When the owners of Que Pasa Cantina renovated the restaurant almost a decade ago, they looked to Mexico for inspiration. As a result, the cantina feels like a portal to Mexico itself?tin and glass stars dangle from the ceiling, portraits of poppies decorate walls, and vibrant, striped blankets counterbalance dark woodwork. As for the menu, it strikes a balance between traditional and original. Among traditional options, margaritas contain hand-measured proportions of tequila and fresh lime, and posole brims with hominy, roasted chicken, and spicy tomato broth. A handful of the contemporary entrees rank among the most popular. In particular, the chicken enchilada casserole merges green chilies, corn, and cheese into a stick-to-your-sides entree that?s as comforting as a nap in a bed of mashed potatoes. The restaurant keeps eight Mexican beers on hand and four beers on tap.
Aprisa is housed inside a repurposed steel shipping container and wraps all of its fresh cuisine inside completely compostable packaging, putting it squarely in the forefront of sustainable dining. Fresh feasts are prepared at the ordering window before the watering eyes of eaters, who are eagerly anticipating a fast, casual, and possibly hypnotizing bite to eat. The focused menu has enough variety to please exploratory palates without offering so many choices to overwhelm the indecisive. Wrap your digits around a fearsome fajita burrito with marinated shrimp ($8), or plunge your fork into the smoky sweetness of chicken mole ($10). Roll over in time for breakfast and snag a sage sausage breakfast burrito with tomatillo salsa ($3.80), or stumble over at the crack of 5:30 p.m. for huevos rancheros ($7), sold all day.
Cuisine Type: Casual Cuban
Most popular offering: Cuban sandwich
Reservations: Not offered
Delivery / Take-out Available: Yes
Alcohol: Full bar
Number of Tables: 25?50
Outdoor Seating: Yes
Parking: Parking lot
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Pro Tip: Ask for extra mojo on the side to dip your sandwich in. It's amazing.
In your own words, how would you describe your menu?
Our menu is small, simple, casual and Cuban. The bowls, plates, and sandwiches offer a combination of foods that you would eat at your home in Cuba. Rice, black beans, a meat, tropical fruits, and plantains are staples in any house in Cuba. The food isn't fancy or complicated in Cuba, but holds an array of flavor combinations such as citrus, garlic, and bay, and that is what our menu re-creates here in the PNW.
Do you use any family recipes at your restaurant? Whose family do they belong to (the chef, the owner, or someone else)?
Much of our menu is inspired by I grew up eating in Havana, Cuba. It varies from Miami-style dishes, and is, of course, somewhat different due to the ingredients available and some creative improvements.
What?s the best reaction you?ve ever gotten from a customer?
We love it when people who grew up in Cuba come in and tell us that our food tastes just like what they ate at home in Cuba. One person even said that our beans were better than his mama's. Another regular customer went to Miami, came back and said, "You ruined my trip to Miami. Your food is so much better than what I ate when I was there that I was disappointed the whole time."
Burrito Bar puts a twist on traditional Mexican foods, all while supporting its home city. It starts with the ingredients, which the family-owned restaurant sources locally and prepares fresh daily. Cooks transform those ingredients into such creations as the Rip City burrito, a popular choice loaded with spanish rice, black beans, spicy chicken, and pico de gallo. Alternatively, burrito bowls let customers enjoy all the spicy ingredients without being tempted to sleep within a cozy tortilla, and options such as vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free items suit a range of diets and tastes. They also deliver signature items such as their jerk sauce and Traeger barbecue dishes. As part of its dedication to the Portland community, Burrito Bar proudly showcases fliers for local events on its windows and pieces from local artists on its walls.
In the early morning, when many sandwich joints are still shuttered tight, Big Town Hero's bakers are hard at work. Hand-crafting each loaf of bread in-store every morning, they lay the foundation for the day's delicious sandwiches. Out of the oven and sliced in two, the bready canvasses support towering piles of delicious deli meat and fresh veggies, sourced locally whenever possible. A selection of veggie heroes delights vegetarians while gluten-free rolls offer sandwich options for those with dietary restrictions or those who've taken a binding kindergarten oath never to eat anything that starts with "glu."
Three generations of kitchen expertise inform the mouth-melting meals at Lorena’s Mexican Restaurant, a new restaurant with no shortage of seafood specials and tender carnitas combos. General manager David Robles calls on the expertise of Mama Robles in classic meals such as the chorizo burrito with huevos, the Chili Colorado with slow-cooked beef and red sauce, and the house’s signature cocktail, the Prickly Pair Margarita. Those in the mood for a light snack might simply pair the complimentary chips with a flight of dips—queso, bean, and guacamole—which allows diners to choose which sauce best matches their shirt.