito at Seoul Taco, St. Louis

Korean and Mexican flavors come together in this hybrid burrito from Chef David Choi of Seoul Taco. Diners choose from four proteins &mdash bulgogi beef, spicy pork, chicken or tofu &mdash that get encased in a flour tortilla with the usual burrito fixings of lettuce, cheese and sour cream. In another nod to Choi's Korean-American heritage, the mashup is packed with spicy kimchi fried rice and his top-secret Seoul Sauce.

PizzaRitto at Russo's House of Pizza, Pearl River, New York

Instead of a tortilla, owner Michael Russo uses his restaurant's signature item, pizza, as a burrito wrapper. Once the bubbling pie comes out of the oven, he layers on other items offered at the New York pizza joint &mdash pepperoni, chicken cutlet, baked ziti, meatballs and mozzarella sticks &mdash and rolls it into a cheesy frankenfood that weighs in at an impressive 7 pounds. He's even spun off two variations: the DrunkenRitto, stuffed with chicken Parm, ravioli and vodka sauce and the GinzoRitto, with sausage, peppers, spaghetti and garlic knots.

Plan B-Rito at Flip Sigi, New York City

Chef Jordan Andino's cuisine is influenced by his Filipino grandmother's cooking, but presents the flavors and ingredients in a more modern way. At Flip Sigi, a casual taqueria with locations in the West Village and on the Upper East Side, one of the most-popular menu items is the Plan B-Rito, a hangover-busting bundle of three types of pork (longanisa sausage, ham and bacon), hash browns, egg, shredded Mexican cheese and salsa.

Crazy Burrito at Crazy Burrito, Hilliard, Ohio

Feeling indecisive about the filling for your burrito? There's no need to choose between meat or seafood at this Mexican restaurant, where the namesake burrito comes with grilled chicken, steak and jumbo tiger prawns, alongside golden rice, sour cream and onions. The colossal burrito arrives smothered in chipotle cheese sauce and pico de gallo with a side of fried bacon beans and guacamole, making it a serious knife-and-fork kind of meal.


Watch the video: Portland Burrito Brigade serves 500 burritos