Sunday, August 14, 2011

Pepper Box

(Second Review -- February 2012)

Pepper Box is located on NE Martin Luther King Blvd. in Portland, Oregon.

Chef/cart operator Jim Wilson, a native New Mexican, opened Pepper Box in July 2010 to serve New Mexican-inspired street food. He combines those Southwest flavors with some Pacific Northwest ingredients for a lovely unique combination.

Oh, I taste the tradition for sure!
I ordered two breakfast tacos ($5): house-made flour tortillas are filled with cage-free eggs, potatoes, and Tillamook cheddar cheese. I customized my order with house-made chorizo on both tacos. I then got one taco with red chile sauce and one with the green chile sauce.

Breakfast Tacos (left taco has green chile sauce; the right one has the red chile sauce)
Hands down, the best taco I've ever had. These were huge tacos, none of these dinky tacos on micro corn tortillas that many Mexican food trucks churn out. I may be a small dude, but damn, I woulda tried to eat 10 of these in one sitting. It's seriously that good.

The house-made flour tortillas were warm, soft, and heavenly. The tortillas were thicker than a traditional store-bought flour tortilla, holding a ton of filling while not feeling real heavy in the stomach. Very impressive. And yes, you can request corn tortillas if you prefer those instead.

The potatoes, eggs, and chorizo were all seasoned well and cooked to perfection. I loved the shredded cheese sprinkled over the top of each taco.

Regarding the chiles, Jim gets his chiles from a local supplier (that happens to get the Hatch green chiles from New Mexico). The green chile sauce had a bit more heat, while the red chile sauce was smokier. I prefer the green version here for my tacos.

On top of all that, Chef Jim also has a habanero-carrot hot sauce for customers to pour on their tacos! The habanero carrot sauce has a little zing, but not overwhelming by any means. It also has a lovely color for presentation.

I do wish there was a real spicy hot sauce that would just bring flavor and knock my taste buds into next week at the same time. But in all seriousness, this is probably one of the best deals (if not the best deal) in Oregon, especially if you're seeking Southwestern flare. I can't believe it took me this long to get my behind up here to try them out...and I'm glad I did. Thank you, Jim, for opening Pepper Box and serving this amazing meal!

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