liveonearth (liveonearth) wrote,
liveonearth
liveonearth

Double Review: Two Mexican Restaurants in Portland

Suzanne and I recently tried the Iron Horse (on Milwaukee) and The Taco House (on Powell). The scores, using our Arizona Girls Rating System, are behind the

THE IRON HORSE
1) free hot crisp chips (1 YES)
2) two or more salsa choices, one of which should be spicy HOT (1 they offered mild, med and hot)
3) margarita with tequila and lime in it, no high fructose corn syrup (.25 fair, lots of HFCS)
4) food and plate temperature sizzling hot (.75 plate was hot, as were beans & rice, but entree was only lukewarm in the middle)
5) menu: simple, fresh, authentic, not "creative" (.5 creative but still pretty good)
6) good sauces/beans/tortillas (1 the beans and rice were really good, especially the rice and I usually skip the rice!)
7) good entrees (1)
8) reasonable price (1: Total bill for two with one marg total was $26.)
9) pleasant space, warmth, colors, lighting, smells, service, etc. (1: service was excellent, iron horse is a large iron woodstove shaped like a locomotive, place was warm, music was 80's pop, overall scene was kitsch)
10) "Sopapilla o' tortilla?" (0 nobody around here seems to know the magical question)
BONUS: (+1 we liked the waitree)
TOTAL SCORE FOR IRON HORSE: 8.5

THE TACO HOUSE
1) free hot crisp chips (1 YES)
2) two or more salsa choices, one of which should be spicy HOT (.5 only one kind it was OK)
3) margarita with tequila and lime in it, no high fructose corn syrup (.75: first marg seemed lots better than second one)
4) food and plate temperature sizzling hot (1)
5) menu: simple, fresh, authentic, not "creative" (.75 ench sauce was weird: sweet & cinnamon, more like a cheap mole--no chocolate--than an ench sauce)
6) good sauces/beans/tortillas (.25 beans and rice were icky, torts were common, sauces were fair to poor)
7) good entrees (.5: enchilada would have been tolerable but for the cinnamon sweet sauce, relleno was fair small pepper OK sauce, chimi was undercooked)
8) reasonable price (1: Total bill for two with four margs was $39.00.)
9) pleasant space, warmth, colors, lighting, smells, service, etc. (.5: restaurant is busy in old shoney's building with cheap crappy shit on the walls, nice fire, smelled good, was warm, service was amazingly fast and smart, kids were screaming and counting loudly)
10) "Sopapilla o' tortilla?" (0 nobody around here seems to know the magical question)
BONUS: (+1 for the excellent service, the waitress was lightspeed and the bus people and drink delivery girl were good)
TOTAL SCORE FOR THE TACO HOUSE: 7.25
PS: We didn't have a taco yet and will go there again and NOT order the enchiladas.
Tags: food, mexicans, portland
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