Wednesday, October 5, 2011

M Street Diner

M Street Diner is a small New Mexican-influenced Tex-Mex eatery located by Western Oregon University in Monmouth, Oregon. They opened in February 2011.

A person on Yelp told me about this place, as we were both on a quest for green chiles -- the New Mexican variety. I arrived on a Sunday morning for breakfast. M Street Diner usually opens at 7 a.m. on most days, but opens at 9 a.m. on Sundays. When WOU is in session, Tom (the owner) plans to open for dinner on Fridays and Saturdays.

Tom is originally from Texas, so he's familiar with the Tex-Mex flare. But he also (thankfully) brought some New Mexican influence, getting his green chiles shipped from New Mexico.

Their signature lunch item is their M Street Burrito ($6.95): carne adovada (basically pork marinated in amazing spices), beans, green chile, lettuce, and tomato in a tortilla, topped with green chile stew and Monterrey cheese. But alas, I was a bit early for lunch (which they start at 11 a.m.).

So basically, my Tex-Mex craving took over. I ordered two of their breakfast tacos ($2.25 each): a mixture of eggs, cheese, potatoes, and choice of meat on a corn or Don Pancho flour tortilla. M Street Diner has chicken, beef, ham, sausage, and chorizo as possible meat options. I went with the chorizo, then added some avocado ($1 more), and green chiles (an additional 50 cents). Thus, I paid about $6 for my two tacos.

Breakfast and lunch menu (as of September 2011)

Chorizo Breakfast Tacos, topped with avocado
The tacos were OK. After going to a place like Pepper Box (where the cart operator makes his own flour tortillas), going to a place that uses store-bought tortillas can be a letdown. I must say, though, it was a belly-satisfying combination of chorizo, potatoes, eggs, and cheese. The potatoes were cooked perfectly here. I felt the filling needed some more flavor, perhaps a bit more salt. The creamy avocado brought color and textural contrasts.

The green chiles were incorporated into the filling, as opposed to being a topping like salsa or hot sauce. I would have liked the chiles to stand out a bit more in the tacos; it definitely got lost in the shuffle here. Also, M Street Diner has a few hot sauce options for condiments, a welcome sight for this spicehead.

M Street Diner runs a promotion where if you buy $50 worth of food (ten punches of $5 each), you get a free lunch. A great idea, especially when close to a university.

Not a bad first experience on breakfast items. A hearty $6 breakfast. I'll be back for the M Street Burrito in the future because it's their signature item. 6.75/10

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