Wednesday, July 29, 2015

¿Por Que No?

¿Por Que No? is a Mexican taqueria with two locations in Portland. This blog post is for the N Mississippi Avenue spot.

¿Por Que No? is another spot that has been on my list for years. A number of people have asked me to go here, and while I have passed this place several times in the past, it has always been jam-packed. While brunch is served on the weekends, I came here for the tacos. The Mexican inspiration here starts from the Pacific coast of Mexico, up through the Oaxacan mountains. ¿Por Que No? stays true to using local ingredients.

I ordered four tacos, two Carnitas ($3 each) and two lengua ($3.50 each). Carnitas tacos include slow-cooked Cascade Farms pork, topped with salsa verde, onions, cilantro, and queso fresco. Lengua tacos start with brasied, seared Cascade Farms beef tongue and are topped with onions, cilantro, and serrano salsa. The corn tortillas are handmade, only one tortilla for each taco.

Both meats were outstanding. Juicy, flavorful, and tender. If price was not an issue, I'd ask for a dozen without hesitation. If I had to pick one of the two meats I had, I'd go with carnitas, but barely. It frankly would come down to what type of taco I wanted on that day.

Of course, ¿Por Que No? also has other tasty proteins such as Al Pastor, Carne Asada, Barbacoa, and more.

As I headed to ¿Por Que No?, I figured my one issue would be any long wait time, given their popularity with locals and tourists alike. I spent maybe 15 minutes in line to order and another 15 minutes waiting for the food. Overall, that's not bad.

FYI, their second location is near SE 47th and Hawthorne.

From in line at the Mississippi location

On this particular visit, I did not quite see the grandiose hype that ¿Por Que No? gets. While it is an awesome place, I didn't get that extra push or "it factor" that would elevate it to more epic heights. Maybe I need to try other meats and at least one drink to further sway me. The panda does not mind the extra science and research. 8.5/10

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