Survey 2011: Best Mexican Restaurant

 

Oswaldo Bibiano of Autentica

Oswaldo Bibiano of Autentica

Once again, this survey pretty much followed along the lines I expected. Autentica has gotten more expensive, but I still feel it is a good deal. In my experience the service issues have been largely worked out, though they still have off days. ¿Por Que No? locations always have a line down the block, and I admire their commitment to their staff and to local sustainable ingredients. Nuestra Cocina is good, and used to be one of my favorite restaurants, but they need to shake things up. I was thinking the other day I haven’t been for a long time, because the menu doesn’t seem to have changed much over the years.

  1. Autentica – 21% of the vote. 5507 Northeast 30th Ave., Portland, OR 97211 (503) 287-7555. Map My review – updated 2.11
  2. ¿Por Que No? -19%. Two locations: 3524 North Mississippi Ave, Portland, OR (503) 467-4149 ‎Map & 4635 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, OR(503) 954-3138 ‎Map. My Review – updated 3.11
  3. Nuestra Cocina – 17%. 2135 Southeast Division St, Portland, OR (503) 232-2135 Map. My review – updated 3.11.

It’s not AuTHentica, it’s Autentica!

You can see all of the “Best of Portland” results here.

Your thoughts are welcome

  1. N P says

    I love Nuestra Cocina, but I don’t go there that often. Why? Because they don’t take reservations, and I feel it’s disrespectful of their customers to make them wait up to one and a half hours to eat. At least Avignon is right across the street.

  2. Leo says

    I find Por Que No to be one of the biggest ripoffs in town. The one on Hawthorne in particular has a pretty abysmal waiting time (for freakin TACOS!) and the prices are ridiculous. The best Mexican in this town (in terms of stuff like tacos/burritos) tend to be found at hole in the walls and of course, the trucks. Nuestra Cocina is good but I completely agree they need a shot in the arm. Never been to Autentica, but I’ll give them a try. I just can’t believe Por Que No is even in the top three, let alone over Nuestra Cocina.

    • Marshall Manning says

      Agree about Por Que No. We’ve only been once, but the tacos are small, expensive and not as good as numerous trucks and small joints (Ochoa, Sanchez, etc.) in town.

      • Food Dude says

        JDG, I wondered exactly the same thing. Maybe Bubbles used to work at Mary’s club so has fond memories of the Mexican pass through there.

  3. pastamaven says

    I agree with Leo and Marshall about about Por Que No. Over priced, mediocre food and the Hawthorne outlet is a dump.

  4. mostly_running says

    PQN is shite in a shiny handbasket. Don’t be mad at them because the lines are so long, be mad at the people making the lines. Know your local people.

    We’re going to see the pqn model more in the next two years. awesome.

  5. Andrea says

    Well, I like Por Que No. I’m sure it’s not the cheapest in town, but I like knowing where the meat is coming from, the service is always friendly, and it’s near my house. They are awesome to their staff, too, and I”m willing to pay a little extra for these things. Plus, I like the margaritas. I usually get something other than tacos, so maybe that’s the difference. I also am not expecting a traditional taqueria when I go there.

  6. Food Dude says

    I think they win lots of people over for these policies alone –

    I think ¿Por Qué No? is just fine, and I like to know that the ingredients are of prime quality and sustainably caught – owner Bryan Steelman is a big believer in using fresh, natural ingredients, and their provenance is listed on the menu. Obviously this is going to drive the price up a bit, but it doesn’t seem to keep people away. However, some in the food community still complain that $3 for a taco is too much. One of the reasons for the higher prices is their commitment to sustainability. ¿Por Qué No? uses local hormone and antibiotic-free meats, line-caught fish, wild shrimp from sustainable fisheries, Viridian Farms produce, etc. They also use rice bran oil in their fryer, which is a healthier choice. Furthermore, waste oil is used as gas in their vehicle, and servers are actually given a living wage and offered medical/dental insurance. This commitment carries through in the food and service, and you feel good about eating there. A second complaint I’ve heard is that the tacos are too small. Spend some time in ‘real’ Mexico, and you’ll find they are the traditional size.

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