Mayas Taqueria

I found myself at the corner of 10th and SW Morrison yesterday, having dropped off my dry cleaning at a different dry cleaner for the first time (I have fired the dry cleaner that has been taking care of my clothes for the past five years). I was on my way to a book store, when I saw Mayas Taqueria. It had been a long time since I had darken that door. Found memories flooded back, my belly said I needed lunch, so in I went.

It was much as I remembered. The first thing you see is the grill behind the counter. Then, the upstairs seating catches your I. I looked at the board menu, and I got the vague sense that I had seen that menu somewhere else before. My suspicion is that Mayas is affiliated with Santa Fe Taqueria on NW 23rd.

I decided to order the Spicy Brazilian Old World Wrap. The staff behind the counter was very friendly, even offering to bring my food to my table. I paid my $7.99 and headed off for a seat upstairs.

As I waited, I took a good hard look at what was around me. The place is a rather run down. There is pealing paint. The chairs are quite uncomfortable. The dust was an inch thick on the ceiling fans. It was certainly not a place for a lunch meeting. Then, my food arrived. My wrap was topped with a fruit salsa and there was a good amount of chips. The wrap was delicious and filling. The meat was just spicy enough.

Although I enjoyed my food, I thought it was overpriced. The interior needs a lot of work.


El Palmero

Yesterday, I met my friend Nick for lunch. It was his idea and his first suggestion was that we meet in the food court at Pioneer Place. I wasn't so excited about heading down there (see my previous reviews of the Pit), but it was Nick's idea, so I didn't seize the moment to squash his plan. He called back and said that maybe we should first meet in front of my building. We met up and began to walk. Nick then asked if I had any suggestions for lunch. Well, of course I did. I had been thinking about where to have lunch with him since we first made plans a week ago. So, I said, "Let's go to El Palmero."

El Palmero is located downtown at 320 SW Alder Street. My wife hates the place. She thinks it's way to greasy (she had a quesadilla there ONCE, and hasn't gone back). When I told Nick my wife's opinion (they go way back), he said, "Let's go there."

El Palmero is a fairly good-sized taqueria, with lots of seating and a familiar menu. It has changed over the years from when I first darkened the door with my buddy Travis, but I think it has only improved.

The dishes range from $6.25 to $12.00+, which seems to be the standard rate for meals in downtown Portland. I had the Chimichanga. It was hot, filling, tasty, and not at all greasy (my wife thinks I am delusional). El Palmero is Peruvian. Stop by, say hi to the very friendly waitstaff, and have a lovely lunch.


Ruth's Chris

My wife and I went to Ruth's Chris the other night to celebrate the eight years that we have been together. There is no better way to say, "I love you," then over to perfect steaks.

I've been to several of the local steak houses in Portland, and I have to admit, Ruth's Chris is still my favorite. In fact, I have voted it my second favorite restaurant in Portland.

The interior is clean, well laid out and elegant. However, it's not so stuffy that you would feel under-dressed in a nice pair of jeans and a sweater.

The waitstaff is superb, quite friendly, very professional and prompt.

And the meat, well, it's to die for. I had the New York strip and my wife had the Kobe sirloin. I ordered the strip medium rare and the chef hit it right on the mark. It was flavorful and filling...nothing fancy, just salt, pepper in a bit of butter. Ruth's Chris serves a la cart, so if you want a side, you will have to order one. We chose to share the green beans, which was plenty for two.

My wife's Kobe sirloin was medium well. It was tenderized, so although I prefer my meat still mooing, I was quite satisfied with the bites she shared with me.

For dessert, we shared the chocolate sin cake. It had a strong coffee flavor to it, which was fine by me. Others might find it overbearing.

Ruth's Chris is not cheap. Our meal, with tip, came out to +$130.00. That bought us two drinks, two steaks, green beans and a single dessert. Come prepared to spend. Leave very very happy.