Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Mayas Tacqueria - A different cut

Now I'll admit that we had absolutely no alternative to this restaurant.  Downtown Portland, on a weeknight, is not a great place to try and get a quick, light snack.  All of the coffee shops and food trucks were closed, and we didn't want to take our stroller into a packed restaurant.  We walked around for what seemed like hours, until we finally stumbled across this little Mexican restaurant.  I wasn't sure if the line out the front was due to its popularity or it being the only quick food in a 3km radius.  I went with the first option, my wife grabbed an outside seat, and I got in line at Mayas Tacqueria.

That's me, in the blue jacket.  Yay me!  So the menu prices didn't astonish me, and were certainly more expensive than our prior meal at Jake's Famous Crawfish and their wonderful happy hour.  I decided that since I wasn't overly hungry it would be a good time to try something uncommon in restaurants that we normally frequent.  Beef Tongue Tacos, here we go!

They actually looked really good, and the combo was only $7.95.  The chips and salsa were made in store, although the little taco shells were manufactured elsewhere.  I found the chips lacking a little: they were a little to thin and crisp for my liking, and had a little too much oil.  They reminded me a lot of the chips at the bottom of a particularly cheesy nacho plate, when all the cheese has been eaten and you are left with the greasy remains, yet you finish them off due to an insatiable hunger and regret it later.

The salsa though?  Wonderful!  It was extremely spicy, and had us reaching for the drink faster than we'd have liked.  I don't know what the pepper was that they ground up in it, but it certainly did the job.

From afar, the tacos don't seem much different than your normal beef taco.  I was loathe to tell my wife what the cut of beef was though, and managed to avoid answering her questions until she'd actually eaten one.  She thought it tasted a little like lamb (which she really doesn't like), so my hand was forced and I showed her a close up of one of the pieces of meat.

Mmmm tastebuds.  If you didn't know what you were eating, it really wasn't terrible.  A little gamey, but not as bad as some of the internal organs of cows or other animals.  I found that looking at it and eating made it more difficult, probably because of some preconceived notion that tongue is gross.

You have to admit though, it does look pretty good.

So.  Moral of the story?  Mayas Tacqueria: great salsa, not so good chips, and I'll try the chicken next time.  Definitely worth a visit if you are in need of a snack and everything else has closed down or is too busy!

Mayas Taqueria on Urbanspoon

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