Cuisine Type: Fresh, veggie-friendly Mexican food
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Number of Tables: 5?10
Parking: Free street parking
Most popular offering: Seafood tacos, chile rellenos, enchiladas
Alcohol: Full bar
Delivery / Take-out Available: Takeout Only
Outdoor Seating: Yes
What made you want to work with food? When did you first develop that passion?
I grew up cooking Italian food, learning to cook from scratch from my mother. I began learning authentic Mexican recipes while living in Austin, Texas after college. My best friend's mother was a fantastic cook and instilled in me a love for fresh ingredients and the preparation of flavorful traditional dishes. Over the years I have worked at the Ritz-Carlton in Marina Del Ray, the Regent Beverly Wilshire and other fine dining establishments, but never lost my affection for the Mexican cooking I learned in Texas. After opening The Taco Shoppe, I have expanded my repertoire and begun creating my own recipes and variations on the traditional Mexican fare.
Is there anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?
When I arrived in Government Camp after working at several local establishments like Timberline Lodge and Edgefield, I opened a small take-out place in 2002. In late 2013 The Taco Shoppe reopened as a full-service restaurant with a full bar. The new space and expanded menu allows me to try out new recipes and margaritas. Cozy booths surround the walls and large windows offer views of picturesque downtown Govy, a tiny mountain community surrounded by several ski resorts on and near Mount Hood. In the summer, the town becomes a haven for skateboarders and offers year-round opportunities for skiers and snowboarders.
Do you use any family recipes at your restaurant? Whose family do they belong to?
All the recipes are my creations, including homemade chips and salsas. One of my passions (besides skiing!) is wild mushroom hunting, and the chanterelles, boletes, and morels find their way into my kitchen, as well as inspire the decor in the restaurant.
In your own words, how would you describe your menu?
The Taco Shoppe serves up fresh, authentic Mexican dishes like chile rellenos, enchiladas, carne asada, and tamales. Most entrees come with a side of our homemade fire-roasted red salsa or spicy green chile, or specialties like fresh grilled pineapple salsa. Many items are vegetarian and/or gluten-free. Depending on the season, you may find on offer such specialties as local, wild mushroom soups and enchiladas, or fresh steelhead, salmon, or rockfish tacos. From the bar, you can try a Mexican martini or a local draft, but you would be remiss if you didn't try a fresh-squeezed house margarita with Cazadores tequila and Patron Citronge orange liqueur.
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The masterminds behind the winery, the Barringer and Michalec families, gave their creations such sassy names partly because of the wines' ability to seduce palates. But they also did it because they loved the idea of couples sipping a glass at night and sharing a laugh over the names and saucy descriptions on the label.
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The winery’s new tasting room overlooks vineyards, the Columbia River, and perfectly spaced cherry and peach orchards under the shadow of majestic Mount Hood. During warmer months, sippers can sample blends while sitting at the outdoor patio’s rustic wood tables. Those hoping to stock up on the vineyard’s stellar creations can join the wine club, which offers perks such as a 30% discount, invitations to special events, and a complimentary tasting for up to four guests.